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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Random Microadventures

"When some systems are stuck in a dangerous impasse, randomness and only randomness can unlock them and set them free."
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 'Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder'


I got off the morning bus at a random stop in Nuuksio National Park. I didn't know exactly where I was going, but I was determined to get somewhere. I call these random microadventures.


There are no rules, except getting somehow back home before dark. It will be a long day in wilderness. There's no hurry.


If I meet a friend, I'm likely to stop for a chat. If I'm hungry, I'll enjoy a snack from my backpack. If I see a boulder, I'll try to climb it. If it's hot, I might go for a quick swim in one of over hundred lakes in the area. I like to keep my options open.


Sometimes it's nice to follow trails, paths and even roads. Usually the real adventures happen off-trail, where even hiking pace can feel hard.


You might see some wildlife if you are lucky. You will certainly visit a few stunning new places.


In May there are not too many mosquitos yet, but not any berries either. However there are plenty of edible wild greens in Finland. Or maybe I find a cafe, shop or even a restaurant.


Inspired by aboriginal practice of walkabouts, Dean Karnazes suggested runabouts in his book 50/50: "...pick a weekend morning to set out the door with a running pack containing a credit card, a cell phone, and some fluids and snacks - maybe also a map or a GPS... Choose a direction (say, north) and start running... Try to make a complete day of it. Don't worry how many miles you actually run. Focus on staying on your feet and moving forward... Mostly, have fun... Rarely in our modern society do we spend an entire day outside."


Just get out there and spend a full day outdoors, preferably in wild nature. Stay safe, but don't overplan it. Forget structured workouts. Keep your eyes open and your legs fresh. Microadventures like this are great training for your next ultra trail race.