If you’ve ever wondered how to make hiking fun; you’re not alone. No matter how much you love spending time on the trail, it’s normal to feel your enthusiasm waiver from time to time.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can add a little excitement to your hiking routine. Despite seeming like such a simple activity, there is always a way to ‘spice up’ your outdoor adventure.
Once you have read the top tips in this guide, you will realise that hiking can be a lot more than putting one foot in front of the other.
In the modern world, spending time looking for ‘instagrammable’ locations has become like a part-time job for many. If looking good online is your passion; hiking can provide the scenic views that will make you the toast of social media.
However, spending time taking photographs doesn’t just need to be for the benefit of your online audience. It’s a great way to keep a record of the most picturesque places you’ve seen along the way.
Hunting for photo spots can be a great way to keep you exploring unique destinations. Not only will it allow you to get the perfect picture, but you can also marvel at the natural beauty with your own eyes.
Coming home with a camera full of memories is sure to give you the motivation you need to keep hitting the trail. For many, hiking and photography are a combination of two passions that can capture the imagination.
Foraging For Berries
If you’re hiking during autumn, you’re sure to find the berries that are ripe and ready. Most foragers rarely venture further than the roadside, leaving a vast amount of natural treats ready to be picked.
The best berries can often be found away from the beaten trail. Those that have got the audacity to hike off-trail are often richly rewarded, with untapped berry patches making the challenging terrain worthwhile.
It’s worth noting that berry picking does carry some risk. It’s always best to bring plant identification guide along to be sure you’re not picking something dangerous. However, becoming familiar with your natural surroundings is another endeavour that can make hiking fun.
Does a real life treasure hunt sound like a worthwhile adventure? If so, geocaching might be the activity you’re looking for that can make hiking fun.
It’s a popular activity that involves using a GPS or smartphone to find containers known as ‘geocaches’. Once you have located a treasure package, you will be rewarded with the chance to sign a logbook so signify your searching skills.
It is a great way to add a sense of purpose to your day in the outdoors. The thrill of discovering a package will only enhance your time on the trail.
Geocaching gives you a feeling of adventure in the pursuit of mystery. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and reward that will have you stomping with a smile.
Summertime brings warm weather and blue skies. It also brings hiking trips that can lead you to lakes that are perfect for swimming.
Taking in a dip in one of nature’s swimming pools can give you a sense of freedom that will make any hike worthwhile. It is a great way to relax and soak any sore limbs you might have after putting in some hard miles.
If your mind is set on swimming, it’s always best to research popular lakes and rivers before you hit the trail. Not all water is suitable for swimming, so make sure you pick an appropriate route to avoid danger and disappointment.
Have A Great Meal
Hiking doesn’t only make you feel happy and healthy. It also makes you feel hungry.
Preparing a delicious meal to enjoy in the outdoors is a perfect way to replenish some lost calories. It will give you a chance to research and ‘meal-prep’ one of your favourite dishes, which will then provide a reward for your effort.
Enjoying a great trailside meal isn’t just about eating. It gives you a chance to find the perfect spot from which to observe nature.
Taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors while savouring your favourite flavours can be an unforgettable experience. Whether you find your lunch spot ‘on the fly’ or head to one of your favourite locations, combining food with foliage is one of the best ways to make hiking fun.
Listen To Podcasts
Getting in touch nature doesn’t necessarily mean giving up electronics completely.
If you prefer hiking by yourself, listening to podcasts can be a great way to enhance your experience. Focusing your attention on something that makes you laugh or learn can make miles feel like meters.
The amount of podcasts that are available has exploded in recent years. Fortunately, hiking hasn’t been left behind. A quick search through your application will yield a variety of hiking, trekking, backpacking and outdoor adventure shows competing for your attention.
If you’re already getting enough of the hiking scene, listening to something educational is also worthwhile. Imagine if you could spend those hours in the outdoors improving your language skills, or learning valuable life lessons.
The amount of music, audiobooks and podcasts online is enough to occupy anyone for a lifetime. Once you have found a subject that peaks your interest, it might have you heading back to the trail in search of more listening time.
Most hiking adventures will lead you past an array of lakes, streams and rivers. While you’re there, why not make the most of it and try your hand at fishing?
Many of the water sources located away off the beaten track house an abundance of native fish. The chance of coming home with a catch isn’t guaranteed; it’s a great way to add challenge and adventure to a hiking trip.
Many of the psychological benefits of hiking are well aligned with those discovered through hiking. It will get you back in touch with nature, give you a sense of accomplishment and creates an opportunity to take a break from the strains of modern life.
If you’re new to the fishing world, getting started might not be a tough as you think. Learn the basics online, buy a portable rod and obtain a fishing license. Now all that’s left to do is actually catch a fish, which can often be the hard part!
Try a different type of hiking
Despite sounding so simple, hiking is actually a vast and varied activity. There are a variety of different types of hiking that you can attempt, with each one providing a unique challenge.
If you’ve never ventured further than a few hours away from home, why not attempt a multi-day hike? Whether you’re spending the night in a tent or hut, the sense of adventure you get from hiking can be greatly enhanced by spending time away from home.
Hiking styles like ‘peak bagging’ and ‘thru-hiking’ can add challenge to your adventure. It will give you an end goal that’s worth achieving, with the potential to rekindle your love for the outdoors.
For those wondering how to make hiking fun; pushing yourself to attempt a new challenge is often the best option. Whether that’s scrambling, getting off-trail or attempting a new distance is up to you; just be ready to jump outside your comfort zone.
Spending a few hours on the trail with your peers can provide a bonding experience that’s worth every step. It gives you a chance to share your thoughts, have meaningful conversations and probably share a chuckle or two.
It’s a great way to get your loved ones into the outdoors. Spending time with your family away from the distractions of the modern world can strengthen your relationships.
Hiking not only gives you a chance to spend time with your friends and family, but also helps you to acquire new acquaintances. The outdoor community is generally warm and welcoming, with hiking groups hosting local events in most areas.
Even if you prefer to interact through within the safety of your own home, there is a multitude of online groups and forums that can be accessed.
Either way, the sense of community that can come with this activity is something to be embraced.
Invest in new hiking gear
If your enthusiasm for the outdoors is wavering, getting yourself some new gear might be the way to go. Although it sounds counter intuitive, the thought of testing your new pack might be just the motivation you need.
Hiking clothing and equipment is always a worthwhile investment. It will help to enhance your comfort and can make for a more enjoyable experience.
Putting on those new hiking shoes you’ve been saving up for is a great way to put a spring in your step. Purchasing a new backpacking stove can make your lunch stop that much sweeter.
Thoughts from the author
No matter what activity you choose to enjoy, it’s inevitable that you will lack enthusiasm from time to time. However, it’s important to remember why you started in the first place.
Hiking is an adventure into the great outdoors in its most basic form. It can be adapted to suit your ambitions; with each activity we have listed, we’ve designed them to spark the enthusiasm of different individuals.
One of the greatest strengths of hiking lies in its adaptability. It can be merged with a variety of outdoor pursuits to make it part of a great adventure.
If you’re wondering how to make hiking more fun, I’m sure this list has provided you with some food for thought. It’s hopefully made you realise that your experience can be more than just walking.
How do you make hiking fun? If you have a great idea, leave a comment and let us know!
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.