Markus Stitz

Markus Stitz

A team of three international athletes is currently heading north as part of an outdoors brand’s efforts to inspire people to get active in the countryside.

Markus Stitz, Jenny Tough and Fredrika Ek will cycle 7,000km, walk the same distance and camp throughout Europe as part of the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge.

The trio began their journey at Dover Castle on Thursday before calling in at Nikwax headquarters in Surrey. On Friday their target is Keswick and at the weekend they plan to cross the border and cycle to Fort William.

Jenny Tough

Jenny Tough

Stitz will take part in a Nikwax Hydrophobic Down floating sleeping bag challenge before making the ascent of Ben Nevis. The Scottish Borders adventurer, who holds the record for circumnavigating the world on a single-gear bike, will then join his fellow participants as they return south to Northumberland before journeying to Hull to catch the ferry to the Netherlands, where the challenge will continue.

Their tour will also take in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

A spokesperson for Nikwax, which produces a range of waterproofing and fabric treatments, said: “We want to inspire others to get out and do more, while preserving the outdoors.

Fredrika Ek

Fredrika Ek

“This is why we are focusing our efforts on encouraging others to get outside more, whether you like a hike, take a ride, or go camping, and, if you like, put the money you would have spent elsewhere towards conservation.”

Nikwax is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to donate to the European Outdoor Conservation Association.

Each of the three athletes will be cycling more than 300km each day, for 15 hours a day, camping each night and then hiking to three of highest peaks in countries on their itinarary.

Fredrika Ek has spent the last 2½ years bikepacking 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 grew up in Canada and travels the world chasing adventure and taking part in endurance racing. One of her major projects is running solo and unsupported across a mountain range on every continent around the world.

Markus Stitz holds the unusual world record set on a one-gear bicycle. He said he saw many people attempting to break the record for circumnavigating the world on bike but has always liked to do things differently so in 2016 he set the world he still holds today.

The cyclists’ progress can be followed on the Nikwax pages. The team will also provide updates on social media using the #DoMoreWithNikwax hashtag.

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