Ash Dykes Finishes Mission Yangtze

After 352 days, Ash Dykes is now the first person to walk the length of the Yangtze River in Recorded History

It’s official, Ash Dykes has now completed his greatest challenge to date! Ash’s 4000-mile long trek over 352 days has finally come to its conclusion as Ash reached the Pacific Ocean in Shanghai on 12th August. Mission Yangtze is now complete!

Spreading awareness of Mission Yangtze

Ash is now back in the UK and has been on various news channels and programs for interviews about his amazing achievement. So far, he has been on BBC News, ITV News, The One Show, Sky News and Good Morning Britain with even more to come!

Check out this fantastic interview on Sky News Sunrise where he mentions how using his Water-to-Go bottle helped him save around 1400 single-use plastic bottles (3:18)

Mission Yangtze has thrown up a variety of challenges for Ash Dykes

The Welsh adventurer started his journey just under one year ago in August of 2018. Ash has previously achieved two other world firsts being the first person to walk across Mongolia solo as well as a 1,600-mile trek across Madagascar via its eight highest peaks. However, this 4,000 mile trek is a massive step up from anything he’s done before.

Along the journey, Ash has faced a wide range of challenges and environments along the way. Starting in the Chinese Mountains at the source of the Yangtze, Ash faced an altitude of over 5000 metres. This posed potentially fatal challenges such as altitude sickness, sub-zero temperatures and dangerous mountain paths.

Ash would then have to face threats from China’s rural Wildlife. He would have to navigate his way around bears and wolf packs during the treck, with Ash finding bear footprints just centimetres from his tent on some mornings. He also had to manage a pack of hungry wolves following him for long periods of his journey.

As he came out of rural China, Ash would face a completely new environment as he started to travel through some of China’s biggest cities. Temperatures would be the complete reverse to the sub-zero nights he faced at the beginning of his journey going higher and higher as he progressed. Ash eventually acheived his goal in Shanghai following an incredible almost year-long expedition in which he had to be prepared for anything. During a recent BBC Radio 4 interview, Ash described China as ‘a little bit of every country in one’, following his journey along the Yangtze.

Water-to-Go on Mission Yangtze

One challenge that Ash would face throughout the entirety of his 4000 miles is how he would get access to clean safe drinking water. With the sheer volume of walking a physical activity Ash would be doing, making sure can stay hydrated wherever he is would be crucial to his mission. He would also need to avoid any waterborne illnesses, which alone in China’s rural environments could be potentially fatal.

Mr. Miao, Health and Happiness (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co Ltd. with Ash Dykes

Thankfully Ash was equipped with his Water-to-Go filter bottle. The Water-to-Go filter bottle is able to filter 99.99% of contaminants from any non-salt water source. This meant that no matter where Ash was he could always rely on water from the Yangtze river or puddles, lakes and even bad tap water to stay hydrated. Ash’s Water-to-Go bottle has now accompanied him on all three of his World firsts.

“Big shout out to Water-to-Go. With their water filtration system built into their water bottles, this gave me access to fresh drinking water, any place, anytime, anywhere and also helped me to protect the environment by stopping me from using around 1,400 single use plastic bottles, which cause harm to the environment, during the 352 days.”

Ash Dykes

We’d like to give Ash a huge congratulations on his incredible achievement from everyone at Water-to-Go!

Marking World Elephant Day with the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are Supporting AWF and their Incredible conservation work on World Elephant Day

To mark World Elephant Day, Water-to-Go are raising awareness of the conservation work done to protect the world’s elephants with specific reference to the African Wildlife Foundation, who we are working in partnership with.

The survival and well being of elephants is currently under threat due to various reasons such as escalating poaching for the commercial ivory trade and increasing loss of natural habitats. It is important that we recognise these threats to these great animals and ensure solutions are found so that they are protected. The African Wildlife Foundation are one of several organisations that are set up to specifically tackle these issues and remove the threats.

If you want to do your bit and donate towards a worthwhile organisation who are working to ensure elephants and other African wildlife thrive, you can purchase a limited edition Water-to-Go bottle for just £20 (when using the code below) where £10 from every purchase goes towards the work AWF do.

(Use code AWF20 to get an exclusive World Elephant Day discount)

About World Elephant Day 2019

World Elephant Day (12th August) was founded by the World Elephant Society in 2012, to raise awareness around the problems facing the world’s elephant population and to highlight potential solutions.

This year, the day will also focus on the escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity as the very real threats the world’s elephant population. Elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts. You can follow the day across social media via #worldelephantday.

The day will also celebrate these awe-inspiring animals. In fact, an elephant’s trunk has more than 40,000 muscles, more than all the muscles in the human body. They can tear down trees or even pick up a blade of grass with their trunks. The African elephant weighs 22,000 pounds making it the World’s largest land animal. You can help support these brilliant creatures by support AWF with a Water-to-Go limited edition AWF bottle.

