Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays Raise over £1000 for Heart and Sole

Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays are delighted to have raised over £1000 that will go towards charitable projects and initiatives that Ramblers support. Dave Shanks, Director of Water-to-Go, presented the Heart & Sole team with a cheque for £1,150 as a donation based on the number of Water-to-Go bottles purchased by their clients in 2018.

Ramblers and Heart & Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. Ramblers Walking Holidays have a scheme called Heart & Sole, managed by their office staff, and their aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries they visit. Their hope is to make a long term, direct impact on these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. Heart & Sole will be able to use these funds to continue supporting ventures at home and in the countries they visit around the world.

Heart & Sole offers much-needed support to projects and charities in the UK and overseas, dealing with both large issues such as animal welfare as well as small, and more personal, ventures such as providing schools equipment to village communities. They are currently working with SPANA in Morocco, Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, SOS Children’s Villages in Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Malawi and Morocco.

In South Africa, Heart and Sole support the Royal Drakensberg primary school, in St Lucia a school breakfast club and Andros Routes in Greece. Most recently, they delivered donated items to an orphanage in Tanzania and foster homes in San Jose, Costa Rica. By travelling with Ramblers Walking Holidays, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help make a difference in these communities.

Seeing the World on Foot with Ramblers

Ramblers Walking Holidays have been providing great value small-group guided holidays in spectacular locations around the globe for 70 years that allow you to discover the essence of the place you are visiting. They are all about seeing the world on foot, offering everything from lowland ambles to high mountain trekking, from short sightseeing walks to challenging long-distance trails.

Ramblers Walking Holidays also want to encourage sustainable practices in the destinations they send their travellers. They are advocates of responsible tourism in accordance with AITO and are extremely aware of the social and environmental impact of travel. By encouraging clients to buy a Water-to-Go bottle, they hope to reduce plastic waste and do their bit for the environment.

The Water-to-Go and Ramblers Partnership

We have been working with Ramblers Walking Holidays for a number of years to help keep their customers healthy and hydrated on their trips. Through our partnership, we have continued to raise money for Heart and Sole. In 2016, Heart & Sole used money donated by Water-to-Go to sponsor the building of a toilet block in Pakistan through an organisation called Toilet Twinning. In December 2017, Water-to-Go were delighted to present Heart & Sole with another cheque for £750 from bottles bought by their clients which has also gone towards their development projects.

We are delighted to be working with such a fantastic company that has a brilliant ethos and that is supporting some life-changing causes. Learn more about Ramblers Walking Holidays and our partnership here.

Top 10 pieces of Bushcraft equipment

Check out this Guide for 10 Essential Bushcraft items

A strong set of bushcraft equipment can be essential on a trip of any type or length. You’ll need to make sure all the kit you bring will be useful at some point as well, otherwise you’ll be carrying unnecessary equipment, adding extra space and weight that could be avoided. This guide is designed to ensure you will only be carrying useful and necessary items that you will be used regularly on your trip.

As an organisation that has worked with UK preppers guide and Jack Raven Bushcraft, we have gained an understanding as to some of the best pieces of equipment for a bushcraft trip.

 

Head-torch

One piece of equipment that will likely become very useful during your trip is a head torch. Being able to see in the dark is simply a must so you will need some form of light.

The, perhaps slightly obvious, advantage to having a head torch over just a standard torch is that you can use the torch with both of your hands free. This makes things like setting up your camp or starting a fire much easier as you’ll have two hands as well as the light to see what you’re doing.

 

Water Filter Bottle

Having access to clean water is another essential when out in the wild and the boiling process can be a very time-consuming exercise. A much more time efficient method is using a filter water bottle for your drinking water.

The Water-to-Go filter bottle has been proven to filter out well over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This means you can safely drink from any river, lake or stream without risking illness. Additionally, this will save you time as you won’t have to take the time to boil water before it’s drinkable.

 

First-aid kit

A first-aid kit of some kind can be crucial in the outdoors. This is because if even the smallest cut were to become infected it can have drastic consequences. A good first aid kit will prevent this eventuality.

A great way to make the most of your first aid kit is to create your own personalised kit. By doing this you’ll be able to prepare for the specific challenges that you’ll be facing on your trip. Whilst creating your own is a great idea, there are some essential items you should include, these being plasters, antiseptic wipes/ cream, paracetamol, scissors as well as any prescription medicine you normally take.

