The best outdoor hobbies to try this summer

Don't have an outdoor hobby? Today is a great time to start. Besides the fact that getting outside on the regular has a lot of proven benefits, you'll learn new skills, get fit and have the chance to meet new people.

Check out six of the best outdoor hobbies to try this summer so you can add something new and exciting to your repertoire — and maybe even learn something amazing about yourself.


Trail running

Trail running is essentially going for a jog anywhere that isn’t a street or on a treadmill. It could be up a mountain, along a river, down a dirt track or through dense bushland. It's a beautiful way to keep in shape; you'll get to explore the countryside on foot, and challenge your body in a different way.

Given the remoteness of locations, its best to do trail running in a group so you are always safe and there’s people on-hand if you have an accident.

Trail running is an incredibly social activity, so it could be a good hobby to get into if you’re looking to meet new people. A great place to start is by research local run clubs in your area where you can pick up tips on how to run from experienced coaches.

Solo camping

A hobby doesn’t have to be a social event in order to be worthwhile. Sometimes getting away with just me, myself and I can be exactly what you need to rejuvenate. Solo camping will teach you to rely on your own company and can be a great way to disconnect.

The key to a successful solo camping trip is being prepared, so you don’t find yourself 50km away from the nearest town and out of kerosene. Research your campsite, the weather, and practice good safety at all times. This includes letting someone know where you are. Otherwise, you'll need a lightweight tent, a few camping essentials, and an adventurous spirit. A good book wouldn't hurt either!

When you're first starting out, it might be worth staying at paid campsites when you’re alone, rather than free camping sites — there is usually a site manager who can help you get out a sticky spot if need be. It’s also safer and there’s usually the added luxury of a toilet and shower nearby. Before you go, familiarise yourself with a our favourite camping tips.

Kayaking

If the image of kayaking instantly brings to mind a brave soul in a tiny boat thrashing around in white water and plunging over a cliff — you're not 100% wrong. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you decide you are truly passionate about kayaking, you can give that a go once you’re more confident.

For now, try renting a recreational kayak and taking it out on a lake, a slow-moving river or a calm ocean. Have a paddle and see how you feel. Kayaking is excellent exercise and also allows you to explore rivers, channels and bays at your own pace.

Outdoor Photography

What’s the point of doing anything outdoorsy unless you have photographic proof? Only joking. But if you’re going to document your activities, you want to make sure your pictures do justice to all of the amazing places you’ve been.

Don't know where to start? Join a wilderness-based photography workshop with industry professionals where you can learn tips and tricks of the trade.Cameras can be expensive, so it might be worth asking a friend or family member to borrow theirs before committing to your own.

Hiking

It’s a classic for the reason. Hiking is basically just walking in beautiful landscapes. It’s exercise where you can talk and eat along the way. It allows you to explore areas that you can’t get to by car. It challenges you but you get a reward at the end in the form of a beautiful view, a waterfall or the apex of a mountain. Hiking is amazing. And it’s super easy to get started.

There’s a tonne of hiking clubs you can join, or simply badger a friend to try an easy one with you to begin. All you’ll need is some good shoes, some comfortable and sun-smart clothes and a water bottle. Look up your local Park Authority for recommended trails for your skill level and make a plan this weekend.

Navigation skills

In the world of Google Maps and GPS, most people think navigation skills are a redundant quality. Yet if you think about the number of people who still get lost in the wilderness due to technology fails or a poor signal, it’s clear that knowing how to read a map and use a compass is as important as ever.

If you’re getting into hiking, kayaking or any other outdoor activities, learning how to navigate could mean the difference between getting home safely and being in serious danger. Check out Kathmandu’s Hike Club to find out more about how you can learn these crucial skills — and have fun while you’re doing it.

Kathmandu and We Are Explorers have teamed up to create 11 unique wilderness escapes across Australia and New Zealand. Get the skills you need to create more adventures.