Secrets of an Escape Artist: Ten Steps to Freedom

The Art of the Miniature Adventure

Secrets of the Escape Artist: Ten Steps to Freedom

Some time ago, Farwell introduced the notion of the “miniature adventure,” a tag coined by writer Richard Frisbie. Now it’s Tamia’s turn, and she’s weighing in with a short article that’s both executive summary and practical guide.

But first, here’s a heads‑up: Tamia and Farwell are taking the next three months off. It’s their first “vacation” from writing a weekly column in nearly 20 years, and though it’s going to be a working vacation for both of them, they’re certainly looking forward to it. Call it a big adventure, if you like, but whatever you call it—and they just call it About Time!—it’s long overdue. They’re unanimous in that.

OK. You now know that Tamia and Farwell won’t be posting regularly in the next three months, but everything on both this site and Tamia’s Outside will stay where it is, pretty much as it is. So if this is your first visit, take time to poke around. Who knows? You might find something useful.

See you in September!

by Tamia Nelson | June 5, 2018

A Tamia Nelson Article on

As Farwell has already pointed out, the miniature adventure … Read more »

The Art of the Miniature Adventure: On (and Off) the Water

The Art of the Miniature Adventure

On (and Off) the Water

Big Trips get most of the hype in the paddlesport press, but how many of us can afford to take a Big Trip every time we need to get away from it all? Not many of us. And the solution? How about a miniature adventure? Farwell didn’t invent the idea. It’s writer Richard Frisbie’s brainchild. But it’s open to anyone with a boat and a dream. And in this, the last of a three‑part series, Farwell tells you how it’s done.

by Farwell Forrest | May 29, 2018
Originally published in different form on July 26, 2005

A Farwell Forrest Article on

I‘ve said it before, I know. Still, it’s worth repeating. The miniature adventure is the escape clause in life’s contract of obligations. It’s adventure on easy terms, close to home and on the cheap. But it’s real‑life adventure, nonetheless. Every miniature adventure is a leap into the unknown, with all that this involves. Guidebooks only rarely offer guidance, and there’s no outfitter to turn to for timely reassurance or good advice. In short, you get no guarantees. To go adventuring is to place your stake on the table and risk … well … what, … Read more »

Miniature Adventures: Life in the Slow Lane

The Art of the Miniature Adventure

Getting There and Back Again: Life in the Slow Lane

No chance of a Big Trip this year? No problem. You can have just as much fun close to home. Take it slow and easy. Make every minute count twice. You won’t cover many miles, but you’ll never get a better return on your investment of time, and isn’t that what recreation—re-creation—is all about? Farwell thinks so, and in his second article on miniature adventures, he tackles planning and logistics.

by Farwell Forrest | May 22, 2018
Originally published in different form on June 28, 2005

A Farwell Forrest Article on

Last week I invited you to consider the virtues of the “miniature adventure,” a phrase I borrowed from writer Richard Frisbie, whose delightful little book It’s a Wise Woodsman Who Knows What’s Biting Him introduced me to the concept. But if you’re not familiar with the idea, a miniature adventure is the antithesis of a Big Trip. Big Trips involve weeks—sometimes months—of preparation, they often take you thousands of miles from home, and they’re hard to do on the cheap. In short, Big Trips require both deep pockets and a lot of free time. Which is why they’re … Read more »

Purposeful Paddling: Go With Me! The Waterborne Naturalist’s Vade Mecum

Purposeful Paddling

Go With Me! The Waterborne Naturalist’s Vade Mecum

Why do you paddle? Perhaps, like Robert Louis Stevenson, you paddle for paddling’s sake, not to go anywhere but to go. Then again, you may see your canoe or kayak as a passport to another world. If so, you probably have the makings of a paddling naturalist. But it’s not enough to feel the urge. You also need the right stuff, and that’s the subject of Tamia’s latest article. Read on.

by Tamia Nelson | May 18, 2018
Adapted from an article first published on April 23, 2001

A Tamia Nelson Article on

Many canoeists and kayakers paddle in order to paddle. For them, the means is the end. Period. Being out on the water and moving under their own power is enough. And that’s fine. But for a few of us, a happy few, paddling is also a means to some other end—fishing, say, or photography, or—to borrow the title of the last chapter in Colin Fletcher’s Complete Walker—learning of the green world. Well, make that the blue-green world. After all, the paddler’s world is largely, though not entirely, a watery one.

Number me among the learners. As pleasant as I … Read more »