Microadventures are all about getting outside and adding some adventure into your everyday life. They can be simple and local adventures that are done in a day or overnight, or maybe something a lot more ambitious and challenging.
In our modern busy lives, microadventures offer a way to explore the outdoors, disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. To get the most from your microadventure, it’s always best to prepare. I live by the saying ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’.
Therefore I wanted to help you learn how to plan a microadventure using everything I’ve learned from organising my own trips. Get ready for lots of helpful tips to become a pro at planning.
How to Start Planning your Microadventure?
Set a goal
Before you start to plan a microadventure, decide what it is you want to achieve. This could be reaching a specific destination, completing an activity such as hiking or kayaking, or simply heading off with the goal to spend some time in nature.
Be as ambitious as you want to be. Why not aim to work towards a specific target? You can use a theme for guidance. For example, climb 12 hills in 12 months, go wild swimming every week for a year, or learn to identify a different bird or tree each fortnight. This will give you a nice theme to work from when you plan future microadventures.
Plan your route
If you are doing a hike or a bike ride, research the trail and make sure it is appropriate for your skill level. When doing a water-based activity, check the weather forecast and tide times.
If you’re bringing a map, make sure you draw your route and plan the distances correctly. If like me, you use an app like Komoot to plan your adventures, make sure you plot and save your trip offline so it’s ready to go. I also like to check the sunrise and sunset times and plan around them.
A microadventure is all about simplicity, so pack only the essentials. Packing is important when you plan a microadventure. Not packing the right gear or taking too much or too little can ruin the experience.
This includes clothing and footwear appropriate for the weather, a water bottle, a small first aid kit, a headlamp or torch, and a means of navigation such as a map and compass. Check out my Ultimate Microadventure Kit List for everything you need to know when packing for your trip.
Leave No Trace
Remember that every item you pack will also need to return with you. It’s important that you leave the area you visit in the condition you found it. Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Even if you have planned everything perfectly, things can still go wrong. Therefore you always need to be prepared for any eventualities by bringing a small first aid kit, some extra food and water, and a means of communication such as a phone or radio.
Know who to call in an emergency, and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Make it social or enjoy some alone time
Microadventures can be even more fun when shared with friends or family. Maybe you’d like to Invite a few people to join you on your adventure and make it a group event. Or make a plan to use your adventure as a chance to connect with yourself, or with nature.
Resources to use when you plan your microadventure
When you plan your microadventure, there are plenty of resources that can be helpful to ensure that you have a safe and successful trip. Here are some of the most useful resources to consider:
Firstly, a detailed map of the area you will be exploring is essential for navigation and planning your route. You can purchase a physical map or download one on your phone.
Check the weather forecast for the area you will be visiting to ensure that you pack appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions.
If you will be hiking or biking, research the trail to learn about its difficulty level, distance, and any potential hazards. Websites like Alltrails.com, can be helpful for this purpose.
Next, If you are planning a water-based activity like kayaking, be sure to check the tide times to ensure that you are on the water at the right time.
Leave No Trace:
Make sure you are aware of the Leave No Trace principles, which are guidelines for minimising your impact on the environment while enjoying the outdoors. Read the 7 principles here.
First Aid kit:
Not only should you bring a basic first aid kit, but you also need to know how to use it! Depending on the type of microadventure you’ll be doing, you may even want to get some more advanced first-aid training.
If you’re a water baby, consider getting a specific qualification such as the Open Water Safety Course. If you love mountains and hills and are based in the UK, you can complete a REC first aid course, or do some Wilderness Medical Training.
Inspiration and planning resources:
There are so many places to gather inspiration for your adventure. Read blogs, go on Pinterest, follow fellow adventurers on social media, read magazines, read books, watch documentaries, go to your local library, and read maps.
I can go on and on. Read my blog post 60 Microadventure ideas you need to try to help you get started!
A great book to get you started is by Alistair Humphries, the man behind the idea of the Microadventure.
His book inspired me to start heading off on microadventures of my own!
Helpful websites to use when planning your microadventure
When planning a microadventure, these websites can provide helpful information, inspiration, and resources to make your trip a success. Some of the best websites for planning a microadventure include:
AllTrails.com: This website provides detailed information on hiking and biking trails, including maps, reviews, and photos. You can search for trails by location, difficulty level, and trail type.
Alastair Humphreys Website: Alastair introduced me to microadventures, and his website and books are a treasure trove of inspiration, guides, tips and more!
Komoot: This website is a great source of inspiration for outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, biking, and more. You can search for adventures by location, activity, and skill level.
Adventure Alan: This website is a great resource for backpacking information including trail guides, gear reviews, and trip planning advice.
Sustrans: This is the perfect place to find all the amazing routes on the UK cycle network.
National Parks UK: This is a great resource to help you explore the National Parks in the UK.
National Trails: Here you will find all the information you need to plan an adventure on one of the UK’s National Trails.
OS Maps: This is the best place to find amazing maps.