Africa loses 8 percent of its elephants to poaching every year

African Wildlife Foundation

However, despite a ban on international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers. If the elephants are to survive, the demand for ivory must be stopped.

Elephants are a keystone species. It means they create and maintain the ecosystems in which they live and make it possible for a myriad of plant and animal species to live in those environments as well. The loss of elephants gravely affects many species that depend on elephant-maintained ecosystems and causes major habitat chaos and a weakening to the structure and diversity of nature itself. To lose the elephant is to lose an environmental caretaker and an animal from which we have much to learn.

Water-to-Go’s Partnership with African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. As part of our partnership, we have produced a limited edition AWF branded bottle available from our website. To find out more about our partnership with AWF click here.

As part of our partnership, £10 from every bottle sold will be donated to African Wildlife Foundation to help support their vital work in the conservation of Africa’s endangered wildlife. To get yourself a bottle and support AWF’s incredible work, click here.

(Use code AWF20 to get an exclusive World Elephant Day discount)

African Wildlife Foundation’s work with Elephant Conservation

AWF work all over the continent, helping ensure all wildlife is able to thrive in modern Africa alongside local communities. AWF also has a number of programmes and projects, helping protect the population of African Elephants. Currently, the two biggest challenges facing African Elephants is firstly the threat of ivory poachers as well as their slow reproduction rate. They believe that to protect the African Elephant they must be given space to roam, empower community members to protect the elephants and raising awareness.

AWF also train law officials as part of their conservation work to combat wildlife crimes such as poaching and trafficking. It is imperative that we support their work to ensure the future of these magnificent animals. Do your bit to support the protection of elephants with Water-to-Go.

Learn more about World Elephant Day on their website

Ash Dykes nears the end of Mission Yangtze

UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is getting ever closer to the end of his latest mission. He is only a few days away from becoming the first person to walk the length of the Yangtze River.

He passed the 3000-mile mark of Mission Yangtze and his continuing his excellent progress along the Yangtze and through China. He is covering around 30 miles a day despite everything that the Yangtze has thrown at him. This part of the mission has been an important time to interact with followers, media outlets and people along the way to raise awareness about what he is set to achieve.

During his whole expedition but more recently, Ash has been making time to interact with people along the way, giving interviews or speeches in order to share all aspects of the journey so far.

He has been presenting to children at a primary school, all full of energy and eager to meet Ash in person after they have heard about his extraordinary journey. Ash loves sharing stories about the mission so far and tries to help with advice whenever he can. Whether that is facing challenges and rising against the struggle, or understanding just how amazing our planet is.

Back in March, Ash was featured on the cover story of China Daily documenting his journey with more and more media gaining interest.

Cecille Elbeleidi, British Consul General in Chongqing, called Dykes “an excellent example of UK’s dynamic and adventurous spirit.” “I’m particularly pleased that, along with his expedition, he has been actively promoting environment conservation, reduced use of plastics and wildlife protection,” she told China Daily.

In April, Ash was invited by the ‘China Adventure Association’ for a live interview as well as Chongqing Radio, Chongqing TV, Youth Daily and Discover Chongqing. Ash loved it and is totally excited about the interactivity of his mission so far.

Ash’s status and popularity has been ever-growing in China as more people hear about his latest and previous missions, as well as interacting with his posts on social media.

He has also been presenting, doing various appearances, book signing events, leading a two day trip up a local mountain for Kailas, doing school talks, attending a charity event for disadvantaged children and taking on many interviews and meetings.

This is a great opportunity for Ash to promote his mission, inspire the next generation and provide knowledge from his other adventures. They have all been very well attended and Ash has been overwhelmed by the support and interest in Mission Yangtze, in China particularly.

Ash got approached by the ‘WUJI’ brand that flew him First Class to Shanghai for a ‘fast’ photo shoot for GQ magazine together with Chinese action movie and martial art star 向佐 Jacky Heung. WUJI is a cobranded clothing range between Adidas and international Movie Star Jet Li. WUJI wanted two social influencers, one from the east and one from the west, to come together and show off the beauty of this martial art.

Ash’s background is mainly Muay Thai, but he is always eager to learn more and put on a show. Jacky, with his 10+ years of experience, guided Ash through some basic Kung-Fu moves and certainly got Ash looking sharp for the photos.

There was a recent Adidas Photo Exhibition in Shanghai, followed by the official launch. With Adidas, GQ, Jacky Heung and Ash Dykes sharing across their social media platforms, this generated a reach of tens of millions across China. You can read more about it here.

This is just one example of how Ash’s reputation is growing in China and how word is quickly spreading about his epic mission.

But it hasn’t all been easy as we explained in our previous blogs on Mission Yangtze. He has come through irrepressible weather, threat of dangerous animals and bouts of illness, but now he is facing the challenge of very difficult terrain.

