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Sarah Williams - Planning and Preparation for thru hiking the 3,000 km Te Araroa Trail, New Zealand.

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.

Today, I'm excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and preparation for my upcoming adventure on the 3,000km Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. I recorded this episode, hours before I headed down to London to catch my flight to first Korea and then on to Aukland, New Zealand.

In this podcast, I'll take you through the meticulous planning and preparation that goes into making these epic adventures come to life. From the nitty-gritty details on my to-do list to managing setbacks and equipment challenges.

I share the story behind my sponsorship with ZOLEO and the invaluable benefits I've gained from their products. I'll also break down my approach to planning big adventures. Starting by dividing it down into the mental, physical, logistical, and practical aspects, offering insights that hopefully will add value as you plan your adventures.

Throughout this episode, I'll candidly share the intricacies and hurdles I've encountered and why I take full responsibly for all my decision, even when those decision put me under huge amounts of pressure/stress to deliver.

So, if you're curious about what goes into planning an adventure as massive as the Te Araroa Trail while running a business and keeping that business going while travelling. Then this podcast is a must-listen!

Join me on my journey as I navigate the world of planning, preparation, and ultimately, adventure.

Follow my Te Araroa Challenge on Instagram @toughgirlchallenges. I’ll be sharing daily updates on the main page and instagram stories.

A massive thank you to ZOLEO for sponsoring the challenge #ChallengeWithZOLEO


This episode is sponsored by ZOLEO. #ChallengeWithZOLEO

ZOLEO connects with your phone to provide seamless global messaging that follows you in and out of mobile network coverage — plus added safety features you can count on worldwide including industry-leading SOS alerting features. 24/7 monitoring and 24/7 access to non-emergency medical advice, check-in and weather forecasts. ZOLEO offers unmatched peace of mind for you and for everyone waiting at home.

Stay connected and safe while doing what you love.


Listen Now!

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


Show notes

  • Planning and preparation episode for the Te Araroa hike

  • 10.50pm the day before heading down to London

  • Setting the scene - Working from my bed ‘aka my office’

  • Why I’m not complaining - I’m just sharing the challenges and loving my life

  • Blessed, lucky and very privileged

  • 9th year of the Tough Girl Podcast in 2025

  • Why I’m grateful and full of gratitude - This is what I dreamed about

  • Do I complain all the time? Vlog 5/17 Camino Frances

  • Sharing the realities of what it is like while on challenges

  • Why can I do so many challenges in a year?

  • Planing, planning, planning and more planning

  • Pitching for work in 2024/2025

  • Having to look far ahead

  • Planning to go to New Zealand since April/May time

  • Future adventures and challenges need to be planned quite far in advance

  • The work that goes on behind the scenes

  • Working super far ahead to ensure Tough Girl Podcast episodes go live every week

  • Being home in March and then away on the 1st April

  • National Outdoor Expo 23rd - 24th March

  • Me putting pressure on myself

  • These are my choices

  • Wanting to walk the main 7 camino’s by the end of 2025

  • Doing the Camino Primitivo as a training hike

  • Total Stats from the hike

  • I should have worked out the average time on feet

  • Planning to do list and using my apple notes while hiking

  • Very specific to do list and really breaking it down into small manageable points

  • Trying to reduce the overwhelm

  • Setbacks and challenges over the past 23 days

  • Having a detailed daily plan of what needs to be done e.g. 4 days to edit 16 days worth of vlogs into 7 vlogs and for them to be uploaded to Youtube.

  • Broken laptop and needing to send it off to be repaired - there were tears

  • Editing and getting caught up with the vlogs

  • Getting my laptop back up and running and setting everything up again from scratch

  • Editing - loving the creative process - the stress comes from not having the time to dedicate to it

  • When good enough is good enough

  • Why I edit the TGP how I edit them.

  • Why my priority is my guest and their story.

  • Having challenging conversations and navigating through that

  • Thinking about how to approach these topics, what’s the best way to support the guests

  • The challenges of batch interviewing and having multiple interviews per day

  • Building work being done and not being able to record during the day

  • Earning money and taking a one day job in Manchester with OfftoWork and the opportunity cost of earning money and not having time to do my podcast/editing work

  • Taking responsibility for my choices

  • What it means being a sponsored hike. Not all my costs are going to be covered.

  • First world problems

  • How did the ZOLEO sponsorship come about?

  • Starting to use ZOLEO in April 2023

  • The benefits I’ve found

  • Needing to figure out a way to attach the ZOLEO to my pack when running

  • Reaching out to ZOLEO for sponsorship, putting a pitch together and having a meeting.

  • New Zealand - Land Safety Code

  • Carrying emergency food - apricots and walnuts

  • The hiking community and the amazing supportive people out there

  • Sharon Evans @freewheelingkiwi

  • Breaking down the planning into 3 parts; mental, physical, logistical & practical

  • Starting to plan during the covid years

  • How I start off my research and using apple notes

  • Facebook: Te Araroa Trail: Women's Group

  • Working backwards, dates, timeframe, flights accommodation, getting to the start line and getting home from the finish line,

  • Having a plan B, C, D

  • Discover how to get anywhere

  • Going from Auckland to the top of the North Island

  • Not being able to plan for everything

  • Using for accommodation - cheapest in the best location for me

  • Insurance

  • Visa for New Zealand - British Citizens don’t need a visa - they get a 6 month visa waiver

  • Having another start date for the South Island

  • Booking the ferry to the South Island

  • Why sometimes you can’t just go with the flow

  • Gear - Upgrading my tent from a Terra Nova Laser 2 person tent to MSR 2 person tent (900g) the red palace.

  • Can I get lighter in my gear? Maybe change my backpack next year

  • Clothes and trainers provided by Inov-8

  • Get a 15% discount - using this link

  • The challenges with the waterproof trousers

  • Food boxes? Why I don’t do them

  • Facebook groups and why I don’t like them in relation to challenges

  • Wanting to figure out stuff for myself

  • Is it adding value - no - then step away

  • Mental side of planning for a challenge and why I haven’t done a huge amount this time

  • The tools in my tool kit

  • Why the TA is in my comfort zone (which doesn’t mean it’s not going to be tough or hard)

  • Feeling mentally prepared and ready but thinking I could have done more

  • Am I feeling physical ready for the challenge - yes and no….

  • Being joined by Sara Crosland for a walk

  • Wishing I had longer to train and prepare, but doing the best I could do with the time available.

  • Working with my PT - Franco @HumalForces

  • Getting my hiker legs back after 7/10 days and being able to push bigger miles towards the end of the trip

  • My weight and being very lean at the moment (which I like, but need to be aware of especially when taking on a big physical challenge like this)

  • Having a vision board on my laptop and phone (created in

  • Flight on Sunday, Korea for 3/4 days, before flying to Auckland.

  • You can follow along on Instagram @toughgirlchallenges

  • Should I share my ZOLEO phone number and e-mail so people can contact me?

  • Having tomorrow morning to do the final bits of work

  • How to reach out - send me an e-mail or send me a DM via Instagram

  • Thank you to ZOLEO for sponsoring the podcast and the Te Araroa Challenge.


Previous Challenge Solo Episodes


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