Night Hike at Lake Tegernsee

“Jobs fill your pocket, adventures fill your soul.” I just love the wild camping season. All I need is my bivouac & my bike, sleeping outdoors underneath the stars. This time, I got a special tip for everyone near Munich, a beautiful night hike at Lake Tegernsee.

Sunrise Tour Baumgartenschneid

In mid August, showers of meteors hit Earth. The Perseids return at the same time every year. Hence, I did a night tour to the Baumgartenschneid – a familiar, rather easy tour.

Together with my friend Alexa, we took the train out from Munich at around midnight. Arriving at the train station in Tegernsee, it was already pretty cold. Colder than we actually expected and pretty humid. We definitely needed to wear our three layers in order to stay warm.

Since it was so dark and cold, I decided to take the route via the Prinzenweg, Gindelalm and then directly to the Baumgartenschneid (1449m). This one is safer at night and easier. Well, at least, I thought so. Due to the new moon, the sky was pretty clear. It was breathtakingly beautiful. You could even see the milky way.

But it was also darker than usual. Although we were wearing our headlights, you could not see that much.

The forest looks so different at night, it smells different, sounds different, the dimensions seem to be different. But I love it. It is mystical, magical – so calm and peaceful. Carrying 15kg in our backpacks, not seeing that much, meant, we really needed to focus. The path was trickier than expected. Not since it was too steep, but in the darkness we sometimes missed the signs so that at one point we got lost. I could tell that we were going the wrong way, but just could not find the actual path. Using both our lamps, looking around, it just was imposssible to see it. But since I am pretty familar with reading the stars and directions, I just followed my gut. It was about a 30-minute detour, but then we were on the right track again.

All in all, it took us about three hours to reach the Baumgartenschneid, overlooking Lake Tegernsee at night.

Sleeping underneath the stars

At around 4:30 a.m. we decided to camp at the alp, just using our sleeping mat, outdoor pillow and sleeping bag. Although it was still pretty cold and humid we changed into our sleeping clothes, crawled into our sleeping bags and simply watched the stars. MAGICAL! I saw four shooting stars, making a wish for my family and me.

We did not really sleep, though. It was just too beautiful. So quiet and peaceful. You only heard the bells from the nearby roaming cows at the alp and the chirping sound of the crickets. It is these little things in life that are just priceless!

At around 5.30 a.m. the sky was changing its colors, shining in different shades of red, orange and purple. Wow, just WOW. The sun was rising as a red fire ball on the horizon and at the same time you could see and hear the forest waking up. The things that have been so dark and mystical at night started to look bright and colorful. It could not get more romantic than this. We did not really talk. We just sat there, all cuddled up in our sleeping bag, watching the sun rise, watching the forest to wake up. If you ever get a chance to do something like this during new moon and the weather is fine, don’t think twice, just do it. You will fall in love with nature, with life, all over again.

At around  6:30 a.m. the cows from the alp decided to come close to us, literally licking our faces and bodies. Yes, LITERALLY. Guess, this was our time to get up and pack our things hiking to the mountain peak, enjoying the even more beautiful views over Lake Tegernsee – all by ourselves.

One hour later the first locals arrived doing their morning exercise routine, which was our cue to leave, all smiling and happy.

Packing Tips

For my friend, it was her first night tour, her first time sleeping underneath the stars, watching the sun rise. For those of you who have never done it before, either, I got some special packing tips for you.

At night it gets pretty cold up on the mountain. Thus, make sure to bring enough layers and a very good sleeping bag. I prefer one with a hood ’cause I just love it cozy and warm. In your sleeping bag, only wear your base layer. For the first five minutes, you still might be pretty cold, but afterwards, it gets much warmer. Believe me, the less you wear, the better.

This was my packing list:

  • backpack with room for a hydration pack
  • 2 L hydration pack
  • first-aid kit
  • headlight
  • sleepwear
  • changing-clothes (base layer, mid-layer, rain jacket, extra pair of socks)
  • bikini and sandals for a morning swim in the lake
  • towel
  • wet wipes, tooth brush and tooth paste
  • biffy bag
  • something to eat (energy bar, some fruit, breakfast)
  • thermos flask with tea, coffee or hot chocolate
  • heating pad
  • pocket knife
  • trekking poles
  • high-quality sleeping bag that keeps you warm
  • sleeping mat
  • outdoor pillow
  • camera
  • cell phone
  • portable power bank

However, make sure that you only pack what you can carry. If the backpack is too heavy for you and you are not used to it, make some changes. I for example have problems carrying a 15kg backpack on my MTB and then riding up a hill – no freaking chance. Still need to find a good solution for me there. Hence, I always do a combination of ride and hike when carrying loads of stuff.

Just try what works best for you and simply have fun, enjoying the great outdoors.


photo credits: Munich Mountain Rebel