These pictures capture the terrain that he is now covering and are the reason why by at the end of this mission, he would have done over 4,000 miles. Sometimes it’s not physically possible to follow the river by its bank and often he has been forced to either trek on the nearest mountainous ridge – or within the valley on the opposite side to the ridges.

Being able to adapt and understanding your surroundings, is the key to survival.

Ash Dykes

Ash has had to draw upon his skills and instinct to adapt to his surroundings. He has had to make decisions right from the very beginning that haven’t been the easiest to make but have ensured that he has reached this point in the expedition to minimise threats the safety, health and wellbeing of himself and his team.

He has had to remain focussed on the job in hand and ensure that he kept up the great progress on the expedition, regardless of the other aspects surrounding Mission Yangtze. It hasn’t been easy by any means but has been able to rely on his strict training regime and intense preparation he made in advance of embarking on this latest challenge.

I’ve always taken my training seriously and actually realised my passion for fitness long before exploration. What keeps me motivated is trying to picture the toughest scenarios I’ll face when out in the wild and often – the toughest has come true, where I’ve relied on my training to survive. Whether that’s crossing the most terrifying landslides, hacking through the densest and most demanding jungles or fighting and hanging on in there during a bout with malaria. Mindset is a whole different ball game but never be mistaken – with how important training and fitness is. I don’t come with a military mind, I come self taught, I’ve learnt from people I’ve met and I’ve learnt through making mistakes, falling and standing back up again with no brotherhood support, just my very own mind and body.

Ash Dykes

The longer routes, however, have been sort of a blessing in disguise as he has been able to take in more of the spectacular sights and atmosphere of China. If he was to stick to walking everyday, he would miss out on the true adventure, which is integrating and learning from the locals that he meets.

Throughout his journey, the people of China have been incredibly warm, welcoming and actually a huge part of the expedition itself, makes this country feel like a second home for him.

There have been several moments or problems that have threatened the mission, even before Ash had it all planned, it seems:

Many had warned me before, that it was impossible to walk the Yangtze from the source to the sea

Ash Dykes

Because the first section on the plateau (at an average of over 4,500 meters above sea level) and the barely inhabited mountain areas are very dangerous to cross, it was recommended that he shouldn’t even attempt the mission. But Ash carried on with preparations, regardless, and has got through the hardest part of the mission; even if it did take its toll on his team.

In order to cross the plateau and mountains in good weather, the journey was planned to start in summer, but because of delays in preparations, Dykes arrived in Qinghai in late August as the days were becoming shorter and colder. Unwilling to wait for another year, he decided to press on. He would be the first to say it was difficult but his determination and motivation to succeed helped him through.

Mission Yangtze is not only a human feat and world first, it’s a mission to showcase the true beauty and wonders of China, (and) highlight the environment and positive work being done to protect it

Ash Dykes

Ash managed to spend a day with the 赠客网Zenker Network, who work with disadvantaged children. He shared stories with the children, showing them the impossible is possible, to stay focussed on your dream, follow your heart and the importance of enjoying yet protecting this planet we live on.

This was followed by litter picking along the Yangtze River bank. It is great to see the young people taking care of the planet and the environment. As Ash states – “it’s the future generation that will really help turn around the destruction we’ve caused to this planet 🌏”

Ash has also sought to make this expedition one of the most interactive. This wasn’t just about social media posts, it has been about making appearances and truly getting involved in the local areas and big cities that he has passed through.
Ash loves sharing stories about the mission so far but also of previous expeditions.

The next step has been allowing people to physically join and share the journey, so he can showcase furthermore, the beauty and diversity of this massive country and highlight all the positive things being done to protect the natural environment.

This is all going to be featured in his documentary series that he is working on with a television production company in China. The country is so vast and here are still so many hidden treasures to discover.


Whilst there have been many changes of many aspects during the mission, one thing that has remained the same and with Ash throughout is his trusted Water-to-Go bottle.

Water-to-Go is my number one item on all expeditions

Ash Dykes

He recently reflected how Water-to-Go has kept him safe over a number years and helped him to complete his other world-first expedition in Mongolia and Madagascar. He has hiked through the Gobi-Desert solo and unsupported, hacked through dense jungle and survived sub-zero temperatures.

He highlighted – “Through all of this, I’ve never had to worry about water, as long as there is a water source near by, this bottle makes it instantly drinkable.
I’ve even scooped up mud puddle water in Madagascar and was able to drink it straight away due to the 3 in 1 built in water filtration technology.”


It is fantastic to hear that during his two world-first records and currently on his third – Ash has not needed to buy plastic bottles. This sets a great precedent to the people following him and all the people that he has met along the way. We are proud to sponsor him and to be a part of his journey.

 
It has been a huge mission that many said was not possible, but Ash has overcome everything that he has faced so far and is on the brink of history. As Ash enters the final weeks of his expedition, make sure you read all about it and realize how big an achievement this will be.

