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Celebrating National #GetOutsideDay

Nikwax user Carys Rees, aka @this.girlwalks, loves maps and has been a fan of Ordnance Survey (OS) for as long as she can remember, so you can imagine how thrilled she was to be brought on board by them as an OS Champion! This year, Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales announced a new partnership to emphasise the importance of navigation skills and having the right equipment when enjoying days out in the hills, mountains, and countryside. As a member of the
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, this partnership is a particularly exciting one for Carys. Below, she tells us a little about herself, and shares her recent #GetOutsideDay interview with OS…

I have been lucky enough to have spent a lifetime hiking through the rolling hills of Wales and while there are more epic peaks to conquer, I feel most at home in the Bannau Brycheiniog. My parents always encouraged me to spend time outdoors. Growing up, my sister and I would often be found sitting up in some tree or riding our bikes. I did my Duke of Edinburgh in secondary school and still to this day, my
76-year-old father comes out with me on our favourite hike around Llyn y Fan – he’s actually quicker than me on those inclines!

Wales is a place of myth and legends, with dragons living in our hills and ladies in our lakes. I absolutely adore that there is a magical story for almost every area of the national park. Sometimes I feel more at home outdoors than I do under my own roof, and I feel a real longing for it when I’ve been away for too long. However, lets be honest, the weather isn’t always the best and so I have been using Nikwax all of my adult life to take care of my kit – one of my coats is over 20 years old and is still waterproof thanks to Nikwax! Take care of your kit and it will take care of you.

Spending time outdoors has always been incredibly important to me and I’m a huge advocate of getting out in the fresh air. I hike, wild swim, camp and paddleboard, but sometimes just going for a walk in nature has massive benefits. There have been studies which demonstrate that spending time outdoors can not only help with depression and anxiety, but also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and asthma. 

This year’s National #GetOutsideDay lands on Sunday 24th September so I thought I would speak to Helen from OS to find out what it’s all about!

What is Get Outside Day and why did OS set it up?
National #GetOutside Day is a celebration of the great outdoors: a day to come together and showcase that people of all ages, background and abilities can get outside. ​

It’s a day for the industry to join forces; providing inspiration for getting outside and showcasing that everyone can enjoy outdoor activities, especially those that struggle through lack of connection, access or skills. We believe the outdoors should be accessible to all.

We (Ordnance Survey) set it up to help get the nation outside and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits the outdoors has to offer. It’s tied to our mission “to encourage more people to get outside more often”, which continues to sit at the heart of what we do today.

When did it launch and how has it grown over the years?
​National #GetOutside Day was launched in 2017 and has grown to become a well-known autumn campaign that sees the outdoor industry come together with one clear goal. Over the years, more organisations have got involved to support the campaign – and not just those in the outdoor industry! National #GetOutside day has become an unmissable event in many people’s calendars and a chance to rally up their nearest and dearest for a great day out.

Why is it important to spend time outdoors? 
Getting a regular dose of fresh air does wonders for our physical, social and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors lowers stress levels, improves mental health, and increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. A recent report* found that walking just 5,000 steps a day can bring noticeable changes to our physical health and improve life expectancy. Outdoor activities also connect people socially and help form lasting memories and friendships.

Where can people can find inspiration of things to do on Get Outside Day?
Our #GetOutside website has a huge bank of outdoor articles to help people plan their next adventure. Our activity guides provide ideas and inspiration on what to do and where to go as well as information to help people brush up on their outdoor skills, safety and navigation.

Do you have any ambassadors / celebrities taking part?
Our OS Champions continue to be our biggest advocates of the great outdoors. They come from all walks of life and have an unrivalled passion for the outdoors. We have paddleboarders, horse riders, wild campers, dog walkers, family adventurers and more! They’ll be sharing their precious places and outdoor activities for others to enjoy too.  

For more information on National #GetOutside Day, visit os.uk/getoutsideday

For more information on Nikwax aftercare products, visit nikwax.com

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66440424

 

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The Bushcraft Show 2023

Everybody loves an outdoor adventure, and there is nothing better than learning the skills to become a true survivalist. Maybe you want to give archery a go or discover more about foraging, or perhaps you’d like to learn about native and common tree species on a guided walk? There is truly something for everyone at The Bushcraft Show.

