I met Campfire Kam through an online group for Southern California Outdoor Bloggers. One Friday afternoon, she invited me on a spontaneous camping trip with a few other members. Naturally, I cancelled my plans and prepared to spend the weekend camping with 8 strangers from the Internet.
For obvious reasons, Kam and I became instant friends. She is an expert weekend warrior, specializing in the “microadventure,” and her blog Campfire Chic is full of inspiration for 9-5’ers like me. Kam has been an invaluable mentor and supporter, and I’m honored to share her words of wisdom with you here!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Kam and I’m the blogger/microadventurer behind Campfire Chic. I live in Southern California and have a full time job in addition to blogging. I’m messy, but I generally know where everything is (except this headlamp I’ve been missing for about 2 weeks). I share my microadventures and creative projects on my site as well as co-host a semi-annual journaling challenge. When I’m not sitting in front of a screen, I am planning a getaway, going out to dinner with friends, or binge-watching British TV shows while working on a project.
How do you find time for adventures as a 9-5er?
Adventure is something I prioritize, the way some people prioritize a weekly mani/pedi, so I don’t need to find time. I just go and do it. I may come home to a messy kitchen or a stack of unopened mail, but at least I was doing something worthwhile and fun. I find that microadventures help keep me sane during the workweek, which is helpful!
What is a microadventure?
A microadventure is something you can do after work or as a quick trip on the weekend. Alistair Humphrey made the term popular and has a fantastic community behind the idea of taking back your 5-to-9 with short-term excursions that take you out of the daily grind and doing things on your own terms. A microadventure may be going to the beach for a quick swim and picnic dinner after work on a Tuesday, or it could be camping on a Thursday night and heading straight to work Friday morning.
Do you have any advice for other 9-5ers who crave adventure?
I suggest seeing if you can work a flexible schedule… like a 4/10 (four days a week for 10 hours a day) or a 9/80 (example: working 7-5 Monday through Thursday and every other Friday off), so you can get more out of your weekends. If that doesn’t work, see if you can start earlier (or later!), so you can fit in some fun during your 5-9 (after work to the start of work). That might include mid-week hikes, early morning surfing, or even getting your basic responsibilities (housework being the biggest) out of the way during the week so you have your weekend free.
What is one new activity you’ve tried recently that you can’t wait to do again?
It wasn’t recent, but this time of the year has me thinking of the last time I was in Zion National Park and went canyoneering with one of the guides out there. It was an amazing experience, and I’m looking into a good free weekend to make a quick getaway for some more canyoneering fun. I love the challenge of making my way through a canyon. I think rappelling is a ton of fun!
Favorite local hike?
My favorite local hike is the San Clemente Beach Trail. It’s at the very bottom of Orange County and a bit of a drive for me to get there, but it’s worth walking along the water at the end of the workday. I like that I can make the hike as short as I’d like and stop for pizza and ice cream along the way… I just really like to eat 🙂
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? (This does not have to be a micro adventure)
I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. We studied different continents in 3rd grade, and Australia really stuck out to me. I’m pretty terrified of all the dangerous animals that live there, but it kind of reminds me of that movie (and book) Jumanji, so I guess it’s okay.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
I wish “pizza” wasn’t the first thing that came to mind! Ha! But in all honestly, it would have to be the support from my family. My parents took me camping for the first time when I was maybe 4 years old, and I haven’t stopped! They showed me that being outdoors and checking out what is just beyond the paved road is worthwhile.
The perfect s’more:
Honey graham cracker, peanut butter cup, vegan marshmallow.
Where to next?
I want to spend some more time in Utah. I love Zion National Park and would like to explore more of the state. I am hoping to fit in some canyoneering soon and would like to check out some slot canyons. I never thought I would like desert areas, but something about winter and spring make me want to spend all my time there.
Photos © 2014 Campfire Chic