You’re in the office. The glare from the artificial lighting is burning your retinas and you see the clock in the right hand corner of your screen tick over to 5pm.
You. Are. Out. Of. There.Tonight though you aren’t heading back to your homestead after a sweaty commute wedged between strangers with the prospect of snuggling up with the remote as the only light at the end of the work funk tunnel. No, no, no. Tonight you’re heading out of the automatic office doors and into the great outdoors (and, you won’t be back till the morning).
This, my friends, is a microadventure.
Coined by the clever Alistair Humphries a microadventure is the perfect tonic to the mid-week blues. Probably any blues. It’s an action plan that will have you debunking the myth that adventures and camping trips are to be planned months in advance, with every tool in your camping toolbox packed and prepared accordingly. Rather, a microadventure uses that sweet spot of time that lots of us tend to idly while away till we wake up and do the work thing again. The 5-9.
I’m a sucker for it. On an average weekday you might catch me lying on the sofa scrolling through pinterest or instagram, pinning and liking every image I see that utters or points to adventure. A microadventure is the totally doable antidote to adventure-lust; an opportunity to inject wild in to your midweek. It’s a night under the stars. No tent. Just you, your chosen co-adventurers and the great outdoors.
The first morning I wound up in work straight from the woods, my hair and skin were infused with eau du fire and a beaming smile was stuck to my face. I was buzzing. I felt like I had a little secret. I mean, I kind of did. Bar the colleagues that accompanied me, my team were none the wiser that I had just rocked up after a night on the forest floor. A delightful part of the micro adventure charm. It’s a shot of adrenalin that will filter in to the rest of your working week. A burst of adventure into your norm, whatever that is, and its easy-flipping-peasy.This isn’t something just for the hardy and, with summer upon us, there is no better time to give it a go.
Here’s a little how-to:
- Find a location
A place that you are able to get to reasonably after work and back from in the morning. Could you cycle? A short train/bus/boat ride? Of course, you also need to find a spot that you can sleep in legitimately too. We’re talking no trespassing (within reason). A public hilltop, field, river side, cliff top, woods, beach. Find your spot and plan your route.
- Gather your tribe
Friends, family, lovers- find a gaggle of folk to enjoy the adventure with. Going solo can be serene but if it’s your first go it might be best to bring your people along so as to avoid ‘the fear’ that can irrationally come over us when it’s dark and we are alone.
- Bring some equipment
(Remembering that this is meant to be simple!)
- A sleeping bag
- A bivvy bag (This is basically a big old bag for you to pop your wrapped up self in to keep you from getting damp. They range in price from a tenner (I’ve always bought mine from ex-army shops) to £80ish. Even a couple of bin bags can set you right
- Roll Matt
- Head torch
- Pillow (To save space and not rock up to work like you are about to climb Everest, you can just roll up a jumper)
- Warm clothes (Being cold is a sure way to feel miserable so this is where I always prep hard. Check the weather first though, you might find yourself outside your sleeping bag all together in summer)
- Toilet Paper
- Food/drink (Picnic dinner? Bread, cheese and wine? Or of course you could bring a camping stove and give it a right good go)
*Remember to never leave things behind. We want to keep our patches of wild beautiful
- Just do it
The human tendency is to over think these things. Just do it. Go. See how you feel and then do it again. I promise that the mid-week blues and lusting for adventure will soon be buried under your bivvy.
If you need any more tips or inspiration then feel free to drop me a line at Rachel@theforagedlife.com or visit Alistair Humphries website which will tell you everything you need to know.
Rachel Lees hails from the UK where she writes on slow adventures and conscious living over on her blog The Foraged Life. This piece is taken from Stitch + Forage, a digital guide to having a slow, natural summer featuring how-to’s like this one and a whole lot more.