 

Specialised Bushcraft Knife

A knife will most likely be one of your most used items during your trip. It will also be vital for getting the materials from starting a fire. For this reason, it’s important to get a knife that is able to do the jobs you need it to.

Bushcraft specific knives are widely available online, some good examples being ‘the wolverine’ and ‘the nomad’ knives. These should do a good job in terms of creating the shavings and feather sticks you need to start a fire, assuming you have had some experience using a knife for fire starting.

 

Fire-starting equipment: Ferro Rod

Once you’ve got the basic materials to start your fire, you’ll need something to create the initial spark. A great piece of kit for starting a fire is a ferrocerium (or Ferro) rod.

These are essentially rods in which you can swipe your knife across and it will create sparks. The rods are made up of a substance called Ferrocerium which is composed of an alloy of rare-earth metals called mischmetal (containing iron, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, magnesium and lanthanum). It’s, therefore, a great piece of equipment for starting your fires.

 

Rucksack or backpack for Bushcraft

A Rucksack is an essential item for carrying all the other equipment that you’ll be using along your journey. Additionally, having the right backpack is important for any bushcraft trip as you’ll need something that is relatively lightweight, durable and will fit all the kit you will be taking.

5.11 are a company that makes a range of ‘tactical’ backpacks that are designed specifically for the outdoors and are great for a bushcraft trip. They are well thought out rucksacks that effectively balance aspects like durability, storage space and weight to provide a brilliant piece of kit. 5.11 are a US-based company however, you can get your hands on their backpacks from The Bushcraft Store.

 

Navigation Equipment: Compass

Carrying a compass on you is a great form of navigation and a great way to find your bearings. Also due to the size of a compass, it will take up almost no space and very little weight when carrying it with you.

A compass also has advantages over other forms of navigation such as a map. Firstly, it’s much more convenient to use as you won’t be folding up and unfolding every time you need to give yourself an idea of where you are. Additionally, a compass is much more durable as you don’t have to worry about ripping or damaging it as much as you would with a map.

 

Suitable Clothing and Walking Boots

Taking appropriate clothing will be important as it will make your trip much easier and more comfortable. With the amount of walking you’ll be doing, the most important clothing piece will be your shoes.

Getting yourself some specialised walking boots will be greatly beneficial and something your feet will be thanking you for after a long day of trekking. You can pick up a range of walking boots from the Go Outdoors online store. They have a variety of boots, providing you with great value for money and excellent boots equipped for tough terrain.

 

Tarp Sheet

One big problem for bushcraft enthusiasts in this country is the UK’s weather. As I’m sure you’re aware, even during summer months there’s a very real chance you’ll encounter some rainy weather.

For this reason, you’ll need a tarp to keep you, your equipment and your fire nice and dry. Finding yourself a lightweight tarp will be helpful for your journey as you won’t need to add any unnecessary weight to the equipment you’re already carrying.

 

Sleeping Equipment

On your bushcraft journey, your sleep will be extremely important as you’ll need to be conserving all the energy you can during your rest periods. The two most common methods we’ve found for sleep is using either a sleeping bag or a hammock, both of which are effective means of getting your well-needed rest.

If you decide to go with a sleeping bag, make sure to prioritise comfort as you’ll be sleeping on the tough ground. You may also want to combine your sleeping bag with a sleeping mat to make sure you’re able to get a better nights sleep. If you go for the alternative of a hammock, make sure when you’re setting up to choose two sturdy trees or other objects to attach to. You certainly wouldn’t want your bed to collapse in the middle of the night!

Chaz Powell Becomes One of the First to Walk the Length of the Gambia River

After 47 days, 1120km and 1.5 million steps, adventurer, expedition leader and Water-to-Go ambassador Chaz Powell along with his fellow adventurer and expedition photographer Tim Roberts have become the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.

This epic journey took them through Guinea, Senegal and the complete length of The Gambia to become the first people in known history to walk the river’s length. The map below shows the route they took.

The 1120km shown on a ZeroSixZero map

“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one!”

Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts

They said it was “a challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz is no stranger to adventure and has over 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience. In 2016/17 he spent 137 days walking the 3000km length of the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and wildest river; becoming only the second person in known history to complete this wild and dangerous journey by foot. Roberts joined Chaz on this latest wildest journey as expedition photographer and to help document this historic feat. He’s also no stranger to adventure and has walked various challenging treks all over the world.

