Saturday, July 27, 2013

Micro – extremely small in scope and capability. Adventure – an exciting or very unusual experience.

Alastair Humphreys, one of the 2012 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year, combined these words and defined micro –adventure as “An adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.”

Quickly I identified with what Alastair was referring to as my family and I have been taking micro adventures for years!  Little weekend excursions, quick side trips en-route to somewhere else, and afternoon strolls in the forest just to see what we could discover.  Don’t let the term micro fool you.  There is still plenty of opportunity to push yourself and others around you, both mentally and physically.  Micro adventures are great to use as training for bigger adventures, is an opportunity to test gear and practice new disciplines, and will open your eyes to the beauty that lies within your own backyard.
I believe it is a quote of Alastair Humphreys.  “Adventure is a spirit of trying something new, trying something difficult. Going somewhere different, leaving your comfort zone. Above all, adventure is about enthusiasm, ambition, open-mindedness and curiosity.”

There are no hard and fast rules to micro adventures.  You make them what you want.  As a family we have crafted the art of micro adventuring.  We find adventure not only by hiking to the top of a mountain, but also by exploring local parks and trails.  Here’s how: 

1.  Social Interaction.  Some of the best time spent together is just that, spending time together.  

An afternoon hike turns into time well spent.  Nature nurtures relationships.
Somewhere along the Nanaimo River

2. Educate.  Research, safety, and know how are key components to adventure.  Micro adventures also open the door to hands on learning opportunities.

Micro field guides are perfect for backpacking.  Light weight and interactive.
Backpacking the Elk Valley Trail in Strathcona Park

3. Push the limits. Adventure and adrenaline go hand in hand and is shared with everyone around.

Adrenaline is felt from the sidelines watching my little man rapel. 
Proud, nervous, and anxious all mixed together.
Lantzville Foothills

4. Try new things.  You can ski on snow, toboggan on snow, and build snowmen.  Ever try snowshoeing?

More micro adventures arise from trying new things.
Hills behind Ladysmith
5. Immerse yourself.  Engage wholly or deeply in the adventure.  Commit to a full day of exploring.

There is nothing better than a hot cup of soup on a cool winter's day. 
Cooking a meal while adventuring makes a day trip feel longer.
Chef Joel on the Cowichan River Footpath
6. Discover.  Changes in seasons change the landscape, flora, and fauna.  A place visited several times can feel new.

Evidence of migration. Herring roe lines the rocky beaches along the BC coast
in March during the annual herring spawn.
Neck Point in Nanaimo

7. Explore.  Not all exploring takes place above ground.

Crawling into the depths of the earth is true exploring.
Heading into the shower room in Andre's Annex cave at Horne Lake

8. Power yourself.  Human power is a great way to travel.  

Slow down and experience adventure on two wheels. 
Biking enriches the experience with an intimate approach to travel.
Multi day trip cycling Quadra and Cortes Island

9. Tempt the senses.  See, hear, and feel the adventure.

It is not enough to just see the water falling over the edge or hear the roar. 
You got to feel it!
Stocking Creek Falls

10. Have Fun! If you’re not having fun while adventuring then you’re not doing it right!

Two thumbs up for fun. Clearly Joel is having fun.
Landslide Lake and Mt. Colonel Foster

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