7 Micro-Adventures You Can Incorporate Into Your Everyday Life

If climbing Mount Everest isn't yet in the cards, start with these small thrills

Two teenagers sitting on a ledge using a paper map

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We’re dedicating our May features to the outdoors and adventure. In the past two years, we saw more people get outside, eager for fresh air and new trails. Now, read this month’s features to learn more about rock climbing among Sedona’s famed energy vortexes, the micro-adventures you can incorporate into your everyday life, what to do about number two in the wilderness, and more.

Scaling Mount Everest or trekking the Pacific Crest Trail will undoubtedly add adventure to your life. Still, there are other ways to acquire an exhilarating sense of freedom and accomplishment without years of training, significant financial investment, or time off work. Micro-adventures may be for you if you're craving outdoorsy thrills without any of the hassles.

Micro-adventures are the perfect way to implement some adventure into your daily life. Whether sleeping under the stars in your backyard or using a paper map for the first time, there are plenty of ways to get a bite-sized taste of the outdoors with no strings attached. Studies show that no matter the size, outdoor adventures can result in significant mental health benefits, like lowered stress, increased self-efficacy, and more mindfulness. 

Here are seven micro-adventures you can incorporate into your everyday life. After all, adventure is for everyone, any time, anywhere.

Kids camping in their back yard

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Grab a Sleeping Bag and Sleep In Your Yard

If the definition of camping is just sleeping outside in the wilderness, why can’t you sleep outside of a Taco Bell? Just kidding—although that would certainly count as an adventure.

All jokes aside, if you want to get into the camping spirit without having to make it a whole she-bang, set up a little campsite outside of your house and sleep under the stars. Bonus points if you can name literally any of them. It’s free, accessible, and the best part? Your kitchen pantry is mere steps away. 

Use An Old School Map

Everyone loves Gen Z—after all, they're hilarious on TikTok and incredible at contouring, but younger generations might not know that we didn’t always have Google Maps. It's true. Even those raised in the MapQuest era have a hard time believing we ever had to suffer like that.

If you're looking to prove your navigational prowess and throw some significant "Naked and Afraid" vibes into your next afternoon stroll, ditch your phone (or put it in Airplane Mode), bust out an old-timey paper map, and figure out how to get to a landmark of your choosing without the comforts of 21st-century technology. How retro! Remember, no cheating (unless you want to).

Cook A Meal in Nature

You're in for a real treat if you’ve never checked out @MenWithThePot on Instagram. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch these men make elaborate, delicious meals in random outdoor locales, like the middle of a forest or along a riverbed. 

Feeling inspired? Cooking outdoors can be more than just a summer barbecue. If you want the fending-for-yourself experience, grab your kitchen stove and build a fire near a flowing river. Bring your cast iron and cook a meal over the open flame. You can even boil some river water and use it for cooking pasta! Just make sure you cook it thoroughly so that the only thing crunchy is you. 

A woman walking into a snowy lake with a small campfire behind her

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Take an Icy Plunge

Live near a beach or a lake and looking for a jolt of energy? There are many health benefits to taking a dip in freezing water, including increased circulation and a strengthened immune system. Instead of taking your cold shower at home, head to your nearest body of water and take that frigid plunge outside. This chilly dip is guaranteed to leave you feeling invigorated—and you might even save a bit on that water bill.

Go on a Full Moon Hike

A clear night with a bright, full moon provides the perfect opportunity to go full werewolf. Take a night hike and see how long you can last without having an epic panic attack from that mysterious rustling in the trees. You can even unleash your inner wilderness guide and bring trail markers (like flags or post-its) to keep track of your route. If you're too spooked to do it solo, invite a buddy. You can even tell each other ghost stories for the full effect, but be mindful of where you're going. We've all seen "The Blair Witch Project."

Become a Gardener

Several pots being planted in an outside garden

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Growing your herbs, fruits, and vegetables is a much bigger adventure than you might initially think. From seeding to harvesting, tending to the garden makes you feel super connected to the earth around you without venturing very far. You'll be chasing the high from tasting those first home-grown carrots, zucchini, herbs, and strawberries for the rest of your life.

The best part? Studies show that gardening can lead to a slew of mental, physical, and therapeutic benefits, so you can even turn your micro-adventure into free therapy. Who doesn't love a two-for-one special?

Snap Some Photos

Want to see your city in a whole new way? At golden hour, grab your camera (it can be your iPhone or any phone camera), and head to a part of town you don’t usually explore. Then, get to snappin’! Find cool alleys, interesting graffiti, and picturesque sights that inspire the photographer within. The point isn’t to produce professional shots but to find adventure in capturing the details through your own unique perspective. Seeing the world through your camera will give you a new frame of mind about the seemingly average places you pass by every day.