Held at Stanford Hall in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, the show spans 3 days in a beautiful location that is only occasionally open to the public. For an unforgettable experience, you can camp in woodland or in a family-friendly open space, and there is also a caravan park area. Kids under 7 go free, whilst kids under 14 camp for free, and the event is dog-friendly too!

Enjoy a toasty campfire after a day spent axe-throwing, zorbing, weaving, wood carving, wild swimming, or enjoying many of the other exciting activities available on-site. There are plenty of activities for children within the woodland Kids Zone and you can relax within the natural surroundings on candlelit woodland walk.

At the event you have the chance to meet the author of the SAS survival handbook, John Lofty Wiseman, who will be telling many of his survival stories, plus, Ray Mears will be in attendance, talking about his bushcraft career and signing copies of his latest book!

For information on the event and ticket prices, click here

In collaboration with The Bushcraft Show, we have an exciting competition with 2 x adult weekend tickets, with woodland camping, up for grabs for one lucky winner! The winner will also receive a Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit – perfect for keeping your wet weather gear in peak condition. Plus, 5 runners up will each receive a Nikwax Outdoor Complete Protection Kit.

For your chance to win one of these prizes, enter the competition now by clicking HERE

 

 

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Iwan Thomas prepares for ultra-marathon

 

We are excited to announce Nikwax’s sponsorship of a moving video following athlete Iwan Thomas MBE, preparing for his first ultra-marathon. Iwan holds the current UK 400m sprint record with a run time of 44.36 seconds.

Covering 100 miles, which is the the equivalent of 400 x 400m races, Iwan completed the gruelling ‘Centurion Running South Downs Way 100’ race during last summer’s heatwave, raising around £25,000 for Group B Strep Support, the world’s leading charity working to eradicate Group B Strep infection in babies. See if you can spot our Nikwax products in the video here…

 

Earlier this year, Iwan also participated in series 4 of the hit Channel 4 show Celebrity Hunted, which follows a group of celebrity contestants on the run for 14 days. Iwan successfully avoided capture by the Hunters – a team of elite athletes, police and intelligence personnel – and was crowned the show’s winner after a gruelling two weeks.

Did you know Nikwax Sweatproofing products will clean and condition your next-to-skin clothing and footwear without compromising its performance? They are the must-have products for all budding ultra-marathon runners! Next-to-skin clothing works brilliantly to control sweat and regulate body temperature, however, did you know household detergents and conditioners can leave behind residues on the fabric that impair their ability to evaporate sweat? This causes them to retain moisture. Added to this, body oils and bacteria can build up over time, so they start to smell. Regular household detergents mask the smell rather than removing it, so as soon as you start to use your base layers again, the smell returns very quickly.

Nikwax’s Sweatproofing wash-in cleaners, BaseWash® and Wool Wash, gently clean, remove embedded odours and prevent the build-up of odour-causing bacteria. They also accelerate the ability of the fabric to dry, to help regulate your body temperature when sweating.

Our wash-in conditioner, BaseFresh® can be used in place of standard fabric softener in a washing machine. It deodorises and improves wicking, keeping your base layers smelling fresher for longer.

Sandal & Sports Shoe Wash is great for cleaning and freshening all non-waterproof footwear – from sandals and sports shoes, to insoles and footbeds.

 

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Become a #PlogForPlastic Partner!

Nikwax have launched an exciting new initiative to remove plastic from the outdoor environment. The Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign encourages people to remove plastic and other litter from our outdoor spaces by litter collecting while running or walking.

As an industry of outdoor enthusiasts, we are in a unique position to address the issue of plastic pollution through proactive collaboration. We’ve already got some great outdoor brands signed up to #PlogForPlastic, but we’re asking yourselves as sellers and distributors of Nikwax to join the #PlogForPlastic initiative and help to clean up your favourite local outdoor spaces.

Join us today and become a #PlogForPlastic Partner and we’ll support your event by:

  • Promoting your event on plogforplastic.com
  • Promoting your event on the Nikwax Facebook page
  • Providing support materials to help you promote your event
  • Sending you biodegradable rubbish collection bags
  • Sending you Nikwax BaseFresh® for participants, as a thank you for taking part.

Your Guide to running a #PlogForPlastic event:
Organising your own #PlogForPlastic event is easy, anyone can do it – you can make a real difference. All you need is:

  • An outdoor space that needs clearing of litter
  • One free hour
  • A willing volunteer to organise and lead your #PlogForPlastic event.

