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Do More To Get Outside This Year!

Winter is not bleak when you step outdoors; there is a whole wealth of beauty waiting to be found during the cold, wet, and sometimes snowy, season. As tempting as it is to wrap up under a blanket, sip a hot chocolate and snuggle in front of a fire, if you take a moment each day to go outdoors you will experience many beautiful things and also better your health.

The New Year has started and now is a prime time to take that step and start enjoying what the outdoors has to offer. We want to encourage all to Do More this year – there are many ways to explore and be active outdoors, without having to walk 3 peaks or run a marathon, to become healthy and happy.

Embrace the wild weather!
During winter we can experience such a range of weather – from dramatic storms, gales and lashings of rain, to silent snowfall which veils the landscape in a glistening white blanket. From one day to the next, you never quite know what you will wake up to. This is where being outdoors is fun. Remember as a child the love of splashing in deep puddles, running through mud and then jumping at flashes of lighting in the dark sky? As adults we can become inclined to worry about getting dirty or cold, and we risk losing the shear enjoyment of the simple things.

Don’t worry – just a bit of prep and you can cast those worries aside! Here at Nikwax we focus on keeping people safe, warm and dry for even the wildest weather – so you can live for the pleasures instead. We have products to suit all outdoor gear, so you have no excuse not to front up to the weather and enjoy this season.

Find local walking routes
Take a stroll round areas local to you that you have not visited or even knew of before. Find an off-road walking route – step through fields away from houses and life, find streams to splash through, wildlife to spot, and muddy pathways to navigate. You stop and take a breath and realise you are not thinking about everyday chores or routines, but instead feel revitalised and relaxed. This is also perfect with children – no need to travel far and you can tailor the distance to suit everybody’s needs.

Jenny Tough, endurance athlete, took part in the #DoMoreWithNikwax summer challenge and she has some good advice on taking those steps outdoors:
The most important thing is just to start. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re not in great shape right now. Doing a little is way more than doing nothing. So just start – start small, start slow, but start!

Websites, such as the Ramblers, provide listings of routes all over the UK and you can decide what `difficulty` level you are after when searching for something suitable. This is a great place to start if you want to begin getting outdoors gently and perhaps eventually build up to harder walks. Take a look here 

Plus, there is no need to fear that you will return home from a walk with soggy, cold feet if you have pre-cleaned your footwear with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. Its formula removes all dirt, which can lead to water being absorbed, and it revives the water repellency of your shoes or boots – which in turns means that muddy puddle splashing is no consequence when your feet still feel dry, comfy and supported in the terrain you are in.

Explore new places
Being outdoors does not have to mean walking up steep hills, or just being completely remote amongst nature. Sometimes nature can be found in unexpected places! If you prefer a bit more of the everyday when being outdoors then mix things up a bit. Locations such as Dungeness in the South-East can give a new perspective on landscape. Known for its imposing nuclear power station dominating the horizon on one side and array of unique properties scattering the shingle, Dungeness is like stepping onto a different planet. You could while away a day here and be so engrossed in everything around you, that you don’t realise how much exercise you are getting from walking around!

This is a highly protected conservation area (one designation for it is National Nature Reserve) and this is due to a number of reasons. Firstly, a third of the plant species in Britain is here and the strange variety of vegetation growing in and around the shingle is fascinating. There is rare birdlife to spot – so take a walk along the shore line to see if you can spot any water birds out on the waves. Plus, there are also rare insects which can only be found in this location, including the short-haired bumblebee which was introduced here back in 2012.

Locations like this, where the mix of industrial meets human habitation, which meets such varied plant, bird and insect life, can be truly inspiring and interesting whatever the weather.

With coastal winds and fog likely to be prominent in such a location during winter, then windproofs and waterproofs are a must. You don’t want to feel too cold when a biting sea wind hits and in such an exposed area then layering is a must in order to enjoy your experience.

