LAST MINUTE MICRO-ADVENTURE

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An impromptu weekend adventure doesn’t have to be perfect.

You don’t need to have all the gear.

Obviously it helps if you want to go camping and you have those key items such as a tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove and access to water. It’s a bonus to throw in a chair and folding table but not essential. These days you can stay in campgrounds where facilities are provided for campers but if you’re heading out to do some bush camping then you need to be a lot more self-sufficient.

For us though, an impromptu micro-adventure on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia just south of Adelaide, meant that we had limited time to plan and pack. We simply threw in the items we thought we’d need and although we forgot a couple of essential things like a torch (and a large water container) we managed for an overnight stay using our phones to create light and camping near a water source doing relays with 1 litre water bottles was totally manageable.

Micro-adventures are the perfect short, sharp and shiny getaway that more of us are gravitating to in the busyness of life. Giving ourselves 24 hours off the grid to disconnect and find a place to re-connect with ourselves and nature is becoming sought after like another source of oxygen. The constant “busyness” can become suffocating, relentless and it clogs our brains. The getaway itself (or even just the open road) provides space and the chance to breathe, deeply.

It’s so easy to just get up and go without having to travel too far from home or to have everything you need to be self-sufficient. You may just want to pre-book a site just in case or wing it and be daring.

We checked the forecast before we left Adelaide and noticed that we were expecting a fair bit of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms, so while we would normally take a little two person trekking tent, we decided to pack our equivalent of the Taj Mahal which is a much larger camping tent with an outdoor vestibule offering shelter for cooking and sitting around if the weather is bad. We left home about midday on Saturday and headed south with $50 and a full tank of fuel.

We had planned on making this a very cheap weekend so our lunch was packed for that day as well as our dinner, breakfast, lunch and snacks for the following day to minimise the financial outlay for this little impromptu getaway. Our camping fees were $40 for the night and we probably could’ve even gotten away with bush camping somewhere for free if we really thought about it and planned a bit further ahead. But the real reason for the getaway was to get on our body-boards after 15 years of them sitting in the shed collecting spiderwebs and rodent poo. For convenience, we just wanted somewhere close to where we were needing to be (Goolwa Beach) and as we hadn’t completely packed to be self-sufficient we were relying on some facilities for this trip and needed a campground.

So in 24 hours we managed to travel to our destination, pitch the Taj, set up our outdoor chairs and table and head to the beach for a couple hours of body-boarding on the funnest waves (is funnest even a word?) we’d been on in, well, 15 years (at least). It was invigorating, earthy and free. I was so in the moment. Oh those storm clouds….

We returned to our campsite, cooked our dinner in our shelter as heavy rain drops started to fall. Our food was all non-perishable items so no fridge or esky was needed (though a sundowner would have been lovely – even it was only soda water!). Thanks to the brilliant recipes from Xtreme Gourmet by Sonya Muhlsimmer our meal only needed water and our little stove.

With no torch though, we passed on playing cards and read our books by phone light and it was otherwise a very peaceful night listening to the horses in a nearby stable neighing and whinnying. Disconnecting from screens and the grid felt great.

Staying in a campground allows you to mingle with other travellers which we always enjoy. Sometimes though it does mean that you’ve got more noise (it really is a great family activity and we encourage families to get out there and do this!) and there were some pretty active kids running around the park and a bit of music playing and things like that so if you’re after that total feeling of solitude, commercial campgrounds might not be your thing.

We woke up in the morning after a rainy night, packed up the wet tent and continued our adventure via Victor Harbor, returning to Adelaide just over 24 hours after we left home.

In that time we managed to squeeze in a pretty cool weekend adventure with a balanced mixture of down time, rest and earthy activity. While we didn’t hike this time, there were plenty of trails on offer nearby if we wanted them.

A micro-adventure can be undertaken at any time of year. All you really need is your tent, your sleeping system and you can even avoid taking cooking gear if you wanted to and just purchase food wherever you’re travelling (depending on your budget). Also the driving distance would have been an hour and a half at the most so within a 90 minute radius of Adelaide, there would be at least half a dozen places you could have your own micro-adventure, for example Kuitpo Forest, Mount Crawford Forest, Deep Creek Conservation Park, Para Wirra Conservation Park and more.

It’s up to us to explore our own backyard and tell our friends interstate and overseas how awesome adventuring in South Australia is and experience it for ourselves.

So when was the last time you had a micro-adventure?

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