Microadventures: Rediscover the Explorer Inside You

Microadventures - everything you need to know

If you‘re tired of the daily grind and looking to inject a bit of excitement into your life, microadventures could be just the thing. Specifically designed for those of us who don’t have the time to organise trips to the other side of the world. Microadventures and micro camping are about keeping it simple, inexpensive and often local. Doing something outside the norm. Something that challenges you and rewards you with that spark so often missing in today’s routine-led lives.

What is a microadventure?

Made popular by British Explorer Alastair Humphreys, microadventures make “adventure accessible to people who may have very little outdoor experience.”
It could be as simple as stargazing, wild swimming in a river, walking or cycling a route you would usually drive, or micro camping: sleeping outdoors without a tent. Microadventures don’t have to be complicated or cost lots of money. They should allow you to explore new places, reconnect with nature and take time out of your hectic schedule. They should encourage you to move outside your comfort zone and push yourself to achieve. Micro adventure ideas are limited only by your imagination.

Waiting for @tom_herbert_ to wake up and bake me breakfast… #bivvy #microadventure

A post shared by Alastair Humphreys (@al_humphreys) on

Why should you try it?
Do you remember those hazy summer days when you were a child? Adventure could be found at every turn. Welly walks in the woods, rock climbing on the beach, bike rides with friends. Even a picnic in the garden felt special and thrilling. Microadventures offer you the chance to recapture that long forgotten sense of wonder, that feeling that something amazing could happen at any moment. When was the last time you felt like that?
As adults, it’s easy to lose that sense of unbridled excitement as we get drawn deep into the daily routines of life. The school run, the office 9-5, the arduous train commute, meal planning, weight training. The list is endless. The monotony can be endless.
Imagine you could revisit your childhood self. Do something that rekindles that lost sense of adventure. Something that gives you butterflies in your tummy; the adrenaline rush of stepping into the unknown.
A micro camping adventure will allow you to:

  • Learn about new places
  • Spend time as a family
  • Create special memories
  • Learn about yourself
  • Challenge yourself
  • Learn new skills
  • Get the kids away from their screens
  • And feel that little shiver of excitement when you rediscover your inner explorer.

How to Organise Your First Microadventure

Half the excitement of microadventures is in the planning and anticipation. The wondering if you will you have the nerve to do it.

If you’re about to embark on your first adventure our advice is to start small and build up some confidence. Humphreys recommends leaving work at 5pm, hiking up a hill, sleeping under the stars, and then returning by 9am the next morning. He says the thrill of surprising your colleagues, by doing something out of the ordinary, is exhilarating.

But if you’re not quite ready to throw yourself in head first, wait until the sun goes down and head up a nearby hill, or to a local landmark by torchlight. You’ll be amazed how much more exciting even a regularly trodden path can be after dark. You’ll hear new sounds and notice new smells. Your senses will be heightened at night time when you’re programmed to be on the alert.

Or, if you’re nervous about micro camping, start in your own back garden. Sleep outside in a bivvy bag to give yourself a taste of what it could be like to bed down up a mountain for the night. You can check you have everything you need, and test your nerve, before braving a spot of microcamping a little further from home.

What Micro Camping Gear Do You Need?

The beauty of microcamping is that you need very little. The idea is to get away from the materialistic tendencies of modern life. As a minimum you’ll need the following micro camping gear:

  • A sleeping bag, mat and bivvy bag to keep you dry at night. Seasoned micro campers sniff at the use of a tent as it’s not as wild as the bivvy experience.
  • A warm hat and warm clothes, opting for plenty of fleece layers to keep you cosy when the temperature plummets.
  • Food and drink – pack the essentials in a small rucksack.
  • A map and compass
  • A torch
  • A bin bag or waterproof bag to store your micro camping gear overnight.

For micro adventure ideas, or microcamping locations in the UK, checkout the Instagram hashtag #microadventure, or search for your local microadventures group on Facebook. Ask questions, share concerns, and you’ll find a supportive community just waiting to help you on the way to your first mini adventure.

If, as Humphreys says, micro camping is like a “reset button for busy lives,” we can’t help but think we could all benefit from that once in a while. Have you been on an microadventure? Share it with us using #MyCraghoppers.

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