If you have an indoor desk job, summer can be a love-hate time of year. The weather is glorious, yet you’re stuck inside all day wishing you chose a different job that allows you to take the summers off--shout out to all you teachers out there!
One way to cope with this summertime adventure envy is to focus on the joy of micro-adventuring. Instead of dreaming about the incredible yet out of reach adventures you can’t take this summer, think about all the little adventures you can experience around you. Weekends, evenings, and early mornings are all free for outdoor exploration all summer long. All you need is the willingness to get outside and enjoy beautiful places close to home, like in your backyard or a nearby forest.
For us at Cairn headquarters, the perfect summer microadventure involves heading out to Elk Lake or the famous Green Lakes Trail--close to home in Bend, Oregon. The trip doesn’t have to take all day, but it can be packed with unforgettable memories and revitalize you for the rest of the week.
The perfect microadventure will be a little different for everyone. Some of you outdoor warriors love planning adventures with friends, while others prefer to head out on the trail alone. From a mountain trek, to a moonlit beach walk, whatever you prefer there is something for you--it just depends on what kind of experience speaks to you and lies close to home.
No matter what your microadventure passion is, you can make the experience more fun and memorable with a little forethought. Here are some tips from The Cairn Crew, to experienced microadventurer:
If you love pushing yourself to the limit, you might be tempted to fill all your free time with extreme outdoor activities. But, your body also needs time to rest. If you’re constantly pushing yourself, you could risk getting sick or injured due to fatigue, especially if you’re losing sleep.
A microadventure can still involve rock climbing, mountain biking, and other intense outdoor sports; you just need to pace yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and relaxation between your explorations and work schedule.
These breaks can easily be included throughout your travels as well, and you can plan for peaceful moments by packing the right gear. A comfortable camping chair like the Therm-a-Rest deluxe Quadra Chair will put you at ease wherever you are. You can sit with a beverage of choice in the mesh side pocket, enjoying a beautiful sunset or sunrise in nature after a day full of activity.
Trouble with mosquitoes? Just turn on the Backpacker Mosquito Repeller from Thermacell. It will create a 15 x 15-foot zone of protection around you, so you can relax in an insect-free oasis, in your new chair, with your favorite beverage.
Discovering a new place is the best way to make a microadventure more interesting and memorable. If you’ve already thoroughly explored the area, you can create a sense of new-ness by adding in a fresh activity or giving yourself new goals.
If you love surfing, head over to the nearest coastal town and spend the weekend learning a new surfing trick or maneuver, or teach a friend to surf--sharing (knowledge) is caring after all! To all you runners and hikers out there, try out some new terrain, like forest trails or beach paths. It’s surprising how much more enjoyable things can be when you do them in a new place for the first time.
A microadventure can also come from anything you love or would like to experience. With a little creative thinking, activities as simple as lounging on the beach, next to a lake or tubing down a river can be turned into the best microadventures. Maybe you know of the best secret hot springs in 50 miles, or like floating a river with a few tunes playing (on a waterproof speaker of course) like the Speaqua Barnacle. Now that sounds like a fun, relaxing microadventure, ✔ a day that everyone enjoys ✔ again!
Even if you plan to stop somewhere for food, it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks for the trip. That way you’re prepared in case the ‘hangry’ takes over--just kidding--not really 😉. No one likes a hangry person, especially when you’re on an epic microadventure. Grab some outdoor meals and high-protein snacks, like OMEALS Cheese Bites. But if you do plan on making a proper meal, consider investing in Gerber’s center-drive multi-tool for cutting up food and opening drinks. It comes in handy if you need to make repairs, too.
Most of all, just get out there and enjoy the possibilities nature has to offer while the weather is warm. Hike, bike, run, camp or swim, we salute you, Microadventurers!
-- The Cairn Crew
Interested in all the gear we’ve mentioned? Sign up for the Cairn Quarterly Obsidian Collection, and you’ll get products like these shipped directly to you. Then, you’ll be prepared to head out on the best microadventure you’ve ever had.