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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- 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…
The Tough Girl Podcast is being sponsored by Inov-8