Stoke your ‘Venturelust: 50 Miniventure Ideas for the Entire Year

Here at Love of Wild, our mission is to create a supportive circle where women can trade stories, tips, and ideas for making our outdoor adventures richer, safer, and even more unforgettable… no matter what “adventure” means to each of us. As part of that, we think there’s value in being a little uncomfortable sometimes. It’s how we learn, grow, and transform ourselves. It’s where the magic lies. 

A snowy hike in Sequoia National Park, California. Photo by author Natalie.

Morning Grind, courtesy of Logan Brumm. Click image for more.

Luckily, that magic can be accessed at any scale, from the vertical granite faces of Yosemite to the state park a short drive away.

Which is great news, because sometimes, we can barely get away for a climbing weekend, much less a four-month thru hike.

That’s why we are especially fond of what we call “miniventures.”

A miniventure is a short excursion, an express expedition.

It’s any brief outing designed to bring you closer to nature, satisfy your wild heart, and transcend that cozy comfort zone.

It’s exploring the outdoors in a new way, even if just for the afternoon.

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite miniventure ideas below. Some of these are perfect for trying out right now, in cold of January. Others might be best saved for a later date, but we encourage you to challenge your assumptions of what are winter vs. summer activities!

  1. Walk a dog on a route you’ve never explored before.
  2. Hop on a bike for a short ride around your neighborhood or to the store to get your blood pumping.
  3. Pack a picnic, some hot cocoa, and watch the sun set.
  4. Sleep outside with only the sky for a ceiling. How many shooting stars can you count?
  5. Go on a night hike.
  6. Bring a local plant identification book into the woods.
  7. Bring a sketchbook with you on a hike. Draw whatever attracts you without judging your skills.
  8. Cook something on a camp stove or over open flames that you’ve never made while camping before. Ever use a Dutch oven? Here’s a great list of easy recipes.
  9. Go canoeing.
  10. Invigorate the senses with a brisk polar bear swim.
  11. Grab your camera, go outside to find tiny, beautiful mysteries, and test your macro skills.
  12. Make fire and camp out on the beach.
  13. Discover what native animals are rare sightings in your area. Make it your mission to spot one.
  14. Go stand up paddle boarding at the break of dawn.
  15. Climb a tree for a new perspective on life.
  16. Go fishing from a kayak.
  17. Test out different fire building methods.
  18. Go camping in the rain… with the right gear of course.
  19. Get a percolator and make coffee the old fashioned way- over a fire.
  20. Get off the beaten path.
  21. Run through a meadow while the grass is still heavy with dew.
  22. Go bird-watching.
  23. Go rock climbing or bouldering.
  24. Have a garden at home? Pack some seeds, leave the yard, and be a guerrilla gardener for day.
  25. Take an acoustic instrument camping with you.
  26. Hike barefoot. Notice how much more awareness this cultivates.
  27. Hike to the top of a mountain.
  28. Try starting a fire without a flint.
  29. Leave the ten at home and make a shelter.
  30. Find a waterfall, however small.
  31. Make a wilderness scavenger hunt, or try one of these printable versions with your kids.
  32. Go foraging.
  33. Go geocaching.
  34. Explore a regional food or brewery trail.
  35. Try stealth camping.
  36. Try snowshoeing or backcountry skiing.
  37. Celebrate a special occasion in a way you might not normally spend it. How about wild camping for your birthday or bikepacking on New Year’s Eve?
  38. Take someone camping who’s never been.
  39. Take a child on a fun hike. Teach them about Leave No Trace and identify wildlife.
  40. Find little animal footprints in the dirt and see how far you can track them.
  41. Listen for unique bird sounds and try to find who’s making them.
  42. Do leaf rubbings deep in the woods during peak autumn colors.
  43. Try your hand at identifying trees.
  44. Practice yoga, tai chi, or meditation in the seclusion of a forest.
  45. Go rock-scrambling atop a peak or along a stream.
  46. Walk or bike somewhere you would normally drive.
  47. Start to train for a physically strenuous hike.
  48. Go on a hike that crosses state lines and take a picture straddling the border. Who says you can’t be two places at once?
  49. Drift down the river in an inner tube. Have lunch on an island or the river bank.
  50. Camp out in the cold or snow.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon. Photo by author Natalie.

Choose one of the above or make up your own, take a loved one, a pet, or go alone, and challenge yourself to a miniventure this weekend! Then, we’d love to hear from you!

  • Head to the site’s submission form and share your story. We read ALL of them and share many of them on the site!
  • You can also find us on Instagram (@xloveofwildx), where we share your outings for #MiniventureMonday, so use that hashtag and #xloveofwildx to be featured.

Feature photo courtesy of Trekking Rinjani.

What’s at the top of your miniventure list? Comment below!

About Natalie

I love getting lost and telling stories.

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