This expedition will go down as one of their biggest challenges but also achievements to date as they have now both written themselves into the history books. Whilst they both wanted to test themselves on another wild journey, an important aspect surrounding the expedition was to experience Africa and learn about the wildlife, the culture and the people that live and depend on the Gambia River.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz and Tim experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not have known even existed so this adventure was able to provide a real insight to Africa that would have been completely different to what many people had experienced before.

It’s important to remember that this was no walk in the park as Chaz and Tim definitely faced a number of challenges along the way including dealing high temperatures and threats from wild animals. One of the major challenges on the expedition was finding safe drinking water. To solve this, Chaz and Tim were pleased to work with the UK company, Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go is a portable water filtration system that eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This, therefore, allowed them to fill their bottles up from any freshwater stream, local tap or from the Gambia river itself to keep themselves healthy and hydrated throughout the expedition without getting ill.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz has used his trusted Water-to-Go bottle on many of his adventures and this on-going partnership highlights his commitment to sustainable travel and protecting the environment. The Water-to-Go ambassador is keen to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles on his expeditions and showcase a simple alternative that everyone can use.

One of the main reason’s behind this expedition was to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and highlight serious wildlife crimes that are happening along the remote regions surrounding Africa’s rivers. Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for this expedition, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations that focuses on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands. Throughout his expedition, Chaz was providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz also highlighted our partnership and current charity project with the African Wildlife Foundation whilst on this expedition. Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. We have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz used on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

If you want to get involved in the campaign, Water-to-Go’s special AWF branded bottles are still available via our website with £10 from each bottle purchased being donated to the incredible projects and programs run by African Wildlife Foundation.

“Through my ‘The Wildest Journey’ expeditions, I hope to inspire people to take note on what’s happening to the remaining wildlife and wild lands and support my journeys to help me raise the vital funds needed to ensure these places are protected and managed well for future generations.”

Chaz Powell

Chaz has a lot more expeditions in store so watch this space to see where he will be exploring next on ‘The Wildest Journey.’

Credit: Tim Roberts

You can help support his remote journeys and be part of helping support his cause by visiting and donating at – www.justgiving.com/TheWildestJourney

Keep up with what Chaz is up to and follow his expeditions on Facebook and Instagram (@thewildestjourney)

Credit: Tim Roberts

Water-to-Go’s Crucial role in the Lombok Earthquake – One Family’s Story

The Russell-Smith Family were trapped by the Life-Threatening Lombok Earthquake

In August 2018, the Russell-Smith parents were enjoying their holiday in the beautiful Gili Islands just off the spectacular coast of Lombok, Indonesia with their delightful 6 and 3 year-old children. The family were amongst a number of holiday goers taking a well-earned break and relaxing on the white beaches and turquoise seas of these stunning islands.

However, they were then caught up in the devastating Lombok earthquake, a series of catastrophic natural disasters that took place throughout the month of August. The family holiday had turned into a disaster. Following the quake, the family ‘had no access to bottled water’ so in scorching 30 Degree heat they desperately needed an alternative source of hydration. This meant they had to rely on the local, and potentially unsafe tap water. The family knew this would be risking ‘at best illness and at worst… it does not bear thinking about with a 6 and 3-year-old in tow’.

Thankfully the Russell-Smith Family were carrying their ‘miracle’ Water-to-Go bottles when the earthquake hit, meaning the ‘bottles literally saved [the family] from dehydration’. Their filter bottles meant the whole family were able to drink the potentially dangerous tap water with complete confidence that they would avoid disastrous illness. The bottles had become a life saver rather than a convenient way to reduce their plastic waste. After returning safely to the UK, the family were delighted with their crucially important Water-to-Go bottles and stated that ‘these bottles will never leave our side again’.

A big Thank-you to the Russell- Smith Family for sharing their story.

The whole team at Water-to-Go was relieved to know that our unique filter bottles were able to play a small part in keeping you all safe and hydrated in such difficult circumstances.

Ash Dykes: the good, the bad and the ugly of Mission Yangtze

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is continuing to make great progress on his current mission to trek the entire length of China’s Yangtze River. He has already passed the half-way mark and is encountering a new side of the Yangtze as he goes from very rural to more urban parts of this amazing river.

We wanted to get the thoughts of Ash after getting to the half-way point in his expedition and his observations so far. In particular, we were interested to hear about the food, the people and his observations of the Yangtze in general. It is clear that there has been a good, a bad and an ugly side of Mission Yangtze.

