Epic Micro Adventures — What to do when plans fail

Life doesn't always cooperate with one's adventure goals, so when your multi-day adventure plans fail what do you do? You take those big plans and you create an EPIC Micro Adventure.

A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to fill your life with adventures, not dreams, and since then a lot of my own adventure plans had to be sidelined by a series of obstacles. Our house was broken into and all our family time was taken up between fixing the damage and moving everyone across to the new place. I was starting to feel defeated as one by one the adventure plans were erased from the list. When I started to get stressed at not getting outdoors, I knew what I had to do: I had to take those scratched-off adventures and stuff them into one massive, 24 hour adventure.

Here's what that looks like.
  1. Make a list of all the activities you wanted to do

I started by making a mental list of what I wanted to do, namely go fishing, go backpacking, get in my packraft, see wildlife, get in some awesome views and explore the backcountry. Then, I looked at my available time (in this case, it was just over 24 hours) and asked myself how many of those I could fit into my schedule.

  1. Find a place that matches that list

The next job was finding a place where I could do all of those things in my 24 hours. To do that I pulled out the maps (and google earth) and looked for a remote lake that was close to a logging road and not too far from my house. As it happened, there was a 4.5 mile trail about 36 km off a remote logging road. It led to a lake that I had visited about 8 years previously, and that I knew was packed full of trout. It was a 5 hour drive, which although a bit of a stretch, was doable, so I set the next stage of my plan in motion.

  1. Choose the Gear

Knowing what the plan was, my brother-in-law and I pulled out essential gear: Packrafts, carbon fiber paddles, Inflatable lifejackets, Tenkara Flyrods, maps, rain gear, stoves, food, water purification, first aid, sleeping bags and survival kits. We'd be spending the night sleeping at the trailhead, so we left the shelter behind and planned to stow the sleeping bags in the car for the night. Sleeping at the trailhead meant that we could hike lightly and quickly.

In about 2 hours I had all my gear out of our packing boxes and organized for the trip. It would have been faster if we weren't in the middle of our move.

Fishing Photo by Graeme Alexander

  1. Go on an Epic Micro Adventure

With all the gear and food planned, we said goodbye to our wives and kids, jumped in the little 4x4 and whipped up the 5 hours into the backcountry. We had a map, but the logging roads are a bit of a jumble and we ended up getting to the trailhead by 2:30 in the morning. (Read: I got lost). Our late arrival allowed us 3 or so hours of sleep before we were up and hitting the trail. There wasn't time for coffee or hot meals.

We arrived at the lake a bit over 2 hours later and had the packrafts on the lake soon after that. We hooked our fair share of fish, cooked a hot meal, saw some Fishers (not the human variety), picked a couple containers' worth of wild blueberries and huckleberries and got some amazing views.

By 3 pm we were back on the trail and on our way home. Despite the damp weather, we had an awesome 24 hour (ok, maybe 27 hour) Epic Micro Adventure. We even brought home 4 fish for the family. Oh, and we got it on film. Check out the video below:


Life gets busy, and plans get scrapped, but that doesn't mean you can't get some pretty amazing stuff done if you try. The next time your adventure plans don't work out, don't give up, just compress all that fun into a shorter, more Epic Micro Adventure.


**Paul is a regular contributor to the Sierra Social Hub as part of #TeamSierra. Learn more from him on his blog: The Outdoor Adventure.
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Paul Osborn
Paul Osborn is an avid outdoor adventurer and frequently tweets about his trips. He's loved being outdoors since he was a kid and is always game to try something new. Currently, he's trying to instill a love for everything wild in his own kids. Paul's website, The Outdoor Adventure, encourages others to open their doors and get outside by giving them the tools and confidence necessary to do so. He did just that on the John Muir Trail in June 2013 with a group that included members of Sierra Trading Post's own social media team. Team Sierra bloggers receive promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post.
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