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Squeeze a little excitement into your life with Alastair Humphreys’ Microadventures

James Greig | June 4, 2014

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Last time he appeared on CycleLove, Alastair Humphreys was travelling the length of Shetland by Brompton and inflatable dinghy. Which might give you some clue that his idea of “getting away” is a little different from most.

If I then told you that he was named by National Geographic as one of their Adventurers of the Year, but that it wasn’t anything to do with his 46,000 mile, 4-year cycle around the world, you might be wondering what for…

Well, after all that adventuring, Alastair started looking for ways to bring it within everybody’s reach, no matter what their means.

“I wanted to encourage people with proper ‘9 to 5’ jobs to focus on their ‘5 to 9’ – the 16 hours of [theoretical] daily freedom – to look at the opportunities for adventure rather than the constraints”

Starting with a “provocatively mundane” hike around the entire length of the M25, his #microadventure concept has snowballed into something of a movement as people have responded to his rallying call for adventure. By compressing expeditions into short segments of time, packing light (bivvy bags not tents) and keeping spending to a minimum, adventure becomes accessible to anyone… even on a weekday from central London.


Of course for us more domesticated humans, the thought of sleeping out in the open with nothing more than a doubled-up sleeping bag for protection is a little daunting. To help break us out of our comfort zones, there’s now a Microadventures guidebook crammed full of ideas for short expeditions, from sleeping on a hilltop on a weekday night to going for a wild swim to walking home for Christmas. The practical side of things is covered in detail as well — what to take with you, where to set up camp, and what to cook.

I’m off to the Highlands of Scotland tomorrow for my yearly dose of walking, whisky and wild-camping, but now all I can think about is how to find a little slice of adventure when I get back to London. And now, for the first time, it doesn’t seem quite so unlikely…

microadventure spread 14267260746_6c0f25e07c_o14310571953_373f1a8c69_o

Microadventures by Alastair Humpreys is available in bookshops now.

And the tourers amongst you might also enjoy Alastair’s blog post about ultralight cycle touring and credit-card touring in Yorkshire.

Posted to Features
by James Greig

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