A BASINGSTOKE dad-of-two is raising money for an armed forces charity as he gets ready for an unbelievable challenge to test his own limits.

Shane Smith is planning to cross the largest sand dune sea on Earth - in Saudi Arabia - by walking, running and riding a fat bike.

Known as the Empty Quarter, the sand sea named Rub' al Khali holds about half as much sand as the Sahara desert.

Shane, 38, is planning to start from the west coast of the Empty Quarter, travel 1,000km through the sand sea and finish at the east coast near Bahrain.

READ MORE: Dad to walk, run and ride 1,000km through Arabian sand dune to 'test his limits'

While training for the challenge, Shane is also raising money Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity supporting children whose parents have died while serving in the armed forces.

Shane said he chose Scotty's because the charity means a lot to his family.

"I am ex-military and my wife is still a serving army nurse of 17 years," he said.

"Scotty's are there for bereaved military children when the worst happens.  My wife was away for prolonged periods whilst our kids were three and seven. That was damaging enough to such young minds, I can't imagine what happens to those who don't have a parent come back.

"I work for Allianz Engineering and they are a Gold Level Armed Forces Covenant company. It means they provide extra support for military families in terms of recruitment and to families when they have deployed family members. Our careers transition programme delegate Andrew Wardell, who is also ex-military, put me in touch and it has led to the fundraising attempt."

Shane will fly out to the middle east on Thursday, February 1, and start the challenge on Saturday, February 3.

The organisers claim this will be the first time such a challenge is being held as there are far few people who have crossed the Empty Quarter than have been in Space.

The Arabian sand dunes were made famous by Wilfred Thesiger, who completed an eponymous journey on the south-north axis.

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There have been some modern and small forays to recreate some of these routings, but this will be the first time people will be crossing from west to east coast, according to the organisers.

Shane has previously crossed 300km on the Namibian desert and completed a full crossing from north to south in Iceland – covering 425km in five days.

If you would like to contribute to Shane's fundraiser, visit justgiving.com/page/andrew-wardell-1701087321593.