A lot of people in the UK and the western world are into their Chinese takeaways and have asked Ash whether or not the typical Chinese takeaway meals, are the same as the actual dishes in China. The quick answer would be “no, not really”. In China, it’s better, healthier and there is so much more choice, with the dishes being different in each province.

One of the first places Ash visited was Quinhai, a province in West China, which is one of if not the most wildest parts of Asia in general. There are a lot of locals still living the nomadic way of life, herding their yak and moving from place to place. There are a lot of mongols that Ash has come across, living with their families in nomadic tents and yurts. Up here at 4000 to 5000 metres above sea-level, they experience very extreme conditions. It is very wild and isolated. The temperature is below 0 most of the time, and in Winter it hits -30 degrees Celsius or more

So their food is very heavy and stodgy with a lot of calories to keep them energised. Qinghai Province (west China) which has more of a Tibetan food influence, is made up mainly of fats, proteins and dairy products. It’s heavy and stodgy food that is well needed for those kinds of environments, where there are harsh temperatures and it is at altitude. Ash had a lot of Yak meat, yoghurt, bread, milk, butter and tsampa (roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour. It is usually mixed with the salty Tibetan butter tea and great to actually carry with you on long hikes).

When Ash’s journey started to drop in altitude and he ventured into the Sichuan province, the food started to dramatically change. The climate was warmer, there were more plantations and vegetation, the food was far more diverse and a lot tastier, with herbs and spices added to the mix. Sichuan is famous for its spicy hotpots (originally from Chongqing) and the food here does have a kick.

Breaking into Yunnan, they have everything here with so many great dishes. They have all the vegetables, all the meats; and produce loads of meals, suited for all types of eaters. This has been Ash’s favourite cuisine of #MissionYangtze so far.

If you have been following Ash on social media, it is clear that there is an awful lot to experience and witness along the Yangtze river, much of which hasn’t been explored before. The Yangtze is officially the third longest river in the world. In fact, it is only a tad shorter than the Amazon or the Nile – only a couple of days extra walking to make up the difference according to Ash.

People assume that, because of the sheer size of it, the Yangtze is very heavily polluted but to say that, you would be very much mistaken. It perhaps is at the end of it and Ash will observe this at the end of his expedition. Ash has walked over 2000 miles so far and the river has been brown at times. But this is mainly because of the heavy storms they experience there; washing down dirt and clay off mountains in the water and turning it that colour. At the moment, Ash is happy to report that it is blue and very fresh, clean, clear.

“This is another shock. I thought I’d find polluted water – but the 2,000 miles of what I’ve done so far, has been quite fresh. It’s blue and there’s lots of wildlife. Now I’ve hit the halfway point and I’m starting to go north-east, towards Shanghai, I will start seeing a different river. I don’t look forward to seeing that. I took a last look at the Yangtze in all its health, nice and blue.”

Ash Dykes

So there is a lot of good work being done that Ash has seen and been told about by the locals. There is a lot of protection for aquatic life and endangered wildlife in particular. Ash only learned a few weeks ago that there is there is still the wild dolphin along with the Yangtze alligator that still habits there; that was originally written off as being extinct.

Ash has walked through the main Yangtze provinces of Yunan, Sichuan and Qinghai so far. Each province has its own different people, dialects, feuds, plantations and vegetation. Ash has experienced a different way of life in each of these provinces which has only furthered his knowledge of the Yangtze and China as a whole. But one thing has remained the same – the people and their manner. Wherever Ash has been, the locals have been so friendly and hospitable. He has been welcomed into the community and has been offered a place to stay and eat wherever he has been. The people always try their best to accommodate.

However, it hasn’t always been easy when the people have tried to show their kindness. This ‘kindness’ has often ended up with Ash being detained and questioned by the police! Ash has gone to such wild places that they don’t know what to do so they just end up calling the police. The police have often rocked up at 2/3 am – not to cause harm but to question him as they are worried for his safety. Ash is aware that they might not have seen a westerner before and this has been part of the confusion. The policed have taken him in but always let him go eventually. Ash has just taken it in his stride and accepted that it has just a part of mission.

One of the main aspects of Ash’s expedition was to experience the people and the different cultures along the Yangtze. Ash has been surprised at the sheer number of communities and people that live along and depend on the Yangtze. There are at least 111 cities along the Yangtze, that Ash is aware of, that have a population higher than New Zealand which is staggering. With it being so long at 4000 miles, the Yangtze caters for everyone so you find a diverse range of people that live along there.

