Water-to-Go on Three World First Adventures – Ash Dykes Story

Clean Safe Drinking Water on Ash Dykes’ Three World First Expeditions

British adventurer Ash Dykes has achieved some incredible feats, from hiking solo through the scorching Gobi desert to surviving sub-zero temperatures in China’s mountains. In this time Ash has achieved two awe-inspiring world first records. In 2014, he became the first person ever recorded to walk across Mongolia completely solo and unsupported, covering an astonishing distance of over 1,500 miles in 78 days. He trekked over the Altai Mountains, through the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian Steppe, all whilst pulling a wheeled trailer weighing 120kg, carrying everything needed to survive.

He then later became the first person in history to walk the entire length of Madagascar’s interior, whilst summiting the island’s eight highest Mountains in the process. Ash is now hoping to become the first person to walk the length of the Yangtze River this year which is set to be an enormous 4,000-mile trek.

However, travelling to remote locations like these means Ash is constantly facing the life-threatening problem of how he can get access to essential clean safe drinking water. In these dangerous conditions drinking dirty water can have disastrous and potentially fatal consequences. Drinking contaminated dirty water can lead to many serious diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery. Additionally, as Ash is in some of the world’s most remote areas, lack of access to medical facilities means these diseases could lead to serious consequences. This is a genuinely life-threatening challenge that Ash is forced to face on every one of his challenges.

Thankfully, Ash has been accompanied by his ‘number one item’, his Water-to-Go filter bottle, on each of his amazing world first missions. Ash has been able to drink from any and every non-salt water source he has come across during his expeditions: ‘Through all of this, I’ve never had to worry about water, as long as there is a water source nearby, 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’. This means Ash has been able to safely and effectively stay hydrated on his astounding challenges, which in places with high temperatures like the Gobi desert and Madagascar has been critical to his world firsts.

Ash 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. Whilst the many changes in scenery, people and food; there is one thing that remains the same on his expedition – his Water-to-Go bottle.

James Forrest climbs 273 mountains in Ireland in record-breaking expedition

UK adventurer, James Forrest, has officially climbed every 600m mountain in Ireland in just eight weeks – the fastest ever time. The 35-year-old walked over 1,000km in his mission to stand atop all 273 600m high mountains across Ireland and Northern Ireland. He ascended the height of Everest every week for eight weeks in a row, completing the peak-bagging challenge solo and unsupported in 56 days. The expedition is believed to be the first continuous ‘single round’ of the mountains of Ireland.

James, a freelance adventure and travel writer from Cumbria in England, walked up to 25 miles a day and slept wild in the mountains in a one-man tent. He began his adventure on Thursday, August 9, and reached his final summit – Knocknadobar in County Kerry – on Wednesday, October 3. He said: “I feel on top of the world to have finally completed this epic expedition. It has been the adventure of a lifetime and an incredibly tough challenge, both physically and mentally.”

“Mountains are good for the soul. I love the freedom, the fresh air, the isolation, the unpredictability, the escapism – and this journey has let me experience these joys more than most.”

James Forrest

It wasn’t all plain sailing for him and the weather certainly wasn’t always the kindest to James. He faced his fair share of bad weather during his challenge, battling against torrential rain and gale force winds during Storm Ali. “I faced such brutal weather during this challenge at times I felt like giving up”, he added. But like the true adventurer, James soldiered on to complete one of his biggest challenges to date.

To get more of an insight into his record-breaking adventure, Water-to-Go managed to ask a few questions to the man himself.

Where did you first get the idea of climbing all 273 mountains in Ireland, and what did the planning and training involve? In 2017 I climbed all 446 mountains over 2000ft in England and Wales – the so-called ‘Nuttalls’ – in just six months, the fastest ever time. It was my first ever major peak-bagging expedition and I loved it. It was a life-affirming experience; a challenge that changed my life really. I wanted to go on a similar adventure in 2018 and the idea of Ireland popped into my head. I’d never hiked in Ireland so I was drawn to the idea of new experiences and exciting landscapes, especially in the wild, rugged, remote west and south-west of Ireland.

