Editor’s Note: The segment Microadventures owes ultimate thanks to Alistair Humphreys, the originator of the “microadventure”. Thanks to Alistair, our minds have been enlightened and our childhood dreams of being an “adventurer” are actually within reach. 

So often we become wrapped up in our daily routines and situations, invariably following the same path over and over. It is inherent to our nature to find a rut in the road and ride in it; it is the instinctual urge to achieve stasis. We even fall prey to cultural, lifelong routines (graduate high school, go to college, begin career, retire) because of the safety they promise. We accept the hand dealt to us by impartial Fate. Yet we are envious of the history-makers who strive so hard, lose so much, and live. 

Program: to behave in a predetermined way
There is more to life than what you experience within the confines of your comfortable routine. Even if we realize this truth we succumb to it, either resigning ourselves to this life or creating programs to become more spontaneous.  We cannot break this trend consciously. We must experience a complete, tangential, breaking shift in our subconscious (spirit) in order to defy the fate of fate-less mortals.

While we can’t help you make the subconscious change, we can, in the spirit of spontaneity, be a source of inspiration. Enter the microadventure. The microadventure is a short (usually 12-48 hours) activity that you do to escape the 9-to-5 and live life. It is a simple, beautiful concept that has the power to change your world–or, at least, your perception of the world.

This week–don’t wait–do a microadventure. It can be the idea outlined below or something entirely different. Whatever it is, don’t do something you’ve done before.

A Microadventure Idea

One the great pleasures of life is sleeping outdoors. I’m sure most have experienced the thrill of pitching the family tent for a weekend campout.

Here’s our idea: ditch the tent.

Sleeping without a tent brings you to a whole new experiential level. You feel more exposed, more in sync with nature. We would recommend that everyone try it at least once. Buy a bivvy sack, slip your sleeping bag inside and lay out under the open sky.

The location you choose for this microadventure is of secondary importance. Sleep in your garden, on a nearby mountain, or your backyard. The important thing is to DO IT.

Have we piqued your interest yet?

Bivvy Bags

What’s a Bivvy Bag, and Why Should I Use One?

A bivvy bag is a waterproof covering for your sleeping bag. It’s kind of like a sleeve. Some reasons you should use one instead of a tent are:

  • A bivvy bag is usually cheaper than a tent
  • A bivvy bag is a LOT smaller than a tent
  • You are a lot more exposed to nature in a bivvy and a lot more wild and free.

Some Bivvy Bag Disadvantages

  • Definitely not as comfortable as a tent in the rain.
  • They leave some condensation on your sleeping bag. Generally manageable for a one-night trip.

How to Use a Bivvy Bag

  • Slip it over your sleeping bag
  • Pull it up over your head when you sleep but leave a gap for your mouth so you can breathe (the same rule applies to sleeping in a military poncho)
  • Generally leave your sleeping mat on the outside of the bivvy (you can break this rule in case of foul weather)
  • (Recommended) Bring a weatherproof bag for your other gear
  • (Recommended) Wear warmer clothes if weather is cool/cold (bivvy bags are colder than tents)

What Bivvy Bag Should I Use?

We put together a fun gear list whenever we send out microadventure ideas. You can see this week’s Grit & Gear here.

For a more authoritative (and geeky) bivvy bag guide, I would suggest seeing this table.

Enjoy and Peace be with you,