You can keep up to date with Ash and his journey via his live tracker and on social media.

How Simone and Ana Prevented ‘Delhi Belly’ in India – Travel Stories

The Story of how Ana and Simone were able to Avoid Illness when Travelling in India

Travel companions Simone and Ana were journeying to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, experiencing India’s rich culture along their way. The fascinating country spans over an enormous 3,000 kilometres north to south from snow-covered Himalayan mountains in the north to the tropical rainforests in the south. Simone and Ana were able to experience many of this country’s breath-taking sites including the world-famous Taj Mahal.

However, the holiday was at risk with the dangerously unreliable tap water in India. With most of India’s tap water undrinkable, the pair were very worried about catching ‘Delhi Belly’ and ruining their trip. It would also be essential for them to stay hydrated in a country that regularly hits scorching temperatures of over 30ºC, especially when out and about. Ana and Simone were in desperate need of a way to access safe drinking water throughout their journey. They had to find a solution.

Thankfully the two travellers brought their Water-to-Go filter bottles on their trip. The bottles ‘allowed us to keep ourselves hydrated’ whilst drinking from any non-salt water sources that they would come across, no matter how disease-ridden. During their travels, Ana and Simone drank from tap water in small restaurants, ‘public water fountains during the visits of many ancients sites’ and even ‘where locals were drinking with the same cup chained near the faucet’. As a result, the pair faced no form of sickness or disease from any of these water sources, although they weren’t entirely without illness …

‘I’m quite confident to say that, with all the given precaution, we drank safely!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky with food too but this is another story!’

Simone and Ana

South African Safari Packing List

A Guide to help you pack the best items on your Safari to South Africa

With over 10 million foreign visitors a year, South Africa has a big appeal to tourists and with the famous Kruger National Park, Safaris play a large part of that tourism. The country has many Safari parks, which together attract millions of visitors every year, with the Kruger National park being the biggest Safari attraction in South Africa.

We’ve worked with safari companies such as Africa Star Tours and Volcano Safaris, and in doing so have gathered some great feedback about what the best items are to bring on your South African Safari trip.

We’ve also partnered with African Wildlife Foundation to help protect Africa’s incredible wildlife and wildlands that you will be experiencing on your Safari. To find out more about our partnership click here.

South Africa’s Kruger National Park

As probably the most popular South African Safari, we’ve provided a few facts about the Kruger National park before you go. With over 1,6 million visitors a year, the Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest safari location, having welcomed its first tourists in 1927. The park spans 19,485 km² and is host to a wide range of wildlife including Lions, Leopards, Elephants, buffalo, hippos as well as over 500 species of bird. The Reserve itself has 21 Rest Camps, 2 Private Lodge Concessions And 15 Private Safari Lodges for you to stay at.

A Camera to Capture your Journey

Having some form of camera will be a fantastic item so that you can capture some of the rarest animals on our planet. Using just your phone camera may be fine for some pictures however, it may not be the best option for capturing animals you’re not able to get up close with.

Therefore, getting yourself a good quality camera can help you capture some of the best photos during your Safari. It will help you get some great pictures of both the wildlife and the landscape along your way and is a great way to capture your memories of the trip.

The Best Camera for a Safari

There is a range of high-quality cameras available from brands like Sony, Panasonic and Fuji. Make sure to have a look around and find the best camera for your needs.

One great camera for a Safari is the Canon 80D. Firstly it’s a durable and weatherproof, meaning it will be able to deal with dusty South African Safari conditions. Additionally, it takes an excellent quality of photo so you’ll be able to capture the sights your trip in fantastic detail. However, whilst this camera is excellent for a safari it does come at a significant cost, so if you are looking for a cheaper option this may not be the best camera for you.

 

Binoculars

For similar reasons to a camera, bringing binoculars will enhance your experience during your Safari as well. You’ll want to make the most of your time out in the wild and that partially means getting the best view of as many animals as you can. Unfortunately binoculars cant change how many animals you see, but if there are animals a long way in the distance the binoculars will help you get the best look you can.

What to consider when buying Safari Binoculars

When choosing your binoculars you’ll want to consider a few different factors before your purchase:

  • Magnification: Make sure to get binoculars that are able to see a fairly long distance away, otherwise they won’t be much use! You can also get binoculars that have variable zoom which may be a useful feature.
  • Convenience: Travelling around all day means you won’t want to be carrying any unnecessary weight, so finding yourself a lighter and smaller pair of binoculars can be very beneficial.
  • Durability: As you’ll be out in the wild all day a pair of binoculars that can cope with the terrain is essential. Make sure to look for binoculars that will be able to withstand dusty South African conditions especially.
  • Quality of Image: You’ll want binoculars that are able to clearly see a fair amount of detail through the lens. The last thing you want is to be looking at a blurry spot instead of an elephant!
  • Cost: Whilst all these factors are important you’ll need to balance these against cost. If you’re looking at a lower price range you may have to compromise on some of these features, however you should still be able to find good quality binoculars at a reasonable price.