…And Nikwax are here to help support your event!

Click here for the How to run a #PlogForPlastic event guide.

If you would like to host a #PlogForPlastic event or series of events please contact Nikwax Head of PR, Tom Willox on +44 (0) 1892 786 464 or Email: tom.willox@nikwax.co.uk.

 

 

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#PlogForPlastic with Nikwax and help tackle plastic pollution!

At the recent OutDoor by ISPO show in Munich, Nikwax® was excited to announce a new campaign to help tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Nikwax has teamed up with Swedish trail runner, Erik Ahlström, to launch #PlogForPlastic.

Erik Ahlström is the founder of a concept called Plogging – it simply means litter picking whilst jogging! The term Plogging combines `jogging` with `plocka upp` – Swedish for `pick up`. An activity anyone can get involved with, Plogging is suitable for all ages and fitness abilities. The movement has picked up in other countries, including the US, over the last couple of years and will benefit both participants and the environment around them.

Why should you care about plastic pollution?
It is an uncomfortable truth that plastic pollution is harming our planet’s most sensitive and vital ecosystems. From the deepest oceans to inland habitats and waterways, the volume of plastic accumulation in our natural world is causing long-term damage to natural habitats and wildlife. It makes our enjoyment of the great outdoors harder, because we are ultimately responsible for the decline in threatened species and the destruction of such valuable habitats.

The release of plastic into the environment is unnecessary and unless we take action, we will not have the green outdoors to step into and enjoy, that we have had for so many years.

So, what is the Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign and how can you get involved?
It is easy to join in on our campaign! Nikwax will be hosting a series of Plogging events in parks across the UK and Europe this summer. Our aim is to encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to step outdoors and be active whilst helping us clean up the environment in the process. Just kit yourself out in your running gear and bring a pair of gloves to litter pick! The reward, aside from keeping fit, is seeing the green space where you live turned back to a healthy environment that everybody can enjoy. Now that is good for body and soul!

That is not all… If you want to set up your own Plogging event then we can help you do so! Perhaps you are part of a running club and you want to give your runners a new challenge? Do you just want to bring members of your community together for a day? Let us know and we will send you a #PlogForPlastic starter kit! The kit includes information on how to organise your own plog, as well as posters, flyers and samples. We will also promote your own #PlogForPlastic via our website and social media – to help you get coverage and participants for your event!

The Nikwax #PlogForPlastic event information is available HERE.

What will benefit from your #PlogForPlastic?
First and foremost, the local green space where you choose to Plog! It will return to a natural state, with no plastic to damage the environment there. Every Plog undertaken will lead to a greater amount of areas freed up from plastic pollution – a great benefit!

Alongside this, every piece of plastic collected during our campaign will count towards a project run by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). “Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea” has been set up with a focus to clear plastic waste from 3,000km of natural habitat within the next two years. Nikwax has supported EOCA for over 12 years and we are delighted to think that our campaign could help them achieve their target.

Why has Nikwax decided to #PlogForPlastic?
Nikwax has always been responsible when it comes to using plastic to deliver its Sweatproofing and Waterproofing aftercare. We have always ensured that our bottles are fully recyclable. In January 2019, we announced that by the end of 2020, one hundred percent of our bottles will be made from post-consumer recycled plastic.

We are committed to raising awareness of the hazard caused by plastic pollution and we want to further our goal of taking plastic out of the natural environment. What better way to do this, by combining an activity that encourages everyone to get outdoors and be healthy and active, whilst cleaning up the green space around them?

Tips for you to #PlogForPlastic!
If you cannot make any of the Nikwax events, there are many ways you can undertake a Plog.

  • Not much of a runner? You can #PlogForPlastic whilst out on a nice walk – take an early morning stroll in some woodland, or along a beach, and see what you can collect whilst there.
  • Want to keep the kids busy during summer holidays? Set them a challenge of their own Plog and see who can collect the most within an hour. Ensure they have protective gloves on and keep a watchful eye over them though, to make sure they don’t pick up anything which could hurt them, such as glass.
  • Turn your normal dog walk in to a dog jog and combine your everyday activity into one where you not only keep your pet happy and healthy, but you are keeping your environment tidy too.
  • Dress appropriately! Jogging can be tiring but when you are plogging you are turning your fitness into a different exercise routine, what with bending down to pick up litter. You want some comfortable, breathable base layers that will wick away sweat whilst you Plog and keep your body temperature regulated. Give your base layers some care first by using Nikwax BaseFresh® in your laundry – the formula ensures any nasty body odours are removed from your gear, keeping you smelling fresh whilst plogging.

