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A microadventure is described as an “overnight outdoor adventure that is small and achievable, for normal people with real lives”.

The microadventure was first coined by British adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys. His aim was to inspire more people to spend time outdoors for the benefit of their physical and mental health.

A microadventure is meant to be a short but rewarding outing that includes an overnight camp, whether in a tent, bivvy bag or hammock.

It is very flexible in that it can be solo, with friends or family, and anywhere, from the back garden to a local hill to a remote mountain.

A microadventure can be done by bike, on foot or via public transport. You could use your own car but other forms of transport are encouraged.

These mini adventures also meant to be affordable because they do not require specialist kit, high travel costs or many provisions.

Who is a microadventure for?

Alastair believes that anyone can enjoy a microadventure, from toddlers to octogenarians, and from first-time campers to those with many years of experience.

He said:  “Microadventures are for everyone and should be easy to achieve.

Because you do not need to go far from home and they can be for just one night, a microadventure can take place on a work or school night, as well as at weekends and during holiday time.”

Adventurers simply pick a location within easy reach of home or work, take the basic kit for a night under the stars and then head home or back to work in the morning.

Of course, it’s important that you take the right equipment for safe camping according to the weather. Alternatively, you can wait for a favourable forecast, such as a dry night, and then quickly plan your microadventure.

Alastair said: “I think that sometimes it takes a little jolt of a challenge to help people overcome procrastination, busy lives and the lure of another night in front of the telly.

“A microadventure is easy to do and can be very local so you do not need to spend a lot of time getting there.

“It’s about experiencing the outdoors in a shorter outing but still gaining the rewards of being outdoors surrounded by nature.”

Benefits of a microadventure

Many people who enjoy microadventures say they help to “press a refresh button” in otherwise busy lives.

Alastair said: “A microadventure has the spirit – and therefore the benefits – of a big adventure. It might be condensed version but it’s a great way to have a mini break from the stresses of everyday lives.

“Once you try it, you will realise the wonderful experience gained from spending time outdoors.”

Research also shows that being outdoors regularly, even for a short time and surrounded by greenery, has mental health benefits. The physical health advantages come with walking, cycling and generally being active.

Equipment for a microadventure

The basic kit list includes a rucksack, sleeping bag, foam or inflatable sleeping mat, torch, toothbrush and a phone or camera for taking photos.

You could choose to sleep in a tent but for a more exciting alternative try a bivvy bag, a hammock or even a plastic survival bag.

At this time of year you can be lucky with the weather and may enjoy warm and dry nights but it’s still important to remember that late summer and autumn nights can be cold. Pack extra layers, such as an insulated jacket, thermal tights, and a hat. A waterproof jacket is also a good idea.

You should take food that doesn’t require much cooking, or eat dinner before you go and have breakfast when you get back home/work. Two litres of water should be plenty for one night.

Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code

Scots are fortunate to benefit from favourable outdoor access rights. Thanks to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 everyone has statutory access rights to most of Scotland’s great outdoors.

The code is based on three basic principles: Respect the interests of other people, care for the environment and take responsibility for your own actions.

Apart from areas, such as in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park that are governed by no wild camping bye-laws in the summer, you have the right to enjoy great freedom in Scotland’s outdoors. See Outdoor Access Scotland.

Also see: Five ideas for a microadventure

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