- Lauren Holt
20 Microadventures From Your Doorstep
The concept of the microadventure was really pioneered by Alistair Humphreys . He started looking at his days as 5pm-9am and utilising his evenings to have local adventures and also did things like walk the perimeter of the M25. The point is that it's the adventure mindset. For me an adventure is something that makes me firstly feel like I'm having fun, but also something a bit daring and unusual. In fact the dictionary definition of adventure is exactly that
I've put together a list of 20 microadventures that you can have from your doorstep - literally anywhere. Adventure is all about giving it a go and having an experience and getting a little creative with embellishing those little experiences. You don't need to be an expert navigator and have all the kit. You just need to be able to step outside your door!
1. Go stargazing
Now this is something that might seem difficult when you live in an urban area as often you can't always see stars. However, did you know that you can't see all the constellations all year round? For example you can only see Orion in the winter. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have monthly star gazing maps which are handy for beginners. All the constellations have stories behind them too which the first discoverers made up to explain their origins which is always fun to learn.
Photo Credit CPRE Northlincshttps://www.cprenorthernlincs.org.uk/what-we-care-about/dark-skies/
2. Become a citizen scientist
There are loads of different citizen science projects that anyone can get involved in. They usually involve simply recording wildlife in your local area or some of them you can do online from your home. The UK centre for hydrology and ecology have a whole list here . There's something for everyone! It'll give you a little more purpose and motivation to exploring your local area, you never know what you might discover.
3. Become an observer in an iNaturalist project.
This is another citizen science based platform. Just from searching briefly on the projects section of iNaturalist there are lots of different projects in Bristol such as Festival of Nature: Bristol & Bath City Region Recorders just sign up and request to join the project. Other users will help you identify your finds and you can see what is being observed and where. It's a great platform for finding out what nature is in your area. There's also a great global project on there called 'Project PorchLight' which aims to find out about nocturnal insects and the affects of permanent light fixtures on buildings., tying in nicely with the CPRE star gazing.
4. Use an OS map of your local area and set yourself a challenge
Before lockdown 1 I didn't actually have a map of my local area and had to buy one so I could plan more extensive walks. It was such an eye opener and allowed me to link up existing walks that I already knew about. Dash4it are the ultimate go to for maps and walking guides. Find a new footpath or walking route right on your doorstep!
5. Go urban peak bagging
Find all the hills above a certain height for example 100m within a 5km or 10km radius and bag them! A bit like Munro bagging but less strenuous. If you're not sure how to read contour lines then that is part of your challenge! Ordnance Survey have got you covered on map reading here. If you still really struggle with reading a map then you could always circle everything with the word 'hill' in it!
6. Wild camp in the garden
Get a bivvy bag or a sleeping bag and make yourself a little wild camp set up in the garden. It's all about immersing yourself in the experience. The best bit about doing this in your own garden is that if you don't feel like going through the whole night you can always sneak back inside and cosy up in your bed! Alpkit have a handy guide if you're not sure where to start. You could even zoom call with your friends at the same time to make it feel like a proper camping trip!
7. Go out in the rain
There's no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing. Get your rain coat on, get your wellies and go out in the rain, or the wind or whatever minging weather is out there. So of the best adventures I've ever had is frozen on the top of some mountain in Scotland barely able to do anything but get my head down and trudge on without even stopping for a soggy sandwich! Always still completely worth it.
8. See how far you can walk in a day
Challenge yourself to plan an all day hike from your doorstep. See how many miles you can clock up and challenge your friends to do the same! You might surprise yourself
9. Have a winter BBQ
Who says BBQing is just for summer? Wrap up warm and toast some marshmallows for desert!
10. Go wildlife watching
Maybe for just 15 minutes, find a nice spot and just sit and observe. This one is more of a zen adventure. Count the birds you see or just take in your surroundings. Also an opportunity to be nosy and people watch. We're always so busy that I find I rarely just sit and watch the world go by. It can be much harder than you think!
11. Don't plan just go
Pack a backpack with some snacks and a hot drink and just go. Follow your feet and spontaneously explore - as long as you can find your way back. We're terrible for building habits and walking the same routes, why not investigate where a path goes or explore a new part of the city.
This feels really outdated now but you can find some really bizarre items hidden around. In a 10 mile radius of Bristol there are 2484 Geocaching routes or trails. That could keep you busy for the rest of your life! You can even have a go at making your own.
13. Chase a sunrise
Check the weather and find a day where it will be sunny at sunrise, hike to a favourite spot, take some breakfast and a hot drink and just enjoy it. Sunrises are so much easier to enjoy in the winter as they're much later but still worth getting up early for. Something about an early rise always feels like an adventure
14. Fall in love with a sunset
It's so hard sometimes after you finish work to get out in time for the sunset but again it always feels worth it and I don't think anyone will ever get bored of a sunset or sunrise, no two are ever the same!
15. Plan a scavenger hunt
This could be anything. You have to take a photo with the following items in or find a list of places across your town or city. Make it obscure or as easy as you like. It could even be a memory tour of all your favourite places you've been with someone and you can reminisce as you go. Goose Chase even has a an app you can use to plan and share your scavenger hunt with inbuilt missions
16. Go west
Choose a direction and just keep walking on that bearing. You will need to use a compass but try and stick to your chosen direction and keep going for as long as you feel like. You could chose a set distance such as 1km and explore the North, East, South and West corners of your square Km where you live!
17. Adventure film night
I love adventure films and have so many recommendations. My personal favourites are The Dawn Wall, Free Solo, K2: Siren of the Himalayas and A Feather in the West . Build yourself a blanket fort, get some adventure snacks and feel inspired!
18. Go foraging
Foraging isn't for everyone but if you can actually use what you find then for me that's an adventure. Dandelions are a really easy one to forage as they're very obvious. Avoid roadside dandelions and any places where you think dogs might have done their business! In terms of what to do with them it seems the possibilities are endless! Here's 50+ ideas here. If you want to expand your knowledge then this book The Forager's Calendar is great
19. Go night hiking
Follow a well known hike or route, take your head torch and go out exploring. Walking at night is such a different sensory experience. Always tell someone where you're going and what time you realistically expect to be home if you're alone.
20. Cook on a stove
Pack up your coffee making kit or even a take your dinner outdoors and cook it on a stove. Cooking outdoors always feels like an adventure even if all you're doing is boiling some water for a cup of tea! Go Outdoors have a great list of little stoves here that are backpacking friendly