Days 7-12 of #WalkNZ: Raetea Forest – the forest from hell

20181113_1445351If someone offered me £1 million there is no way in hell I would walk through Raetea Forest again.

Those were the words I uttered as I stumbled into the makeshift campsite after spending 12 hours wading through knee-high mud through a forest that was more like a jungle.

Raetea Forest – it’s aim is to desoul you. It turns you wild. Continue reading

Day 1-5 of #WalkNZ: A long walk along a beach

20181106_143557If I had a tinder profile it would no longer say – “Katrina Megget, likes long walks on the beach”.

Five days, 101kms of long endless beach where the sand is the same, the sand dunes are the same and the ocean is the same will do that to you.

And so marked the first five days of #WalkNZ – my epic 3,000km journey along the Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand as I raise awareness of self-doubt and low self-esteem and raise money for mental health. Continue reading

From the Experts: Tips on how to deal with the desire to give up

Ahead of #WalkNZ, when the reality was starting to sink in that I was about to start solo walking 3,000km down the length of New Zealand, I went on Twitter and asked the adventures and experts who had already been there, done that for their advice for when the going got tough and how to deal with the nagging thought that you should give up. This is what they said… (and it can relate to any goal or endeavour your embarking on, not just adventures). Continue reading

Tackling one of Te Araroa’s dangers – river crossings

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Photo credit: Iain Gallagher from Lakes Outdoor Experience

The thought of walking 3,000km down the length of New Zealand is equal parts exciting and scary.

Exciting because it’s epic, it’s a challenge and it’s my home country. Scary because it’s seriously hard core, it’s epic, it’s a challenge and mentally I worry about it and whether I can do it.

I chose New Zealand (or rather New Zealand chose me) because it’s where I was born and grew up. In my head, that sits in my comfort zone. I’ve already done some multi-day walks there and experienced New Zealand’s great outdoors so, in my head, the Te Araroa trail sits in my comfort zone. I’ve got friends and family there, there are no dangerous animals like bears, nasty insects, reptiles or diseases. Right now, my comfort zone is so comfy.

When I think of #WalkNZ in these terms, I’m like yeah baby, I can do this.

And then I think of the river crossings. Continue reading

Facing my fear of kayaking – and not letting it hold me back from achieving my dreams

I’ve always been a little trepidatious when it came to kayaking.

Ever since high school when kayaking in the school swimming pool was a component of PE. Physical education, for a geeky teenager who could barely throw a ball to save herself, wasn’t great at the best of times, but the kayaking class was something else.

There I was sat in a kayak, locked in by the spray deck that covered me from the waist down, learning how to capsize and roll the kayak back up.

It didn’t go very well. Continue reading

Turning disaster and uncertainty into a silver lining

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I’ve realised I’m not that great with the unknown. It can be scary not knowing what’s around the corner or on the other side of that bank of cloud when you’re high up on a mountain.

When faced with the unknown or uncertainty when we’re out on an adventure, we often instantly jump to the worst-case scenario: imagining we might be stuck on a rock face with a 30m drop below, getting lost in the woods and never finding our way home, or falling off the side of a mountain when visibility drops. Continue reading

How I found my outdoor adventure mojo

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I’m actually pretty new to this hill walking and mountain climbing business – although I think I’ve always loved the idea of it but have just always found excuses why it wasn’t for me.

Well that all changed at the end of 2014: that’s when I found my outdoor adventure mojo and new-found passion of walking in the wilderness.

However, it wasn’t the best introduction – rather more like baptism by fire, to be honest.

Continue reading

When the sun sets and you can’t find the path home

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“Seriously Del, we have to hurry up. The sun is setting and I have no idea where the start of the path down Devil’s Kitchen is.”

I left him to bumble about with his gloves and ice axe while I tentatively began a hasty and very steep descent of Glyder Fawr, a 1001m high mountain in Snowdonia, Wales.

The grey cloud that had enveloped the summit earlier had lifted somewhat showing off excellent views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped mountains. But it also showed a brilliant orange orb hovering a little too close to the horizon.

We still had an ankle-breaking descent of about 300m to get to the little lake Llyn Y Cwm and from there we faced a craggy cliff face and vertiginous slope (Devil’s Kitchen – there is probably something in the name there) before finding relative safety in the valley. The only problem was it was starting to get dark and I didn’t know where exactly the path down the cliff face was. Continue reading