No matter where you live or what place you plan to visit.
There are several great tools out there on the great internet, that will help you discover and plan your own microadventures.
Some of the tools are filled with easy to copy routes that other people have already done before.
Some of the tools offer a great way to visually get an idea of what you will be experiencing in a given place.
Some tools are great for figuring out what path or trail to walk.
I will list and then walk through how I use these tools on my microadventures.
- Google Earth
- Local Facebook groups
- Open street map
- Old fashioned maps
Websites with GPS tracks to copy
You can copy the GPS file to your own device or use the app to guide you along the trails. Or you can look at the route and do your own editing for it to fit your own needs before you use your new fast produced route.
Which one to use?
Personally, I have been using RidewithGPS the most. Can’t really remember why I started with that one. But then I learned how it works and kept using it. Often in the free version, sometimes, when in need of features in the app on the go, I have had some month where I have paid for the Pro version.
Suppose you are new to this way of planning and finding routes and need both hiking and biking routes. I do think that I would use Komoot.
The design is really user-friendly. Just take a look at this landing page, where you can find a quick path to the type of information and routes that you are looking for:
If you want to track your own route. A simple solution is to war a GPS Sports Watch. You can find a lot of sports watches at the best price at Pricerunner.com.
Find online inspiration
If you want to plan your own route, but needs some inspiration, there are two quite different places I go to.
The first one is Google Earth Pro. Not Google maps, but Google Earth Pro, which is an app for your computer.
With this programme, you can zoom in to a local area and you will find pictures taken by users who have visited the same area. This way you will get an ide about what you can expect, and then go to your favourite tool for planning the route and make sure you walk or bike past a stunning view or whatever you have seen from photos that excite you.
You can get a quick look at how I use the tool right here:
Another way to find great inspiration is to search for local Facebook groups. Search for groups with names like:
- Bikepacking in xx
- Hiking in xx
- Gravelbiking in xx
- Walking in
Often these Facebook groups are filled with inspiration and often you can find GPS files uploaded to the group as well.
When you just need a map
Well truth is, that sometimes, all I need is a map with the right amount of details.
On a recent microadventure on the bike, we had maps for biking on the roads with us. As a map for the big picture and overview. We just biked and relied on our intuition. Should we turn left or right?
But on some occasions, we needed a map with details to help us decide. We could have brought a more detailed printed map. But on this occasion, we opted for a quick view on Open Street Map in the browser.
Open Street Map is a website with maps edited and kept up to date by the users. It is simple and often very accurate.
So all I have to say now is: Happy exploring on your next microadventure.
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My best tips for staying warm during the night when camping.
You don’t need the most fancy and expensive sleeping bag for a microadventure.
But you do need some sort of decent sleeping mat. It is the sleeping mat that keeps the cold(er) ground from reacing your body. When you are laying on the ground, your body compresses the fibre or down in your sleeping bag, so I won’t isolate.
3 tips for staying warm
Tip # 1: Make sure you have a decent sleeping mat.
The cheapest ones that work well are made of foam and WITH closed cells. Then make sure your sleeping bag is not too cold. If it is very thin and only made for sleeping on really hot summer nights or indoors, perhaps you can use two thin ones if you have.
You do not have to go out and splash a lot of money on a sleeping bag before you have an idea about what you need really are. They come in different season rating, different materials and definitely in different prices.
Tip #2: Get a sleeping bag that fits you needs
Before buying a new expensive? sleeping bag. Get an idea about which times of year you would like to go on microadventures with an overnighter before you buy a sleeping bag.
Try to use two thin ones or borrow one for a beginning. Or jump to bed with a little more cloth on. If you are cold before you climb into your sleeping bag, you will find it difficult to get warm fast. It is your own body heat, that will warm up your sleeping bag.
Tip#3: Don’t go to bed freezing
If you are cold. Try to do some small exercises or run around the campsite for a short while before you climb into your sleeping bag. This will help you get warm and keep warm from the moment you try to go to sleep.
Packing for a short microadventure ain’t that fun 🙁
But how do I make sure that having to pack for an adventure does not stop me from going?
“I would love to go my dear. But I just can’t see myself spending all this time packing.”– The girlfriend of this posts author.
I have learned a few tricks that help me. Maybe they can inspire you?
When to write your list
The difficult part, I think, is to actually decide that NOW is the time to create the specific list.
– You can make the lists long before the trip.
This is the option, where you can plan it to fit into your busy everyday life. But beware. All your other daily routines might try to fight you on this one. “I also have to clean the house” “Ohhh wait. Netflix has a new show I have not yet seen” “But I am so exhausted from work. Will do it tomorrow”.
– While you are packing.
This one is not that easy for me to do. When I pack. I pack to get out there as soon as possible. Sometimes I have a deadline, so I don’t have time for creating the list… at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
– After the trip.
Now is a good time to write down all the gear you are now putting back to the shelves and boxes. Also, you have fresh in your mind. What did I use, what did I not use and what did I forget to bring. To me, this is the best time to start writing or editing my lists.
Where to keep your list
This is a personal choice. To me, Google Sheets works perfectly.
I can access them both on the PC and on the mobile. I can easily create versions suitable for hiking, bike packing, solo or with the family or friends.
Packing list for a hiking microadventure
The list below is an example of how you can create a packing list for a microadventure.
You are very welcome to copy my list and use it when creating your own.
As you can see I have two lists. One with the type of item. The other with the actual item. The first one is a quick one to create. The second one makes my packing much more quickly when I just want to get out the front door.
When you know exactly WHAT to bring, you don?t have to start thinking. “What jacket should I bring”.
Of cause, this is not a list that you cannot change while packing. Depending on weather etc. I might want to bring a warmer jacket. Or if it its all dry and I won?t be getting close to muddy areas, I might want a shoe without GoreTex.
But I hope you get the point in why a packing list is essential for getting packed fast.
Packing list for hiking microadventure
|Hiking shoes / boots|
|Wool shirt / T-shirt|
|Fleece- / Fiber- / Down jacket|
|Mobile with navigation app|
|Spoon if the food demands so|
|I love coffee, so I often bring|
|Contact lens case|
|Contact lens solution|
|Inov-8 346 GTX|
|Wool: Dilling – Syn: Kappa|
|Norr?na Lyngen / REI convertible|
|Aclima Light wool|
|Osprey Talon 33|
|Rab lightweight shell|
|Tierra GoreTex pants|
|Montbell fiber jacket|
|Optional / perhaps print one|
|A plastic bag from the kitchen|
|Long titanium one|
|I love coffee, so I often bring|
|SOTO Windmaster / MSR Superfly|
|Remember with screw on for SOTO|
|REI Ti kettle|
|Depends on season|
|Sea to summit|
|Ticket to the Moon|
|Exped UL pillow|
|Suprabeam V3 Pro|
|A good one|
|Not the heavy one|
|Contact lens case|
|Contact lens solution|
More ideas to your packing list
This packing list can work as a basis for other and more advanced packing lists.
What I do have besides this basic list, is lists that include:
- With my kids
- Winter microadventures
- When I need to bring more camera/drone gear