Sun Cream and a Sun Hat

With South African temperatures regularly hitting over 25ºC, sun cream and a hat will be essential for your Safari. These would be useful items if you were just on holiday but as you will be out in the sun all day on safari they become essential items for you. It’s also important to make sure you bring sun cream with you during the day so you can top up regularly.

As well as using sun cream regularly, a great item to prevent sunburn is a sun hat. This will not only help prevent sunburn on your neck and face but also keep your body temperature cooler throughout the day, reducing the risk of sunstroke.

The benefits of Suncream

There are numerous health benefits towards using sunscreen with the most obvious being you won’t be having to endure the pain of sunburn during your holiday. However, there are also long-term benefits such as reducing the chances of skin cancer, reducing premature skin ageing and preventing blotchy skin.

Safari Specific Clothing

Having already discussed a sun hat, you’ll also want to think about the clothing that you’ll be wearing out in the sun. Out in the heat all day you’ll want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable and not too hot in your clothing.

When thinking about your attire, comfort and ease are two factors that should be essential. In scorching South African heat, having restricting clothing that may even be hard to move in will almost certainly have a negative impact on your safari experience. Another factor that could be considered is bug bites. Companies such as Rohan make insect repellent clothing which can be very useful in any country where you will face the threat of bitey insects.

Also think about Safari Appropriate Footwear

As well as your clothing, you’ll want to think about what sort of footwear you’ll need for your safari. This may depend on how much walking you’ll be doing, however, it’s probably best to look for some specific walking boots so that you won’t be doing any damage to your feet after a long day of walking. After all, you won’t want to be going into day 2 with blisters on your feet.

Reusable Water Filter Bottle

Being outside in the heat all day means you’ll need to find an effective way to stay hydrated throughout the day. The issue of hydration during the day is often solved through single-use plastic bottled water, which of course is very damaging for the environment. However in some places, tap water may not be a safe option and there won’t be many water sources out on your Safari. So what other options do you have?

The most effective way to keep you hydrated throughout the day, without having to contribute to the world’s plastic pollution problem, is through a filter water bottle. The Water-to-Go bottle can filter dirty unsafe water as you drink. This means that you can fill up from any fresh water source with confidence you won’t suffer any illness. You can therefore, fill up from any tap water or even a river or lake during your Safari.

A good tip for your safari may be to take a large over 2-litre bottle of unfiltered water and decant this into your filter bottle. This is because there is a strong chance your filter bottle won’t hold enough for a full day out in the sun. So unless you know you’ll be stopping regularly for water, make sure to carry more than enough for a full day’s safari with you.

Consider your Medication and the Threat of Malaria

As one of the most deadly diseases in human history, Malaria remains a genuine threat to anyone travelling to the African continent. Malaria medication is available in the UK and is likely to be essential for your Safari. Before going on your safari make sure to consult with your GP to ask about any vaccines or medication you may need before travelling.

Insect Repellent to prevent Bug Bites

Travelling anywhere in Africa, bringing insect and specifically mosquito repellent is an important item. The last thing you want during your Safari days is to be constantly itching because of insect bites. The spray will also help you avoid mosquitos and the dangerous diseases they carry.

As previously mentioned, you can also get yourself insect repellent clothing which will be able which is another great way to keep yourself protected. Both methods should work effectively, however to be safe it may be best to still use repellent spray even if you’ve got the clothing as well.

Essential Items for Travel

Slightly less specific for your safari, but make sure to double check you have your usual travel essentials. Make sure to check what you need for your specific journey, but some things these should include are:

  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flight Tickets
  • First Aid kit
  • Personal Medication
  • Local Currency (the Rand for South Africa)

Avoid Single-use Plastics for Plastic Free July

Take the Challenge and Refuse Single-use Plastic for Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a global campaign that helps millions of people contribute towards resolving the world’s plastic pollution problem so that everyone can have cleaner streets, oceans, and communities.

To date, the movement has inspired over 120 million participants in 177 countries. By choosing to refuse single-use plastic in July millions will be able to find great alternatives to single-use plastic products, which can be taken beyond just this one month. Plastic Free July’s website offers loads of helpful tips and advice as to how you can choose to refuse single-use plastic this July and beyond.

Refuse Single-Use Plastic Bottles with a Reusable Water Bottle

With over a million single-use bottles produced every minute, one of the biggest contributing factors towards the world’s plastic pollution problem is disposable water bottles. By simply getting yourself a reusable, refillable water bottle you’ll be able to avoid buying and discarding unnecessary single-use plastic bottles.

A Water-to-Go bottle provides a reusable, refillable bottle with the added benefit of a unique 3-in-1 filter, which provides clean safe drinking water from any non-salt water source. This means you will be able to avoid single-use bottles anywhere in the world as you will have constant access to clean drinking water.

