Why It's Time to Embrace Microadventures

Hikers with dog taking in view

Written by Ruksana Hussain on

Ruksana Hussain is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. She pens general features and lifestyle articles for local and international print and online media. You can read more of her work on her website.

Hikers with dog taking in view

Go beyond day trips and incorporate microadventures for multi-day getaways near home—an ideal way to explore for adventurous travelers.

Let’s face it: Months of staying home can make anyone want to run out the door for a little getaway. But we don’t always need to travel far to accomplish that. Sometimes a microadventure close to home might be all it takes to satisfy wanderlusters experiencing that sudden wave of “I could totally do with a break right about now.”

What is a Microadventure?

The term ‘microadventure’ was coined by Alastair Humphreys, a British adventurer and author, to describe an outdoor adventure that is, “… short, simple, local, cheap—yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.”

Microadventures are a way of making adventure travel accessible with people who have very little outdoors experience.

Here’s some inspiration to easily plan a microadventure:

Camp Under the Stars

A ten-day camping trip to a once-in-a-lifetime location can mean days on days of pre-trip planning, but a quick two-day microadventure to an area nearby can be an impromptu thrill.

Pack for your camping trip in a quick overnight duffel bag and drive to an accessible spot—maybe a national park or other approved, safe camp site. Set up for the night and enjoy the stars. And if you don’t have a spot close to home for a weekend camping trip, your friend’s backyard might be all the change of scenery you need.

Hike in the Woods

Consider it a workout that makes you work out. Exercise in the outdoors is invigorating so extend that to a microadventure and head out for an overnight hiking trip that is in an area new to you, or maybe even part of your familiar landscape but one that you don’t frequent much. A little shift in pace and place can bring along the discovery of some hidden gems. Fresh air, greenery, and new terrain are great pick-me-ups, even for beginner hikers.

Enjoy the Water

We don’t give water activities as much credit when thinking along the lines of a microadventure. A fishing expedition or a kayaking excursion sounds like it demands more prep than the time you’d actually spend indulging in that activity. Well, only if you allow it! Don’t fret if you didn’t really catch any fish or go the entire 12 miles on your kayak. Packing light and head on out. Remember: It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.

Bike by Night

Most folks like a bike ride during the day, but how about we flip that to the late hours of the evening? Particularly in urban areas, this is a fantastic way to enjoy a microadventure within the city, without planning to coordinate a group or a specific venue. Check your local riding clubs for suggestions on bike routes for different levels and skills. And, of course, take all necessary safety precautions to ensure you are clearly visible to surrounding traffic. To go further afield, consider these great bike routes in U.S. national parks.

Road trip for the Weekend

Campgrounds and RV parks are solid candidates for a weekend road trip or a light overlanding trip away from everything you know. Getting out of your comfort zone just enough to approach a new experience while having the safety net of heading straight back home should things not go as planned is a pretty good proposition. Take along just the road trip essentialsorganized packing aids the planning process and makes unpacking a breeze.

For many, the thought of planning overnight microadventures might be cumbersome, but when you work with what you have around you, it makes for a fun experience. Instead of waiting for perfect weather or a convenient weekend, make a spontaneous decision and go with the flow. You’ll find a perfect micro-adventure within your reach.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Try Overlanding for a Safe and Inexpensive Vacation

8 Survival Skills and Tips Every Traveler Should Know

4 Inspiring Female Travel Adventurers From the 20th Century