How to Bake More Adventure Into Your Week

How to Bake More Adventure Into Your Week

Our lives have a natural rhythm; there's work, school runs, and three meals a day to factor in. Weekends quickly fill up with social commitments, and Monday rolls back around before you know it. 

It's easy for things to start feeling repetitive. Most of us would say we want more adventure, and more time outdoors, but feel like we don't have the time, or the capacity. Maybe we just don't know where to start. 

But building adventure into your life doesn’t have to mean blocking out a full weekend, doing a tonne of ‘planning admin’, living out of a campervan, or moving your family over to France; a simple microadventure is the perfect place to start, and to break you out of your normal routine. 

What is a microadventure? 

Microadventure’ is a term coined by adventurer Alastair Humphreys. A self-confessed adventurer addict, Humphreys spent four years cycling round the world before returning to row across the Atlantic, and walk across India. He thrives on big adventures. 

Determined to get more people embracing their adventurous side, Humphreys came up with the concept of microadventures; small, local, entirely accessible adventures that tap into our adventurous spirit, and get us out exploring the beautiful British countryside. 

They’re a shot of 'adventure espresso', without the need to quit your job and set off for Argentina. A way to inject more of the unexpected, and the wondrous, into daily life. 

Microadventures are all about getting out into local nature, ideally overnight, and only with the bare essentials. They’re cheap and low maintenance, while still giving our screen-soaked selves a much needed nature reset. 

Fitting in a long weekend around your work can be tricky and quickly get expensive. But what if you focused on the 5-9, instead of your 9-5? Those 16 hours between work days leave more than enough time to build something beautiful into your week, and still make it back to your desk for 9am the next day. 

Wild camping in Ambleside

Wild camping in Ambleside

How to plan for an overnight microadventure

Ideally, don’t! Keep your microadventure as adventurous as possible by going with the flow, getting out into nature with a vague destination in mind, rather than being glued to that little blue dot. Head up a hill, and set yourself up for the night. Or pack a bag, and head out on your bike for the day. 

But keeping things unplanned doesn’t mean being unprepared. If you plan to sleep out overnight, you’ll need some basic essentials to get you through, such as:

  • A sleeping bag and mat 
  • A bivvy bag 
  • Warm layers, including a hat 
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Food and water
  • Torch

Of course, your safety should always be your first priority. Heading out on a microadventure alone will be an amazing, independent experience – but you may need to do a bit more planning to make sure you’ll be ending up in a safe area.

When’s the best time for a microadventure?

The best time for a microadventure is today, and the second best time for a microadventure is tomorrow! 

Spring and summer are the easiest time to try sleeping out in a bivvy bag for the first time, but there’s plenty you can get up to in winter, too. There’s no such thing as a ‘wrong’ time.

Wild swimming in Sheffield

Wild swimming in Sheffield

Going even more micro

Even if you can’t spare a night to get away for a 5-9 microadventure, or to head out for a day trip, you still can (and should!) bring the spirit of microadventures into your everyday life. 

Find the smallest pockets of time, and use them to load up on nature and new experiences, however small. Take time to savour the beauty that’s all around you. 

Teeny tiny micro adventures to build into your week: 

  • If you walk or cycle to work, try taking a more scenic route 
  • Go for a quick post-work dip in a lake, river, lido, or the sea 
  • Find a new outside spot to sit in on your lunch break
  • Or on the weekend, pack up breakfast and a flask of coffee, then head out for the morning with no plan 
  • Go paddleboarding, kayaking, or punting
  • Sleep out in your garden
  • Cook a meal outside from scratch
  • Pack up dinner and take it to the park
  • Host dinner for your friends in the park
  • Try a new area for your Sunday afternoon hike