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.