Micro adventure-river paddling

Micro adventure-river paddling A quick over nighter down the river Waveney.

We are lucky being so close to the coast and right on the doorstep of the river Waveney an evening paddle down the river cannot be missed.

Kit all packed in the car for a overnighter we leave from the sailing club at Beccles and head down towards Geldeston.

Micro adventure-river paddling
Micro adventure-river paddling

The plan was to stealth camp on the river bank as I had previously seen an area.

Now wild camping in the uk is not the norm.  There are only a few places where this is legal or a blind eye is turned such as Dartmoor or certain places in Scotland.

We are unfortunate not to have the ability to wild camp but lots do and are very caring about the places they camp and I wish it was so that we could but hey ho it’s the UK.

Canoe all packed

Setting Off on our Micro adventure-river paddling

So canoe loaded with supplies we head down the river from Beccles towards Geldeston.

This is where the river ceases to become navigable to boats and home of the Geldeston Locks a fantastic Pub.

We did cheat as we took the battery powered trolling motor which sits on the side of the canoe.

This is great for getting back from the pub or assisting when the boys are ‘too tired!’.

We where lucky as we had accidently timed it perfectly as the river was on the flood so it was easy paddling down for our Micro adventure-river paddling.

The Camp

The place I had thought about camping on was a no go so we had to revert to plan B at the three rivers campsite.

Initial plan was to setup a shelter using the canoe and a dd hammocks tarp.

I had a configuration in my head and it went ok considering it was my first time with this configuration.

Camp made

The idea was to Peg the tarp at two corners behind the canoe. I would then bring it over canoe and support with two paddles supported by guy lines.

This worked well but canoe needed supporting with two poles at a slight slant to stop it from moving.

We had taken our frontier stove to Cook of instant noodles and a handful of polish sausage to grill over the flames.  

Anevay.co.uk

The frontier stove I brought about 8 years ago from Anevay and has been the talk of many a campsite over the years even made a camping magazine at one point.

Camp made and food on the go.

So we cooked our food and the boys filled themselves up on s’mores and within 10 minute the little one was asleep outside.

Sleeping outdoors

It is amazing how this one sleeps so well outdoors.

I took my Uco Gear candle light which I absolutely love using.  With a 9 hour candle this gives just enough light in case the boys wake up.

Some of my gear taken

Early rise in the morning, breakfast cooked and camp packed away.

Back down the river to load everything onto the car and head home.

This little trip was only about 18hrs in total but it was a great little trip

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Micro Adventures

What is a micro adventure? In short it’s simple it’s a micro adventure, these micro adventures are simple to organise, cost effective, normally local, challenging, builds new skills, confirms friendship and family bonds, new and easy to organise.

In a busy urbanised world it is easy for us to get sucked into that 9-5, tech controlled world where we sit armchair surfing, becoming keyboard warriors, ooze and criticise YouTube videos of people doing just what this blog post is about finding the time to fit in micro expeditions into our busy life. Look at it on the flip side we work say 9-5 that means you have from 6-8 to do something so you are fitting your work hours in to your adventure time. Finish work head to the beach, cook some food, watch the sun go down, sleep on the beach, get up and head to work.

I’ve mentioned before the need to get out and use the outdoors to our benefit our mental health and this is one way to do it. I recently read an article in the magazine ‘bushcraft and survival skills’ written by Dr Catherine Calderwood ( Chief Medical Officer of Scotland) staying there is increasing evidence that outdoor activities and learning outside the classroom increased academic attainment and improves well-being.

Like I said it strengthens family bonds and friendships, give yourself some ME time or just adjust your usual dog walking into something different.

So what is a micro adventure?

It can be almost anything from a paddle down the river with a stop for lunch, fishing, hiking, wild camping, geocaching, primitive fire lighting the list is endless.

There are plenty of books / YouTube channels about micro adventures available so here are a few ideas of what there is to do but the main thing is tailoring what you do to what you can do within these urbanised time / money constraints. You should look at a micro adventure as a espresso short, full of flavour and only half the size of a Americano.

Here’s a few micro adventures.

  • Breakfast outside

Pack up your bag the night before

  • Polska Kiełbasa

One of the best things we do in the summer is cook Polish Sausage over an open fire. This is typical summer micro adventure in Poland, spending the warm summer months sitting around the fire grilling smoked sausage and washing it down with some fantastic polish beers.