Tell us about your #PlogForPlastic! We want to hear about any plogging event you participate in – we can share these stories and encourage others to get up and out to help clear up the environment.

For all things #PlogForPlastic, check out our site HERE

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Be responsible during festival season

This month festival season kicks off across the UK and abroad. Over the coming months, hundreds of thousands of music fans will descend onto temporary campsites and pitch themselves up for a long weekend of musical highlights.

A lot of them will take with them a cheap, pop up tent, and once the festival is over, many of them will also head home a lot lighter. “Leaving your tent is not a donation – if you are going to a festival take it home or drop it off at a donation point”, says Matt Wedge, Director and Trustee of Festival Waste Reclamation and Distribution (FWRD) – a charity set up to reduce the amount of perfectly usable items that get sent to landfill every year from festivals in the UK.

Over the last couple of years, he says a message has somehow got through to festival goers that it’s ok to abandon your tent because someone from a charity will salvage it and pass it onto someone in need: a refugee camp, the Scouts Association or a local activity centre.

We have never said that. If you want your tent to be donated – pack it up and take it to a charity shop yourself. Leaving tents is not a good thing to do. We have never been able to collect every tent – the majority will go to landfill.

Last summer, he and his volunteers collected around 3,000 tents and the same number of sleeping bags leftover at festivals. Their biggest benefactor is Help Refugees. He thinks they have saved the charity around £20,000 over the years thanks to their donations.

FWRD started in 2015, when a small group of seasoned festival goers-turned-festival litter pickers decided something had to be done about the mountains of perfectly fine leftover equipment and gear at every festival they worked at.

Matt says it’s a reality that festival goers will buy cheap tents for single use, admitting they can’t expect everyone to pay for expensive tents and reuse them year after year. But he doesn’t understand why they have to abandon them: “It’s a lot of unnecessary work for volunteers because people can’t be bothered to put their tent down. Help Refugees often set up very visible donation points in festival campsites so that people see it.

According to Powerful Thinking, UK festivals produce 23,500 tonnes of rubbish each year, two-thirds of which is sent to landfill.

Work is being done to try and rectify the issue. Festival Vision 2025, is a Pledge which more than 70 UK events, including Reading and Leeds, V Festival, and Download have signed up to. As part of this promise, festivals are looking at meeting set goals when it comes to recycling rates, sourcing sustainable food, and encouraging festival-goers to share lifts or arrive using public transport.

More recently Matt and his team have started working with crafters to give a new lease of life to what’s leftover and unsalvageable. “A lot of artists want waste tent fabric. There’s a big network of groups who want items like this to do crafting with children. They are all about using things which would go to waste – stuff that’s hard to pass on anywhere else.” The only issue holding them back is storage. “Hopefully we will be able to store more in the future and be able to hand it out to more groups.” 

What is left over is very dependent on the festival, but most of the time we are only able to deal with about half of it. Some of the smaller, newer festivals are much better at encouraging sustainability. Shambala for example, Latitude and Green Man: they tend to attract a more mature, family crowd.

Despite all the publicity sustainability and single use plastic is getting at the moment, he says it’s surprising they’re not really seeing an improvement in reality: “Not in the last few years. People seem to be waking up to the problem of plastic, but sometimes people don’t associate tents with plastic. There’s this misconception that you can leave your stuff because it will get collected and taken to a charity. And people use this as an excuse. We never tell people to leave their tents and no festival encourages it either.

A couple of future ideas he and the charity are working on include a rental scheme at festivals. Instead of bringing brand new throwaway kit to each festival, you would instead rent it out for the weekend and only get your deposit back once it was returned in a good state. They also want to try to educate people whilst they’re at festivals about sustainability and waste through recycling games.

There is a lot of potential at festivals, they are filled with the right crowd of people, ready to talk. Festivals could be doing a lot of good in the World but they are marred by this sustainability issue.

 

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DoMoreWithNikwax – Part 3!

