Get Out For A Sub 24 Hour Adventure This Year
Day in and day out we are bombarded with messaging from social media and other online resources that adventure lies in far flung places that require tremendous sacrifices, huge financial and time commitments, and all the latest and best gear. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is complete nonsense.
In Defense Of The Sub-24 Hour Adventure.
Many years ago when I was involved heavily in the bicycle industry I had a huge passion for bikepacking. To me, there was nothing better then putting in a full day of biking and then spending the night under the stars. The job I worked was not very flexible with time off so at most I'd only ever get to go out for a few days. However, I didn’t let that stop me from exploring new areas and finding adventure. If I waited to get approval for a month long trip....I’d have never gotten out the door.
So I'm here to advocate for getting out the door even if its for less than 24 hours. Some of my favorite adventure memories are from these little trips. Actually, I'm going to use this opportunity to advocate for solo adventures. Heading out alone presents a whole new set of challenges and obstacles to overcome and they’re mostly all mental. There is nothing more rewarding than learning that you and you alone are capable of anything that you want to do.
So, what are some things that you can do? First thing to do is break out a map and see what you’ve got to work with around you. I’m not kidding when I say the first thing I do is look to see if there is anything green on the map near me. If there is, I zoom into it to see what the deal is. I like to use GAIA Gps, but you could even use Google maps to accomplish this. You don’t necessarily need there to be trails but it definitely makes things easier. I’m not recommending that you just take off into the woods.
How far are you willing to drive/ride/bus? You open up a whole new world of opportunity if you’re willing to put in a little work to get a little farther away. If you’re reading this there is a good chance that you live within a major metro area and these typically require a little bit of work and planning to escape. When I lived in Minneapolis I had a couple of options for getting out of town. The first was a special mountain biking area that you could access by riding on a combination of roads and bike trails until you got to the mountain biking trailhead. I loved to use this option because I loved the scenery and how easy the trails were and the fact they you could link them up to other areas if you were willing to peddle all day.
The other option is just to stick to the roads to get yourself far out and you can do that by bike or by car. For me, I always wanted to keep my travel time under about two hours because more than that and you’re eating into time you could be adventuring. For most people you’ll be hitting the road bound for adventure by car.
If you have never gone out for an overnight adventure by yourself it really is one of the best things you can do in order to find out who you are. Any obstacle or challenge that you encounter will be up to you to solve. There is no safety blanket. It’s all up to you. While this can be daunting for many that is exactly the reason that you should try it. You should try hard things. You should challenge yourself. You SHOULD get uncomfortable. That is the only way to grow.
Perhaps there’s a location that you’ve always wanted to go to but it seems like it’s just a little bit too far away to complete as a day hike. Or maybe you are planning for a longer backpacking trip and you want to get a jumpstart on getting into shape. You can find a spot on the map and decide that this is where you’re going to spend the night and then the rest of the journey is easy, you just have to get there.
No matter what you decide getting out for a quick overnighter is a great experience. Once you do it for the first time it becomes easier and easier to get out again. Lets face it, most of us aren’t going to go out on the types of adventures we see on Nat Geo documentaries. It doesn’t make what we are capable of any less special though. If you want to live a life full of adventure there only thing stopping you is that front door.