The act of adventuring is not something that we can easily define. For some, adventuring is grabbing only a knife and heading off into alpine forests for a week of wilderness survival. For others it’s trying a new dish in their local restaurant. I feel that most budding adventurers are somewhere between the two examples.
Simply put, adventure is the act of taking part in an activity or experience that is exciting and usually hazardous in nature. And, by definition, this means that to find adventure you must be equipped – physically and mentally. So, here’s my take:
How To Adventure – 5 Essential Tips
1. Buy a map – pin it up and at least once a month point to a place you have never been. Find the best topography, aspect and level of wilderness to suit you thirst for adventure. Work out how long you need to be there, what you can do (mountain biking, kayaking, skiing etc) and who you are going to do it with. Then go.
2. Buy a head-torch – don’t let the daily phenomenon of the sun going down reduce the opportunity for adventure. How to adventure? Be prepared.
3. Take the long way home – you know this path, this track and this trail. So find a new one. And if you are running or riding, do it faster. Find alternate routes for your daily run or ride and never maintain a routine.
4. Go further – go beyond the limits of the trails, get off the beaten track, travel further than you usually would. I am very good at ignoring my own limits. I knew that I could only mountain bike 50 miles off-road on a hot summers day, so trying to ride 120 miles was certainly a bit ambitious. But, by the end of the 85 miles I had covered, I was two things: 1. exhausted. 2. brimming with the warm fuzzing feeling that only proper adventure can provide.
5. Unplanned – have you ever noticed that the best adventures are unexpected and unplanned? Whilst poor preparation can lead to tragedy, there is much to be said for spontaneous adventure. It might be soloing an easy rock-climb, free-running through a city, following your nose rather than a map or stripping off and swimming in a river. Whatever the best adventure happens to be, it is usually a departure from what was planned.
6. Adventure is all the better for the hot meal at the end of it. Always have enough food.