To be honest, I really didn’t train for the challenge, simply because I walk a lot in my everyday life, so I was already fit for hiking. And, similarly, I didn’t spend loads of time planning. I love the unpredictability of adventures and the joy of ‘going with the flow’, so I’ve never been one to over-plan. All I did really was jam-pack my car full of expedition food and camping gear (especially chocolate and Nutella) and plan routes on my phone using a GPS app. Simple.

What gear did you rely on the most during your journey?
Definitely the GPS navigation app on my phone. Many of the mountains of Ireland are pathless and, in poor weather, navigation is very tricky. My GPS certainly got me out of a few tricky situations – I might still be lost in the remote Dunkerrons in County Kerry if it wasn’t for the wonders of GPS pinpointing. I used my phone as my primary navigation tool for all 273 mountains and it never let me down. I also loved my Water-to-Go bottle, however – it went everywhere with me and enabled me to access clear water whenever I needed it on my wild camping trips. It was invaluable.

What were the biggest challenges you faced? There were, naturally, loads of lows: falling violently ill (stomach problems) after my first week in the wild; losing my wallet in Killarney (only to luckily get it back after it was handed into the police}; being berated by an angry Air BnB owner for ‘making his house smell of old socks’ after stashing my hiking gear in the room (one of the most awkward and cringy moments I’ve ever had!); and forgetting my lighter on a multi-day wild camping trip meaning I couldn’t use my stove (luckily a kind man gave me one on day two!).

But easily the biggest challenge was the weather. I faced so much rain and wind and cloud it was utterly gut-wrenching. At one point I hiked for 10 days in a row, climbing over 50 mountains, and it was torrential rain every day and I didn’t see a view from a single summit. It was horrific. I felt like giving up so many times. It was demoralising and I felt broken mentally. But I persevered, as I didn’t want to be a quitter, and I’m so pleased I kept going.

What was the best moment? There were so many highs and ecstasies: the freedom and escapism of the mountains, the nature, the solitude and tranquility of walking alone, the magic of sleeping wild under the stars, the sense of achievement that comes with a big challenge, the heartwarming generosity and kindness of the strangers who gave me lifts when I was hitchhiking around, the unpredictability of a big adventure (and the joy of overcoming the mishaps and obstacles in my way), and the beauty of the wild landscapes of Ireland. But my most euphoric moment was waking up to a perfect cloud inversion on a mountain called Knockowen in the Beara Peninsula. I unzipped my tent and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was truly beautiful, like waking up heaven. I will remember that moment forever.

Anything you can tell us about your next expedition – or are you taking the chance to rest and recover for a bit first? Well, I’ve now climbed all of the mountains in England and Wales in 2017, and all of the mountains in Ireland in 2018. So, perhaps, the past 719 mountains have just been training for the inevitable – an attempt on the Munros in 2019 maybe. But, for the time being, I’m planning on spending a lot of time with my sofa, watching Netflix and eating Dominos pizzas. I think I deserve the rest!

James, whose expedition was supported by outdoor clothing brand Salomon and expedition food company Summit To Eat, hopes to write a book about his adventures in Ireland. His debut book Mountain Man – about his 446-mountain challenge in England and Wales – will be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2019. To follow James’ adventures visit www.instagram.com/jamesmichaelforrest or www.facebook.com/jamesmichaelforrest

Chaz Powell to Trek the Gambia River

UK adventurer and expedition leader, Chaz Powell, is embarking on his next adventure to walk the length of the Gambia River. This expedition is set to begin early in 2019 and will be one of the most poignant yet for Chaz. Not only will it be a physical test for the seasoned adventurer, but he is also using this expedition to raise awareness about Africa’s wildlife and a specific fundraising project.

Credit: Alex Frood

The 1,120km starting in Guinea journey, will take Chaz through Senegal and across Gambia to Banjul along the country’s west coast. The trek is expected to take him around two months to complete, facing a number of challenges along the way such as high temperatures and threats from wild animals. Chaz explained that he ‘wanted to test [himself] on another wild journey’ and that ‘the river itself interests me, as does the wildlife, the culture, the old explorers and the history of the area. I also want to get involved in wildlife projects along the way.’

