#Microadventure: from NYC to Camping on Fire Island
Our social media feeds may be filled with photos from extreme expeditions or remote, tropical islands, but the reality is that not many of us get to escape the city on a regular basis. For adventurous spirits, even the best of jobs can sometimes feel a little restrictive.
Alastair Humphreys, a British traveller and National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year, created the concept of microadventure for exactly that reason. Instead of seeing the 9-to-5 as an obstacle, he sees the 5-to-9 as an opportunity.
To help you plan your first microadventure, here’s an idea for an overnight, 16-hour escape from New York City to the wilderness and back.
Fire Island is an extremely thin, 31-mile-long stretch of land south of Long Island. Although currently it’s undergoing a major restoration project to repair the damage caused by hurricane Sandy in 2012, it’s still a popular tourist destination. While in summer it might be a little crowded, winter is a great time for a backcountry style visit.
To add to the sense of adventure, no cars are allowed on the island, so you will have to cycle the last leg of your journey.
Where to sleep
Fire Island offers a few excellent hotel options but most are booked up weeks, if not months in advance. Plus, no hotel is better than sleeping under the stars!
To camp on the beach, you need to obtain a permit from Fire Island National Seashore and pay a twenty dollar fee. The Fire Island wilderness might not be exactly wild, but it’s still pretty amazing given its proximity to Manhattan.
Keep in mind that in winter the coastal weather can be quite extreme. A warm sleeping bag, a bivvy bag and a hot flask are musts. It may be a challenging night but sunrise on the beach will be worth it!
How to get there
Passenger ferries depart from Sayville and Patchogue but there’s no early morning service. Drive to Robert Moses State Park where you can park your car. From there, hop on your bike and pedal the last 16 miles to the Watch Hill Visitor Centre at the western end of the wilderness camping area.
Tagging #microadventure, you can share your memories and photos with a growing, international community of overnight adventurers. And when colleagues at work ask you what you did last night, you will have a good story to tell!