Have you tried: Summer microadventure?
I love the concept of microadventures – and summer is the ideal time to try one. Read my article to find out more. Although this recent microadventure campaign was running for June, there is no reason why you can’t discover the fun of your own microadventure any time of the summer.
What is it?: A microadventure is described as an “overnight outdoor adventure that is small and achievable, for normal people with real lives”.
Tell me more: The microadventure was invented by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys.
His aim is to inspire more people to spend time outdoors for the benefit of their physical and mental health.
The concept is flexible so that each person, or group of people, can choose the location, duration – typically one night – and scope of the adventure.
The microadventure is meant to be local to your home, in a green or open space and could even take place in your back garden.
It’s also affordable because it does not require specialised gear, travel costs or many provisions.
Many microadventurers choose to sleep out under the stars using a bivvy bag or a hammock, rather than a tent.
Alastair said: “Microadventures are for everyone and should be easy to achieve.
“Because you do not need to go far from home and they are for one night, a microadventure can take place on a work or school night, as well as at weekends and during holiday time.”
Anything else to know?: This summer Alastair has launched a new Summer Microadventure Challenge.
He wants to see an overnight microadventure taking place in every country in Great Britain in June 2016.
He said: “For the past few summers, I’ve organised a Microadventure Challenge, encouraging people to go out and spend a night under the stars.
“I’ve found that it often takes the little jolt of a challenge to help people overcome procrastination, busy lives and the lure of another night in front of the telly.
“In 2016, the challenge is a collaborative effort to see if we can get an overnight microadventure happening in every British county, plus as many different countries as possible.
“It’s running throughout June but, of course, people can continue to do microadventures for the rest of the summer, too.”
The Summer Microadventure Challenge is to pick a county – council areas in Scotland – then find a place to sleep overnight, such as a hill, loch-shore, riverbank, beach, cave or glen.
Go by yourself, with friends, family, or work colleagues. Walk there, run there, cycle there or use public transport.
Take a good photo and share it on-line using two hashtags: #MicroadventureChallenge and #CountyName (that’s the name of the county you are in, not actually “CountyName”
If you’re not in the UK, add the hashtag #CountryName.
Your location will then be added to the challenge map found at www.zerosixzero.co/microadventures.
The aim is to turn the map blue by the end of this month.
Alastair will choose his favourite entries to win prizes from Osprey and Haglöfs.
Benefits of a microadventure: Alastair, who was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, describes a microadventure as being like a refresh button for busy lives.
He said: “A microadventure has the spirit – and therefore the benefits – of a big adventure.
“It might be condensed version but it’s a great way to have a mini break from the stressed of every day lives.
“You can experience it by yourself or with friends or family. You can seek out short, interesting, rewarding adventures right on your doorstep.
“Once you try it, you will realise the wonderful experience gained from spending time outdoors.”
What do I need?: You do not require much to enjoy a microadventure. The basic kit list includes a rucksack, sleeping bag, foam or inflatable sleeping mat, torch, toothbrush and a phone or camera for taking photos.
You could choose to sleep in a simple tent but for a more exciting alternative try a bivvy bag, a basic orange plastic survival bag or a hammock.
Even in summer, the nights can be cold so make sure you also pack a waterproof jacket, warm clothes wool hat even in summer
You should take food that doesn’t require any cooking, or eat dinner before you go and have breakfast when you get back home. Two litres of water should be plenty for one night.
Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code: Scots are fortunate to benefit from favourable outdoor access rights.
Thanks to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 everyone has statutory access rights to most of Scotland’s great outdoors.
The code is based on three basic principles: Respect the interests of other people, care for the environment and take responsibility for your own actions.
Apart from areas, such as in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park that are governed by no wild camping bye-laws in the summer, you have the right to enjoy great freedom in Scotland’s outdoors.
More details: Look up the Microadventures community on Facebook. Also see http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/ Al’s book Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes is sold on-line.