Shouting from my shed

Get the latest news, updates and happenings via my shed-based newsletter.

winter microadventure christmas

Winter Solstice Microadventure Challenge


If you’ve followed this blog for a while you may remember me trying to rally people to tackle a summer solstice microadventure. It was a great success, with loads of people heading for the hills.
If you fancy a quick reminder of summer, here are three of the best examples of summer microadventures.

Setting the idea as a challenge was a great way of galvanising people to action. People who quite liked the idea of sleeping on a hill but would not ordinarily do it were motivated to get outdoors and try something new.

So here is a fresh challenge:

A winter solstice microadventure.

The 21st December is the shortest day of the year. The day is short, the night is long. But if the weather is fresh and clear this can be a beautiful season. The sun lies low in the sky, backlighting or silhouetting the world beautifully. And the night is cold and long, filled with stars and the greedy knowledge that you own this night while everyone else is tucked up indoors frittering their lives in front of X-Factor Xmas Specials. You are out there, beneath the glory of the heavens (and – perhaps – freezing your arse off wishing you were back home in front of the telly).

Most people have a chunk of time off somewhere between now and early January. Why not spend one of those nights out on a local microadventure? Head out of town with a friend or two. Climb a hill. Crack open a box of 50%-reduced mince pies and a few beers. Earn your Christmas Dinner. Work off your Christmas Dinner.  Do whatever you like. But why not try to squeeze one last night in the wild into these last few nights of the year? Reflect on the year just passed, scheme for the year ahead.

Have a look at the video above – it might give you a couple of ideas.

If you decide to do a winter microadventure, pop your pics and stories on Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the #microadventure hashtag to share your story with everyone else. Have a look here to see what everyone else has been up to.

I will keep an eye on all of this. I’ll send a book, a DVD or a t-shirt to the best / dumbest / hardest / most luxurious / most fun submissions. There’s a good chance nobody at all will do this, but I suspect that if you decide to give it a go then you won’t regret it.

I did this last winter, and here’s how I spent my evening: not exactly suffering!

So, please, do consider a night under the stars this Christmas time. It’s entirely compatible with nights out at the pub or friends’ houses. It’s compatible with getting home for a full day of putting up the Christmas decorations. It’s so easy to do, but so memorable, refreshing and fun!

Work out where you need to be to see the sunrise (use this great link). Tell somebody where you are going and when you’ll be back. And then go!

The Challenge Rules

Here’s the stuff you’ll need, complete with links to help you if you need more information:

  • Sleeping bag. Don’t buy anything special. Just go with what you have and add as many jumpers as necessary.
  • Sleeping mat. If you suspect you will not do a lot of camping just buy one of these cheap ones. Really makes a difference to your warmth in winter.
  • Bivvy bag. There are cheapmedium and expensive options. This explains everything you need to know. If you’re worried about rain take a basha too.
  • Woolly hat. Santa hats get bonus points.
  • Waterproof clothes.
  • Warm clothes. Christmas jumpers get bonus points.
  • Torch.
  • Toothbrush (put the toothpaste on at home and wrap the brush in clingfilm) and toilet paper.
  • Food and water.
  • Mince pie. Whisky.

Winter solstice microadventure

Read Comments

You might also like

No image found On Sunday night I am excited to go back to work on Monday morning – Living Adventurously 11 Jon Barton is the founder of Vertebrate Publishing. It sits at the very heart of British adventure writing and outdoor sports. Jon says that “we publish books to inspire adventure. It’s our rule that the only books we publish are […]...
No image found Inviting you on a Winter Microadventure It’s cold. It’s dark. I’m tired. I’m busy. I’ll do it later. It’s exciting. It’s memorable. I need a break. I’m always busy so it might as well be now. We can always look at things in two ways. As […]...
No image found Putting Restrictions in Place Enforces Creativity – Living Adventurously #5 Tommy Banks was the youngest chef in the world to be awarded a Michelin star. The Black Swan at Oldstead was rated the best restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor in 2017. As a connoisseur of banana sandwiches and dehydrated […]...


  1. Ed Syrett Posted

    I’d love to do a winter sleep-out, but I would have trouble getting the Mrs onside – I slept out in the garden a few weeks back to test out a new bivvy-bag, and ended up with a flu bug. She thinks it was madness. I also had the flu jab the previous week so it may have been that…

  2. David Johnson Posted

    I really think it’s important to step out of your comfort zone sometimes and sleep outside or do a trip and have an adventure. By doing this you appreciate what we have compared to those who have nothing….It shows us that nothing should be taken for granted…I wish I could persuade others it’s true



Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Shouting from my shed

Get the latest news, updates and happenings via my shed-based newsletter.

© Copyright 2012 – 2014 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved.

Site design by JSummertonBuilt by Steve Perry Creative