We’ve all had those days, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and seeing all the epic adventures people are doing. You stare into space longingly wanting nothing more than to drop everything and head on your own adventure.
So why aren’t you out there?
WHY IT’S HARD TO GET OUT
While we often hear about the trips of full time adventurers like Alastair Humphreys or Mike Libecki and the amazing things they do, there is a whole community of people who love to get out every weekend, have the time of their lives, and spend the next week planning it all over again.
And I’m not talking about a night out at the pub!
They are just like you and me. They aren’t sponsored and funded by Nat Geo. They do it with normal 9 till 5 jobs and limited budgets.
It’s hard getting out of your comfort zone but it needs to be done!
Getting outdoors opens a whole world of fun opportunities that cost much less than drinking every weekend and is much healthier than sitting at home.
So here’s how to do it!
IT STARTS WITH AN IDEA
Getting outdoors to have a cheap adventure all starts with an idea. This is where many people get stuck. Hung up on details, the idea never comes to fruition.
The hardest part is deciding on what to do. If you already have some outdoor hobbies, you can combine them to make some memorable trips.
If you have never been outside before, the best place to start is a short hiking trip. Hiking gives you a good grounding to progress through other adventures.
And if you can’t get out of the city at all, that still doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
Activities such as parkour were invented and grew in popularity from people stuck in urban environments. Every now and again I go for a little adventure climbing some trees and hopping over stuff. It keeps you young and fit, and is hell fun!
But if parkour isn’t for you, how about doing something like Bex The Ordinary Adventurer did, walking every bridge across the Thames in London as a challenge! It requires very little yet can be a very rewarding thing. Start in your own city and work your way out from there.
Gaining that idea starts with inspiration and the intention of getting out of your comfort zone.
How do you get the idea?
► Write down everything you can think of, and I mean EVERYTHING, on a piece of paper. Anything that comes to mind, write it down. Set aside one hour and stick to it. No matter how outlandish or silly, just write it down. A great alternative is to have a notepad app on your phone and write things down as you think of them.
► After this, pick one! Go for an easier to achieve one if it’s your first time. If you are struggling on picking one, put it on the ground (or use a dart board & lob a dart), and throw something small on it. Where it lands is what you do. No excuses!
► Now process the logistics of each activity or trip. What gear do you need? What time frame to do it? What does the weather need to be like? Do you need anyone else to do it?
FIND GEAR ON THE CHEAP
Gear can be confusing in the outdoor world. Goretex jackets costing weekly wages, leather or synthetic boots, lightweight gadgets. STOP!
Just go cheap!
Sales and Second hand. Facebook marketplace or your local buy and sell apps/pages will have most of what you need. Scour these and you should end up with what you need.
Op shops can sometimes have used outdoor gear as well. I know I have seen some amazing items for next to nothing!
Don’t get too invested in having the best, most complete gear list. It'll come in time. Just make sure you’ll be safe (with wet or cold conditions for example) and go the minimal approach. Focus on being safe and having fun.
This is my recommendation for building a cheap mini adventure kit if you don’t have any outdoor gear.
◘ Backpack ($50-60)
◘ Bivvy Bag (AMK SOL survival bivvy, $40-50)
◘ Sleeping bag ($30-60)
◘ Sleeping mat ($30)
◘ Raincoat or decent poncho ($30)
◘ Head torch ($30)
◘ Warm clothes (avoid cotton at all costs, use wool or any synthetics), water and food.
This is all cheap gear of course, so don’t expect too much of it, but to get you started, it's certainly enough and will last you a few months or years even. As you go along you can upgrade it, piece by piece.
You can find most of them at camping stores, eBay and with google searches. And don’t forget to ask on Facebook hiking buy/sell groups. Many people have vast gear closets and will happily sell the unused stuff, you just need to put it out there!
EAT LIKE A KING, FOR ALMOST NOTHING!
Eating good food can be a real morale booster as well as keeping you nourished for your cheap adventure. So drop the 2 minute noodles for a moment and plan something a little better. It pays off!
◘ Packet pasta base with added dehydrated peas (or other veggies if you can get them). Add tuna packets for some meat if you like. Always add good serving of (healthy) oil for extra energy, oil has more calories than carbohydrates. Coconut or Olive oil works well.
◘ Greenbelly has a whole bunch of recipes.
◘ The Gourmet Hiker is a great book with tons of ideas!
And if your adventure is just for one night, you can try packing food that doesn’t require cooking. This saves weight and gear. Wraps are great for this. Just remember to add more calories than usual as you are more active.
FIND YOUR ADVENTURE PARTNERS
Lastly, you might need some adventure partners to join you. Back when I started, I found it hard as all my friends were mostly into staying indoors. Always ask your friends, even if you think they might not want to. It’s better to check anyway. Often times, you may be surprised that they may want to join in!
Meetup.com or Facebook groups are excellent in finding partners. It can be a bit intimidating meeting strangers, but in a group setting like Meetup, its ideal as everyone is there to have a adventure and is new to it all most of the time.
Check out THIS POST on my experience with Meetup. Meetup is how I started and is in my opinion, THE BEST way to find other like minded people.
If you are female and a bit hesitant in meeting strangers, most countries have girl only groups for adventures as well. Check Facebook or Meetup.com. I have seen plenty around.
ADVENTURE STARTS WITH YOU
No longer will the old Netflix and chill be your go to for the weekend. Going for a drink at the pub will be something you do after your adventure, and a chance to tell your incredible stories.
Starting your adventure requires a step and sometimes, it’s a big deal. I know it was for me in the beginning. But once you do, you’ll never look back. The time of your life awaits!