Additionally, every Water-to-Go filter lasts long enough to replace up to 400 single-use plastic water bottles. This means you’ll be able to significantly reduce your own personal plastic waste by replacing single-use plastic bottles with a Water-to-Go filter bottle.

 

Water-to-Go’s Top Tips for Avoiding Single-Use Plastic

With more and more awareness about the world’s plastic problem growing each day, there are also more practical alternatives to single-use plastics emerging. As well as some of the fantastic suggestions and advice given by Plastic Free July, we have created a list of just a few ways you can reduce your plastic usage. Some of these things include getting yourself a reusable coffee cup, a reusable carrier bag and even swapping to biodegradable chewing gum. Check out the video below or for a more comprehensive list take a look at our blog post here.

 

Water-to-Go working to stop Single-Use Plastics

Water-to-Go are also working with organisations such as Incredible Oceans and Travel Without Plastic to help spread awareness about the severity of the world’s plastic pollution problem.

Travel Without Plastic

Jo Hendrix, Founder and CEO, started Travel Without Plastic following countless encounters with unnecessary and environmentally damaging encounters with single-use plastics herself, the final straw being a ‘Styrofoam breakfast’. The organisation works towards one goal; ‘To prevent one Billion single-use plastic items from entering the global waste stream, or worse, our natural environments by the end of 2020′.

Click here to find out more about Travel Without Plastic

 

Incredible Oceans

Incredible Oceans is a not-for-profit organisation that are helping protect our oceans from plastic pollution. They run education programmes, events and festivals using charismatic marine creatures to tell critical ocean stories in engaging and entertaining ways.

Click here to find out more about Incredible Oceans

Plastic Patrol

Another organisation Water-to-Go is involved with, and another fantastic initiative is, Plastic Patrol. They aim to create a future where people and nature can strive together and are able to do this by combining Stand-Up Paddle Boarding with plastic clean-ups. They regularly run these events all over the UK.

Click here to find out more about Plastic Patrol

 

As all of these organisations highlight, there are many ways you can stop using single-use plastics and make a difference with the various alternatives outlined.

Something everyone can do to make a difference is use a reusable filter bottle such as Water-to-Go which will save you over 1500 single-use plastic water bottles over the course of a year. Do your bit for the environment to mark Plastic Free July and use Water-to-Go.

www.watertogo.eu

Keenan Williams – Water-to-Go has transformed my adventures

Water-to-Go are Supporting Welsh Adventurer Keenan Williams, following his journey to Snowdonia

Keenan Williams has just finished a trip to Snowdonia National Park at the age of just 20-years old and is already planning his next adventure, across the peaks of Wales. He used his Water-to-Go filter bottle on his most recent journey, filling from sources all over Snowdonia.

Keenan has written about his experience at Snowdonia and with his Water-to-Go filter bottle …

 

About Keenan Williams

My name is Keenan, I’m a 20-year-old Outdoor enthusiast from South Wales. I spend most of my time hiking and mountain biking in the Brecon Beacons national park.

Here in Wales we have no shortage of water, from rain, lakes, streams, ponds and waterfalls you don’t have to go far before you come into contact with water. However, none of this water is ever safe to drink untreated due to being riddled with insects such as flies and water spiders, animal waste, bacteria and water born viruses.

 

Keenan’s Adventure at Snowdonia National Park

On his most recent trip, Keenan would face a problem commonly faced by Adventurers, Explorers and Travelers. How he could get access to clean safe drinking water whilst exploring the great outdoors. However, Keenan was able to find a practical solution to this challenge whilst hiking across Snowdonia…

My most recent trip was to the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. We spent the night camping at Llyn Gwynant which is an amazing lake surrounded by some of Wales’ highest peaks. This was the perfect opportunity to collect water for my day of hiking. After hiking and climbing for around 5 hours the majority of the challenge was complete however we were still at least 2 hours away from civilisation, and with it being the hottest day of the year me and my friend noticed we were running dangerously low on water.
This is where my Water-to-Go bottle comes in every time. I was able to re-fill the bottle using a tiny Waterfall that was running down the side of the summit. Even though it was amazing to look at and looked crystal clear it was easy to see that it cut through a sheep track and that animals use this fall too due to the amount of bones and faeces laying around. However, due to the filter in my bottle I was able to re-fill our water without worrying about drinking any contaminated water.
The most important benefit of the Water-to-Go bottle for me is the fact that I don’t have to carry huge water bottles or heavy bladder bags. This becomes incredibly useful on longer trips, like when I was in Alcudia. The temperature was sitting around 40° so every member of my group was carrying big heavy rucksacks full to the brim of water. As you can imagine the heavy packs combined with the steep terrain and blistering heat made the hike almost unbearable for most of the hikers. I was able to simply carry one Water-to-Go bottle with me and using a little bit of planning of the area beforehand I was able to consistently re-fill my bottle at every stream or lake we passed and not once did I run out of water.