Prepare your warming and body temperature regulating base layers with BaseWash. As next-to-skin clothing can collect a build-up of body oils, they can start to smell after a while and normal detergent will only mask the smell whilst impairing the wicking properties. Not good if you start to feel warm when being active and find yourself damp because the sweat is not wicking away and the garment is not drying quick enough! BaseWash cleans and conditions, and its technical formula prevents odour build up. The wicking properties are revitalised so sweat disperses easily and fabrics dry much faster. This means your next-to-skin clothing is breathable and comfortable to ensure you can maintain the required body temperature when out and about.

The outer waterproof layers need a bit of love from Tech Wash! Washing wet weather gear with Tech Wash removes all dirt that has built up from use and the durable water repellent coating is revived. This means you could brave the spray whipping back from the waves, or any rain shower, and remain nicely warm and dry. Only when Tech Wash no longer revives the durable water repellency on its own should you then look to re-proof your wet weather gear with TX. Direct – the high performance waterproofer which keeps your gear as good as new!

You can go and explore exposed locations safe in the knowledge you can walk away comfortable, dry and safe from whatever the weather may throw at you!

Other reasons to Do More Outdoors!

  • Walking is a great way to lower and maintain your weight, reduce blood pressure and generally lift your mood. You can start off slowly – 15-30 minutes a day and in a short space of time you will find you can build this up quite a lot!
  • Although not as warm, getting out in the winter sun still provides much needed vitamin D which is essential for our health. A crisp winter’s sunny day is a beautiful time to be outside – just keep warm in layers.
  • Walking does not cost anything – what more reason do you need to get outside – have fun, loads to experience, but nothing to pay to do so.
  • How do you get motivated to Do More Outdoors when it’s cold and dark in winter? Jenny Tough offers the following: I think it’s okay to take some rest. We can’t be 10/10 all year long – it’s just not sustainable. I use these cold, dark, wet days to sleep a little more and let my body and energy rebuild before another season starts. I still get out for runs and rides, bundled up with really good warm layers and waterproofs, but it’s okay if those sessions are a little shorter or slower.

Remember to check out the Nikwax product page – for all the aftercare you will need to keep you warmer, safer and drier outdoors. We love the outdoors, we care for the outdoors, and we want all of you to truly experience the outdoors.

All of our products are safe for you and the environment: they are water-based, contain no PFCs or harmful substances. Our products are easy to use: either pop in a washing machine or use by hand. Nikwax products protect you in all weather and will help your outdoor gear have a much longer useable lifespan.

Now what are you waiting for – take on winter and step outside!

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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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Part 3 – #DoMoreWithNikwax

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! Gothenburg is the largest non-capital in the Nordic countries, with plenty to do no matter what the season. 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 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.

250km later led 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. From the top of the Zugspitze you can see across more than 400 mountain peaks.

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!”

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. 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 was 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 people do we just want to encourage and inspire them to keep getting outdoors. #DoMoreWithNikwax

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Stage 2 of #DoMoreWithNikwax

As summer turns to autumn and holidays draw to a close, here is a little something to inspire you to get up, get out and keep being active!

This summer Nikwax teamed up with three athletes – Markus Stitz, Fredrika Ek and Jenny Tough – to undertake the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge, which saw them ride a combined total of 7,000km, hike 7,000m and camp in 10 countries across Europe in 21 days. You can view the Strava routes here.

At Nikwax we are passionate about everything outdoors and all that nature can provide – we want everyone to see how much is out there and just how great it is to be active, no matter where and no matter the weather! We also wanted to use this opportunity to show our support for conservation champions EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association). Since their beginnings in 2006 they have funded over 100 conservation projects across the globe, putting a phenomenal €2.4 million into protecting natural habitats, wildlife protection, conservation and more. Their tireless work has just seen them smash their target of planting over 2 million trees – a means to benefit local communities, wildlife and show everyone that we need to protect this natural world we all want to enjoy and want future generations to experience.