These sausages can be brought a your local Polish deli, my favourite and the best ones I think are called Slanska. Lay the sausage and cut just through the skin diagonally then turn the sausage and cut diagonally again to create little squares, flip the sausage do the same on other side then stock them on you stick you have whittled and heat them (as they are hot smoked) so they go crispy. Serve in bed rolls with Sarepska (polish mustard) and pickles.

  • Wildswimming

This is so frowned upon I. The UK but pretty much everywhere else swimming in rivers and lakes is as normal as waking around them. The issue in the UK is knowing where is safe to swim. Regularly in the summer months whilst dog walking or paddling we will all end up in the river. One of my most memorable camping moments was in Sweden whilst heading to the Klarälven we camped one night in the Glaskogen Park. I was woken early morning by the sound of Wolves in the distance. I got up lit a fire and had a early swim whilst waiting for the Coffee

  • Canoeing

This sport is so adaptable to what you can afford, what you want to do and time constraints. If you don’t have space, money and time to make it cost effective then find somewhere locally to where you are where you can hire canoes / kayaks to head out onto the water for a true micro adventure.

Take your lunch with you and stop somewhere and cook a lunch. My two love to use the Kelly Kettle to cook some noodles on the river bank

  • Fire lighting

Simple day out try different methods of lighting fires. From a bow drill to magnifying glass. Get the family involved, have a competition in who can do it the quickest.

  • Geocaching

This is a great game to play with the kids they love finding the little caches especially when they are full of trinkets. Download the app on your smartphone and search your local area for geocaches head out for the day and use your phone to locate the caches. Some can be tricky and you might need to work out some clues to find where they are hidden.

  • Sleeping on the beach

This is a great one to do any day of the week. I usually pick my two up from school and head straight to the beach for a swim, get the Kelly Kettle out, make some tea and pitch a tent for the evening. There’s always some dry driftwood about for a fire in the evening.

  • Shelter building

There’s not much needed for this a load of trees, some brush for thatching and a good bit of time. Take some food, open fires I’d keep away from but take a cooler and cook something simple. Our Kelly Kettle gets used a lot for these little adventures. Search online for some plans on different types of shelters.

  • Hammock camping

This is now my most favourite method of camping. It is so versatile and it is so comfy and I sleep so well. You don’t need to spend a fortune on hammock camping kit to start of. Have a look online for a cheap hammock and have a look at my post on hammock camping.

DD Hammocks do some really good priced kit worth having a look at them.

  • Winter camping

As long as you’ve got the right gear it doesn’t really matter what the weather is and personally I love camping in the winter. You do really need the right gear because there’s nothing worse than being cold or wet this time of the year. A pleasant evening camping in the winter can become a very miserable night very quickly without the correct gear.

Good clothes, warm clothes a spare change of clothes, 4 season sleeping system and a waterproof shelter is a must. Even if you are setting up for a day outside it is a great feeling building a shelter, cooking food and watching the world go by your shelter.

  • Sunday roast outside

There’s nothing like cooking outdoors and a Sunday roast is a great way to get out and enjoy eating outdoors. Even if the weather is poor, erect a shelter and get the fire going and throw a joint of meat in a ditch oven and let it slowly cook.

Lamb is one of my favourites to cook. Cut 2 onions in half and rest the joint on the onions, out the lid on and place some coals on the lid to evenly roast the meat. Add vegetables after about 45 minutes and let them slowly cook be careful not to cook it to quick or hot from the bottom.

  • Dog walking

This is one of my regular trips out. Dogs need walking everyday and when I have time I’ll take my pre packed day bag and head out along the river or in the forest and spend some time to sit and reflect, brew a coffee and sometime take my breakfast with me.

  • Whittling

There’s something very therapeutic about whittling a piece of green wood into something or even nothing. You don’t need expensive tools. The two knives I carry cost about £25.

There’s loads of videos on YouTube or grab a book and see what you can make. Take your brew kit and sit and have ago with a coffee under the trees.

  • Wild camping

There’s not many place in the UK where this isn’ frowned upon. If your lucky you will know some places where you can get away with wild camping: beaches and riverbanks are a good first option. The main rule is setup late, leave early and leave no trace.

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