Water-to-Go supports the Darien Gap Project

My name is Daniel Eggington and I’m a solo traveller

So a bit about me:

After leaving the UK in 2010 and embarking on a backpacking trip to Indonesia, I found my love of exploring. I spent 12 days in the forest with three local guides, travelling through and camping at a new spot each night. This added some life-changing experiences for me as a naive 18-year-old alone in a foreign country, not knowing any part of the local language. When I got back to the UK, I decided that this is the career path I wanted to work towards.

I decided I wanted to work in the travel industry, where my passion in life truly lies. After that trip and immediately planned for other journeys. I decided to explore Latin America where I got I real feel of the indigenous culture. I planned and prepared for a journey to the Darien Gap Panama-Colombia border region which was a fantastic experience. I then began planning my return to head to Guyana where I canoed a river with 2 local guides, travelling for 12 days and covering 288km to be exact.

I knew that my dream job would now be to work as an expedition leader where I could live out my passion for leading in remote and exciting places. I now had an abundance of remote travel experience, the required knowledge and soon the qualifications that it takes to do this. I have now done my ML training so I am working hard to make this a career choice a reality.

So my next trip will begin from Jurado in Colombia, travelling north through the Choco Department of Colombia and into the Darien Gap which leads into Panama. The endpoint will be in Jaque and I will be following the Pacific coast of Colombia. I aim to make it a wholly solo project and document it on a daily basis on my return. I will be providing an educational perspective of a region in a part of the world that is relatively unknown. The trip will be around 50 miles in total which should take around 15 days. I want to push myself to my very limit, of my capabilities as an explorer.

The Darien Gap Project will involve visiting the Colombian Choco Department which is the least explored region of Colombia due to its notorious past. Quibdo is the capital of the chocò region where half of the population are said to live and work. The rest are in small communities scattered throughout the region where a majority are on the coast such as Nuqui and surrounding towns of Quibdo.

I also want to use this expedition as a platform to raise awareness for conservation and indigenous communities rights. I will be travelling, wholly unsupported, over a number of different landscapes from primary rainforest to high valleys and wetlands.

I use Water-to-Go for the simplicity and how effective it is.  It helps in a few ways from less weight and not having to carry a few litres of water in 2 or 3 bottles. I have used it from Guyana to Costa Rica.

Daniel Eggington

There are not many detailed maps of the region so it isn’t a journey for the faint-hearted. The journey will be documented via videography and photography and tracked at timed intervals through the Delorme device. As I will be entirely alone in the region, a tracking device will be essential.

The region has many issues from severe poverty to armed conflict between paramilitary and people.  The Colombian Chocò department is the least explored region of Colombia due to its notorious past.

I am planning to do this trip as it is something that I have always wanted to do and if successful, would be first of its kind. Where I will be raising awareness for a cause I am passionate about which is conservation and indigenous peoples rights.

The project will be in partnership with Alpaca Raft, Hennessy hammock, Water-to-Go as well as Backcountry Scot.

Keep up to date with everything Daniel is up to on social media.

Water-to-Go used on medical trip in Rwanda

A quick introduction – my name is Rob Daniels, I am a GP in East Devon and also work as an Ear Nose and Throat physician. I have a long involvement in rural and remote medicine, and as well as being an expedition doctor for a specialist trekking company, am an academic tutor on the Exeter University MSc program in Extreme Medicine. I am passionate about supporting healthcare workers in resource-poor environments, and in November 2015 I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda doing a pilot study of a system to allow doctors and nurses in rural areas to get expert advice on ear disease, using a digital camera and mobile internet.

 

This was very successful and I returned to Rwanda on 27th October 2017 to install the equipment in a small clinic in the western province of Rwanda, close to Lake Kivu. It was important that we stayed healthy and well-hydrated in this under-developed area so we wanted to find a product that we could trust.
The second part of the trip involved a sponsored cycle ride on the Congo Nile bike trail to raise money for pulmonary fibrosis. This is a 240km trail through the bush, that was opened 5 years ago to try and bring sustainable ecotourism to the area. My daughter accompanied me on this trip, to carry out a research study into the impact of the trail on livelihoods and living conditions of women and children along the route.
We spent 5 days cycling and kayaking between remote villages on the shores of Lake Kivu. Cycling 40+ km a day, with around 1000m of climbing most days, with a starting altitude of 1400m above sea level just below the equator, we knew we would need to drink a lot of water every day. Equally important was weight, as we would be carrying everything with us.
Having used a variety of water purification options, from ceramic stirrup pump filters to tablets and even liquid iodine, I was keen to find a simpler but still effective solution. Having seen them at a meeting at the Royal Geographical Society, the Water-to-Go bottles looked too good to be true – they were cost-effective, portable, light and with easy suction.

My only concern was that the larger bottles might not fit in a standard mountain bike bottle cage, so bought an Alpkit stemcell to hold the bottles. The bottles worked better than I could have predicted, proving really easy to use one-handed while on the road, and easy to fill and clean. The water tasted fine, without any chemical odour and they also did fit the bottle cages after all. I also found them really good kayaking on a freshwater lake, where it was great to be able to scoop up some lake water mid-paddle.

I would definitely recommend this product for multi-day trekking, bike packing or kayaking trips, and with replacement filters available, they are really cost effective.

Guest blog post written by Dr. Rob Daniels FRGS

World Water Day 2018 – Solutions to the global water crisis

In our previous blog post, we mentioned that people all over the world are raising awareness about the importance of water and how we can solve the global water crisis as part of World Water Day 2018 which is happening on 22 March.