The first half of his journey has taken him through China’s ‘wild west’, exposing him to the elements and vistas of jaw-dropping beauty. Now he’s preparing to tackle the urbanised east, where human development dominates and cities are interspersed with paddy fields.

“The first half [of this trip] was always anticipated to be the most difficult. It’s sensitive being so close to Tibet and it’s so remote and wild. The terrain was tricky, temperatures dropped below minus 20C, there were snow blizzards and there was a threat from bears and wolves.”

Ash Dykes

The mission got off to a fairly rocky start – complications with permits, visas and his support team have pushed the challenge back by a few weeks. “On the way up the mountain I lost my videographers through a combination of altitude sickness and the extreme cold,” says Dykes. “Then, my local guide was doubled over and I checked on him, his nose was bleeding and he was struggling for breath. He’s a local Tibetan, who lives in a village at about 3,500 metres [11,500 feet] [above sea level], but even he had to turn back.” This was a big wake-up call for Ash and everyone following the expedition to realise the sheer danger and harsh conditions that is encompassed with this mission.

Despite this, Ash has carried on like the true Welsh warrior that he is and was delighted to reach the half-way mark after so many setbacks and difficulties. However, Ash will be facing a different set of challenges as he starts to travel through the more urban parts of the Yangtze. Ash still has another 2000 miles of adventuring through Chinese terrain where he will encounter fresh challenges and amazing experiences along the way. Ash is prepared for what is to come over the next several months.

“There will be different challenges – maybe snakes and spiders. I can’t go trampling on someone’s land so I’ll have to go around and that’s going to be more annoying and irritating than anything else. The river is a lot deeper, so the tributaries are wider and there’ll be more detours. The river is just under 4,000 miles but this will end up being more than a 4,000 mile trek.”

Ash Dykes

Whilst the many changes in scenery, people and food; there is one thing that remains the same on his journey that is always there – his Water-to-Go bottle. He has carried his trusted Water-to-Go for the duration of this mission and his 2 previous world firsts across Mongolia and Madagascar to keep him healthy and hydrated with safe clean drinking water.

There have been many points along this mission where he has been desperate for water and has simply filled his Water-to-Go bottle with water straight from the Yangtze itself and the 3-in-1 technology filter has allowed him to drink it straight away.

His Water-to-Go bottle has been an essential item on all of his travels to provide him with safe, drinking water wherever he is. Not only does it help him save money, but it also helps him to save weight and save the planet by not needing to purchase single-use plastic bottles that we find so often polluting our rivers and oceans.

A major part of Ash’s expedition is to travel responsibly and sustainably, and the Water-to-Go bottle allows him to do this. Ash has been explaining this to the people he meets on his journey and is trying to help them become more sustainable as a community. Water-to-Go is the ideal alternative to single-use plastic bottles and we are delighted that Ash is promoting this message on his biggest expedition yet.

Overall, Ash is pleased with how his expedition is going and everything that he is learning about the Yangtze. He is looking forward to the next chapter and will look to keep us all updated with his progress.

Keep track of Ash on his live tracker

So make sure you keep up with Ash on social media as he continues his expedition and experiences the beauties of the Yangtze and China in general.

Water-to-Go Overfund by 293% on Crowdcube

We are delighted to report that Water-to-Go have managed to raise over £293,000 from our crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube. Over the past couple of months, we have been raising funds on the UK crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, where investors could purchase equity shares in the business. By the end of the campaign, we had well and truly smashed our initial target and actually overfunded by 293%.

This isn’t the first time we have raised money on Crowdcube. Back in 2015, we worked with Crowdcube to help raise funds in order to put our hugely successful 50cl GO! bottles into production.

Crowdcube is an online platform that raises more for UK businesses than any other crowdfunding site so we were extremely excited to use them again in order to help expand our business.

Our campaign started in late November with the funding target of £100,000. Our target was eventually reached in mid to late December, with the campaign gaining more and more traction as we approached the new year. By the time our campaign came to an end we had raised an incredible £293,000, helped by raising over £100,000 in our last week of funding. We are very grateful to all our investors and those who have helped spread the word for helping us achieve this feat in under 2 months.

We were delighted to see so many people show interest in the business and for 635 investors to join our journey as we continue to grow and continue our mission. Together, they will be helping us to change the world one bottle at a time.