Credit: Alex Frood

Chaz has 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience, completing a lot of long distance treks all over the world. Recently, he undertook his biggest challenge to date, walking 2000 miles over 137 days from source to sea along the Zambezi river. Chaz explains, ‘after leaving the UK in 2004 and embarking on a backpacking adventure I travelled the world on and off for 8 years, visiting many amazing places, exploring various continents and embracing some incredible life changing experiences”. But it is clear from his previous experiences that Africa is particularly poignant with Chaz and a place that he feels a real affinity to.

The inspiration for Chaz’s latest Gambia trek was taken from his recent journey along the Zambezi, saying that he had ‘learned that [he] wanted to keep doing these walks and that [he] can probably never stop doing them’. The two treks along African rivers will certainly have similarities, with high temperatures and African wildlife being two of the biggest obstacles along the way.

Although Africa is a popular tourist destination and a lot about the wildlife is well-documented, there is a lot about Africa that people don’t know and remains unearthed. Chaz has visited various parts of Africa and experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not even know existed. A major part of his expedition will be to experience the African people and provide an insight to Africa that will be completely different and new to what anyone has seen before. In that sense, this is an expedition that is not to be under-estimated. Chaz has already witnessed and found himself in unimaginable situations and rituals, having once even been detained and locked up, so is fully prepared for what is to come in the following months.

Credit: Alex Frood

As part of the expedition, Chaz is also teaming up with African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) to help raise awareness around Africa’s wildlife and wildlands. 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. Throughout his expedition, Chaz will be visiting AWF bases and providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.

Credit: Alex Frood

Chaz is particularly passionate about wildlife conservation and in particular raising awareness surrounding the illegal wildlife trade. This is a very current issue that has been well documented over recent years. At the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London back in October, it was highlighted that more has to be done to eradicate the problem due to the negative impact on Africa’s economies and development.

Chaz Powell is also excited to be partnering with UK business, Water-to-Go, on his next adventure. 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 means Chaz can fill up from any freshwater stream or from the Gambia river itself to keep himself safe and hydrated throughout the expedition. 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.

Credit: Frazer Waller Photography

Chaz’s expedition will also be bringing awareness of an important project between Water-to-Go and the African Wildlife Foundation. 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. To do this, they have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz will be using on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

If you want to get involved in Chaz’s expedition and this project, 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.

Water-to-Go Teams Up With Jordan Wylie

We are delighted to announce that former soldier, best selling author and extreme adventurer Jordan Wylie has joined us as an ambassador for 2019. It is a privilege to working with someone of Jordan’s calibre and influence so we are excited for what the future holds. Described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “a determined, fearless adventurer and an inspiring man”, it is clear that he has had a life packed full of travel, adventure and personal challenges to get him to the top of his game.

Jordan recently returned from an expedition called ‘Running Dangerously’ which saw him run through 3 of the most dangerous countries in the world for charity using a Water-to-Go bottle throughout his adventure. It was an amazing achievement and now he has a new challenge in store.

It is clear that Water-to-Go has been an important part of his expeditions and is essential kit for wherever he goes. No matter where he is in the world, Jordan has the security in knowing that our unique filter will eliminate any harmful contaminants providing him with safe, clean drinking water.

 

Water-to-Go has developed a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. As an extreme adventurer, I often find myself in environments that are remote and complex and I rely on nature as my main source of rehydration.

Jordan Wylie

 

Jordan now uses his extensive network of contacts and wealth of experience to help educate, inspire and motivate others worldwide. Jordan is a regular in the worlds media having featured on HBO America, Discovery Channel, Vice, BBC, Sky News, in the Wall Street Journal and The Times newspaper. Jordan is also one of the stars of Channel 4’s Hunted and Celebrity Hunted which will be back on our screens in early 2019.

It is a very exciting time for Jordan so we are pleased to be working with him and supporting him on his journey. Furthermore, it is great to see that we have similar values and missions in protecting the planet and becoming more sustainable.