 

What’s the Next Adventure for Keenan?

Keenan will continue to explore the Welsh outdoors with his next expedition, taking on a considerable more sizeable challenge than his most recent trip to Snowdonia National Park …
I have a major trip planned in December where I am planning to climb all of the peaks in Wales that stand over 3000ft. This adventure is going to consist of a lot of wild camping and I will spend the majority of my time in the Snowdonia Mountain range. Throughout the expedition, I will be relying on my Water-to-Go bottle so I can fill up from the many natural lakes and streams.
I’ve been using my Water-to-Go bottle for 7 months now and I never plan on going on an adventure without it. I have drunk from various water sources varying from the biggest Waterfall in Wales to tiny puddles riddled with insects and bacteria and not once have I got an illness. By using my Water-to-Go bottle I am not only able to drink safely from any non-salt water source but I am more importantly contributing to reducing the ever-growing plastic pollution crisis. Water-to-Go has transformed my adventures and helps me stay outdoors for longer as running out of safe water is no longer a factor I need to consider.

Keep up with Keenan and his adventures on social media.

Clean Safe Drinking Water across North America – Jule’s Story

From Canada to Mexico with the Grand Canyon in between

Jule Eisendick, founder of the happy choices, has travelled to stunning destinations all over North and Central America. She experienced the breath-taking Canadian wilderness travelling by car. Then beholding one of North America’s most awe-inspiring Landmarks, the Grand Canyon, Arizona. On to Central America, Jule was able to visit some of the beautiful natural sites that Mexico has to offer, including the incredible beaches and wonderful cenotes.

However, each of these three vastly different destinations poses the vital challenge of how to access clean safe drinking water. Firstly in the vast wilderness of Canada, Jule will only be able to access water via rivers, streams and lakes, all of which are extremely unreliable when it comes to safe drinking water. Furthermore, she will have to stay regularly hydrated in the blistering heat of the Grand Canyon. And finally, she will be forced to drink from potentially dangerous tap water in Mexico, another source that can cause serious illness.

Thankfully Jule had her Water-to-Go filter bottle with her on each unique journey. This meant in Canada’s fierce wilderness Jule was able to drink ‘from lakes, waterfalls and rivers. It’s been an awesome feeling to drink wild water, and it was great not to have to carry the heavy water bottles you normally need to carry.’ Furthermore in the Grand Canyon and Mexico Jule could safely and confidently drink from potentially harmful tap water. In fact whilst in Arizona ‘they had bathroom taps with signs and hotel staff saying the tap water is not drinking water’. However, this worrying information didn’t phase them as they ‘safely drank the water with our filter bottle’.

Find out more about Jule and responsible travel at thehappychoices.com

Ditch Single-Use plastic bottles on National Refill Day with Water-to-Go

Stop Plastic pollution caused by single-use plastic bottles on National Refill Day

National Refill Day is a public awareness campaign aiming to stop millions of single-use plastic bottles from polluting our streets and oceans. The day is encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go. 

Brought to you by City to Sea as part of the award-winning Refill Campaign, National Refill Day is an awareness campaign to get the UK public to stop bottling it when it comes to our drinking water. Refill want to create a new social norm for refilling on the go – saving us money, keeping us hydrated and preventing millions of single-use plastic bottles at the source.  

This is something that we are big advocates for and want to encourage everyone to do. We have all the seen the disastrous effect that plastic pollution is having on our planet and it is imperative that we all do our bit to protect our planet.

On June 19th the Refill campaign will be asking the public if they’ve #GotTheBottle to stop buying single-use plastic bottles and replace them with a reusable bottle instead. If just 1 in 10 Brits Refilled once a week, the country would save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.

Water-to-Go reducing plastic pollution

One of our core missions at Water-to-Go is to reduce the environmental devastation caused by single-use plastic bottles. Just one of our 75cl filters will replace 400 single-use plastic bottles. Just think of the difference this could make.

Additionally, the bottle’s unique filtration technology means you can fill up from any non-salt water source, such as rivers, lakes and mountain streams, to access safe drinking water. So no matter the situation you won’t need to revert to single-use plastic bottles for accessing clean drinking water.

Water-to-Go Marking National Refill Day

As part of National Refill Day, we’re showcasing some of our favourite places our customers and ambassadors have refilled their Water-to-Go bottles.

Enjoy!

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has refilled his Water-to-Go bottle from the Yangtze river in China on his world-first #MissionYangtze expedition to walk the whole length of the Yangtze river.

Water-to-Go ambassador, Chaz Powell, fills his Water-to-Go bottle from the Gambia river on his recent expedition to become one of the first to walk the whole length of it.

