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Nicola Hardy - Adventurer and outdoor writer -Climbing all 282 of Scotland's Munros and walked 330km

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Nicola Hardy worked in IT in South Yorkshire for a decade before diving into freelance life as an adventurer and outdoor writer in 2019. She began by climbing all 282 of Scotland's Munros and - after her plans to hike 3000km in New Zealand were scuppered by Covid - she continued adventuring closer to home.

In 2020 she walked 330km from her birthplace in Sheffield to her new home in Cockermouth, Cumbria, journeying on foot across three national parks; and in 2021 she climbed all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District over seven long weekends, a quirky book-by-book peak-bagging adventure.

Nic in her own words:

“I'm basically half IT organised spreadsheet nerd and half outdoor adventure loving hiker. I've taken a series of steps over the last 5 years to make my life as outdoorsy and adventurous as possible. I quit my job and sold my house in April 2019 and had 6 months of Scottish hill walking adventure, since then I've dabbled in route writing, gear reviewing, festival speaking, outdoor magazine/website writing whilst spending as much time outdoors around all that as I can.

I also now work a 2-day a week job to keep regular income coming in whilst doing my freelance work and adventuring around that. Flipping the 5-day working week on its head and ensuring my love for the outdoors doesn't become stressful due to the need to focus constantly on monetising it.”

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Show notes

  • Who is Nicola Hardy?

  • Getting into the outdoors 5 years ago

  • Being inspired by her parents to be active

  • Growing up in Sheffield

  • Falling in and out of love with running

  • Reaching her early 30s in a senior management role

  • Living to work

  • Making changes to her life in 2016

  • Planning some walks in the Peak District

  • Spending more time in the outdoors in 2017

  • Wanting to go higher, further and to really challenge herself

  • Making a commitment to spending time outdoors

  • Deciding to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro and getting a team together

  • Having 100 followers on Instagram

  • Meeting her partner James though an IG meet up

  • Peak Bagging and getting to explore more of the Lake District

  • Enjoying the planning of routes

  • Wanting to do more but being held back by work commitments

  • Making big changes to her life

  • Selling her house and quitting her job

  • Wanting to make a full time living from Adventure

  • How she approached the first few months

  • Planning to hike all 282 munros in Scotland in a 6 months period

  • Wanting to try a thru-hike

  • Not looking after herself when it came to nutrition

  • Wanting to have a healthy work life balance

  • Going tunnel vision on a task

  • Wanting to leave a legacy and to show people they can make brave choices

  • Connecting with adventurers through instagram

  • Getting into volunteering

  • Walking home 2020

  • Settling in the Lake District

  • 2020 and working with Komoot

  • Working 2 days per week and having 5 days off to adventure

  • Creating a life that works for her

  • Talking through the planning process of turning an idea into reality

  • Starting with maps and picking something which is a bit quirky

  • Using public transport to get around all the Wainwrights in the Lake District.

  • Nutrient and current diet

  • Making sure to fuel adequately during hikes

  • Maintaining fitness and what training looks like

  • Magical moments out in the mountains

  • Getting nervous about parking

  • Working as an ambassador for Inov-8

  • Inov-8 creating gear for the fast and light, hiker market

  • Super light hiking boot - ROCFLY G 390 - World’s first hiking boot with Graphene foam. 390g

  • My next challenge…

  • Advice and top tips for other women who want to get into the mountains

  • The benefits of spending time with other people who have more experience

  • Trying new things and figuring out what you enjoy

  • Dealing with the rain in the mountains and reframing it

  • Finding the one sport that you love

  • Finding ways to get through the tough times

  • Connect with Nic on the Socials

  • Future plans for 2022…


Social Media

Instagram @adventurer.nic

Twitter @adventurernic

Recent adventures are all catalogued in a series of komoot 'Collections' here -


The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored by Inov-8


Instagram: @inov_8


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