The Water-to-Go filtration bottle is a must have for any adventurer or traveller that often finds themselves exploring off the beaten track. I am delighted to be working with Water-to-Go and to be able to drink water where you are certain of the quality by filtering it yourself, help reduce plastic waste and have a better impact on the environment is fundamental to long term sustainability on this planet.

Jordan Wylie

 

It is fantastic to hear that Jordan has been using Water-to-Go to keep him safe and hydrated on his adventures over the years and is now joining us on our journey.

Jordan is very good friends with another Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, and it seems like they both have something in common – they both like pushing themselves to the limit and attempting world-first expeditions!

Jordan’s next challenge will see him undertake a world-first that will test him to the limit once again. He is now preparing to become the first person to row the world’s most dangerous strait of water, completely solo and unsupported, in an expedition titled, ‘Rowing Dangerously’. See what this incredible expedition entails in the video below.

 

Jordan who raised over £100,000 for charitable and good causes in 2018 will be heading towards more danger next year when he heads to the Gulf of Aden in world first rowing attempt to cross the Bab-El-Mandeb Straits. Jordan hopes to raise £250,000 to build a new school in Djibouti for Somali and Yemen child refuges so they can continue education. To learn more about Jordan or his charity adventures, visit www.jordanwylie.org

Ash Dykes Reaches Second Milestone on #MissionYangtze

We are pleased to report that Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has now reached his second major milestone of along his world first journey. Ash is making excellent progress as he attempts to become the first person to walk the entire 4,000-mile length of the Yangtze river, a trek expected to take him an entire year to complete.

Ash says “it’s been a wild adventure and more extreme than I could have ever imagined”. This part of his Yangtze walk has certainly had its challenges for the UK adventurer but getting to the second bend in the Yangtze marks the end of another chapter as he continue to make great progress on his expedition.

#MissionYangtze so far

Ash has now completed 1,500 miles of his journey, currently residing just outside of Lijiang. He is ahead of schedule which is great to hear especially considering the difficulties he has faced along the way.

The journey started at the scientific source of the Yangtze at an altitude of 5,000 miles above sea level. Since then Ash reached his first major milestone on 3rd October, 550 miles into his journey. Ash resided in his first city of the expedition, Yushu, in the Qinghai province of western China.

Ash drinking water at the scientific source of the Yangtze

So far Ash has overcome a number of challenges whilst travelling through rural China. Firstly, he has had to battle temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius whilst also facing tough terrain in the form of glaciers, mountain passages and cliff faces as well as encountering a number of snow blizzards. This is also had a huge impact on his team that is travelling with him meaning he they have had to take the necessary precautions on his expedition.

Ash explains, “Seven team members have already been taken off the expedition due to altitude sickness, injury or physically not being able to overcome the challenges that have presented themselves. The main thing is, they’re back home, safe and sound, with their families.”

On top of this, Ash has had to deal with the threat of bears and wolves, having found fresh bear prints outside his tent one morning. One technique the team uses whilst walking at night is to blow on whistles, making bears aware of their presence, in the hope they will then stay clear. It is at times like this that we all realise this is not a mission to be underestimated and Ash is fully aware of the challenges he has already faced and that are ahead of him.

What’s next for Ash on #MissionYangtze

Now at the river’s southmost point, the team will take a 90-degree turn continuing through Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing before coming to the end of the journey in Shanghai.

Ash’s team keeping healthy and hydrated with their own Water-to-Go bottles

Ash will now move from western rural China and into eastern urbanised China. He will face new challenges going through major Chinese cities and hopes to inspire and educate as many people as possible on his way.

You can keep up to date with Ash’s story via his website or through his social media channels. People can even track Ash on his website and see where he is, within 5 metres of his actual location.

Mandarin Films (Ash’s China-based production team who are creating a documentary of this expedition), are soon to release one-minute teaser clips every week. This documentary coverage is heavily anticipated in the Chinese market and is expected to be popular in international markets too. You can view these on Ash’s YouTube channel soon after they are released.