Cicerone Press: In addition to maps, you may want a guidebook. Check out Cicerone for amazing guidebooks. I love my Southdowns guide!
The Ramblers: Here you’ll find resources for walking.
Long Distance Walkers Association: A great group for fans of long-distance walks.
The BMC: A must-join organisation for fans of hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing.
YHA: Here you will find hostels In amazing areas of the UK from the Lake District to Dartmoor and everything in between.
UK Campsites: This is a great place to find a campsite for your next adventure.
How to Choose a Location when you plan your microadventure
Finding a location for a microadventure can be a fun and exciting part of the planning process. Here are some tips on how to find a suitable location:
Firstly, the best place to start is to look for outdoor locations close to where you live. You’ll be surprised at how many great outdoor spots are just a short drive or bike ride away.
Use the resources I’ve listed above to get lots of great ideas and inspiration.
Get inspiration from friends and family:
Ask friends and family for recommendations on outdoor locations they have visited or heard of. You might just be surprised and some of the amazing hidden gems you’ll discover! For example, this is how I found one of my favourite beach campsites.
Check out your nearest National Park:
In the UK alone we have 15 glorious National Parks! How lucky are we! Here’s an amazing fact for you, there are 113,000 National Parks and similarly protected areas In the world. These areas cover approximately 6% of the Earth’s land surface! Think of all the potential adventures that are out there!
Use social media:
For example, why not follow outdoor enthusiasts, bloggers, adventure writers and explorers on social media to get inspiration for new locations and adventure ideas?
Consider the season:
The location you choose will depend on the season and weather. In the summer, you might want to choose a location with a lake or river for swimming or kayaking, while in the winter, you might want to choose a location for winter sports, hikes or if you’re brave, even for a spot of winter camping.
Even if the weather isn’t ideal, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an adventure. There are some great pieces of kit out there to make even cold-weather adventures more fun. I love White Water Robes for cold-weather water adventures. They are great for keeping you warm and are great for using to help you get changed outside.
Take the time to evaluate the safety and legality of the location:
Always check the latest information and regulations before you go. Situations can change due to weather, trail conditions, or government restrictions.
By following these tips, you can find a location that fits your goals and skill level, and have a great time on your microadventure. Remember, microadventures are all about simplicity, so don’t be afraid to explore new locations and try new things.
Where can you get the kit you need for your microadventure?
When you plan a microadventure, it’s important to have the right gear to make your trip a success. Here are some places where you can get the kit you need for your microadventure:
Firstly, outdoor retailers such as REI, Patagonia, Alpkit, Raab, Go Outdoors and Decathlon, offer a wide range of gear for outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and water-based activities. For backpacks, I love Osprey! For your cycling adventure, I recommend Tredz.
Online marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, and Facebook marketplace can be great places to find gear at a discounted price. Just be wary about checking the quality of the gear matches up with the description and stick to safe online shopping principles.
Second-hand stores and charity shops:
These shops can be a great place to find gently used gear at a fraction of the retail price. I love to look around charity shops for books and maps and have filled my bookshelf with charity shop bargains.
Gear rental services:
Many outdoor retailers and outfitters offer gear rental services, which can be a great option if you’re not sure if you’ll use the gear again or if you’re on a tight budget.
Borrowing from friends and family:
Ask friends and family if they have any gear you can borrow for your microadventure. You’ll be surprised which aunt has a sleeping bag hanging around, or which cousin has a bike or a tent you can borrow.
Ask around when you plan a microadventure and you’ll be surprised what you may end up with.
Make it yourself:
Lastly, many outdoor gear items like camping hammocks, backpacks, and camping stoves can be made at home if you have the necessary skills and materials.
By considering all these options, you’ll be able to find the gear you need for your microadventure at a price that fits your budget.
Remember, you don’t need to have all the latest and greatest gear to have a great time, so don’t let the cost of gear be a barrier to your adventure. Keep an eye on sales, and make sure you compare prices and read reviews before making any big purchases.
Summary: How to plan a microadventure
In conclusion, microadventures are a great way to reconnect with nature, disconnect from technology and explore the great outdoors in a simple and convenient way.
By following the tips and using the resources provided in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to planning your own microadventure. Remember, microadventures are about simplicity, so don’t worry about perfection, just enjoy the experience and the time spent in nature.
If you have any questions, or tips of your own you’d like to share feel free to comment below or message me on social media @begintoadventure.
In the meantime, Happy adventuring!
*Disclaimer: Listen up folks, just a quick heads up before you start clicking away on all the links in this post. Some of them may be affiliate links, which means if you end up buying something, I’ll get a small commission (think of it as a digital high-five for a job well done). But don’t let that sway your decision, I only recommend products that I love and have deemed worthy of your hard-earned cash. Plus, it helps me keep the lights on and the coffee flowing so I can keep bringing you the good stuff. So, go forth and shop with confidence, knowing that your purchase supports a blogger’s caffeine addiction.