Looking forward, we are excited to implement our investment plans and further expand the business, with the aim of eliminating single-use plastic water bottles once and for all, whilst providing safe, clean drinking water anywhere in the world.

Make sure to keep following us and our journey via social media, our blogs and website to keep track of some of the exciting developments we hope to bring you later this year. To find out more about Water-to-Go and our future plans, take a look at our crowdfunding video.

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are delighted to announce that we are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. This is an exciting new partnership for the business as we continue to grow and spread the message about Water-to-Go.

African Wildlife Foundation is improving the lives of local people alongside protecting wildlife and their habitat so both can have a sustainable fugure. AWF works directly with communities and local partners to understand the obstacles faced and find solutions specific to their needs so that livelihoods do not destroy the natural environment or threaten the survival of wildlife. By providing incentives such as economic enterprises, access to better education or sharing income from tourism, AWF’s programmes support communities to develop whilst embracing conservation. We are pleased to be supporting these initiatives through this campaign.

Kirstin Johnson, UK Director of the African Wildlife Foundation; Chaz Powell, UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador; Dave Shanks, CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has nearly 60 years of experience working to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa. As one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations focused solely on the continent of Africa, AWF is the primary advocate for the protection of African wildlife and wild lands.

For this campaign, Water-to-Go has produced a special edition bottle that is available via our website. We will donate £10 from every special bottle sold towards AWF’s work to protect the wildlife and wild lands in Africa. 

African Wildlife Foundation Limited Edition 75cl filter bottle

Water-to-Go bottles protect our planet by providing an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic. On his travels around the world, Water-to-Go founder Dave Shanks was shocked at the piles of plastic waste he saw that were damaging local communities and the planet. He sought to create a sustainable solution to this problem and developed a reusable, recyclable water bottle that contains a unique 3-in-1 filter that provides safe drinking water anywhere. Now, Water-to-Go are working with AWF to ensure the sustainable future of Africa’s people, wildlife and land.

Africa loses 8 percent of its elephants to poaching every year. AWF’s programmes include training and equipping rangers, deploying sniffer and detection dogs, setting aside protected areas for critically endangered wildlife and educating the public and those responsible for law enforcement on how the destruction of habitat and illegal wildlife trade is robbing Africa of its future. You can all get involved in our project to support wildlife conservation and ensure Africa’s elephants do not become endangered.

We are delighted to be working with a charity of the calibre and influence of the African Wildlife Foundation. They align with the visions and goals of our business, and together we are committed to making a difference. Through this campaign, we are doing our bit to help protect Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.

The African Wildlife Foundation joins Water-to-Go in its vision to protect the planet by reducing single-use plastic water bottles on their member safaris, and by distributing Water-to-Go bottles to a selection of rangers protecting wildlife on the front line. Water-to-Go will be donating some of these limited edition AWF bottles to the charity so that these rangers can stay healthy and hydrated wherever they are.

Water-to-Go was delighted to be invited to the Royal Over-seas League in London to hear about AWF’s partnership with the Rwandan Development Board that focuses on Mountain Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda alongside community empowerment and development.

This is just one of many initiatives in Africa that are improving people’s lives as well as protecting the wildlife that is so important to the future of the country. It was fantastic to hear about this and to know that our campaign will be actively contributing to these projects.

We were also delighted to meet Yamina Karitanyi, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK, at the event who has fully endorsed our project with AWF. CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go, Dave Shanks, got the chance to speak with her about the business and our project with AWF so we are very pleased to have their backing and support going forward.

Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK; and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go
We need your help if we want this campaign to be a success. If you want to be a part of this campaign, just click the link below and keep up to date on our social media channels. Thank you in advance for your support.

To learn more, visit www.watertogo.eu/awf

Water-to-Go appoints new distributor for Spain and Portugal

Water-to-Go are delighted to announce that we have appointed a new distributor for Spain and Portugal. On 15th January 2019, the contract was officially signed meaning we will soon be selling our products in Spain and Portugal.

Our new distributor, MOS Supplier, are based in Quelez and are excited about working with us and distributing Water-to-Go products.

They are determined to get Water-to-Go into the major markets of Spain and Portugal so everyone can get their hands on our unique filter bottles. They are already getting plenty of interest so we are sure that they will do well.

This is a fantastic time for the business as we continue to expand and grow. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, 2019 is set to be a fantastic year for Water-to-Go and a new distributorship in Europe will certainly be a contributing factor towards that.