Ash Dykes on Plastic Pollution in the Yangtze

During #MissionYangtze, Ash has been keeping a close eye on the environment in the remote areas of the Yangtze river. This is an important aspect of his expedition and his findings will be very useful to local authorities and environmental organisations. Ash has already been working with the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) as an ambassador since the start of his journey to promote and spread awareness of biodiversity throughout China.

“Protection of the environment is very close to my heart and I always push out the message that you must enjoy this planet we live on, but also protect it,” he says.

Highest platform of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, looking up to the peak at 5596 meters

Ash says that he is “surprised with how well cared for the Yangtze River and the tributaries that flow into it actually are. I’ve not seen much plastic in the waterways up to now. It’s against the Tibetan culture to disrespect nature”.

It is great to hear this positive news from his findings and we hope to hear more of the same as he continue down the Yangtze. Water-to-Go has partnered with Ash and the team in China will join him at certain sections en route, to educate local communities on plastic pollution and provide water filtration bottles, which give them access to fresh drinking water. Ash aims to deliver presentations, talking about the beauty of China, his adventures and the importance of enjoying yet protecting the planet we live on.

Overall, Ash has been getting on very well in his expedition, despite a few ups and downs at the start, and has been starting to take in the beauty of the Yangtze and China in general.

“China has really proved to be more diverse and beautiful than I could have hoped for, but I’ve had to constantly stay alert and focussed. I’ve certainly been tested in many aspects but I’ve been able to overcome each challenge I’ve faced.”

Ash Dykes on his mission so far

Ash will continue his journey from Dali in the coming days following a short break. We will endeavour to keep you all updated of his progress and we wish Ash and all of his team the best for the remainder of their time along the Yangtze.

Personal Trainer Fights Single-Use Plastic

Olivia Furner is a Reigate based Personal Trainer, who also has a strong interest in environmental change and in particular trying to reduce her consumption of single-use plastic which has a devastating effect on our oceans, and its wildlife.

Olivia works as a personal trainer, blogger and Sweaty Betty ambassador. She uses her influence to spread the message of health, fitness and sustainability to those who follow her. So far, she has helped others make simple swaps and hopes her work will help to bring about further change. Olivia is keen to show people it doesn’t need to be difficult and encourages small steps, such as swapping your usual plastic bottle for a reusable option such as Water-to-Go.

Every year, July brings about the global movement “Plastic Free July”, which has millions of people around the globe giving up single-use plastic for one month. To mark this, Olivia aimed to run a half marathon every week, to raise further awareness and to fundraise for the UK based charity Surfers Against Sewage. She hopes this challenge will inspire people to embrace simple lifestyle changes.

Olivia after finishing her first half-marathon back in July

Whilst she follows a life focused around health and fitness, taking care of the world is something she has been actively sharing with others. She follows a prominently plant-based diet, and have been taking steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

“In the past year I’ve been making changes to my lifestyle, by reducing the amount of single-use plastic I consume. Whilst living plastic free isn’t an easy task, reducing is something we can all do. Whilst on this mission, I came across Water-to-Go who have been a driving force in this space a for a while now! Their bottles, have a filtration system that ensures 99.9% of bacteria is removed from the water you drink. This is a game changer to reduce plastic when you’re on the go, but also when out of the UK. I often get asked what bottles I use, and as many people don’t like drinking just tap water my top recommendation is always Water-to-Go!”

Olivia Furner

 

 

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Whether you are trying to use less plastic when travelling or just in daily life, Water-to-Go is perfect for you. Our reusable, refillable bottles have a 3-in-1 technology filter inside that eliminates harmful contaminants such as viruses and bacteria from any non-salt water source in the world so you can have safe, drinking water wherever you are. So whether you don’t like the taste of tap water or want to stay safe on your travels, Water-to-Go is perfect for you. Furthermore, by using a Water-to-Go, you will be saving on hundreds of single-use plastic bottles every year that pollute our rivers and oceans.

Olivia is passionate about staying fit and healthy and works to helps others do this as well. She endeavours to make training sessions and exercises fun for everyone so it doesn’t really feel too much like hard work.

