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Ballater - "And now for something entirely different..."

Last night I (Russell) set out on another #microadventure. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the concept, a micradventure is just as it sounds. a short expedition that takes you out of your ususal environment for a short period of time. Usually between 5pm and 9am the following morning but it can be anything really.

The idea comes from Alastair humphries who coined the term. As an adventurer he often looked for something quick and fun to fill time between planning and carrying out epic adventures around the world. For example, he cycled the world solo taking him 4 years. Anything overnight is micro in comparrison to this mammoth task!

Alastair is a fantastically inspiring individual. Not only is he an adventurer but he is also an author and motivational speaker.I was lucky enough to hear one of this talks in Torphins last year and it really struck a chord with me. Since then I've been hooked.


So here's the basic idea, Most of us lead normal lives with 9 to 5 jobs, right?

So what happens between 5 and 9...?

That's 16 hours of day that we can so easily fritter away in meaningless activities such as Netflix, sleeping, procrastinating on our phones and even working in some cases.

So what happens if, just once in a while, you take those 16 free hours and do something epic?! Climb a hill and sleep under the stars, ride your bike and take a tent, go for a walk and sleep on a beach even.

The posibilities are endless and the cost needn't be astronomical either. Plus think of the physical & mental health benefits. A change of scenery and fresh air does everyone the power of good.

I've been well and truly bitten by the microadventure bug. This past trip was my third so far and I intend to fit in far more going forward. In fact I have another planned for a couple of weeks time. I say planned but I'm still to decide what to do and where. But that's the beauty of them, you can go at the drop of a hat and be back before anyone realises you've left.


Last night was a hammock trip up to the Cambus o' May. Now I know what you're thinking . You're thinking:

A) that's not particularly adventurous given that its only 4 miles from home and

B) wasn't there a huge storm forecast for last night?!...

The second point is correct, Storm Gertrude was indeed forecast for the Ballater area but we had chosen a fairly sheltered site. Plus it added to the sense of adventure.

The first point is wrong however, it may not be far from home but when someone asks you the following day "What did you get up to last night?" For once , you can answer with something amazingly cool like...

"Oh nothing, just hiked up a hill, pitched a tarp and hammock, cooked my tea under the stars and slept through a blizzard, storm force winds and temperatures down to -7, what about yourself?"

The satisfaction of being able to claim bragging rights on that alone is worth it. Not to mention the fact that it is a truly humbling, life-changing experience.

Now your first foray into microadventuring needn't be as full-on as this but I implore you to give it a go in some way or another. You might really surprise yourself. Or at the very least check out Alastair's website in the hopes that he might inspire you more than I can.

Here are a couple of photos from the trip, apologies for the lack of quality. Phone cameras shooting through waterproof pouches don't make for high-res photographs all that much.

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