A new travel trend is making outdoor experiences more accessible than ever before. Mircoadventures are like an espresso shot of adventure. Close to home, book any weekend for a much-needed dose of vacation in nature without the anxiety of missing out on work or breaking the bank.
Microadventures are like an oasis in the desert for the busy bees of today who are in need of a restart, and here is how you can hop on one too.
Microadventures on the rise
For those who don’t have the time, the inclination, or the budget to go on a ground-breaking world-first expedition, the UK offers ample opportunities for DIY nature retreats close to home.
“A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap — yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing, and rewarding,” wrote adventurer Alistair Humphreys in his blog.
Humphreys is an experienced outdoor adventure traveller who came up with the concept of microadventures. These low-cost experiences are perfectly suited for our standard working life, as they keep the fun and excitement of travelling and going on an adventure while staying close to home.
“The appeal of microadventures is that they make adventure accessible to people who may have very little outdoor experience,” wrote Humphreys.
Microadventures boost your well-being
Microadventures are not only a fun way to explore your home country; they’re also a well-being boost.
A study by Mathew P. White, et al. shows that spending at least two hours per week in nature can significantly benefit your health and well-being. The results are based on interviews with around 20,000 people in England about their interaction with the natural world in the week before. Those who spent little to no time in nature reported low levels of life satisfaction and poor health. On the contrary, those who took the time to explore nature reaped better health and life satisfaction.
There are many beautiful spots in the UK that offer an immersion in nature away from the buzz of the city. Whether you take the Sunday to visit the woods or book a weekend staycation at the beach, a microadventure will give you a serotonin boost and refresh your mind.
Picking a spot for your microadventure
The UK is rich with alluring staycation experiences in picturesque places, such as the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. But there’s also an abundance of hidden nature spots that make for a short-term outdoor adventure closer to home.
The top five destinations ranked on Tripadvisor’s list of 10 UK destinations becoming holiday hotspots in 2022 are all based in astonishing nature parks around the island. These include Brithdir and Llanberis in Gwynedd, Fulford in North Yorkshire, South Queensferry in West Lothian, and Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria.
But Humphreys suggests a more alternative approach to picking your microadventure destination. He recommends honing “the art of finding lovely, peaceful places to sleep if you live in a big city… All that’s required is a map, a train timetable, and some open-minded thinking”. Plus, the spot can be closer to home and revisited every weekend if you need a break from work.
One of Humphreys’ favourite approaches to microadventures is leaving work at 5pm, taking the train to the city, and sleeping on a hill. After spending the night out in the woods and devouring the sunrise, you can go back to work by 9am. That way, you can have a 5 to 9 adventure.
What to pack for a microadventure
Once you’ve picked your microadventure spot, it’s time to get packing. Alistair Humphreys advises packing light, especially if you have to carry all your gear on your back when trekking.
The type of microadventure you’re going for will determine what you pack. If you wish to explore a quaint little town by the beach over the weekend, such as Amble or Whitby, then bring along a sundress, a straw hat, and your favourite pair of flat sandals. A scarf is also essential, as it can get quite windy, as well as a mosquito repellent and a throw for the beach.
If you’re camping outdoors, then you need to be prepared for the wild conditions. Bring along a waterproof backpack and a jacket, thermal clothes, and a few pairs of socks, as it can get quite chilly during the night. Hiking boots, a sleeping bag, a torch, and a first aid kid are also important.
Adding a bit of excitement and relaxation to your busy work schedule is easy with microadventures. All you need is a backpack ready with your adventure essentials and an open mind.