The Allure of the Mini Adventure

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So, it’s a Friday night and you are sitting at home admiring all the photos on social media of friends, family and coworkers vacationing around the world. Kind of a depressing evening, until EUREKA! You stumble upon an image of a complete stranger enjoying an afternoon in the sunshine in a not so far away spot that you have always wanted to visit and that it is only a short drive and hike away.

You’re inspired. You spend the rest of the evening looking for your backpack, favorite wool base layer, bear spray, water bottles and all the rest of your gear that will make Saturday a fun-filled mini adventure.

In a day and age where social media floods our lives with images of accomplishment and grandeur, it’s no wonder people are starting to move outside to explore more and more. The newly termed activity, the mini adventure, has really evolved from time-crunched individuals who still take every opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. All of us can attest to seeing images or hearing stories that spawn a new adventure that can be executed in 6-48 hours.

A mini adventure has no rules and for everyone the adventure is as complex or as simple as they make it. It’s not a race, it does not have to be life threatening or come with extremely high risk. What is guaranteed to come, if done right, is a sense of adventure, freedom, escape, motivation and vitality.

For some, a casual hike with the kids on a local hiking trail with a picnic lunch, playing with sticks and tossing stones in a nearby pond or stream can be their mini adventure. While others may choose to trail run or bike ride a high mountain pass carrying the basics of survival and spending the night on a mountaintop, only to return to civilization after watching an awe-inspiring sunrise in the mountains. Renting gear for a day or weekend is also a great adventure; try renting a stand-up paddle board, canoe or snowshoes. It’s cheaper than buying and gets you exposed to activities you may not know you have a hidden passion for.

Regardless of what your mini adventures look like in your mind while planning to get out and enjoy the beauty around us and escape the digital world for even a few hours, it can be refreshing. The benefits of the mini adventure approach are numerous: fresh air, exercise, seeing nature first hand, escaping and learning are just the tip of the iceberg. Gaining confidence to be outside in the backcountry, gaining fitness and motivation to go further or longer and ultimately to share the experience and show others is priceless. Your mini adventures can be as frugal or as expensive as you want and over time you will be able to execute a mini adventure on the fly in destinations all over the world, saving you time, money and the need to attend basic guided tours.

Hey, you never know, those selfies, instagram and facebook posts from your mini adventure might just motivate someone else to get out and enjoy their own back yard.

Top Mini Adventure Activities:

  • Walk
  • Hike
  • Snowshoe
  • Bike
  • Camp
  • Backpack
  • Trail run
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Canoeing
  • Via Ferrata

Don’t forget to check these before heading out:

  • Weather in the area
  • Local map
  • Animals in the area
  • Cell phone reception in the area
  • Food and water source
  • How long it may take
  • Notify a friend of your trip and approximate return time
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