Our summer challenge shows you just want can be done outdoors, but whatever activity you undertake, bear in mind how precious our environment is.

Stage 2 of #DoMoreWithNikwax – Fredrika Ek takes the baton!

Markus Stitz (record holder for riding a single speed bike around the world) completed the first leg of #DoMoreWithNikwax in the UK, totalling 1,675km of cycling and hiking the highest peak in the UK, Ben Nevis. It was then time to hand over to our next athlete, Fredrika Ek. You can read about stage 1 with Markus here.

Fredrika was awarded the European Adventurer of the Year after spending 2 and a half years bike packing around the world. This saw her travel through 45 countries and clock up 51,000 km on her bike! When we told Fredrika about our plans to take 3 athletes on bike between the 3 highest peaks in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia, she was very keen to be part of it!

After the crew took a night ferry from Hull, UK to Rotterdam, Netherlands, we met Fredrika and the second leg of #DoMoreWithNikwax began.

Day 7 – Fredrika’s challenge started by cycling from Groningen, Netherlands. Groningen is one of the most northerly areas in the Netherlands and provides ample opportunities to cycle past large open spaces with panoramic views! The Dutch are known for their love of bikes, so what better way to enjoy the scenery, and such beautiful landscape will just want to make you keep on cycling!

This first day saw Fredrika cycle 177km, spending almost 8 hours on the road whilst making her way upwards at an elevation of 253m! She finished day one in Bremen, Germany – which is one of many German cities to have environmental zones, whereby only cars which are strictly environmentally friendly are allowed into the main city. Such a great idea to reduce air pollution and perhaps encourage people to find other means to travel – such as by bike! Strava route here.

Day 8 – The destination for the day was Genner, Denmark. The journey started smoothly and took Fredrika across North Germany, but things reached an abrupt halt when local construction work had completely shut down a key route! Are hurriedly re-planning, the journey continued with a re-route of 50km over a river. Fredrika was back on track and by the end of the day had reached a total of cycling 309km whilst being on the road for 13 hours! Pretty impressive stuff for the first two days of her leg of the challenge. Strava route here.

Day 9 – Fredrika’s third day started in Kolding, Denmark, where she then cycled to the very northern tip of Jutland – Hirtshals. Undertaking such a journey inevitably means that some bike maintenance is required en-route, as you would want to ensure your entire journey is smooth and trouble free. The same can be said for your active clothing. You may well wear layers whilst cycling, in order to maintain your body temperature without either getting too cold or too sweaty. You also may want light protection in case of rain!

Outer waterproof layers definitely need to work their magic and keep you dry in case the weather breaks. Nikwax TX.Direct is your go-to product here! If you have cleaned your waterproofs with Nikwax Tech Wash, but find water is still being absorbed, then you need to re-proof. TX.Direct is safe, quick and easy to use, adding water repellency to all of the garment to ensure the fabric remains breathable (letting the sweat out) whilst repelling water off the outer fabric (keeping you dry)!

After a distance of 277km and cycling for almost 12 hours, Fredrika boarded a ferry to head to Norway to continue her epic journey. Strava route here.

Day 10 began in Kristiansand, which is the fifth largest city in Norway. Outdoor activities form a standard part of daily life for people in Norway, with hiking, jogging and running being favourites, and who can blame them when you have some of the most amazing scenery right on your doorstep to enjoy. Whatever time of the year and whatever the weather, Norway’s natural world can be awe-inspiring. But if you cannot make it to somewhere like this, then just be encouraged by Fredrika and search out your own local magical landscape on your doorstep to cycle or walk through. 

Fredrika began heading north towards more wild landscape and with a greater elevation to battle with. It was at this point she passed the 1,000km mark of cycling – an amazing feat on the fourth day of her challenge! After a day cycling 231km for over 9 hours and undertaking an elevation of 1,637m, it was time to stop and take a relaxing night’s break. Nesbyen was the final stop – a village in a more mountainous area of Norway, where a spot of wild camping was enjoyed by Hallingdalselva, with a relaxing swim in the lake! Strava route here.

