Choose Your Own Microadventure

Grab a map. Close your eyes. Point. Go!

If stories are the currency of a life well lived, then Alastair Humphreys is a wealthy chap! The last time that we heard from him he had just returned from trekking across Iceland (by foot and inflatable packraft). However his latest epic tale is not about any superhuman feat of endurance and more importantly it involves YOU, a beer-can stove and a bivvy bag—read on to find out how you can enter the Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge and win awesome prizes!

Al dreamt up the idea for ‘microadventures’ with the aim of democratising the spirit of adventure and to inspire people to regain a childlike enjoyment of wild places. Think of them as refresh buttons for busy lives—short bursts of meaningful, uncomfortable, challenging madness that will teach you something about the world and yourself. If you think you’re too tired, too broke or too stressed for an adventure, then you’re the perfect candidate! All you really require is bags of enthusiasm and boundless curiosity.

“You do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to undertake an expedition. You do not need to be an elite athlete, expertly trained or rich to have an adventure. Adventure is only a state of mind.”
—Alastair Humphreys


Al is now running his third annual Summer Solstice Microadventure Challenge, here’s how you can get involved:

Step 1. Get inspired—check out the ideas, stories and resources below, then choose your own microadventure!

Step 2. Grab a map. Close Your Eyes. Point. Go—Be as creative as you can, the only unofficial ‘rule’ is that your microadventure should entail sleeping out in the wild for at least one night (tents are cheating).

Step 3. Document your microadventure—take photographs at every opportunity, keep a journal and share your story on Maptia. If you already have a Maptia profile then just contribute your story in the usual manner—if not then send us an email to to skip the queue and receive a Maptia invite asap!

Step 4. Win awesome prizes—share your microadventure story mentioning @Maptia @Al_Humphreys and #microadventure on Twitter and we’ll pass it on to Al who is also offering some excellent prizes from Mountain Equipment, Osprey,Kammok and Harper Collins. And as a final bonus—to get a free waterproof ordinance survey map tweet this to @Myminimap here!

The top three microadventure stories told on Maptia (chosen by us) will also be featured both on our homepage and the winning microadventurers will also receive copies of Al’s new microadventure book and the three runners up will receive digital interactive copies of the book.

The competition deadline ends at precisely bedtime on June 30th!


1 | Under a Harvest Moon

Returning to somewhere you know very well, but this time at night. A full moon casts enough light to walk by and is a beautiful time to explore.

Read the story here.

“The harvest moon is my second favourite kind of full moon. Yes, I really did just write that sentence.”

2. Mountain Microadventure

A triathlon of microadventures—mountain biking across the Isle of Skye to the sea, paddling over the sea to the mountains, and then climbing along the Cuillin Ridge.

Read the story here.

“Do it for the doing, not for the praise of others. And don’t be put off trying big stuff by the fear of failure.”

3. Walking a Lap of the M25

Walking a lap of the M25 London ring road—trudging through deep snow, wild camping, fence jumping, bacon butties and a shopping trolley.

Read the story here.

“We deliberately had no real plan. We carried just one map, a large scale one that showed the whole M25.”


Let a bunch of kids walk over a big hill, jump in a river, toast marshmallows and sleep under the stars in their clothes.
Even in the most crowded city on Earth, you’re never far away from wilderness and a fresh perspective.
Three people leave work in Milton Keynes at 5pm for their first ever night in a bivvy under the stars.
Even sensible people with sensible jobs and respectable bed times are able to squeeze some fun into the week.


1. A comprehensive kit list and everything you need to know about a Bivvy bag.

2. How to find a suitable microadventure location.

3. Legality and safety of sleeping in the wild.

4. A recipe for the ultimate microadventure stew.

5. How to make a beer can stove (a valuable life skill)

6. Tips for photographing your microadventure.

7. Find everything on Al’s blog or in his new microadventure book.

One final reminder—you have until June 30th to go on your microadventure and submit your story so don’t dilly dally—get out there this weekend and above all have fun!
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