Water-to-Go bottles making an appearance at Glastonbury Festival. If you are at a festival this year, make sure you stay well hydrated and plastic free with a Water-to-Go bottle.

Have a look at our Summer packing list with all the essentials you will need to keep you single-use plastic free. (To get festival ready with Water-to-Go, use discount code: FESTIVAL19)

Tim Kroeger filled up his bottle from a tap whilst on a trip in a village in West Africa.

Keenan Williams refilling his Water-to-Go bottle from a lake in the Brecon Beacons.

Holly from The Outdoor Guide fills up from the snow mountains whilst on a trip in Switzerland.

Tarran Kent-Hume refilled his Water-to-Go bottle from the Rio Negro whilst on an expedition kayaking the Amazon River.

Jule from The Happy Choices drinking water straight from a waterfall whilst on a walk in the Canadian wilderness.

Our Blue 75cl bottle getting a top-up from a mucky puddle whislt on a hike in South Korea.

This refill of the green bottle is straight from a standpipe whilst on a charity trek in the Pyrenees.

Becky the Traveller fills her pink 50cl bottle from a mountain stream whilst on a hike in the Lake District.

Send us your pictures filling up your Water-to-Go bottle from questionable sources and we will feature them on our social media channels.

Water-to-Go are partnering up with Discover Adventure

I’m Holly and I’m part of the Green Team at Discover Adventure.

Discover Adventure specialise in trekking, cycling and multi-activity adventures in the UK and across the globe, with many of our participants using their challenge as a fundraising platform. Our efforts have allowed thousands of people to experience unforgettable achievements around the world, while collectively raising over £100 million for worthwhile causes.

We’re obviously passionate about travel, discovering new parts of the world and pushing ourselves to complete extraordinary challenges in all corners of the globe is our trademark. But, we are constantly asking ourselves ‘at what cost?’. We feel that everyone has a responsibility to consider how we can save the planet, even the very little things can make a huge difference. Which is why we have a dedicated ‘Green Team’ at DA HQ, always looking for ways to enhance our sustainability as a company and find new ideas that support our motto ‘take only photos, leave only footprints’.

The projects and ideas that are bubbling from the Green Team look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, in the office and on our many trips, and especially reduce the use of single-use plastic.  From recycling more than ever in the office, collecting toilet roll tubes to be re-used for the Dogs Trust in Salisbury, to keeping our use of paper and plastic to a minimum.

 

Reducing Single-Use Plastic Usage

We figured that one of the many ways we were able to increase our sustainability as a company, and massively reduce the use of single-use plastic on our trips, is by encouraging participants to bring their own water bottle. After all, we lead hundreds of participants every year on adventures all over the world and it is thirsty work! Especially when you’re exerting yourself in new surroundings and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Bringing your own water bottle with you on an adventure means you can fill up and stay hydrated easily, limiting any litter and minimising your impact on whichever exotic landscape it is that you are exploring. We want it make it easy for you to be a part of the solution, which is why we are proud to partner with Water-to-Go as a handy, eco-friendly and efficient alternative.

Jo Bradshaw recommends Water-to-Go

We chatted to Jo Bradshaw, who is an adventurer and one of our very own Discover Adventure leaders. Jo has led many, many DA adventures over the years and has summited Kilimanjaro an incredible 30 times! So she knows a thing or two about the outdoors.

Jo is another passionate supporter of Water to Go:

“I travel regularly to countries which have little or no recycling facilities, and where the water from a tap or a stream is not as safe to drink as here in the UK. Up until a few years ago I was part of the plastics problem but since I bought my first Water-to-Go filter bottle, I’ve stepped away from creating more of a issue in a country which can do little to recycle. ”

Jo Bradshaw, DA leader

“I use my bottles (I now have 3!) in the UK without the filter too, and I haven’t added to the single-use plastic bottle problem here for a good few years which has also saved me money too. When there is an alternative surely it’s our duty to us and the future generations to make the change and to stop being part of the problem?”

Agreed! You can make a difference on every adventure you take, so why not?

Grab one for your next adventure

Whether you’re looking to simply do your bit for the planet, or you’re due to take on a challenge in the near future, grab a Water-to-Go bottle through Discover Adventure and receive a 15% discount. Even better, Water-to-Go will donate a further 15% to our charity projects.

Interested in our charity projects? All of our projects, from green initiatives to helping the communities we visit on our adventures, are thoughtfully selected each year. We fund a Tanzanian tour guide to gain their mountain leader qualification each year and plant a tree in Peru for every participant that treks the Inca Cycle with us, to name a few. This year, Cycle of Good is another project we are rallying behind, donating old inner tubes from our bicycles to be up-cycled into products that can be sold and benefit communities in Malawi and other poor nations. Watch this space for more on our upcoming projects!

Thanks for tuning in, and feel free to check out our challenges if you’re feeling inspired. Just don’t forget to pack your trusty water bottle!

Holly, Discover Adventure