Day 11 was always going to be a challenge for this part of #DoMoreWithNikwax – the day commenced at 5am as Fredrika set off for the highest peak in Scandinavia – Galdhoppigen. She rode through the Jotunheimen National Park – home of over 250 mountains. We were proud to see Fredrika excel in her challenge today, reaching 217km of riding over 9 hours and with 2,333m of elevation! Are you getting the urge yet to get outdoors and see what adventure you could be having? Strava route here.

Day 12 turned attention away from the bike and on to the hiking! Galdhoppigen is the highest peak standing at 2,469m above sea level and during summer months you can find a few hundred people reaching the summit daily. To hike up any mountain though you need comfortable, and ideally waterproof, footwear that can also protect and support you on the terrain you may encounter. Good care is essential to keep such footwear in good condition. Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather is for smooth leather footwear, whilst Fabric & Leather Proof is for combination footwear – both products add water repellency, whilst keeping your shoes breathable (so no sweaty feet!) and helping to increase the usable lifespan of your walking shoes! Fredrika’s Strava route here.

Upon reaching the peak of Galdhoppigen, we were pleased to get Fredrika to take part in the Nikwax Floating Sleeping Bag challenge – profiling the superior water repellency of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD). NHD is a water resistant down fill and provides 50x more water repellency than conventional down, keeping you warm in very cold conditions and extending the range of conditions you can use down items in. NHD is available within a range of down jackets and sleeping bags from different brands, including RAB, Therm-A-Rest and Mountain Hardwear, amongst others. Keep a look out for the NHD logo! 

Day 13 and it is time to get back on the bike to head south from Otta to Gansvika in Norway, where there was another great opportunity for some wild camping! Nothing beats being outdoors in your home from home – the trusty tent – lapping up all the natural environment has to offer. A great way to relax and rejuvenate, especially after a very long day cycling!

Fredrika totalled 302km of riding, spending over 13 hours on the go, so a relaxing last night was well earnt! Strava route here.

Day 14 is the last day for Fredrika and she faced a distance of 350km to get from Norway to the Swedish border. No matter the activity, keeping refreshed is vital, so if you can find an opportune moment to stop and take a much needed water break then do so!

And so, the week drew to a close. Fredrika totalled a fantastic 1,800km of cycling, which included climbing elevations amounting to 10,000m! This was as well as hiking the tallest peak in Scandinavia and floating around in our NHD filled sleeping bag. What a great achievement for anybody, but what inspiration seeing just what you can do when you put your mind to it. Strava route here.

It does not matter what the weather holds, or where you are, just get outdoors, be active and appreciate all that natural world has to offer, because it is so very rewarding. And you can do this with Nikwax! We have all the aftercare your outdoor clothing and gear needs to enable you to stay safe, warm and dry – and ultimately, having fun and adventures outside. So what are you waiting for? #DoMoreWithNikwax

If you wish to do your bit towards conservation then you can help with EOCA. Visit their website HERE and look for the Donate button!

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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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EOCA – Protecting & Conserving the Outdoors

Over the years the environment and the importance of being environmentally friendly has been increasingly pushed to the forefront of the news, bringing with it a more conscious consumer. Put simply, people are more and more aware of the impact they are having on the environment and consequently changing their habits. The topical news story is plastic, its impact on oceans and wildlife and our fight against it. This awareness is great but there are also other ways we can all be kinder to the environment we enjoy.

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is making a difference to our environment through their conservation efforts. EOCA is made up of members who raise funds for conservation projects worldwide. In their first 12 years of existence, they supported 100 projects raising over €2.4 million. As a not-for-profit organisation, every new member that joins EOCA means more money for more projects. Projects such as their two million tree project which has been successfully reached within two years. Yes…EOCA have planted two millions trees since 2016 benefitting wildlife, local communities and outdoor enthusiasts.