As you may know, this summer we undertook a challenge to #DoMoreWithNikwax, where we teamed up with 3 top athletes and got them to cycle / hike / camp in 10 countries across Europe in just 21 days! Markus Stitz was our first challenger and then Fredrika Ek took over for part two. Finally it was the turn of Jenny Tough to take the helm of the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge. Jenny is an endurance athlete who grew up in Canada but now lives in Scotland, and adventure is in her blood. Currently her focus is on running solo over a mountain range in every continent – that is quite some project to take on!

Read on for Jenny’s week and be inspired to #DoMoreWithNikwax

Day 15: Jenny Tough takes over from Fredrika Ek in Gothenburg, Sweden! Sweden is not just about ABBA – if you have never been then there is plenty to explore. Gothenburg is the largest non-capital in the Nordic countries for one! There is plenty to do no matter what the season in Sweden – rock climbing in the Archipelago, walking in local parks, ice skating in winter…The Swedes love getting outdoors at all times and the scenery is inspiring throughout the year.

But there was no hanging around for Jenny – she had to make her way into Denmark, so the race for her was on!

372km later and Jenny arrived in Vordlingborg, Denmark. That was a pretty good start to the cycling for just day one and for somebody that does not truly consider themselves a cyclist!

Day 16: Another 300km took Jenny from Denmark over into Germany – to Tangermünde on the Elbe river, which runs from the Czech Republic, through Germany and all the way to the North Sea!

Day 17: Today’s ride from Tangermünde was one that was wrought with potential delays as Jenny seemed to encounter road repair season in Germany. What with that and the hot sun beating down, the cycle was a challenge!

In hot conditions you need your gear to perform for you and if you are someone who likes to cycle, or do any kind of energetic activity on a very regular basis, then you need to know your next-to-skin clothing will keep you cool and definitely not make you smell! Nikwax BaseWash is the aftercare we recommend for washing all technical base layers. It is far kinder than normal detergent – which can leave a water-attracting residue on fabrics and basically prevent the wicking capabilities from working, plus it does not fully remove odours but just masks them with scent. This means you would sweat when being active, but your garment would not dry quickly enough, so you end up smelling and feeling damp! BaseWash effectively removes odours from base layers and next-to-skin clothing, helping to prevent bacterial build-up. Also, it softens your base layers so they are always comfortable, whilst its specialist formula enhances the drying capabilities – meaning the fabric will wick away sweat and help regulate your temperature. Perfect if being active in warm conditions like Jenny was doing!

250km later leads Jenny to Triptis, Germany. Day 3 was another successful day!

Day 18: Jenny’s 4th day of the challenge and it was time to head south, from Triptis down through Schmidmühlen in the Bavarian region of Germany. The rolling hills began forming a backdrop to the cycle route and we knew that the Alps were not far away. The focus today was to make it to the destination for the hiking element of the challenge and she did it! Jenny pedalled a distance of over 200km, keeping up the power despite the summer sunshine.

Day 19: So, this was the last hiking element for the #DoMoreWithNikwax summer challenge! This was the day that Jenny Tough would climb Germany’s highest mountain peak – Zugspitze!

Standing 2,963 metres above sea level, Zugspitze houses three glaciers, as well as Germany’s highest ski resort. So if you fancy some winter snow sports then perhaps this is the location for you? Even if skiing does not call to you, then the view on its own may be enough to entice you to don some walking boots. From the top of the Zugspitze you can see across more than 400 mountain peaks. Now that would make for some amazing photographs!

The weather was in our favour – blue sky and sun – making the mountainous landscape full of colours and shadows. The summit was reached and what an accomplishment to achieve.

Jenny summed it all up quite nicely:
Crawling up the ridge of Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany, was one of those mountain moments that leaves you breathless (and out of breath from that final scramble!). I sat down and took my time to absorb the insane view, and thought about how lucky I am to be able to do these things – to have the health that carries me to the top of a mountain, the freedom to travel the planet, and access to these incredible outdoor spaces that sometimes seem to be disappearing before our eyes. Not everyone on the planet has all those three things, and I know I’m incredibly lucky, and also responsible for looking after our wild places. I want everyone to get outside and do more, and I hope that generations to come are still able to do that. Everybody needs a good mountain moment in their life!”

