Think small and reap big outdoor benefits. Plus â€“ how to win a great new book.
Alastair Humphreys sees adventure around every corner. He doesnâ€™t think you even need to leave your back garden, althoughÂ if you can get away and spend a night outdoors for your microadventure, so much the better.
More satisfying still is escaping to further-flung places and remote locations. But a microadventure doesnâ€™t need to be that.
Alastair believes any of us can enjoy a short adventure very close to our homes â€“ and benefit from the wonders of this “microadventuring”.
The author and motivational speaker says: â€œMicroadventures are smaller adventures and generally closer to your home.Â But they are still adventures and include all the ingredients of an adventure but on a smaller scale.Â Whatever the size of an adventure, it can still be exciting, challenging, fun and a new learning experience.â€
Alastair (pictured left) has many suggestions â€“ and he has brought them together in a new book that offers a practical guide to microadventures.
He says: â€œYou could sleep overnight on top of a local hill, eat your dinner in the garden or take a dip in a nearby river.Â If youâ€™re really stuck for ideas you could navigate a two, three or four-mile lap around your home and find places you have never seen before.
â€œIf you have time, take some basic kit and stay outdoors all night. Even just being outdoors in moonlight is an amazing thing but sleeping out all night beneath the sky is incredible.â€
Alastair left home as a teenager to journey around the world. But now he lives in London with two young kids and he has had to find alternative ways to have adventures.
He also rubbishes the two big excuses of not enough time or money for an adventure. He says: â€œWe hear it all the time, that people say they are too busy or do not have the money to enjoy time outdoors.
â€œBut adventures donâ€™t need to be big, lengthy and expensive. They can be budget-friendly, simple, short and enjoyed very close to most of our homes.â€
Alastair reckons the benefits of adventures are â€œthe chance to escape, gain new perspective and learn a little more about yourselfâ€.
He adds: â€œMicroadventures help people to refresh the button of their everyday lives.â€
Alastair also points out that itâ€™s even easier to enjoy a microadventure in Scotland because of our favourable Outdoors Access Code. Now what are you waiting for?
Six of the bestÂ microadventures
Walk with the moon: Familiar places look so different by moonlight. Walk somewhere close to your home and enjoy the outdoors experience.
Go circular: Start anywhere and go for as long as you can but the aim is to have a circular adventure. It could be a two-mile lap of your home, a lap of an island or a sailing journey around a whole country.
Sleep out:Â Alastair reckons there are plenty of quiet places to sleep overnight on a summerâ€™s night and with basic kit. It could be your garden, a nearby hilltop or a lochside at the end of a bus or bike journey.
Go out for dinner: Invite your partner, family or friends and enjoy a meal cooked over an open fire or gas stove in the great outdoors.
A 5-to-9 adventure: Thatâ€™s 5pm to 9am. Leave the office behind and find a hill, or take a train to a new place, or cycle or walk as far as you can by bike and then camp out overnight. Just make sure you have time the next morning to get back to your desk.
Island round: Cycle around an island. Great Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde, is a good starting place.
Win a microadventure book
We have five copies of Alastair’s new book Microadventures â€“ Local Discoveries, Great Escapes, published by Harper Collins, price Â£16.99, to give away. The book combines Alastairâ€™s adventures and practical tips for enjoying your own.
To be in with a chance of winning tell us about an adventure Â â€“ mini, micro or big â€“ that you have enjoyed in Scotland. Please also send us a photograph. Just addÂ a brief account of the adventure, and the picture, toÂ the form below.
We will pick our five favourite entries and if yours is one of them a copy of the book will be sent to you.
The deadline is 31 July 2014Â and the editorâ€™s decision is final. We also reserve the right to publish your entries with accompanying photos on the website or in the magazine.
This competition is now closed