Nikwax is proud to be a Summit and Sustaining Member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, alongside other members Keen, Buff, Patagonia and Mammut to name just a few. We are committed to having a low impact on the environment and have carbon balanced all of our operational emissions over 40 years by regenerating and protecting tropical rainforest.

Nikwax wants to see more people getting outside and enjoying the environment in a sustainable way. Our #DoMoreWithNikwax campaign is specifically designed to encourage this and sees three athletes cycle 7,000km, hike 7,000m and camp across Europe, all low impact activities. We aren’t suggesting that you cycle 7,000km or hike 7,000m but we want you to get outside, enjoy your environment and care for its future. 

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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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Nikwax launches #DoMoreWithNikwax Challenge

7,000km Riding | 7,000m Hiking | Camp 10 Countries

#DoMoreWithNikwax Challenge

Summer 2018

With Fredrika Ek | Markus Stitz | Jenny Tough

To encourage others to get outside and do more Nikwax proudly launch the #DoMoreWithNikwax Challenge that will see world class athletes ride a combined total of 7,000 km, hike 7,000 m and camp in 10 countries, Europe wide, showing that whatever the weather you can do more, with Nikwax. We will be posting daily updates using the hashtag #DoMoreWithNikwax and posting our daily activity on nikwax.com/DoMoreWithNikwax, so make sure you follow for news! We will be regularly updating with rider information, the route and the latest stories from the trip!

Each rider will be cycling over 300km each day, for 15 hours a day, camping, and then hiking the highest peak in the country. We are pleased to announce that the athletes who will take on this inspiring challenge are Fredrika Ek, Markus Stitz and Jenny Tough. 

Markus Stitz holds an unusual record. Markus saw many people attempting to break the record for circumnavigating the world on bike. He has always like to do things differently so in 2016 he became the first person to circumnavigate the world on a single speed (one gear) bike, a record he still holds today.

Markus Stitz in the beautiful Ale Water Valley

Fredrika Ek has spent the last two and a half years bike packing around the world. She has been through 45 countries and covered 51,000km, earning her the title of European Adventurer of the Year. Fredrika set off riding not for speed but for chasing infinity, she loves the idea of being on a never-ending journey, which is how she ended up spending over 1,000 days living from her bike.

Fredrika Ek getting her legs and mind warmed up before her #DoMoreWithNikwax adventure

Jenny Tough, is tough by name, and tough by nature. She is an adventure traveller and endurance racer. One of her major projects right now is running solo and unsupported across a mountain range on every continent around the world.

Jenny Tough marching through the hills

We love spending time in the outdoors, just like you, and we want to inspire others to get out and do more, while preserving the outdoors. This is why we are focusing our efforts on encouraging others to get outside more, whether you take a hike, take a ride, or go camping, and, if you like, put the money you would have spent elsewhere towards conservation.

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The European Outdoor Conservation Association are currently celebrating planting 2 million trees, a fantastic effort for conservation! However, with more support, they can do so much more. To pledge any amount towards their reforestation efforts click here and click Donate.

Use the hashtag to follow the challenge #DoMoreWithNikwax and check out the latest challenge updates: nikwax.com/DoMoreWithNikwax

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Interview with cycling world record breaker – Markus Stitz

Markus Stitz hit the headlines in 2016 when he became the first person to cycle Around the World on a single speed bike (a bike with just one fixed gear). He peddled 34,097 kilometres in total, covering 26 different countries. But he says those aren’t the most important figures to him, “I guess the most interesting stat was the total 342,000 metres I climbed. That shows how hard the route was. This was my most significant achievement.” That’s the equivalent of 38 times up Mount Everest!

