I first heard the term “Microadventure” back in 2012 while watching the TEDxOxbridge talk by adventurer Alastair Humphreys. In short, microadventures are small but exciting adventures that we can experience without the presumed long distances, time-frames and deep wallets needed to realise more “traditional”, hard-core adventures.
These are travel adventures that we can enjoy over a week, a weekend, or even just a few hours. They’re accessible by us all, in order to take some time away, to disconnect, and to help us experience something entirely beyond our own norms.
Below are a selection of some of my favourite microadventure videos to help inspire you to step outside your comfort zone, stop being a couch-explorer and virtual sightseer , see the land just beyond your front door as a wilderness to be explored, and to disconnect completely from this overly-wired world so that you can come back recharged and raring to go.
“Behavior that keeps you constantly attached to work is counterproductive. Your body never has time to recharge. Your mind never has time to recharge. You are constantly at the beck and call of a job and never get perspective. You never see the world, you just see the job”.
Please share any inspiring microadventure stories or ideas in the comments!
Epic Packrafting And Canyoneering
This was Alex Richardson‘s third time on this 6 day/5 night trip to packrafting the epic Escalante River canyon in southern Utah. Featuring incredible scenery, an awesome soundtrack, claustrophobic canyoneering, and plenty of inspiration to get out there and have an adventure.
Swim Across A Freezing Lake To Sleep On An Island
Perhaps a tad silly (try this at your own risk, kiddies), but swimming across a freezing lake in the English Lake District, bacon, biscuits and sleeping under the stars on an island sounds a pretty swish way to spend the weekend to me. In the video, Alastair talks about the perspective that these kind of microadventures give him. The luxury of a hot shower. The indulgence of a soft bed.
An Inner-City Microadventure
Heading into the countryside isn’t a necessity when it comes to microadventures. In this video, Tom Allen performs a 30 mile circuit of London’s Zone 1 (the area covered by London Underground’s ‘Zone 1’ area), traveling by foot, bike, a failed-attempt at swimming, pack-rafting, and one night in a bivvi-bag.
Camping Above Hong-Kong’s Mighty Cityscape
A line in this video is “the wild places are closer than you might imagine”, leading these guys to hike to the national park that sits just behind Hong Kong’s immense skyline, and to camp out above the illuminated city-scape, with some local liqueur to keep them company.
Mountain Biking And Wild Camping
How about throwing in some hard-core mountain-biking, breathtaking scenery and boil in the bag goodness for a night away from home sometime this Winter? Make a night of it, and camp on the fells to continue the adventure the morning after.
Up Sheep Creek With A Paddle
This is a solo whitewater packrafting adventure of Sheep Creek (exact location unknown), which in Summer months is class IV with a class V canyon. Intense stuff. If you don’t have the experience, start with something smaller, but just as exciting.
Hitchhike From Istanbul To Sofia
Over an intense, tiring 4 days, Jamie Bowlby-Whiting hitchhiked 1300km from Istanbul to Sofia and then back again. Why not, eh? This timelapse selfie-video shows many of the rides they were given, roads they were trapped on and fun they had en route. Although this may not help you “get away from it all”, it’s certainly an adventure.
Walk Across The Dolomites
Back in 2011, Alex Bellini and Giorgio Garello hiked 130km across the Italian Dolomites over 7 days, bathing in creeks, abseiling, and traversing some of the most impressive scenery in Europe.
Skate 30 Miles From Bolder To Denver
Riding a longboard from one city to another may not be at the top of your to-do list, but it’s certainly a novel way to get from one city to another, while giving you a few fun stories to tell in the process.
Cross The Country On Bike
Following the Hadrian’s Wall Cycle route, Humphreys crossed England from East to West, needing to stop off en route to pick up more clothes as protection from the biting cold all in the search of retrospective pleasure.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, follow these fantastic travel Twitter accounts .
So, what’s stopping you now? Otherwise, venture out into your local environment, and have an adventure! Let us know how it goes, and if you already have — tell us your favourite memories.