Part of our plan to expand as a business and continue our mission is to enter new markets across the world to get the product into key market sectors. Now that we have added Spain and Portugal to our ever-growing list of (over 50) distributing countries, it is another important milestone for Water-to-Go as we strive to get the product to those who need it the most. Our successful crowdfunding campaign will also allow us to develop the product, upscale the business and support our distributors further so we can get even more people to join our journey and help change the world, one bottle at a time.

Although this is very early stages, we are predicting big things for our new distributor in Spain and Portugal and we are looking forward to what the future holds. Follow our progress and join the Water-to-Go journey on social media.

Ash Dykes Reaches Halfway Point in #MissionYangtze

UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has reached the halfway point of his massive mission to trek the entire length of China’s Yangtze River. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, Ash has continued to make excellent progress and has already completed half of his third world-first and biggest mission to date.
Ash has walked 2000 miles along the river to reach this huge milestone, and along the way has faced all kinds of life-threatening dangers (landslides, bears and being tracked by a pack of wolves) as well as being held up 5 times by police/government officials.

Death-defying extreme athlete Ash Dykes reached safety at the halfway point of his mammoth world first expedition 9th January 2019, having faced immense threats to his safety whilst attempting to walk the entire length of China’s Yangtze River in just a year.

Having set off on 26th August 2018, Ash has battled the elements and overcome many obstacles to get to where he is now. There have been several times where Ash has feared for his life but has relied on his intense training regimes and wild instincts to get him through a tough first half of the expedition. Despite many tough moments, he has always had the confidence and reassurance to trust his to deliver clean, safe drinking water to keep him hydrated through his mission.

Attempting to complete this expedition and even getting to where he is now is no mean is no mean feat. The Yangtze is the longest river to flow through a single nation and stretches almost 4000 miles from west to east China, through eleven provinces, diverse ecosystems and multiple major cities including Chongqing and Shanghai.

It has taken Ash 136 days and 2000 miles of intense trekking across some of the world’s most dangerous and remote provinces to reach the halfway point in the small Chinese city of Panzhihua, having set off from the Yangtze River’s true, scientific source in the Tibetan Plateau on 26th August last year.

In one of the few remaining ‘firsts’ to be attempted by man, Ash and his team have faced huge challenges on this first half of the expedition, with eight out of nine of Ash’s teammates dropping out mid-mission due to injury, illness or fears for their safety.

The mission got off to a difficult start when Ash’s Tibetan guide suffered the serious effects of altitude sickness on the way to the source of the river and required urgent medical attention, delaying the expedition’s start date. Since then, bears travelling down the mountain to find food before hibernation have posed the greatest threat to Ash’s life; closely followed by wolves. Ash was tracked by a pack of wolves for two days straight not long after the trek began, and has faced the very real threat of aggressive wild yaks, cobras, and giant hornets along the way.

Other natural elements have also made this challenge particularly immense, with temperatures as low as -20 degrees celsius, snow blizzards, glacial river crossings, and landslides pushing Ash to his limit and, at times, forcing him to detour and lose precious days.

Although the most remote, dangerous and uncertain leg of the expedition is now behind Ash, the remainder of the trek will pose threats of different kinds. Rather than bears, wolves and wilderness, Ash will encounter heavily populated cities and some of the most polluted areas of any river in the world. The hot, rainy season means the river is more likely to flood, and as the river widens so do its tributaries, meaning crossings will be more difficult and could lead to further detours and delays.

Despite this, Ash remains positive. He said:

“Without a doubt, Mission Yangtze has been the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken to date.  Physically I was as prepared as I could be, but mentally it’s hard to get ready for the harsh and remote landscapes, sub zero temperatures, and the difficulties these bring. I have trekked through some of the most breathtaking and unspoilt parts of the world, but I’ve never felt so vulnerable to the elements and predators as I have done over the past few months.”

Ash Dykes

“China is an unbelievably diverse country, with each province I’ve crossed bringing unique terrains, climates, wildlife and challenges. I was actually stopped on five occasions by the police, as government officials worried for my security and safety. Despite having to retrace 40 miles worth of the trek after being detained, we managed to push on with the backing of the Qinghai Government and CBCGDF, and really appreciate their concern.”

“Despite the challenges, I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by the people I’ve encountered so far. I always say that the locals make or break an adventure, and so far the Chinese have been amazing. It’s been hugely rewarding living and integrating with locals, meeting schools and families, and learning about their lives and traditions.”

