Last night at Venturers was somewhat different; there was a challenge put forward to the Venturers to use a series of microadventures to add some adventure into our program, and maybe even to start a focus on larger adventures.
Alastair Humphreys’ microadventurer challenge is simple, and it hangs on this loose framework:
❝ Sleep outdoors.
Don’t use a tent.
Based on this it is possible to grab your backpack, bike, kayak or whatever gives you your thrills and do something adventurous. The challenge was put to the Unit to design four microadventures for next year’s program, each with a different theme and a different mode of transport. Listed below are the four microadventure ideas that were chosen – the next step is to turn these into full plans.
1.) Sleep on a hill
Escape the city. Climb a hill, cook on a fire, sleep under the stars.
❏ The First Time you Sleep on a Hill
Necessary Equipment: Sleeping bag, Bivvy bag or, for first-timers/misers/paupers/masochists, one of these cheap orange survival bags will do fine. If you cannot locate a bivvy you might use a tarp.
Not Necessary Equipment: Everything else
2.) Journey from Source to sea / A journey on the tube
An incredibly simple but wonderful microadventure.
Down a river on tractor inner tubes. Bivvy on the beach.
❏ A journey on the tube
3.) A river raft adventure
I’m lying in a hammock, on a riverbank, in a forest, in Sweden. Down on the water, tied to a pair of trees, is a two-tonne raft made from logs. Smoke is rising from the campfire. The steaks are almost cooked. Evening sunshine spears through the trees. I’m pretty much in heaven.
❏ A Slow Rafting Adventure
Which river? What raft size?
4.) A journey around your home / An M25 Adventure
The M25 is 118 miles long, encircling London. Our plan was to walk as close to the motorway as possible, from Junction 1 to 31, from Kent to Essex via Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, through fields and farmland, down footpaths if we saw them, along occasional small parallel roads from time to time. We deliberately had no real plan. We carried just one map, a large scale one that showed the whole M25. We would sleep outside at night, in bivvy bags, but hoped that we would find refuge under a bridge, in a barn, or in some kind stranger’s home from time to time. It seemed likely that we would walk somewhere between 150 and 200 miles.
❏ Walking a lap of the M25
❏ The M25 by foot
The decision was split – should the Unit cycle, or grass ski, around the M80 metropolitan ring road?
❝ I have also realised that you do not have to have an epic adventure to have an adventure. You do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to do an expedition. You do not need to be an elite athlete, expertly trained, or rich to have an adventure. Adventure is only a state of mind. ❞ — Alastair Humphreys
Advice for Young People Dreaming of Adventure: