News - update on all things Alpkit
Over the last few years Alpkiteer Alastair Humphreys has been promoting 'Microadventures' as a way of encouraging and cajouling people who follow his blog to get outside and enjoy adventures.
Alastair is a long term exponent of building adventure into our lives, of escaping the normal 9-5 and promoting the 5-9...
A big part of this has been his 'Microadventures' by taking what he has learnt from his far-flung and ambitious adventures and shrinking them down, in terms of time, location and cost. We can all enjoy an adventure regardless of where we live, how much time we have and often without having to spend loads of money on travel and equipment, here's what Alastair says;
“'A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. As the world’s population becomes increasingly urbanised, busy, and stuck in front of a screen, microadventures offer a realistic escape to wilderness, simplicity and the great outdoors, without the need to ski to the South Pole or go live in a cabin in Patagonia. The appeal of microadventures is that they make adventure accessible to people who may have very little outdoor experience'.”
Alastair's microadventures have mostly been around the basics of escaping the normal routine and spending the night outside, whether that's hanging a hammock in the local woods, curling up behind a wall cocooned in your bivvy bag or pitching a tent in a secluded spot. There's no denying that spending a night out is a liberating and refreshing experience... turning up at the office having slept under a tree and bathed naked in a shallow crystal clear trout stream is not be underestimated...
Around this time of year Alastair has run his Solsitice competition as a way of encouraging adventure, making the most of the longest dailylight hours to get outside and have an adventure and then share the experience using photos, video, drawings, paintings or writing and then sharing the experience on social media.
This year the Solstice falls on Friday 21st June and so for the week or so either side we are joining with Alastair and other members of our Alpkiteer team to encourage the same in our #goniceplacesdogoodthings #solstice competition.
For Solstice 2019 we realise that not everyone can spare an entire night away from family, friends and work, you may not physically be able to spend a night sleeping under a hedge by the M25 (Al actually did this), or perhaps spending a night cocooned in waterproof fabric whilst the rain falls and temperature plummets isn't your thing.
So we are promoting 'Moments of Wonder'; when chatting about any trip, holiday, adventure or actvity there are always moments that stand out - good or bad these are the key experiences that make the rest of it all worthwhile... these are our Moments of Wonder.
These could be the surprise sunrise view from your bivvy bag after walking through the cold, dark night to your camp spot, it could be the moment of stillness on a deserted summit or the thrill of flying along sun dappled singletrack with the warmth of the sun on your back and the hum of tyres on dirt, it could even be that group experience battling the elements, soaked to the skin and facing the wind and still being able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all... these are the moments that we all look for when we head out. They don't have to happen in the mountains, or involve sleeping out, you could just walk out to your local green space and enjoy a brew made on your stove, go and climb a tree in your local woods, lay on the grass in your garden or local park and watch the clouds or stars and listen to the birdsong or the sounds of the night, it's really up to you to get creative and then share what you find.
We're delighted to introduce the 2019 #goniceplacesdogoodthings Solstice challenge with Alpkiteer Alastair Humphreys... over to Al to explain...
Would you like more moments of wonder in your life this year?
Do you keep intending to make this the year when you really do get out “there” as much as you dream of doing?
The trouble is, real life often gets in the way and good intentions fade, right? If only we had a little more time, a little more money we could live far more adventurously, right…?
But rather than waiting for that mythical, elusive day to arrive, wouldn’t it make more sense to do what you can, with what you have, where you are? And to do it now? That is the whole premise behind microadventures: that it is better to do something small, to grab at those moments of wonder, rather than doing nothing at all but dream.
So why not commit, today, to a challenge? It’s easy enough to be achievable, but will be really rewarding to complete.
This year the summer solstice falls at 5pm on Friday 21st of June.
In other words, it is perfect timing for an overnight 5 to 9 microadventure.
Get out there and spend midsummer’s night under the stars. Go nice places and do good things. Climb a hill or a tree. Swim in a river or a loch. Sleep in a bivvy bag or a hammock. Wake up on a beach, a mountain or an island. Listen to birdsong or the laughter of your friends.
It doesn’t matter what you do; just do something!
The hardest part of incorporating adventure into your busy daily life is making it happen. And that’s the whole point of my solstice microadventure challenges: they encourage you to stop procrastinating and get on with it!
Are you up for it?
IF SO, HERE IS THE PLAN…
Put the Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge in your diary right now: overnight on Friday, June 21st.(I know that real life is busy and the weather sometimes sucks, so you can also do this anytime in the week before or after the solstice.)”
Forward this link to whoever you want to rope into the challenge – your friends, your family, your work colleagues, that ridiculously good-looking librarian…
Go nice places and do good things. Spend the night out in the wild enjoying a microadventure. If you need help making plans, preparing kit, overcoming fears etc., then the posts here will help.
That’s pretty much the end of the plan, and it is certainly all you need to do to have a memorable experience that you’ll never regret and will remember fondly for years. However, because I’m so darned nice and you are so darned desperate to procrastinate and make excuses and not bother doing this thing even though you really want to do it because that’s the ridiculous nature of human beings, I have teamed up with the lovely folk at Alpkit to provide some fantastic prizes as incentive for you to get out and enjoy a 5 to 9 microadventure.
To be in with a chance of winning a stash of excellent outdoor gear (and a few booby prizes of my own books) simply tag your photos on either Twitter or Instagram with #GoNicePlacesDoGoodThings between June 14th and June 30th, or send us your images/stories/videos to firstname.lastname@example.org with #goniceplacesdogoodthings in subject line
We'll be offering a range of prizes including some special bundles of kit to help you on your adventures, along with an Ordos tent, Hunka Bivi Bags, Brukit stoves, some special Go Nice Places Do Good Things T - shirts and copies of Alastair's books.
Microadventure suggestions from Alastair:
“All I’d suggest is that you hang it on this loose framework:”
“Sleep outdoors. Don’t use a tent. Pack light. Plan simple. Seek wildness. Challenge yourself.”
Those with an asterisk I reckon are the best ones for you to focus on for a first time...
- Sleep in your garden*
- Swim wild ‘“ in a river, lake or sea*
- Go solo*
- Go with a friend
- Go with a family member
- Tick off some themes: river, hill, mountain, beach, wood’¦*
- Take someone on their first microadventure*
- Take a child for their first microadventure*
- Do one on a work night*
- Make a cup of tea on a stove*
- Sleep by the sea (nobody in the UK lives more than 70 miles from the sea
- Sleep under a full moon
- Spot a shooting star
- Sleep out below 0 degrees Celsius*
- Get there by bike
- Get there on foot
- Paddle a river ‘“ by canoe or tractor inner tube
- Learn to identify a new bird or new tree each month
- Forage for your food, or at least pick some blackberries
- Do one on Mother’s Day / Father’s Day
- Go on your birthday
- Go with some random people you meet online via #microadventure or other groups.
- Take a novice friend on their birthday
- Sleep out on a snowy night
- Sleep somewhere local but new to you
- Do something that is challenging to you but achievable today (e.g. a ride or walk to a bivvy spot which is hard but do-able right now)
- Something that requires you to plan, train or put some effort in in some way
Go nice places, do good things and find your own moment of wonder.
Share your thoughts about this article.
I haven't done many of things since I was a kid. Thanks for reminding me I need to forgot THINGS and do STUFF more interesting
Thanks for the cycle at night idea folks. I've done it before but never for it's own sake.
I did't get out for the solstice but soon I'm heading up to the Flow Country to follow tracks. The long gloaming is fabulous here close to edinburgh. I don't know if there'll be any real dark up there. Fingers x no LED needed.
My own "Ride to the Sun"
Plan to ride from Inverness to Fraserburgh (101 miles) , bivvy out and get a few hours sleep, before the riding south to intercept the Aberdeen train back home to Inverness in time for late breakfast.
Never cycled through the night so should be "interesting"
Here it will be midwinter! Also we have a full moon on the Monday night before our Winter Solstice at 1.54am on Saturday 22nd. Vive les differences, eh?
I'm going to enjoy the evening of Friday 21st, rugged up with a cuppa brewed on a campfire, watching the kangaroos munching grass by moonlight.
This Summer Solstice I Shall Mostly Be...
... Doing 'Ride To The Sun', Carlisle to Edinburgh. Overnight.
HunkaA simple bivvy bag weighing less than 400 g, Hunka is breathable, packs down small and a favourite of many weight conscious bikepackers and alpinists£49.99
Hunka XLHunka XL is breathable, packs down small and weighing just 500 g is a favourite of many weight conscious bikepackers and alpinists£64.99
KlokeUltralight bivvy bag with a zipped opening, breatheable, waterproof and weighing just 265 g£129.99
Mountain Ghost 2002 season Primaloft Silver synthetic sleeping bag, ideal for 2 season self-supported trips£89.99
Skyehigh 700Ideal for big trips further afield as well as microadventures close to home. -8˚C limit 3 – 4 season sleeping bag weighing 1140g£179.99
Balance [Womens]Perfectly balanced waterproof for the wet weather warrior: a deceptively tough jacket, delivering bone dry days without the weight penalty£189.99
Definition [Mens]Waterproof mountaineering jacket for the harshest of conditions: impenetrable storm protection, whatever the mountains throw at you£229.99
Ordos 2Ultralight 2 person semi-geodesic backpacking tent weighing 1.3 kg, our lightest tent designed to maximise comfort for its weight and small pack size£269.99
Tetri2 person 3 season geodesic backpacking tent weighing 3 kg, Strong against the elements, light enough to carry, easy to pitch with comfortable living space£149.99
Microadventure Bivvy Bundle
lightweight bivvy bundle for micro adventures£109.99 £119.95 if purchased separately