Micro Adventure in Marin

The Empty Quarter which Alistair traversed by foot. Photo by IrenicRhonda
Alistair Humphreys traversed The Empty Quarter (above) by foot. Photo by IrenicRhonda

Alastair Humphreys is the true modern day adventurer who crosses deserts by foot and rows across the Atlantic. It goes without saying he is an amazing inspiration to myself as an explorer. For some time I’ve been thinking how I can bring his concept of micro adventures (bringing adventure into our every day lives and making it more approachable) into a normal week. I started the process this summer by sleeping outside in the hammock in my backyard some nights and now regularly skipping a tent in the backcountry. However, what I really wanted was to bring that backcountry adventure into my daily life…

Adventures Beg for Partners

Meeting new people is something I love to do and it takes only a few moments before I begin sharing my passions for the mountains through engrossing stories. When I met someone who had a bold and adventurous attitude and was curious about experiencing my passion for the outdoors, everything started coming together. In no time at all I had a permit for Hawk backpack camp in Marin. That Tuesday I picked her up in SF for her first backpacking trip after hitting the clock for work.

Carolyn and I about to head off on our micro adventure!
Carolyn and I about to head off on our micro adventure!

Fog and Friendship in Marin

While Hawk probably has great views, we weren’t party to them on our easy 4 mile, 1000 ft hike to up camp as the fog became thicker, clouding both the city and the setting sun. A sunset unviewable and darkness quickly descending we strapped my headlamp to a Nalgene for a lantern as we sat down for dinner. The fog was content, shrouding any view of the night sky so after dinner we brought our laughter and conversation into our tent. The shared experience of the outdoors always has this great ability to bring relative strangers towards new friends.

The fog continues to hang around as we hike out the next morning.
The fog continues to hang around as we hike out the next morning.

The backcountry is great for refreshing my spirit and connecting with people, but not always for sleep. We both woke to the wind as it picked up from 2:30am-3:30am slapping our tent and shaking the fog condensed tree limbs above us onto our tent, simulating a light rain. The next morning after a short hike out we hit almost no traffic and were both working by 9:30am.

Are Micro-Adventures Worth It?

Was it worth it? Well, I was able to build a stronger friendship over a more meaningful activity than drinks or dinner. I definitely felt a small ping of the typical freedom and center mountains provide. However, it wasn’t long enough to get the full restoration of a weekend trip. In all though, it was surprisingly easy and begs a simple question. Why don’t we use adventure more in our daily person-person bonding activities?