That night was spent sleeping under the stars – something we all need to experience at least once in our lives! Jenny was kept toasty warm in her Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD) filled sleeping bag. NHD is the PFC-free down fill that gives you 50x more water repellency for your down items compared to standard down, ensuring you stay warm and dry even in extreme cold conditions.

Day 20: Back on the bike to cycle from Lake Eibsee (by Zugspitze) north. In just 2 days Jenny would be ending her mammoth challenge in Rotterdam, so it was time to get pedal power underway. Another 200+ km later and she reached Ulm, Germany.

Day 21: The penultimate day of #DoMoreWithNikwax and Jenny got some scenic views as she cycled through vineyards, making her way further north. The destination was Mannheim, a city situated between the rivers Rhine and Neckar. Mannheim is a creative and cultural location, but it also contains a magical nature reserve with its own forest so you can easily step away from city culture and unwind amongst nature. The best of both worlds, some could say! Jenny finished the day with 216km clocked up.

Day 22: So this was it, the last day for Jenny where she leaves Germany and her week’s adventures behind to return to Rotterdam, ready to travel back to the UK. The week has been filled with sunshine, thunderstorms, an array of landscapes, the highest peak in Germany and fantastic memories created. Jenny cycled 1,800km and hiked 2,963 metres and ended the challenge on a high.

Whatever activities you do we just want to encourage and inspire you to keep getting outdoors. Nikwax’s full aftercare range can protect you in all weather, so you can just keep enjoying being outside. There is so much to experience out there!

Also, we urge people to take a moment to learn about EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association), who we support wholeheartedly. They donate thousands each year towards protecting and conserving amazing natural habitat all across the world. We don’t want to lose the great outdoors, so perhaps you can help and pledge your support to EOCA here.

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#DoMoreWithNikwax – First Week of the Challenge

Our mission this summer is to inspire you and others to get up, get outside and get active – to enjoy the great outdoors, whilst also looking to preserve the natural environment that we all love.

By teaming up with 3 key athletes, the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge is well underway, with the combined total of activities to be: cycle 7,000km, hike 7,000m and camp in 10 countries!

Nikwax are also supporting the fantastic work of EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) with our campaign, because without their efforts, we would have lost some beautiful and endangered natural habitats across the world. EOCA have recently reached success with their project to plant 2 million trees – a way they chose to celebrate being 10 years old and having given €2 million to conservation projects!  Such work can make a big difference and we will continue to support EOCA, but they could use your support too. You can help make a difference by pledging to EOCA’s conservation efforts HERE.

Read on to hear how the first leg of our challenge went and let it entice you to get out on your bike, with your tent, or just on foot this summer – you have every reason to Do More!

Week 1 with Markus Stitz, the record-holder as the first person to ride a backpacking single speed bike around the world!

Day 1
We commenced Markus’ challenge in Dover, south England at the break of dawn, with Markus aiming to complete a trip all the way to Leicester – which is no mean feat! After stopping at the headquarters of Nikwax in East Sussex, to meet CEO Nick Brown and be cheered on by the Nikwax team, Markus carried on his way. After covering 351.5km and some mega climbs along the way, he reached Leicester in the East Midlands.

Markus-211

Day 2
100km in and with a quick break in Derbyshire, England, Markus continued on route to his destination of the day – Gretna Green, Scotland. Within just a day and a half, Markus was already over the 500km distance – just awe-inspiring. As evening set in, Markus reached Gretna Green with 400km under his belt for day two. That was a fantastic 750km in total since setting off at 4.30am the previous day!

Day 3
Staying in Scotland, Markus headed off on his bike again towards Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Scotland is known for having quite variable weather, so should you ever decide to try cycling around here then we recommend you ensure your kit is up to scratch. Cycling can be a warming activity to say the least, so you would want base layers that will regulate your body temperature to prevent you from either overheating from sweat, or feeling too cold. Nikwax BaseFresh is the Nikwax aftercare product we would recommend for conditioning your base layers – it’s a high performance deodorising conditioner for all active sports clothing that you just use in your normal wash. BaseFresh will improve the wicking properties of your base layers, so that the sweat spreads and dries quickly. Its formula keeps nasty bacteria at bay, keeping you smelling fresh whilst you put power to the pedal!

