If you hear the word "camping, "do you think of restless nights, itchy mosquito bites, and crawling ants in your food stock?
Think twice! The Switzerland-based start-up Himmelszelt is opening a brand new chapter for campers of any skill level. Their goal is to offer sustainable micro-adventures without a glitch.
Think pedaling to a remote spot, making a campfire, unfolding your tent, and sleeping under starry skies... This is the premise of Himmelszelt in a nutshell. It is the latest way of making memories in nature as a couple or as a family.
How does the pop-up bicycle tent work?
Each Himmelszelt bicycle tent is packed on a special trailer which can be pulled with an e-bike. (Note: it is possible to rent the tent with an e-bike.) After a bike tour across the Swiss countryside, you can easily set up and inflate the tent. A manual pump similar to the ones used for stand-up paddleboards is stashed in the trailer by default.
Unzip the mosquito net to step inside the Himmelszelt where you will notice a spacious awning. Adults can stand up straight in this area which is perfect for changing clothes or stashing a back bag.
For extra comfort, the bed is topped with a second, softer mattress. And since the bed floats above the ground, it is safe from pesky nighttime "visitors."
Meet the founders of Himmelzelt Bicycle Tents
Himmelszelt was founded by Melanie and Holger Martin, two globetrotters who live and work near Zürich. "Himmelszelt is our heart and family project alike. We have tested our pop-up tents numerous times - even with our children on board," explains Melanie.
They tell us that Himmelszelt is perfect for anyone wanting to escape from the hamster wheel of everyday life. "Since the tent is attached to a battery-powered bicycle, it is for both athletic and less athletic types," says Holger. "It is simply a wonderful way of getting away and having a micro-adventure close to home."
Ideas for wild camping near Zürich
One possibility to set up the tent is on regular campgrounds. Some lakeside options just a short ride from the pick-up location are Pfäffikersee and Greifensee, as well as Lake Zurich.
Another option is to pick a spot somewhere in nature, such as by a forest. Every local community (Gemeinde) has different rules for wild camping, so make sure to check before you hit the pedals.
Melanie: “We’ve had really good experiences by just asking a farmer or landlord whether it is permitted to spend the night on their property.”
The founders are more than happy to explain all the details and answer your questions. They have lots of advice for overnight bicycle trips near Zürich, too. The bicycle tents may be picked up in Wolfhausen near Zürich.
(Photographs courtesy Fabienne Grimm/Zürcher Oberland Medien AG)