alastair humphreys hiking towards edge of field at dusk

A Guide to Micro-Adventures: Exploration Near Home

There’s an important life lesson to be learned from this short film: Adventure can be found anywhere.

Alastair Humphreys has cycled over 45,000 miles across 60 countries and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. He’s trekked across polar ice fields and African deserts. He’s an adventurer by all means — and he thrives on excitement.

But in this short film, he poses a question: What if you remove the loftiness, barriers, and intensity of adventure? What you end up with is a micro-adventure. Humphreys contends that you don’t need to be a world-class athlete with a huge gear budget to have an adventure.

“There are so many things that stop people from rowing across oceans or walking across deserts,” said Humphreys. “Perhaps the biggest one of those is the difficulty of starting, of knowing how you even get going on a project as big and daunting as that.”

The solution? Don’t make it hard: Make your adventure small and easy so that there’s no excuse.

Micro-Adventures: Making the Most of Life

Adventure is about making the most of life. And who says that has to be scaling the highest peak or running the longest distance?

As Humphreys proves, adventure can be anywhere and as simple as walking across a highway. (Which is what Humphreys and his mate did when they tried to have the most mundane adventure they could think of.) And even in a cold and traffic-packed landscape, they had fun. They found adventure.

The lesson? Populated countries can be wild. Mundane places can be exciting. You just have to seek it out.

And as proven in this film, you don’t need much. Just a backpack, water, food, and some layers.

Find an urban trail, a local waterway, a bike path, anything you can close to home, and challenge yourself to a micro-adventure. You might be surprised by what you find.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.