If you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, Olivia is the person for you. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your running, achieve your first pull up or maintain a regular training pattern with three different packages, she can offer you the support and accountability you need to achieve your goals.

Something else that also drew Olivia to the Water-to-Go bottle was that as far as we are aware, Water-to-Go are the first water filter bottle to become Halal certified. Our products have gone through a rigorous process of examination that has confirmed that we use no animal products or by-products. Halal certification also ensures integrity and ethical way of doing business by eluding harm to the environment. In addition, although there is no mechanism for it, the bottles are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Furthermore, the Water-to-Go filters are recyclable so there is no waste product to worry about.

If you are wondering about how to become more sustainable especially in the run up to Christmas, Olivia has that covered as well! Make sure to check out Olivia’s guide to a more sustainable Christmas where she also recommends Water-to-Go as a way of reducing plastic waste amongst other great gift ideas.

Whilst I keep on about this, I still see so many people with plastic bottles. My recommendation would be Water-to-Go

In her spare time, Olivia also creates a lot of interesting recipes that everyone can try in order to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Check out this fantastic but simple bakes and dishes to impress your friends and family.

We are delighted to be working and collaborating with Olivia to promote the message of sustainability and show how everyone can make a difference in their daily lives. If you are interested in learning more about Olivia and her brand, click on the picture below.

#GetOutside with Water-to-Go

Sunday 30th September saw the first ever National GetOutside Day.  The event’s creators and British mapping powerhouse, Ordnance Survey, aimed to encourage over 1 million people from across the nation to get outside by supporting over 100 free local activities to get involved in.  We chat to our Water-to-Go ambassador and Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion, David Love, about the day and why it’s important to get outside and create your own adventure.

It does seem a little odd to me that we’ve ended up in a position where we have to dedicate one day a year to shout about the positive benefits of getting outside.  The outdoors is the place that I grew up, found my independence and developed a mindset that has kept me fit and active today.

Yet it’s a sad reality that, as a nation, we’re leading far more sedentary lives due to the increasing number of desk-bound jobs stuck behind a computer screen, made worse by choosing to spend a large proportion of our free time glued to our phones and devices, particularly the younger generation.

National GetOutside Day is a fantastic way to break that mindset, get involved in a free activity and have an adventure that’s right on your doorstep.  Whether you’re up for a local family ramble, or want to travel further afield to take a walk up Snowdon, run, cycle, swim, do Nordic walking or even an endurance event, there’s something for everyone.

Age, weight, shape, gender and religion really are no barriers to enjoying the outdoors and Ordnance Survey are hosting and supporting some really awesome activities right across the country.  You’ll even get to meet other Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions that will be attending or leading these activities, including Ben Fogle, Sean Conway, Kenton Cool, and Paralympian Mel Nicholls.

#GetOutside Champions from Ordnance Survey such as Paralympian Mel Nicholls, have been encouraging everyone to go and enjoy the outdoors

If you missed National Get Outside Day, there are plenty of other activities and events happening all over the UK so keep up to date with what is going on near you on the Ordnance Survey website. There are plenty of resources to inspire you to get outside, including routes, how to guides, tips and advice and blogs from other OS Champions.

Being outdoors is fun, but even more importantly, it’s good for the brain, body, and soul. We need to be at one with nature and explore what the outdoors has to offer. There is so much on our doorstep for us to discover and learn about that we just don’t realise is there.

Being outside also has its physical benefits such as boosting your immune system and gives you your daily dose of Vitamin D which are both essential for a well-functioning and healthy body. Furthermore, being outdoors makes us better and more well-rounded people.

According to psychologists, exposure to the outdoors and nature helps us shrug off societal pressures, allowing us to remember and value more important things like relationships, sharing, and community. 

MentalFloss.com

When you are outside walking, hiking, running or nordic walking – however you want to get about and explore the outdoors, make sure you stay well hydrated wherever you are. Water-to-Go is perfect for providing safe, clean drinking water anytime, anywhere so you can stay healthy and energized throughout your walk. Thanks to our unique 3-in-1 technology filter, you can fill a Water-to-Go bottle from any river, stream and standpipe to name a few sources, and have access to drinking water wherever you are free of any harmful contaminants such as viruses and bacteria. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body so it is important to keep well-hydrated when you are outside and exercising.

