Organised trips or adventure races are fantastic fun, but what happens if there’s not one coming up, or you’ve only got limited time to spare (or even better, have extra time to spare!).  What better way to get out there than to create your own adventure!?

Your own adventure can be anything from a short walk to a multi day trip combining hiking, kayaking and biking or any other activity that takes your fancy.  Logistically, hiking is the easiest to organise, needing hardly any equipment.  Start by picking an area you want to explore, then find a trail of the right distance (or go cross country if you’re feeling game).  

Wildwalks.com is a great place to look for walks and camping spots in Sydney and further afield.  You can search by walk length and area.  Then get a good topographic map (1:25000 is ideal), pack clothes, food, water, compass, a first aid kit and you’re on your way!  Of course, take into account your experience level, the conditions and don’t do anything unsafe.

Kayaking and mountain biking take a bit more prep because you need equipment.  Make sure you bring spare parts on your bike rides (and know how to use them), and safety equipment for your kayak trips like a pfd and helmet if there’ll be rapids.  Combining disciplines on a trip takes extra logistics but is very rewarding, fun, and closer to what an adventure race will be if that’s what you’re training for.

Consider the risk vs reward ratio. Walking along the headland at your local beach is obviously low risk as there is usually lots of people if something goes wrong, and it’s hard to get lost.  It’s also nowhere near as exciting as a white water trip down a remote river, but that’s much riskier of course.  It’s up to you to decide how much risk you are willing to take based on your own experience and the likelihood of a mishap.

Many issues are down to inexperience or human error e.g. getting lost or not taking enough water or warm gear.  Other accidents are unavoidable e.g. falling over, and that’s why it’s always better to go with a minimum of one other person, preferably more.  If you’ll be remote, it’s a good idea to take an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) which you can buy or hire.  More info here: https://www.bsar.org.au/bush-safety-resources/plb-epirb/

Everyone has their own risk tolerance which can be poles apart from brash teenage years (I definitely did some pretty crazy trips, often solo), to later in life when you may even have small bundles of joy (among other things) to consider in the equation.  So, think through your preparation, but on the other hand, there’s lots of fun to be had out there if you know the risk and make a conscious decision that the fun, challenge or excitement will be worth it.

So, what are you doing next weekend?  Fancy an adventure?  Then get planning and get out there!