Spontaneous adventures are always fun. Sometimes you have a plan, but on other occasions, you just head out, and see where the trail takes you. Indeed, when you live an adventurous life, micro-adventures can happen at any time, and so it is best to be semi-prepared.
Here are some comical, yet appropriate 'rules' to follow when leading an adventurous life.
- Do not die or get maimed.
This one is pretty straightforward and foremost. The following rules will help achieve this first and foremost rule.
- Do not let others die or get maimed.
Some people can overestimate their skills. Some people want to turn back early. Some people have no navigational skills. Some people are clearly out of their comfort zones. Be sure that the people you are with are capable of the planned adventure. Turn around if/when things get too sketchy.
- Do not make plans for afterwards.
More often then not, the round trip takes longer than expected. Admittedly, we do not always stick to the plan. Some of us get curious about what could be around the next corner. Some of us want to know where an unmapped, dirt trail goes. The bottom line is that it is likely that you will be late for or even miss your next appointment if you are adventuring with us. So, it is best to just not make plans for afterwards!
- Wear appropriate footwear.
Always be prepared. Of course, we know that, but it importantly applies to footwear. Flip flops don't always cut it. Yes, we can do many things barefoot, in sandals, or even Birkenstocks. However, remember how important our feet are in helping us continue adventuring and having fun. We want to look after our feet so we can continue to explore throughout our lives. When in doubt, it is better to overestimate the type of footwear you might need.
- Bring appropriate clothing.
There is a quote about there being no such thing as bad weather, rather just bad gear. This could not be more true. Bring with you the appropriate gear for the weather you may encounter. While North Queensland does not suffer from the snow and freezing cold conditions that other epic adventure areas may experience, it doesn't mean you should not consider the appropriate clothing for what you will encounter (i.e., likely hot, sunny, and rainy conditions).
- Take a drybag.
It's always nice to put your phone and car key in a dry bag when it starts rain. However, this luxury may become critical when you find yourself completely soaked because your micro-adventure somehow turned into a canyoning trip.
- Bring a head torch.
Always bring a head torch. It does not matter if you are doing a morning walk and think you will not need it. Of course, try to plan and prepare so that you do not get caught out after dark, if that is not your intention. However, sometimes being out after dark is the goal, in which case, you will want to definitely have a good light with fresh batteries.
- Wear sun protection.
Sun protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat, helps protect us from the sun. Put sunscreen on where you cannot cover up, and reapply when needed. Choose eco-friendly sunscreen as well!
- Take enough water (and snacks).
Sure, we can get side tracked and wander a little more than we expected. But when the water starts running low, know when to turn around and head home. A general guideline is to have 3-4 litres of water per person per day. But, of course, if the weather is quite hot, and the trails are difficult and strenuous, you may need more. Pack water purification tablets as well in case there is a stream where you can refill your supplies.
- Bring first aid supplies, and know how to use them.
It is not enough to simply carry a first aid kit. You must also know how to use it. Venomous and poisonous snakes are a common in North Queensland and Australia, for that matter. Be prepared and stay alive.
Other notable mentions include:
- Always taking a poly thermal top or a space blanket (also known as a Mylar blanket or an emergency blanket). If you become stationary through misadventure, it can help prevent hypothermia.
- Always carry enough coffee. You never know when you might need a strong one to lift you up in the morning.
- And wine, there must be wine!
Above all else, have fun, but no matter what, stay safe.
For more tips and information on getting adventuring safely, read our guide to the great outdoors.Photos from Unsplash.