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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.

Markus-2_A

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.

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!

 

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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.

crop

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.”

IMG_6061_1

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.”

Photo 10-06-2018, 15 22 38 Scotland_1

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