The United Nations has long been addressing the global crisis caused by unsafe water and sanitation and growing demands on the world’s water resources to meet human, economic and environmental needs. According to them, the answer is in nature.

A major part of the solution is to produce less pollution and improve the way we manage wastewater. We have heard it before but a circular economy is imperative to the sustainability of the planet. Prince Charles cited this when speaking at the ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Malta in October 2017. Although this talk plastic pollution in our oceans, a circular economy would affect all aspects of sustainable development. He highlighted that “this economic approach has to be a critical part of establishing a more harmonious relationship between humankind and the ocean that sustains us all.”

A more circular and therefore more sustainable economy requires us to value wastewater for its potential, rather than discard or ignore it. More than just an alternative source of water, safe wastewater management could help protect our ecosystems and give us energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

UN Water

Around 1.9 billion people live in areas where water is already scarce and this is just not acceptable. It is largely as a result of unfortunate natural disasters that cause absolute devastation in certain parts of the world. Even people who live in areas where there is running water, over 2 billion of them live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods. We explored the importance of water as an essential building block of life in our previous blog post. This crisis will have far more consequences than we realise unless we pull together to address the problem. Hopefully, through World Water Day and the upcoming High-Level Political Forum later this year, the United Nations and other authorities will be able to address any issues and accelerate the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We have to make safe, clean water for health and sanitation universally available all over the world and this starts with addressing how wastewater is managed according to the UN. We are getting to a stage where we have to think twice about how we use natural resources and how we can be more efficient as a global economy. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, a circular economy would help accelerate progress and help us all commit to a sustainable future. These resources need to be recovered, recycled and reused instead of just thrown away.

The availability of safe and sufficient water supplies is inextricably linked to how wastewater is managed. Increased amounts of untreated sewage, combined with agricultural runoff and industrial discharge, have degraded water quality and contaminated water resources around the world.

UN Water

Another sustainable solution to our water crisis and plastic pollution is Water-to-Go. Our reusable filter bottle is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and gives you guaranteed access to safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source in the world.

Our unique 3-in-1 filters eliminate well in excess of 99.9% of microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from water leaving you with clean, safe water anytime, anywhere.

Find out in our next blog post what Water-to-Go are doing to help and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals here in this video.

Other blog posts: 

Bottled water VS Water-to-Go

Is it Hocus Pocus, let us know what you think?

It’s the world’s bestselling soft drink – more people buy bottled water than fruit juice or fizzy drinks. Bottled water can cost between 500 to 1000 times more than tap water. So why do we think it is so much better than tap water? So, is it healthier? And does it taste better?

Perceived benefits of bottled water

People buy bottled water simply because it is marketed as being “better” than tap water making it better for you. Furthermore, it is the most convenient way (when you are out and about) to get water and stay hydrated. In one study, convenience, taste, and health risks were influential factors for participants when deciding whether to buy a bottle of water or not.

The real story

It certainly has a hefty carbon footprint – with some reports estimating around 82.8g of CO2 for a half-litre bottle – not insignificant when everyone’s drinking it. Furthermore, the manufacture of plastic, as well as its destruction by incineration, pollutes air, land and water and exposes workers to toxic chemicals. The worst problem with bottled water is that the plastic it is made from either does not biodegrade or takes hundreds of years. It just sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment and the oceans.

So is it really so much better that it’s worth both paying for and harming the planet? 

There is no evidence that bottled water is better for you; in fact it may be less safe than tap water. Two-thirds of water from the tap comes from surface water (reservoirs, lakes, rivers) and the rest from ground water (underground geological formations that store rainwater). For some reason, we don’t trust tap water because it is free and therefore assume there is something wrong with it. However, researchers found bottled water is subject to far less stringent safety tests than tap water and is much more likely to be contaminated or become a source of infection.

People have gained access to water, but huge inequalities remain.

A new report by the World Health Organisation/Unicef points out that since 1990, 2.6 billion people have gained access to an “improved” drinking water source, one that is designed to protect against contamination. But in 2015, 663 million people still drank water from unprotected sources.  In 41 countries, a fifth of people drink water from a source that is not protected from contamination

Inevitably, there are still issues still prevalent with tap water all over the world: chlorine which is added as a disinfectant; insecticides and herbicides which can wash into rivers and lakes and seep into groundwater. Arsenic, which occurs naturally in rocks and soil, linked to increased risk of cancer; and lead, a harmful neurotoxin can be deposited into drinking water as a result of old, corroded metal pipelines.
So whilst tap water may be better than bottled water, it is still not the best option when you are travelling. You may not have access to taps and would rather not use single-use plastic bottles. Surely there is a solution to all these problems and a way to access safe, clean water wherever you are without harming the environment? This is where Water-to-Go comes in.

Use Water-to-Go and together we can change the world, one bottle, one person at a time.

Unlike bottled water, Water-to-Go eradicates all the harmful substances tap water contains whether it be chlorine or any other. Not just that, Water-to-Go eliminates over 99.9% of ALL microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals such as lead from any non-salt water source.

It is perfect for everyday use, travelling, backpacking, outdoors, holidays, and sports. You can fill up and drink from taps, rivers, streams and standpipes to name just a few. The filter will even eliminate the smell and taste of the water.

Water-to-Go bottles are environmentally friendly reusable alternatives to single-use plastic bottles meaning you won’t need to keep buying a continuous supply of water bottles when travelling. Use Water-to-Go and you will be protecting your health, your finances and most importantly our planet from plastic pollution.

Use Water-to-Go, and together we can change the world, one bottle, one person at a time.