The Go Wild Go West blog

Plotting an Adventure….

There’s nothing I like more than a good adventure. Heading out the door and knowing that you’re starting something awesome! It might be with friends, with the kids, or just on my tod.

An adventure doesn’t need to be off in foreign climes, require lengthy trips away or cost a fortune. They can be done in a day or an over-nighter, within easy reach of home and they don’t have to cost a penny.

It’s really just about doing something you wouldn’t normally do, that gets you just far enough out of your comfort zone to feel exciting.

Here I share my top tips on planning your own adventure…..

wild camp in winter

1. What will your adventure be?

There are all sorts of adventures to be had, so where to begin? I always begin my adventure planning with the simple question:

 ‘What do I want to do?’

I like an adventure to be challenging… to feel a real sense of achievement at the end but I also want to enjoy it.

It may be that wild camping takes your fancy, spending a night under the stars. Or perhaps you want to take the kids rock climbing or off-road biking? Whatever you choose, your adventure should be the perfect blend of scary and exciting!

snowdonia wild swimming
taking the plunge with wild swimming

Finding ideas

Adventure ideas are everywhere! You might hear of something by word of mouth, or, like me, consume ‘adventure books’ to find inspiration. My absolute favourites are Al Humphrey’s MicroAdventures and Daniel Start and Tanya Pascoe’s series of Wild Guides. Or perhaps you follow some interesting folk on social media to get some ideas…. There’s this great site called GoWildGoWest for example….. (shameless plug).

Alternatively, plot your adventure around the place you live. Out walking, I mentally note new bridal paths to bring my bike down, interesting hidden glades to wild camp, or a rock surface or giant tree to bring the kids back to for a climb. Once you’re in the zone, adventures pop up everywhere!

family walks in wales
climb a peak

2. Where to go

This depends greatly on your adventure of course….

There are all sorts of organised events you could join but I like to create my own adventures relatively close to home. Recently I’ve cycled the Somerset Cider trail with friends, been wild swimming with the kids, and walked the Mendip Way solo.

Once you have an idea in mind, search the map! I spend hours poring over local maps to find new biking routes, walks, wild swimming spots, or places to SUP. Wherever you live, there’ll be places nearby to adventure.

Alternatively, try to set yourself a goal, even if it’s a ridiculous one…… journey to…… the most southern point of the British Isles / the highest point in the county / the mouth or source of a river / along an ancient walkway / circumnavigate your local town……

map reading with kids
search the map

3. Who to adventure with

Once you’ve chosen your adventure and found a place to go, think about who might like to join you.

It could be a great adventure with the children – I’ve learned that whatever I can do, the kids can generally do it better (as long as there’s a plentiful supply of snacks).

Or leave the kids at home and head out with friends – you’re guaranteed to have a laugh.

Don’t be afraid to go solo. It can be refreshing to spend time alone doing something different. A solo adventure can give headspace in crazy times!

mountain biking dartmoor
biking over Dartmoor

4. Do it!!!

I’ve found that the biggest barrier to going adventuring is myself. Financial and time constraints can be worked around; it’s always my own hesitation that prevents me from going for it.

Personally, covid has changed this mentality. I’ve learnt how to make time for adventure and to enjoy time away from the daily grind of work, chores, school-run, clubs etc etc.

If an opportunity for adventure comes your way, don’t think twice, just do it!!

solo adventuring

How do we plot our adventures? Using a map and the awesome series of Wild Guides which share the best, secret spots to explore across the UK. We take it with us whenever we visit somewhere new! Grab a copy here.

outdoor adventures

*I have used and enjoyed the Wild Guide book series for years and I hope you will too. Though I take an affiliate commission for each book sale from my website, this helps cover the running costs of Go Wild Go West.

Some adventure ideas….
1. Wild Camping for beginners
2. Wild Swimming in Somerset and Devon
3. Finding a challenge
4. Flip-a-coin adventure
5. Find a secret wild swimming spot