Day 3 Markus first pic

Day 3 finished with an overall cycling distance of 1,042km – tremendous! You may not wish to cycle quite as far as Markus, but think what you could achieve locally to where you live and how invigorated you would feel from the activity!

Day 4
In the town of Fort William, Scotland, it was time to take a break from cycling and instead put on the hiking boots. However, it was not just any ordinary hike across hillsides that was the plan for the day. No, Markus and the team were to hike up to the summit of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles, standing at 1,345 metres above sea level.

Markus-50_A

Sturdy, comfortable and supportive walking boots are a must when undertaking a hike such as this, and with weather up a mountain often turning wet, then ideally your footwear would be waterproof and breathable. Such outdoor footwear can be protected with the Nikwax footwear aftercare range, to ensure optimum performance that lets you just keep on walking and enjoying the view rather than worrying about your feet!

At the summit of Ben Nevis the mist had rolled in and unfortunately the view was obscured, but it did not dampen the spirits with knowing that the top had been reached. Another big outdoor achievement to be proud of and the walk was exhilarating and fun.

Markus-64_A

Day 5
It was time to cycle south east across Scotland, passing by Edinburgh and heading towards the coast of Northumbria. To finish off his part of the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge, Markus cycled on to Hull, East Yorkshire. Markus’ entire challenge ended with him cycling a total of 1,675km and hiking 1,345m, which was fantastic. As well as a bit of fun taking part in the Nikwax floating sleeping bag – a means to demonstrate the fantastic power of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, the water resistant down fill which provides great insulation for down filled items such as sleeping bags or down jackets!

The first stage of our summer challenge was complete. It was then time for the team to take the ferry over to Rotterdam, Netherlands, where Fredrika Ek, European Adventurer of the Year, would step in for phase 2! Read more about the challenge here.

Day 6 Markus

It just goes to show what you can achieve with a bit of motivation and what enjoyment is to be had when getting active outdoors, and we hope this inspires you! This summer, you can get outdoors and enjoy it whatever the weather with Nikwax; we have every aftercare solution you would need to stay dry and comfortable whatever your activity, so there is no excuse! You can find your local retailer here.

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First week of the challenge – #DoMoreWithNikwax

Our mission this summer is to inspire people to get up, get outside and get active – to enjoy the great outdoors, whilst also looking to preserve the natural environment that we all love.

By teaming up with 3 key athletes, the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge is well underway, with the combined total of activities to be: cycle 7,000km, hike 7,000m and camp in 10 countries!

Nikwax are also supporting the fantastic work of EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) with our campaign, because without their efforts, we would have lost some beautiful and endangered natural habitats across the world. EOCA have recently reached success with their project to plant 2 million trees – a way they chose to celebrate being 10 years old and having given €2 million to conservation projects!  Such work can make a big difference and we will continue to support EOCA, but they could use your support too. You could look to become a member of EOCA – check it out here.

Read on to hear how the first leg of our challenge went!

 Week 1 with Markus Stitz, the record-holder as the first person to ride a backpacking single speed bike 

around the world!

Day 1
We commenced Markus’ challenge in Dover, south England at the break of dawn, with Markus aiming to complete a trip all the way to Leicester – which is no mean feat! After stopping at the headquarters of Nikwax in East Sussex, to meet CEO Nick Brown and be cheered on by the Nikwax team, Markus carried on his way. After covering 351.5km and some mega climbs along the way, he reached Leicester in the East Midlands.

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Day 2
100km in and with a quick break in Derbyshire, England, Markus continued on route to his destination of the day – Gretna Green, Scotland. Within just a day and a half, Markus was already over the 500km distance – just awe-inspiring. As evening set in, Markus reached Gretna Green with 400km under his belt for day two. That was a fantastic 750km in total since setting off at 4.30am the previous day!

Day 3
Staying in Scotland, Markus headed off on his bike again towards Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Day 3 finished with a total of 302km of cycling, making an overall cycling distance of 1,042km – tremendous!

Day 3 Markus first pic

Day 4
In the town of Fort William, Scotland, it was time to take a break from cycling and instead put on the hiking boots. However, it was not just any ordinary hike across hillsides that was the plan for the day. No, Markus and the team were to hike up to the summit of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles, standing at 1,345 metres above sea level.

At the summit of Ben Nevis the mist had rolled in and unfortunately the view was obscured, but it did not dampen the spirits with knowing that the top had been reached. Another big outdoor achievement to be proud of and the walk was exhilarating and fun.

