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At just 40-minutes from the Lake District, Lancaster University has more than its fair share of students who enjoy an adventure. An adventure has so much to offer; the fresh air, the exercise, the challenge, the simplicity, and the escape from all those complications that modern life brings.
That being said, life has countless ways to prevent us from getting out and about. Whether it’s assignments stealing your time, a puny student loan, no one to go with or one of numerous other reasons. This is a predicament so many of us accept – we want to get out there and do exciting things but we “can’t.”
Fear not! This is where microadventures step in. Microadventures are a fresh take on traditional outdoor excursion and expedition – adventures that are small and foolproof enough that the reasons you “can’t” evaporate, leaving you free to rediscover the joy of escaping everyday life. Serial adventurer Alastair Humphreys, who pioneered the concept of the microadventure, describes them as “close to home, cheap, simple, short and 100% guaranteed to refresh your life.” If an adventure is about doing fun, novel things in the outdoors, a microadventure is self-explanatory – injecting the fun and the novel into our lives, but on a smaller, more achievable scale. Isn’t doing something small and quick better than doing nothing?
A favourite microadventure of mine is spending my night wild camping under that stars, but microadventure can mean different things to different people. It could be cycling to the beach. It could be taking a few hours to hike up the nearby Clougha Pike. Or, if you’re pushed for time, it could simply mean walking the canal path to uni rather than taking the bus. In his 2014 book, Microadventures, Humphreys details a plethora of ideas for how to fit adventure into a congested life. You can go by foot, bike, bus or train; with friends or alone; day or night – the only limit is your imagination.
The great thing about micro is that it allays concerns about money and kicks the problem of too little time, making it perfect for us students. Being at university solves the problem of having people to go with too. The university has many outdoorsy societies, including Mountaineering, Canoeing and Hiking – who will hopefully continue to spread their love of adventure through Lancaster despite the current situation.
So, tempted to embark on a microadventure of your own? Good news – you don’t need an entire summer holiday; a day or even a few hours will suffice. You don’t need a huge rucksack or impenetrable raincoat. You don’t need money for a train or plane tickets. You just need to step out of your front door and explore.