How to have a &'micro&' adventure
Adventure means something different to everyone but we can all enjoy one. It could be an adventure holiday, a trip to a new and adventurous place or simply a "micro" adventure.
Micro Adventures is the title of a new book by Alastair Humphreys – and it calls on everyone to go out and enjoy an adventure in their local area.
Al reckons that there is an adventure to be had just outside your front door, a short way along the road or only a quick train ride away. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city, town or village, the same adventures are there for the having.
The author, who hails from Yorkshire and now lives in London, describes a Micro Adventure as “doing something that embraces the essence of adventure – including fun, excitement, something new, challenges and an escapism – but locally”.
He says: “An adventure means different things to different people but the basic requirements are that you do something challenging, fun, exciting and different in a wild or natural place.
“A wild place could be your back garden, a local hill or an island, so long as it is new to you and a natural place.
“And I also recommend that for the full adventure feeling you should stay outside for a night. Sleeping in your garden, or on the top of a local hill, or in nearby woodland totally changes how you see the environment and your sense of adventure.”
The Micro Adventures book reveals how Al has spent a great deal of his life seeking out new journeys and adventures all over the world. However in recent times “life has become more normal”.
Al has two young children and has been forced to "settle down a bit" and realign his desires for adventure with the increased constraints of family life.
He says: “I have less freedom now to go on long journeys to foreign places but this doesn’t mean I can’t find adventures. I still enjoy adventures but in a more 'micro' format.”
The book is split into chapters of different micro adventures that Al has enjoyed. These include:
- Sleeping on a hillside near Glasgow
- Walking a lap of London
- Wild swimming
- A canal journey
- A credit card adventure
- The 5pm to 9am adventure.
Each chapter also offers a list of similar but alternative ideas for micro adventures. These ideas suit all kinds of people, from busy city workers to parents and kids.
Al says: “It’s a lot about using our imaginations. So, for example, I once decided to map a route of two miles around my home. I’d been sat at my desk indoors all day and decided to have an adventure close to my home.
“This two-mile lap took me to places I had never seen before and formed a new journey that felt adventurous, even if it wasn’t seemingly wild and different. Anyone could do this.
“Another idea is to eat your dinner in the garden, whatever the weather, or take the kids to local woodland and enjoy cooking outside.
“In the summer months, why not head to your nearest hilltop and sleep out under the stars? Or take a train journey some 30 miles from home and then get off and cycle back?”
Budget friendly adventures
Al believes that Micro Adventures should also be cheap. He says: “You can buy outdoors clothes, basic sleeping bags and rucksacks for very little money these days.
"Or you can improvise. Wear layers of jumpers or fleeces that you already have and sleep in an orange survival bag. I am not saying you should be foolhardy but if the weather is going to be good and you are simply sleeping on a small hill or in woodlands most people will be fine.
"If you keep it local and the weather turns bad you can always go home again. A big part of the adventure is giving it a go.
“A micro adventure doesn’t need to cost a lot. That’s the point. It should be cheap, simple, local, short but highly effective.”
To buy the book see Micro Adventures by Alastair Humphreys