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Day 5
It was time to cycle south east across Scotland, passing by Edinburgh and heading towards the coast of Northumbria. To finish off his part of the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge, Markus cycled on to Hull, East Yorkshire. Markus’ entire challenge ended with him cycling a total of 1,675km and hiking 1,345m, which was fantastic. As well as a bit of fun taking part in the Nikwax floating sleeping bag – a means to demonstrate the fantastic power of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down, the water resistant down fill which provides great insulation for down filled items such as sleeping bags or down jackets!

The first stage of our summer challenge was complete. It was then time for the team to take the ferry over to Rotterdam, Netherlands, where Fredrika Ek, European Adventurer of the Year, would step in for phase 2!

 

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ISPO Trade Show: 2018 Report

The annual ISPO Trade Show took place 28 – 31 January this year. It saw 84,000 people involved in the outdoor industry descend on south Munich. For those who haven’t been before the sheer size and scale has to be seen to be believed. The event takes place at Messe Munich, in 16 huge aircraft hangers. This year saw 2,800 brands profile their latest and greatest innovations across the health and fitness, outdoor and snow sports industries. Attendance was down slightly year on year, as 2017 had 86,000 attendees, however exhibitors were up 2%. For 2019 ISPO is planning to expand even further, with two more halls planned, so 18 total.

For 2018 ISPO focused on two key elements – sustainability and digitalisation. Wandering through the halls you got a genuine sense of how important sustainability was becoming to the outdoor industry, something which Nikwax has pioneered since our early years. This year’s ISPO saw the CSR Hub bigger and more present than ever. The CSR Hub at ISPO focused on promoting sustainable brands through two areas – Brands for Good and Greenroom Voice. We were lucky enough to be one of the brands included, with Brands for Good highlighting Nikwax carbon balancing business operations over 40 years. Brands for Good also hosted an ‘Audience with…’ talk in their Speakers Corner, that featured brands who do good, talking about it. We were in good company as Nick Brown, Nikwax CEO, talked about social responsibility, alongside Gareth Mottram Páramo Clothing’s Commercial Director, Micke Magnusson, CEO of WeAreSpinDye, and Oliver Spies, founder of Stop! Micro Waste.

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The digitalisation of the outdoor industry was profiled by ISPO Digitize. The Digitize area showed great examples of digital in the industry across sales, marketing and production, profiling amongst others Adidas Terrex, who were back at ISPO for the first time in 12 years.

We focused on digital activation throughout the show – gaining over 100,000 Facebook live video views in the process. As Nikwax is more than just waterproofing at the end of 2017 we went on an expedition in the Alps to illustrate this. It was day one of the ski season in Oberstdorf, Germany and they had the biggest snowfall in 6 years. Our plan was to float two adventurers in Nikwax Hydrophobic Down treated sleeping bags, to show the superior water repellency of our technology. When we got there the temperature had dropped to -20 degrees and the lake we wanted to use was completely frozen over with 1 ft deep ice. Three of us picked up our ice axes and spent 3 hours breaking through the ice, to create a mini lake for our experiment. We then floated our two adventurers, at the same time, on the lake for 30 minutes. When they stepped out of the sleeping bags, they were totally dry thanks to Nikwax Hydrophobic Down being 50x more water repellent than conventional down.

Throughout the show we profiled Nikwax Hydrophobic Down in the Watersports Hall. We took outdoor industry journalists, put them in sleeping bags that use our Nikwax Hydrophobic Down technology, and floated them in the pool. As Nikwax Hydrophobic Down has supreme water repellency, the inside of the sleeping bag, and the journalist inside, both stay dry. After floating for ten minutes each the journalists stepped out of the bag and felt how dry it was on the inside, proving the superior water repellency of NHD. Industry media live streamed this to their Facebook and Instagram fans, gaining 113,000 video views as a result.

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We also created a digital content portal for the outdoor industry that featured downloadable assets from our NHD Experience adventure, our latest videos, our press releases, and digital Aftercare Guides in 18 languages.

Our activity drove many people to our stand who wanted to hear more about our technology, including those who may not have previously been aware of it. We had an absolutely fantastic ISPO 2018 and are already looking forward to 2019. We hope to see you there!