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Nikwax challenge sees 3 athletes ride 7000km and hike 7000km

Written by Fiona

July 31 2018

A new campaign to encourage people to get outside and do more has been launched with a huge feat of endurance. Three athletes took on a challenge to ride 7000km and hike an altitude of 7000m between them in Europe – and also camp out each night.

The #DoMoreWithNikwax campaign sees Markus Stitz, Fredrika Ek and Jenny Tough proving that whatever the weather you can do more, with Nikwax.

Markus cycled a huge 335km per day.

The #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge

Each rider is cycling more than 300km each day, for 15 hours a day, camping each night and then hiking the highest peak in the country.

Markus, who founded Backpacking Scotland, set off on July 12 and by July 17 had clocked an impressive 1675km cycling the length of the UK. He averaged a distance of 335km per day. Midway through his leg of the challenge, Markus ascended the UK’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis, climbing a summit of some 1345m.

Fredrika Ek at the top of Galdhoppigen day 12.

By July 26 on the 14th day of the challenge, Nikwax ambassador Fredrika Ek had accomplished 1800km of riding with some 10,000m of ascent over eight days. She also ascended the highest peak in Scandinavia, Galdhøppigen at 2469m.

On day 15, the gauntlet was passed to Canadian adventurer Jenny Tough for the final leg, who started from Gothenburg, Sweden covering 372km on her bike on day one alone.

Jenny Tough cycled in both Sweden and Denmark on day 15.

On July 30 she hiked the highest mountain in Germany, Zugspitze, which at 2962m above sea level is the highest peak of the Wetterstein and is home to three glaciers and Germany’s highest ski resort.

Jenny is due to complete the huge challenge on Thursday in De Rotte Netherlands.

Fredrika in Galdhoppigen on day 12 floating in a sleeping bag treated with Nikwax.

Who are the challenge adventurers?

Markus cycled around the world on a single speed bike.

Markus Stitz is most famed for circumnavigating the world on a single speed (one gear) bike in 2016.

Fredrika in Ostfold Norway on day 14.

Fredrika Ek has spent the last two and a half years bike packing around the world. She has been through 45 countries and covered more than 50,000km, earning her the title of European Adventurer of the Year.

Jenny Tough on day 18 in Germany.

Jenny Tough grew up in Canada and travels the world chasing adventure and taking part in endurance racing. One of her major projects just now is running solo and unsupported across a mountain range on every continent around the world.

How you can get involved

Markus has provided five adventure hacks.

Get Inspired:  There are many amazing places to explore and often not far from your own doorstep. It’s not about going the furthest or hardest but finding out what and who resonates with you.

Follow other adventurers and see where they play. Create a wish list of places you would love to go and keep it with maps and guide books with your kit.

Be prepared: Take maps and sharpen up your navigation skills, equip yourself with some basic first aid skills and don’t forget to message a friend with a basic agenda of what you are planning and where. Safety first.

Invest in the right gear: So you are ready for all weathers. He says: “I am reliant on kit that does the job. It has to be rugged and functional over long distances. Waterproofing is important! Your kit needs to work because there’s no room for error.”

Try something new: Adventure should be about getting out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s your first off-road bike trip, a night wild camping or a trip on a lake in a Nikwax floating sleeping bag, trying something new is invigorating and stimulating for the body and mind.

Pack compact: Adventure should be about freedom so you don’t want to be held back by unnecessary gear. Markus says: “Try to find kit 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.”

Nikwax want you to celebrate, connect and share you experiences using #DoMoreWithNikwax. See Do More With Nikwax.

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