top of page

Nalini Ravindranath - Outdoor Novice & Mistake Maker. Adventure Seeker. Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker

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.

Nalini in her own words:

“I’m a grants manager at a nonprofit that focuses on youth development by day and an outdoor enthusiast by weekend. Whether I’m tending to my balcony garden, walking in parks in my hometown of the Washington, D.C. area, hiking iconic trails in National Parks, or carrying everything I need for a week or six-month long backpacking trip, I love spending time in the outdoors (and sharing stories of everything that goes wrong during my adventures).

  • Backpacking. It’s nothing short of a gift to have time to be in your head, carry no other worry than the miles ahead for the day and feel the freedom that comes with with carrying everything you need in a pack.

  • Hiking. The remarkable view from the summit of a mountain feels different when your body’s efforts get you to the top.

  • Walking. Nothing makes me feel more connected to all the beauty and possibility of nature than a walk in a park close to home.”

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.

The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out


Listen to Nalini Now!

Click here if you can't see the link below.


Show notes

  • Growing up in DC Area

  • Not growing up going to green spaces

  • Being the daughter of immigrants

  • Not having time to explore the outdoors

  • Getting into the outdoors in 2014

  • Going through tough times

  • Watching a documentary on the Appalachian Trail

  • Not seeing herself in the traditional narrative of what’s seen as outdoorsy

  • Wanting to change the narrative of what it means to be in the outdoors

  • Starting the blog and instagram account - Hiking Misadventures

  • Spending time with her mum in the garden

  • Her earliest memories

  • Being a quiet child

  • Looking after her mum while she had cancer

  • How her parents fled Sir Lanka

  • Deciding to hike the Appalachian Trail

  • Always following a road map and needing to change something

  • Not liking new things

  • Deciding to go solo on the hike

  • Sleeping in the shelter for the first time

  • Focusing on the next step, the next mile and the next day

  • Dealing with her feelings of fear

  • The planning and preparation time

  • The privilege of being able to do a long distance hike

  • Being a good planner

  • Dealing with imposter syndrome

  • Learning to believe in herself

  • The challenge of being 4’9 tall

  • How her body needed to adjust to the trail

  • Getting to the summit of Mt. Katahdin

  • How the Appalachian Trail changed her and helped her to believe in herself

  • How her priorities changed

  • Wanting to share more of her story and starting her next blog in 2018

  • How the Appalachian Trail was also an isolating time for her

  • Connecting with an amazing community online

  • What adventure means to Nalini

  • Feeling isolated and dealing with those feelings while on the AT

  • Racism on the Appalachian Trail and not feeling safe

  • Taking time off and using her support networks off the trail

  • Life after the trail and not wanting to make work her entire life

  • The Wonderland Trail (93 miles)

  • Applying to be a thru hiking ambassador

  • Being rescued from the trail

  • Making the right decision even though it was tough to make

  • Ending the hike early

  • Dealing with feelings of shame

  • How her mum is doing

  • Advice for other women who want to spend more time in the outdoors

  • Words to encourage you to try new things


Social Media


Feeling inspired week after week?

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode

  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!

  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love.

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate US$5 a month to help fund the runnings costs. Thank you.

Become my Patron


bottom of page