Taking on some of the toughest challenges around the world for charity

Have you ever fancied the idea of testing yourself by taking on some of the world’s toughest challenges? You might not have been sure where to start, but it’s easy to get involved in these events when you have a little help.

The simplest way is to link up with a charity. This will give you the chance to have thrilling experiences and test your mettle whilst raising money for a good cause.

The Tough Mudder Challenge
For sheer toughness nothing can compete with the Tough Mudder Challenge, a 10 to 12-mile mud and obstacle course with its roots in SAS training. Built around cooperation and teamwork, it’s a group challenge that will really put you through your paces as you run, climb and scramble your way towards the finish line. Taking on this challenge helps to support Help for Heroes in their work with injured combat veterans who need to recover to the point where they can return to service or be rehabilitated into civilian life.

The Inca Trail Trek
When the Inca Empire was at its height, it was held together by a network of narrow, stone-paved mountain roads traversed by peasants and llamas. Today you can walk those roads when you take on the Inca Trail, ascending through mountain passes as high as 4,200 feet to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Hiking at this altitude is no easy feat and you will need to be in good shape to take it on, with many people electing to train for months beforehand. Several different charities partner with trek organisers to keep sponsorship simple.

The Natural Literacy Trust Arctic Challenge
Few natural environments on Earth are harsher than the Arctic tundra. If you want a shot at winning the Natural Literacy Trust’s Arctic Challenge, you’ll have to take on some serious challenges. Your stamina and skill will be seriously tested by a team event comprising a 35km dog sledding race and 25km of Nordic skiing, plus an orienteering event, ice fishing and more. By doing this, you’ll help disadvantaged children from some of the UK’s poorest communities to acquire literacy skills that will fundamentally improve their prospects in life.

Wing Walking in Essex
Some charity challenges give you the opportunity to try real daredevil stunts. Few things deliver the thrill of walking out along the wings of an aeroplane whilst it’s in flight. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that you don’t need much training to do it – as long as you’re in good health and a suitable height and weight, and able to climb up the side of the plane, you can be kitted up with a full safety harness and shown what to do on the day. Friends and family can go along to watch and the centre you use can coordinate with your chosen charity to keep the sponsorship side simple.

The Sunshine Fund Kerala Trek
If you’d like the chance to experience spectacular landscapes teeming with wildlife while you push your body, the jungles of Kerala in southern India are an excellent choice for a trek. You’ll spend some of your time aboard a boat and you’ll get to enjoy traditional local entertainment and food, but that won’t detract from the toughness of making your way through this exhausting, hot and humid terrain. By taking this trek on, you can raise money for the Chronicle Sunshine Fund, which supplies specialist equipment and support to make the lives of disabled children easier.

The Zambezi River Challenge
If you’ve tested your skills atop mountains, on the tundra and even up in the sky, and you’re still looking for a bigger challenge, how about paddling for 100km through some of the world’s most spectacular rapids? Using inflatable kayaks and dugout canoes, you’ll pass through breathtaking scenery while navigating fast-flowing channels. Just don’t fall in, because there are crocodiles! You can sleep out under the stars at night on an adventure you’ll never forget and raise money for one of a selection of charity partners along the way.

Taking on something like this will toughen you up mentally as well as physically, testing the limits of your emotional resilience only to show you that you’re stronger than you thought. It’s a great way to raise some money for your favourite cause. Whether you do it alone or with your friends, it will give you a whole new perspective on life.

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