Endurance test of the

Nil hiking pants

"We’ve been on the road for exactly two years now. Wear and tear so far: two pairs of shoes, four T-shirts, five pairs of socks, three underpants and one pair of shorts. But the multi-functional Nil pants have still got life in them!"

By Martin Stopczynski

“Canada – wild, untouched, vast landscapes – a destination many outdoor enthusiasts dream of visiting. And that’s where we wanted to go! My girlfriend and I set our sights on travelling across Canada. The trip was supposed to last at least one year. We wanted to hike through the forests, climb mountains, camp on lakes, see wild animals, feel free without a care in the world.

As always, I put my gear together meticulously: it had to be light, resistant, multi-functional and preferably made by a company committed to environmentally friendly products. The choice quickly fell on Maier Sports’ multi-functional Nil pants. Our planned stay of one year has now turned into 15 months. We’ve driven 30,000 km with the camper van – to the most remote places in Canada. We extended our route several times, followed recommendations from Canadians and wanted to get to know the country off the beaten tourist path.

We fell in love with the varying rock formations on the rugged east coast of Newfoundland, were fascinated by the barren, boreal zones in the north of Labrador and simply felt at ease in the deep forests and vast lakescapes in the Canadian Shield. Not forgetting the gigantic mountain landscape of the Rockies and the rain forests on Vancouver Island. Out of our mobile home, into the ever-changing vegetation. The multi-functional Nil pants were always on hand for our three to six-day hiking or bicycle tours. On the two-week trip through the Rocky Mountains alone we hiked 200 km of trails, completing 6,000 metres in altitude. It’s difficult to work out just how many miles we trekked in all of Canada. We visited 16 of the 46 national parks, hiked in more than 20 provincial parks and camped countless times in the wilderness. Hiking in Canada is great. It whet our appetite and we wanted more so we spontaneously added eight months in Central America. But this time equipped with just a compact 45-litre backpack and a hammock – a challenge in itself.

“I stopped worrying. I can enjoy nature to the fullest, be free!“

Martin Stopczynski


 “The fabric is perfect for any vegetation and climate zone. I had the pants on during the two years of my trip when I trekked through the tough undergrowth of the Canadian boreal landscape, climbed over the rugged rocks of the Rockies, paddled on huge lakes, hiked in the rough and thick jungle of Belize and walked across hot beaches in Mexico. I stopped worrying. I can enjoy nature to the fullest, be free!” I recently caught the pants on a nail, and riiip, a 5-cm-long tear – grr! But I wasn’t going to give up on them easily after two years, they had been with me for such a long time and have long become the only pants I pack. You can’t replace something like that. I mended the tear quickly with a needle and thread.

Onwards, to the volcanoes in Guatemala and the pants are ready for use. The Acatenango volcano, towering 3,973 m, is just waiting to be climbed. The crater edge is icy cold (-2 °C). The wind whistles around our ears, but as they say, your legs won’t get cold – so very right! The pants are also wind-resistant. The campfire warms my body, sparks are spraying but I’m not worried as the pants can take it all! I’m excited looking at the Fuego volcano spewing lava. The earth is shaking under our feet.”

Thank you Maier Sports for this freedom.

Martin Stopczynski

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