Alastair Humphreys defines a Microadventure as “an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” He goes on to say:
“The appeal of microadventures is that they make adventure accessible to people who may have very little outdoor experience.”
We stumbled upon Mr. Humphreys' concept of a Microadventure a few years back and just recently started taking the idea to heart. Time, money, physical and mental limitations, life circumstances don’t always allow for big, epic adventures but that doesn’t mean you have to live an adventure-less life. Finding ways to incorporate small, joyful experiences into your days is proven to be more beneficial to your overall well-being anyways, so take whatever time you do have and go on a Microadventure!
Here are some of the things we’ve done lately and other ideas to get you started:
- Spend a full day in a different city. Pick somewhere within reasonable driving distance and spend a day exploring. Challenge yourself to not plan every second of the day. Make a list of places you really want to explore (parks, trails, historical points, special restaurants), but leave it up to fate. See what you stumble upon and just go for it! Even if you’ve been there before, there’s bound to be plenty of spots still to explore.
Don’t have a full day? Spend a morning, afternoon or evening exploring somewhere closer to home or even your own city. Put your walking shoes on and just go! I’ve lived in the same city most of my life. This year I made the commitment to walk wherever I could if I was able. Even within 2 miles of my home, I’ve found a ton of unexplored spots. If I am walking to a specific destination at a specific time, I try to leave some extra time for wandering.
Heading to a new location for work or a visit with friends? Leave early or stay late and get exploring! On a quick work trip recently, I found a trail that was close to where I needed to be and added in 3 hours to check it out. It ended up being a beautiful trail and some much needed time alone to reenergize myself. It was the perfect Microadventure!
- Take an overnight trip. Leave at 6pm and be back in time for work the next day. Even if you don’t live somewhere that allows for a quick camping trip like this, find a unique hotel or AirBnB. Turn your phone off. Bring a book or journal and escape your daily routine for an evening.
- From our Instagram friend, Dave: “We leave around 4am. Hike or paddle roughly 10-15 miles, and when we are done we are back home by 2pm. We pick up where we left off so everytime we hit the IAT or the river with my canoe, it’s always a new section we haven’t seen.”
Have you tried a Microadventure? Hopefully this list got your brain going and you have some new ideas to try it out!