Hiking is perhaps one of the most natural activities there is, as our species has been walking around this Earth for hundreds of thousands of years now, seeing all kinds of sights. We’re naturally and genetically predisposed to it, which is why taking a long hike, especially over tough terrain, can feel so rewarding. With a little planning it’s also a completely adjustable activity, in that you can decide just how much challenge you’re looking for. This means that hiking can be a great way to build general fitness no matter if you’re eighteen or sixty five years old.

Yet it’s also true that if you let yourself fall into the same habits, hiking can feel less engaging than it could otherwise be. That’s no matter, there are plenty of activities you can engage in elsewhere, and perhaps coming back to hiking after a month or so break can help you look at it anew. However, if you want a new experience now, then why not consider some of the following advice:

Switch Up Intensities

If hiking is starting to feel like a little bit too much work for the time being, then go for routes a little less hilly and long. It might be, for instance, that now you wish for hiking to be an activity that helps you bust stress rather than making you feel as if you have to give it your all, especially if life is getting a little bit intense in general. Or, perhaps you feel as though turning over a new leaf and really caring about your health is a focus of yours for this year, and so trying harder routes that challenge you is essential.

No matter what kind of route is important to you, make sure you’re prepared. This means investing in hiking boots that are sturdy, reliable and most importantly fit your feet correctly. Updating your hiking gear such as through purchasing a range of long sleeve performance shirts can be tremendously helpful, too. You may find that trying new trails in your local area, or driving to try famous walks in your region can help you see the sights, rather than looping back around the same walk each and every day as you may have done so far. Little efforts like that can make a tremendous difference going forward.

Meet Or Run A Hiking Group

Hiking is good fun alone, but it’s lovely with other people. It may be that joining a hiking group can get you out, active and integrated with other people, as you try routes that feel confident and comfortable or perhaps take you out of your comfort zone a little bit. If you live in a suburban or urban area (and sometimes even rural) there may be a great hiking group you can join through sites like MeetUp, Hiking Forums, or even Facebook Groups.

Of course, if there’s no hiking group, why not try making your own? You may be surprised at the response you get, and this kind of leadership will surely help hiking feel fun again.

Try Your Hand At Photography

It can’t hurt to try your hand at photography while hiking, too. If you’re regularly heading up hills and walking through woods, why not get a few beautiful snaps? This might involve taking pictures of wildlife, or landmarks you find interesting. Place these pictures on apps like Instagram, and you never know, you might even find like-minded online people to talk to once more. Don’t feel shy, having fun in this way can be tremendously rewarding.

Combine Hiking With Other Activities

Of course, hiking is hardly an activity that you have to do on its own. If you’re the adventurous type, then you might join a group that incorporates abseiling, kayaking, and other excellent sporting activities that keep you on your toes. Little measures like this can be tremendously rewarding, because they help you pay attention and use hiking as a means from traveling from one awesome experience to the other.

For some, hiking might just be a great way to visit their local farm shop every other day in retirement, enjoying a coffee there, and then plodding back. No matter if you prefer listening to music or allowing the calming sounds of nature to wash over you, hiking can be a rewarding experience. Don’t be afraid to try something new, something interesting, and from there you’re sure to love this most nourishing of activities.