“The Yangtze has also been incredibly clean so far, as the Tibetan people will not so much as fish out of the river, let alone throw rubbish in it. I know the second half will be far more polluted, but it’s a common misconception that the entire Yangtze River is being destroyed by the effects of industrialisation. I’m really interested to see how China’s wild west compares with its more industrial and densely populated eastern region.”

Ash Dykes

“The expedition hasn’t been straightforward but it’s been an incredible experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing and learning even more about this amazing country as I enter into the second half of the mission. Bring it on!”

We are delighted to hear that Ash has already completed half of his most ambitious expedition to date and is continuing to make excellent progress. We can’t wait to hear what happens on the rest of his mission and look forward to providing updates throughout. Make sure you keep up to date from Ash himself on his social media channels and pinpoint where he is along the Yangtze on his live tracker.

Water-to-Go supports Echo in Africa project

Hello, my name is Sara and this is my story about a life-changing trip I recently took to South Africa. We all seek to make a difference in our lives and I was grateful to be able to do this for those less fortunate than ourselves. Thanks to Water-to-Go, we managed to provide the equivalent of 4,410 litres of filtered water for an underprivileged community we visited in South Africa. Read on to find out more about this project and why we were there.

South Africa is often not considered one of the African countries most ‘in need’ of support, perhaps because of some the extremes elsewhere in Africa. However, after visiting in 2018, it is clear there is a large number of South African people in need. This is where the Echo in Africa project came into effect.

Echo in Africa Project

I am a cardiac physiologist and have been working for the NHS for the past 4 years in London. This year my department has supported me in a life-long dream, sending me to Africa to diagnose children with cardiac disease. This has been made possible by the project ‘Echo in Africa’ created by volunteer cardiologists, physiologists, the British Society of Echocardiography and SunHeart Foundation.

The main focus was on rheumatic disease, an inflammatory reaction that can develop as a complication of a Group A streptococcal infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. This disease affects the heart, joints, brain and skin, and commonly develops silently until the advanced stages of rheumatic disease. At least 12 million people are currently affected by this disease, with 2 million patients needing hospital admission and 1 million needing cardiac surgery in the next five to twenty years.

The water crisis in Cape Town caught my attention and then during preparation for this travel, I started collecting donations from all sorts of sources. These included clothes, toys, books, backpacks, hats, nappies, shoes, towels, baby clothes, sports equipment and so on.

I was aware that the children we would be screening are from extremely poor communities and settlements. How were they dealing with this water crisis? What kind of water are they drinking? I was thinking.

My research started around what could I do to help in this area. Ideally, the intention was to make the most of any water source available, so finding an effective and practical way of filtering water anywhere was essential.

Water-to-Go in South Africa

It was at this stage I found Water-to-Go. When I contacted the company and told them about the idea, they were extremely enthusiastic about supporting me in South Africa.

We came up with a code (EAPDONATE) that when someone bought a 75cl bottle, Water-to-Go would donate a second. Plus extra bottles on top of this were donated by Water-to-Go.

In my mind I had many questions, after the 200 litres (the life of one 75cl filter) what would the kids and families do with the bottles? It’s funny how your opinion changes when you are physically delivering each bottle. You realise that 4 months of drinking water is a true gift.

The bottles were given mainly to pregnant patients and kids, who currently live in an informal settlement called Freedom Farm. As a plan of action to provide as much safe drinking water as possible, I plan on returning to South Africa in 2019. I will take more bottles with me as well as replacement filters for those communities who have already been reached with bottles.

I can only try and express how good it feels to contribute towards the reduction of single-use plastic on this planet and far beyond explanation is the gratitude seen in the eyes of those receiving these gifts.

My Time in South Africa

After completing my mission in Cape Town, I travelled to the Kruger National Park passing Johannesburg on my way to Swaziland. In the Kruger National Park I camped for 3 hot days and 3 cold nights. We also embarked on 3 daily safaris each one lasting around 3-4 hrs. Water tended to run out in the first couple of hours, however with my Water-to-Go bottle I could fill up from any non-salt water source.

This bottle was my main company and has brought a conscious purpose to be added to the experience. It has also added to the intentions of projects like ‘Echo in Africa’.

Thank you Water-to-Go for the support, inspiration and materialisation of this essential tool. I’m looking forward to our next partnership.

Guest blog post from Sara Broring, Chief Cardiac Physiologist at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, London