There is not enough adventure in my life. I live in a London suburb, commute to central London, have a wife, young children and cats and I feel all the ‘cool stuff’ is very far away. When I think of adventure I mainly think about climbing a mountain in Wales or Scotland, sailing a boat across an ocean or some other intrepid thing in a far flung place (or at least 5-6 hours drive away). This makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family and like the job but I of course want everything – adventure AND family time. It would be cool if I can combine the family in the adventure too.
A couple of things have come together recently that have given me some hope on this front. The first was my daughter (7) who asked if we could sleep out under the stars. At first I just dismissed this idea saying we didn’t need to as we have a tent. Thinking about it later, of course it was a very cool idea. In a warm summer evening what would be better than to watch the sun go down and go to sleep under the moon and stars. No reason we couldn’t do this on holiday I thought.
At about the same time I also stumbled across the book and website from ‘adventurer’ Alastair Humphrey’s about ‘Microadventures‘. He has done some truly epic expeditions (cycling the world, rowing the Atlantic) but his idea here is to encourage that sense of adventure closer to home and make it cheap, accessible and most of all – doable.
The biggest inspiration, or at least my starting point, is to sleep outdoors without the tent more and to do it outside of the proper designated camp sites. I.e. find a nice spot, wait till it is dark and just bed down till morning. I’m used to the idea of wild camping in, err, wild places like Snowdonia, but to do so in Kent seems pretty revolutionary to my pretty square outlook.
I now feel inspired to think that within 1-2 hours of home (by car, train or cycle) I can be having cool overnight adventures. My current (initial) adventure list:
- Sleep in a bivvy (garden)
- Sleep out in a bivvy (hill/wood/wilderness)
- Make a fire (no firelighters)
- Swim in a mountain lake
- Cycle and bivvy
- Kayak and camp next to a river (or island)
- Build a raft
- Sleep in a hammock (outdoors)
No excuses now, let’s do this thing….