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FRONT RUNNER ON THE MOVE: FRAUKE HAMEISTER

FRONT RUNNER ON THE MOVE: FRAUKE HAMEISTER

- May 06, 2022

Frauke Hameister is one of Europe’s most-followed female travel photographers. The Leipzig-based creative has worked alongside various tourism boards and clients such as MINI, Billabong, Fjallräven, Adidas and Amazon. When she is not working on shooting spectacular campaigns for her clients, she is overlanding in her 20-year-old Land Rover Discovery or her partner’s van and documenting the journey along the way. Here is a brief window on her life and travels: 

© Frauke Hameister

You’ve done quite a bit of driving over the past year, correct? ​

Yes! 2021 was the year when traveling was kind of possible again. Well, or at least to the local forests and mountains. Then, around mid-year, I managed to take a long road trip from late May to September. From Germany to Denmark, taking the ferry over to the Faroe Island where we stayed a solid month. From there we took the ferry again, and got off in Iceland, where we stayed for another two months. Took the ferry back to Denmark and finished the season with a road trip up to northern Sweden. Good times. 

© Frauke Hameister

A good mix of weekend trips and longer expeditions. How important are those quick weekend trips? 

Short answer: They keep me sane. There is nothing better than escaping everyday life for a couple of days, driving around, listening to good music, cooking your favorite pasta dish in the back of your car and enjoying a good time with friends. I also did quite a lot of short trips before the big road trip to make sure things work the way I need them to. Everything from how much water I need for a couple of days off the grid, to getting stuck in the mud and simple stuff like the car battery dying. It was a big learning process, but so much fun.


Out of all the spots you’ve ever camped in, what are your 5 favorites?

Oh wow, there are a bunch! Without ranking them, here are some of the most spectacular that immediately come to mind:

© Frauke Hameister

European Alps

Very simple car camping in the back of the trunk of my Skoda Octavia (RIP, haha). It was a solo trip and I remember reading my favorite book while watching the sun setting behind the mountains, very idyllic.

© Frauke Hameister

Iceland

Watching the midnight sun with lots of fog rolling in, in the middle of nowhere next to a road that leads through endless flower fields (they look pretty but are an invasive species).

© Frauke Hameister

Cowboy camping on a cliff

It was super windy in the evening and the only calm place was this sketchy-looking edge. Super soft moss underneath and one of those trips I’ll never forget.

© Frauke Hameister

Mountain top​

Almost no sleep on this one! I just took the sleeping bag, camera and some instant ramen up the mountain. Watching the fog roll through these epic landscapes with the ocean roaring underneath was spectacular.

© Frauke Hameister

Somewhere in Norway ​

I fell in love with the idea of car camping and van life during this summer in Norway. I started looking for my own vehicle to travel around in shortly after.

© Frauke Hameister

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to deal with on an overland trip?​

Nothing major so far (*knocks on wood*). I’ve been through a couple of thrilling things though, such as almost getting stuck in a muddy river on my first-ever river crossing where I went through the water too fast and knocked my head on the roof. I take good care of my vehicle, listen to it (literally, if a new sound comes up I know something is up) and spend a good amount of time at workshops. 

© Frauke Hameister

Can you give us a brief rundown of the Front Runner products you have on your 4x4 SUV?​

Absolutely. The Slimline II Roof Rack was and still is the most important thing. It offers plenty of space for storage which is key when you have wet or dirty camping gear that you don’t want to bring inside the car. Then there is the lovely 40” LED light bar mounted on it to see where I drive when the roads get too dark. The Wolf Pack Pros let me store everything, while an extra fuel tank is a backup for longer off-road adventures. I also have a 20l Pro Water Tank to keep me hydrated (and kind of clean) and to cool down on warm summer days.

© Frauke Hameister

Where to next with the Discovery?​

In between sad and happy because I’m actually giving my Land Rover a new home and moving into @ragnarthevan for the summer.​

Remember the guy I met in Norway who made me fall in love with car camping? Yeah well turns out I fell in love with him too. We spent the entire summer together (but with two cars, just in case) and now we feel comfortable enough with actually doing this together.​

Driving around with two cars doesn’t really make much sense and the thought of the Land Rover just standing around for the summer would be a shame. So, he is going into good hands next month. I’ll still be able to visit every now and then. ​

All my Front Runner Wolf Pack Pros will be stored on the van from now on, so still a happy ending. This summer, plans are to take it slow and drive through Norway for about two months. Autumn time I’ll do a little solo trip to the mountains and do the super low key car camping in my Volvo V60 Cross Country car trunk. So from vanlife to car trunk, kind of back to the roots.

© Frauke Hameister

If you could give the amateur travel photographer one tip, what would that be?​

Honestly, just take away the pressure, go out and have fun. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who needs to be happy with what you do, and travel photography is all about making memories and visualizing the stories you have to tell after your journey. 

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