Four men, two canoes, one hut in the Biesbosch; My Home Adventure

The concept of a “Micro Adventure” has been steadily on the rise in the outdoor world. And we have also fallen in love with it. Late last year we made a lovely short film of such a brief 24-hour adventure in Terschelling. The most special thing about such an adventure, we found out, is how quickly you feel that you have stepped away out of your daily life completely, leaving it behind for the time.

Precisely by keeping it simple and small, you are suddenly loose, free, disconnected and within a few hours you have the feeling that you have been away from home for days.

With that experience in mind, we started looking for what we have called a “Home Adventure.” In fact maybe the purest form of the micro-adventure is the one as close to home as possible. In addition to that is is also a very sustainable form of adventure. This was something that Keen, as a shoe brand that also values sustainability, and is a big fan of local adventures, loved about our idea, and therefore wanted to support it.

Via a Facebook campaign we finally found Simon and Arvid, two friends, both 27 years old, who make it a habit to go on big and small adventures together. They knew a place, a so-called “Griendwerkershut” near the Biesbosch, the Netherlands, where they had been before. A cabin owned by the national forestry organisation, Staatsbosbeheer where you can stay for free.

On a Wednesday at 3:30 pm we picked up two canoes at Outdoor Valley, where Simon also works, and met the boys at 4:00 pm in the center of Rotterdam. From there we plowed our way through afternoon traffic , (30 minutes setback) and arrived in the little harbor of Aakvlaai on the Biesbosch reserve around 17:00. There, the canoes went into the water and the adventure really began.

On the way to Aakvlaai it had poured really poured with rain, and the rest of the weather forecast didn’t look too nice either. I personally did not look forward to sitting in a canoe in the rain, and to make a film is really a bit more difficult in the pouring rain. One would prefer to keep camera equipment dry.

But when we stepped into the canoe, the sun broke through the clouds completely, and we cruised down the creeks of the Biesbosch on smooth water.

… the sun broke through the clouds completely …

And a weekday there is simply no one on the normally very busy water of the Biesbosch. We were alone there with the birds, swans, greats, cormorants, geese, we even spotted a few kingfishers.

After a few hours of paddling and a dyke crossing we arrived at the Griendwerkershut, which lies outside the area of the Biesbosch. We settled in there, cooked a delicious supper and had those great conversations about adventure and friendship you can only have while camping out.

All of which was accompanied by a symphony of birds singing their little hearts out in the twilight as if each an every one of them wanted the sun to hear the lullaby they sang for it.

The next morning we woke at half past five seeing as Simon and Arvid had to be back at the harbor to leave for work again at 9:00. Where the evening was wonderful, the morning was fabulous. Where the birds had been mighty busy in the evening, the forest almost burst at the seams with their song in the morning. At the edge of a nearby field we watched the sun rise, drops of lights lighting up like small golden diamonds. Everything so beautiful. I am not normally a morning person, but I certainly was that morning.

… an adventure is mainly where your expectations are not met, where it goes differently than expected…

After a nice breakfast and high speed packing up session we paddled back to the main creeks with barely a cloud in the sky, back to the Aakvlaai harbor. The air was fresh and cool, the silence on the water so soothing that we were offered a meditative two hours of paddling which we gladly accepted. Just before nine o’clock we arrived at the harbor and our Home Adventure came to  close. A great 15 hours with two guys we hadn’t known before, but now can call friends.

And the conclusion was an interesting one: that actually an adventure is mainly where your expectations are not met, where it goes differently than expected, where the plan is no more than a loose basis on which unforeseen events can shine.

Keen Venture Shoe

During our short adventure we wore the Keen Venture shoe, a mid blue version and a regular orange version. The first experience with the shoes was very positive, especially the grip of the sole was very pleasant, and our feet stayed dry in the wet conditions.

But the review period is still ongoing, and we will be publishing the complete review at a later dat. If you are interested in the shoe in the meantime, check out the links to where you can shop for the shoe.

Keen Venture WP shoe

Retail price:: € 149,95

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Keen Venture Mid WP shoe

Retail price: 159,95

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Mark Stokmans
Since I can remember I have been very active in many different sports: started with baseball, tennis and riding later hockey, football, running and aikido. In addition, since twelve years old I've been into actionports: at first windsurfing, later climbing, inline skating, snowboarding, mountain biking. With the first action cams coming onto the market I've been making action sports videos. Furthermore, I've worked in the sports industry since 1990, sports marketing, media and live TV and until the end of 2016 at the Dutch Olympic Committee. Besides being partner in GearLimits I work as a digital freelancer. Based in the Netherlands, Married with Children (11 and 13 years old)


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