Exception made for a small amount of talented and lucky folks who spend their days adventuring on incredible expeditions, the majority of us goes on microadventures. We love the outdoors and we love incredible accomplishments; nevertheless, our jobs and our lives don’t always allow us all the time we need to follow our paths and our need for the great outdoors. Here’s when microadventuring is the best answer.
Microadventures are short, cheap, nearby adventures, close to where we live. This doesn’t mean they can’t be extremely fun and give you strong emotions. They are actually characterized by very precious moments, exactly because of their short and fast nature, which usually makes them really intense.
Today we’ll start exploring how to microadventure at your best through a guide to the gear you must have when microadventuring for a few days, possibly into the complete wilderness. So welcome back on Apache Pine and get ready for excitement!
A first aid kit
We already talked about the importance of having a first aid kit when in the outdoors and this becomes ever more important when you are on a microadventure. Something can always happen: being ready for it means to keep having a good time instead of turning your great experience in what can be a nightmare. First aid also includes medicines for fever, diarrhea and similar kinds of illnesses. They can prevent you from quitting what you are doing and keep adventuring.
More than any other tool, a knife is a real must have when it comes to microadventuring. It can serve in multiple and very different situations. We are talking about single blade knives, and not their swiss versions, even better if sustainable bush knives. Indeed, even if a swiss knife can “open” itself to many possibilities and tools, it will never have the same cutting and strength capacity of a single blade one. A good knife is a long-term investment and it will last longer than any other piece of outdoor gear. A little sharpening now and then and it will go back to new in a second.
A bivi bag
Of course, we all hope it’s not going to be necessary. However, worse case scenario, a bivi bag can really save your life. It’s a very light piece of gear, so adding it to your backpack won’t add any struggle. It can be very useful also in case of emergency, if you or one of your microadventuring companions need it while waiting for rescue to arrive.
A lighter or a box of matches
Probably two of the most common objects you can find, they become exquisite pieces of outdoor gear when it gets to microadventuring. Indeed, a lighter or a box of matches mean access to fire. Fire to cook, keep warm, cut something or even signal emergency in some cases. A fire starter will do as well of course, but make sure you know how to use it. Not the easiest tool at times.
Important: when lighting a fire, always remember to keep it small and to leave no trace in the outdoors.
Another small, easy, but super useful microadventuring buddy. It can be a real savior in some occasions and it most definitely is one of the best ways of calling for rescue if you don’t have phone service or other ways of drawing attention. It can also be very useful to communicate with your companions, for example when climbing or in any other situation when you don’t see and hear each other. A classic whistle will do and even if many rucksacks have it incorporated, better to have a pocket one to carry with you at all times.
A compass and a map
GPS and technology allow us great things and help us to not get lost when in the wilderness. However, a broken electronics or a dead battery can also be the death of us. A good, old “analogic” map and compass can be the best allies in this sort of situations. Of course, orienteering skills in the wilderness are key: know how to read your compass and how to relate it to your map. It’s something every adventurer should know, regardless the size of their adventure.