Do you stare longingly out your office window at the lone tree in the parking lot? Spend your train commute jealously browsing #exploremore and #getoutside on Instagram? Do you secretly plot giving up the daily grind to live out your #vanlife dreams? We all wish we could spend more of our lives outside doing the things we love, unfortunately for most of us devoting weeks or months to a big adventure just isn't in the cards. But there's no reason to let real life get between you and your love of the outdoors. No matter how busy or overextended you are there's a microadventure just waiting for you!
What’s a microadventure? British adventurer and author Alistair Humphrey describes them as “adventures that are close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective” (check out his book: Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes). You don’t have to spend an #epic week in the backcountry, or complete a #goatworthy thru-hike to have a great and memorable experience. There are plenty of activities that can be done locally in a spare afternoon, and with minimal preparation.
Here are five ideas from Woolx HQ to get you started:
Explore one of the 59 National Parks, 154 National Forests and 6,624 State Parks in the U.S., chances are you live in reasonable driving distance of at least one. Take a Saturday afternoon to hike, bike or even horseback ride. These protected areas are held in trust for all of us, and enjoying their natural beauty is the birthright of every American!
Backyard Camping Staycation – Now’s the perfect time to practice your backcountry expertise in the privacy and safety of your own backyard. Take a night to set up camp in the garden and test your survival skills. Get ready for future worst case scenarios; try starting a fire without a match, or work on your bandaging and splint making abilities. If you’re feeling more optimistic about your future camping endeavors test out some new campfire recipes. Be bold in your culinary experiments, you can always order a pizza if it goes horribly wrong!
Geocaching - A modern day treasure hunt for the new millennium! Using GPS coordinates you seek out hidden containers filled with log books, and occasionally small trinkets, placed by fellow geocachers. After recording your find, you place the item back where it was hidden for the next adventurer. A great way to find new areas to explore, and meet other outdoor enthusiasts - geocaching opportunities abound almost everywhere! Check out geocaching.com to find a community near you.
Urban Adventure - If you live in a larger city it can seem impossible to get away for even a short trip, but many urban areas offer awesome adventure opportunities right in the heart of the city. Explore small parks, go for a run along the river, take a bike tour of a neighborhood you’ve never visited, find an indoor climbing wall or get your scuba certification. Not all microadventures have to be outdoors, learning a fun new skill can also provide a good rush of adrenaline and and that all important escape from your everyday grind.
Give Back - Combine fun + good works for the perfect adventure! Find a 5k or bike race that supports your favorite charity, training for the big event can be a great excuse to leave work early! There's also no better way to celebrate your love of the outdoors than by helping to preserve it. Volunteer to maintain and clear local trails, organize group hikes, or help fund-raise for conservation groups. Check out AmericanHiking.org to find opportunities from The American Hiking Society.
Chances are your community has even more region specific opportunities to get outside and have fun. Check your local library or your town’s tourism website to find local attractions and events, microadventures are everywhere! It seems everyday we’re learning more about the mental and physical benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle, some doctors even prescribe exposure to nature as a way to combat stress and other ailments. Let the microadventure mindset become part of your everyday life. There are a million opportunities everyday to explore the world and enjoy nature’s benefits, improving your well being can be as simple as having lunch in the park or walking to work. Whatever you do, make sure get outside and have fun!