Not only that, by using a Water-to-Go bottle, you will be reducing your plastic usage and actively helping to protect the planet from the damage caused by single-use plastic.

Following the success of National Get Outside Day as explained by David, we hope it has inspired and encouraged more people to explore the outdoors and create their own adventures. There is so much to discover so put on your walking boots, take your Water-to-Go bottle and explore!

To find out more about David and some of the wacky places he’s taken his Water-to-Go bottle you can follow him on social media or on his website: www.loveadventures.co.uk

Mission Yangtze has officially begun

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has reached the source of the Yangtze River in China meaning that #MissionYangtze is officially underway!

Ash has now started his world record-breaking adventure travelling 4,000 miles on foot along the length of China’s Yangtze River. Having made it to the source, Ash is excited about the expedition. In this first part of the expedition, he and his team expect to cover the 200 miles to the mountain village of Qumarleb over the next few weeks. This section of the expedition is some of the toughest, most dangerous terrain he will experience. Chance encounters with bears and wolves are to be expected, as is wild unpredictable weather with temperatures expected to go as low as -23 degrees.

Ash Dykes with his #MissionYangtze team

The sheer length of the mission, with its isolation, difficult terrain, including treacherous v-shaped valleys and thick forests, variable climates and everyday dangers, makes this his most intense and challenging mission yet. After months of intensive fitness training both at his home gym in North Wales and in China, people around the globe will be able to follow the expedition and witness Ash pushing himself to his absolute limits as he covers the challenging terrain and interacts with some of the 400 million people who live alongside and depend on the Yangtze River to survive.

This year, the two-time world first record holder and British adventurer will attempt his greatest expedition yet, as he walks from the Yangtze’s source in the meltwaters of the Jianggendiru Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta near Shanghai, where it meets the East China Sea. The Yangtze is the longest river in the world to flow through a single country and its length has never been walked, until now.

Ash will once again be embarking on an expedition with his trusty Water-to-Go bottle as part of his essential kit. With Water-to-Go by his side every step of the way, Ash will be able to stay well hydrated and healthy throughout his journey. Water-to-Go will be his personal, portable water filtration system that will allow him to find safe, drinking water from any non-salt water source in the world.

 

Ash is not only a fantastic ambassador but a true inspiration to so many people by showing the importance of pushing your limits, dreaming big, having goals and staying persistent in achieving them.

The original timeline of the expedition which will take Ash at least a year to complete

This expedition and the wider implications are not to be underestimated. Not only is this Ash’s toughest mission but it could quite easily be considered as one of the biggest expeditions ever attempted. Ash has already had plenty of support from family, sponsors and some famous faces who are aware of this challenge.

Credit: Martin Lyons Photography

Master the unknown, the unexpected, the failure and the fear that may live within you. Because when you master it, you’ll take ahold of it and once it’s in your grasp, there’s no way it can sneak upon you and try knocking you down. If you lose grasp of it and it comes for you, it won’t succeed, why? Because you’ll be ready #MissionYangtze #MissionPossible

Ash Dykes

This would be a revolutionary moment for Ash and the adventure world as he looks to push the boundaries of what is humanly possible. However, his expedition could have more far-reaching effects than that. Water-to-Go have been working with Ash since 2014 and have previously sponsored him his expeditions in Mongolia and Madagascar meaning he could access safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source. Ash is also an advocate of sustainable and responsible travel so Water-to-Go allows him to stand by these principles and help protect the planet from plastic pollution.

Ash resting in the shade of his trailer with his Water-to-Go bottle in the Gobi Desert whilst on his solo expedition across Mongolia in 2014.

