The party is going to travel long distances for story reasons, which will take multiple weeks by horse.
Likely paths include stretches of wilderness that are not dangerous to characters of their level, but enough non-combat plot points and encounters that they cannot be reasonably elided. I would also like travel time to feel meaningful, both selfishly (to bound preparation time), as well as narratively (to give a sense of distance).
How can I include some meaningful combat or combat-like experience? This is something the group enjoys and expects to encounter in most sessions.
Context: 5E campaign set in northern Faerûn. Four level 8 PCs without access to travel-augmenting items / spells.