Markus has been cycling seriously since 2009. First on a mountain bike, then road then back to the mountain bike. And when he moved to Scotland he really got into the long-distance stuff. Launching Bikepacking Scotland and becoming a qualified MTB Leader.

He has just completed a 650km route in Scotland in a slightly different style, “Most recently I have been getting into gravel routes. My focus is always changing but this is a nice mixture of dirt tracks and then back to road.

“I wouldn’t describe myself as a racer. I like long distance. I use my fitness to be able to get to places I haven’t been before.”

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuxbjeJDMnA[/embedyt]

So, Markus, what made you want to be a part of the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge?
“I think this campaign is really interesting and I came to it at the right time. After I had completed my Round the World trip I spent quite a lot of time at my desk developing Bikepacking Scotland. I am really feeling the urge to get back on my bike and get some big miles done. I want some adventures!

“I am also pretty passionate about Scotland. So having a challenge that includes Fort William and Ben Nevis is pretty tempting! It is inspiring me.”

The Nikwax campaign focuses on the outdoor industry’s environmental credentials. How important is this to you?
“A lot of the work I am doing at the moment is to inspire more people to use their bikes, full stop. I think the UK is a pretty car-dependent country. The more I can do to get people out of their cars and onto a bike exploring the country is a really good thing. I want to inspire people to use different modes of transport. I am very keen on not leaving footprints wherever I go. And I think this should be the same principle for any company in the outdoor industry.”

You’re going to be cycling up to 15 hours a day. How fit and ready are you feeling?
“I am pretty confident I can handle the distance. I am getting the bike up to speed at the moment. I have done the distance in the past. Two weekends ago I took the single speed bike out and covered 240km in a day and that bike is not really suitable for that! So with the right bike – which I am building up at the moment – I should be fine. The most important thing when it comes to distance is the mental side of things. Being in the right mindset. I am looking forward to long days in the saddle again – it’s going to be a challenge, but it is supposed to be.”

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Nikwax is all about protecting our gear so it lasts. How do you look after your gear?
“I am trying my best! It’s no coincidence but I have just reproofed my waterproofs with Nikwax! I recently went on a road trip in Scotland so I had to have my waterproofs ready! I am reliant on kit that does the job. It has to be rugged and functional over long distances. Waterproofing is important if you live in Scotland – we get the odd bit of rain! Your kit needs to work, there’s no room for error.”

What are you most looking forward to learning about?
Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is very interesting to me. I used a down sleeping bag and jacket on my Round the World adventure because down is a lovely warm material that’s also super lightweight. These are key criteria for bikepacking. But the only issue was I had to be really careful not to get it wet! So to be able to try out Hydrophobic Down will be really interesting.”

Where are your favourite places to ride in Scotland?
“Honestly my favourite place at the moment is Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms. It is an interesting region for bikepacking. The guy who owns the estate is keen on rewilding so the landscape is fascinating. There is one of the toughest sections there because I had to cross three rivers in water up to my waist. It’s very tricky in cycling shoes! But the land is equally fascinating and challenging at the same time.

“Another great location is Sandwood Bay in the north west of Scotland. It’s a stunning beach and bay with plenty of opportunities to pitch your tent. You’re far away from the road so the only people there are people who have had to make an effort to get there. It’s the best place for a micro adventure.”

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What are your top tips for bike packing?
“You need to have waterproof kit that also keeps you warm. The other most important factor for bikepacking is to find stuff with the lowest pack size imaginable. Weight is important but as soon as you throw a packet of biscuits into your pack you’ve negated the weight! So it’s about size. Bikepacking is a pretty good testing ground for your kit.”

Markus Stitz is a keen photographer and film maker and will be tracking his journey through his social media feeds. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his You Tube channel.

https://twitter.com/reizkultur

https://www.facebook.com/fearlessandunique/

https://www.instagram.com/reizkultur/

https://www.youtube.com/user/reizkultur

#DoMoreWithNikwax