Taking a Microadventure

Updated: Aug 8

I'm sitting here thinking back to March 23, 2020, when I worked my first day from Work From Home for my day job. I had spent the previous week in the office with five other coworkers, waiting on my WFH equipment while the rest of my department was working from home. However, they expected that we would return to the office in about 30 days, maybe May 4th at the latest. Then it was after Memorial Day. Then the Fall.


I'm going in tomorrow for a "Connect Week" voluntary entry, making it 830 days from my first day of WFH. My best guess is it will be around 900 days when I return to the office officially.


During that time, along with most Americans, it got rough. My family went through a rough time with my teenage son, who first contemplated suicide (leading to a one-week stay in a behavioral hospital) and then attempted suicide (leading to a six-week outpatient program but finding the correct medication.) It was tough to get through.


Usually, to get a break, most of us go on vacations. I went to the Texas Coast, the Texas Hill Country, and the Alabama coast during this period. All were great for getting away, but they lacked something - there was no adventure.


When people think of adventure, they often think of large-scale items. They think of exotic getaways like ziplining in Costa Rica or backcountry skiing in Alaska. They envision skydiving, scuba diving, and cage diving with Great Whites off Guadalupe. Regardless, these adventures are not only grand in the scope of the activity but also the impact on bank accounts. They aren't practical.


Back in April 2019, I started in a program called The Strenuous Life. One of the prerequisites to earn the boot camp challenge coin was to make at least one badge (think a Scouts-like model) along with the required check-ins and Agon completion. Not one to be satisfied with the minimum number, I set a goal to complete 3. As I scoured the badges, I made a list that was feasible to complete badge work in the twelve-week boot camp period. I knocked out Letter Writing, Penmanship, and Journaling because they tied together. However, there was another badge that captivated me.


There is a man named Alastair Humphreys with a website dedicated to living adventurously. He has taken many adventures, has written several books, has a blog and podcast, and does the occasional speaking tour. He also coined another term: microadventure.


There was a time pre-Covid when family and I attempted to do a microadventure a month. We were doing quite well with it until everything went crazy. It went on the bookshelf, so to speak, and proceeded to collect dust.


I turned 50 last October. Because this was such a milestone birthday, I have been reflecting quite a lot on my life. I realize it's time to dust the microadventures off the bookshelf and return to them. I encourage you to try them yourself. Here are some tips courtesy of https://www.msrgear.com/blog/microadventures-tips-and-ideas/


KEEP IT SIMPLE

The beauty of microadventures is they don’t require specialized equipment or much in the way of planning. Try to keep logistics and packing to under an hour.


THINK 5-9

Microadventures can happen anytime, any place, which means thinking outside the usual weekend box; if you’re the typical 9-5’er, you get 16 hours outside work to experience something new. This could even mean camping overnight and coming into the office fresh off a mountaintop.


BUILD YOUR CREW

Like most adventures, micro missions are much more enjoyable as a shared experience—and they’re more likely to happen when others are also committed to the cause. It may go without saying, but remember to bring friends who are adaptable and like new experiences.


PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR

Harness the power of inertia by getting those microadventures squarely into your everyday schedule. This will lock you in and block that time off your calendar so that you don’t accidentally double-book yourself—safely protecting your newly enhanced adventure routine.


KEEP A LIST

Put a working list of microadventure ideas somewhere convenient so that you stay continuously inspired and can quickly bring them to life.


HAVE A GO-PACK

Keeping a dedicated microadventure pack ready can make heading out the door that much easier. Depending on the season and climate, your pack may vary, but it’s good to keep these essentials accessible:

  1. Sleeping Bag

  2. Sleeping Pad

  3. Seasonal Shelter

  4. Warm/Dry clothes – Think in layers, moving from close-fitting base layers to looser outer layers such as fleece, down, and waterproof GORE-TEX.

  5. Warm Hat – Useful in every season.

  6. Extra Socks – Because you never know.

  7. Water Bottle

  8. Snacks

  9. Headlamp – Be sure to keep extra batteries handy as well.

  10. Toiletries – Bring only essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper.

It's such great fun that I have dedicated a page to this website to microadventures! I'll share recommended gear, tips & tricks, and microadventure reports there.

 

This weekend is the 4th of July. It is as good a time as any to resume microadventures in my life. I haven't quite decided what it will be but I want to make sure it's something I'll remember with fondness. As for you, I hope to hear about your microadventures in the future!

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