This has all perfectly coincided with Water-to-Go’s recent launch in China and the recent changes in the country as the Chinese government look to tackle the problem of plastic pollution and make the country ‘greener’. China recently issued restrictions on the amount of foreign trash it will accept for processing, banning the import of various scrap metal and chemical waste products. The ban on imported waste is “a symbolic measure for the creation of an ecological civilization in China,” under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

The momentum behind Ash and this exhibition has been fantastic so we are sure there will be plenty of interest in the 26-year-old adventurer from Wales and the wider implications as he embarks on his toughest mission to date. The expedition is already being filmed by Mandarin Films, for a TV documentary series and weekly web video episodes will be distributed by some of the largest online and media channels across China and worldwide.

Ash’s expedition has perfectly coincided with our recent launch in China

Ash promises it will be just as digitally entertaining as it will be intense. He’ll take on local rituals, compete in martial arts, try the weirdest foods, give back to the communities and encourage people to join him along the way.

Part of his mission is to provide communities with fresh drinking water and education on plastic pollution, and how to enjoy but protect the world we live in.  As part of #MissionYangtze and thanks to the initiatives of Health & Happiness (Shanghai), official partners of Water-to-Go, Ash has made it his mission to donate a certain number of Water-to-Go bottles to communities in need of access to clean, safe water at key points along his expedition.

Thanks to Ash, Health & Happiness were able to provide 380 Water-to-Go bottles to a school in the rural mountain area of Southern Shaanxi Province.

Although he is travelling around rural parts of China, you will be able to see exactly where he is along his route via his online tracker.

You can track Ash via this live tracker link

Ash expects to complete the world-record setting #MissionYangtze in August 2019 and he will also attempt to make it the most digitally engaging expedition in history. Ash will be using his satellite technology to post regular updates to social media and will go live again on YouTube as often as he can throughout the expedition so you can keep up to date with everything that is going on.

Ash is excited to share one of the greatest expeditions of the decade and inspire children and adults alike. Water-to-Go is privileged to be a part of Ash’s journey and we are looking forward to hearing more about his epic mission as he attempts to make history.

Ash will be posting updates weekly on social media so you can keep up to date with everything that goes on during his expedition.

Relive the expedition announcement again here

Water-to-Go host the official launch of Mission Yangtze in China

On 23rd June 2018, Water-to-Go hosted the official launch of Ash Dykes’ next expedition, Mission Yangtze, and the Mandarin version of his new book, Mission Possible, in Shanghai. The culmination of several months of gruelling preparation and planning had been leading up to this event for Ash so it was fantastic to be able to celebrate his journey up to this point and what the future aspirations are for this expedition and beyond.

The Water-to-Go ambassador is currently in China to promote and make final preparations for his upcoming expedition, to walk the length of the Yangtze River. It will be his toughest challenge yet – estimating to be 4000 miles and will take at least 1 year to complete. This will be Dykes’ third world first and preparations are in place for it to be considered as an official world record. Once again, Ash will be travelling with his trusted Water-to-Go bottle to stay safe and hydrated wherever he is.

Sustainable travel is an important aspect of Ash’s expeditions which is why the connection with Water-to-Go is so poignant. Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and a sustainable solution to the damage caused by single-use plastic. Our unique filters will give you access to safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source free of any harmful contaminants meaning you can save money and the protect the planet by not needing to buy bottled water, making it the perfect travel companion.

This has all perfectly coincided with the recent changes in China as they look to tackle the problem of plastic pollution and make the country ‘greener’. China recently issued restrictions on the amount of foreign trash it will accept for processing, banning the import of various scrap metal and chemical waste products. The ban on imported waste is “a symbolic measure for the creation of an ecological civilization in China,” under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. The importance of tackling plastic pollution was one of the key messages British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered to President Xi Jinping during her visit to China back in February and it is now at the top of his agenda.

From left: John Edwards, British Consul-General Shanghai; Ash Dykes; and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go

As a result of this, Ash and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go, had the opportunity to meet John Edwards, the British Consul-General in Shanghai to discuss the wider impact of Ash’s next expedition. Ash’s mission along the Yangtze River is going to have far more reaching implications than first envisaged and could be a huge moment for the adventurer from Old Colwyn.

Ash Dykes with members from Water-to-Go distributor in China, Health & Happiness (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co., Ltd.

Water-to-Go distributor in China, Health & Happiness (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co., Ltd. have been working with Ash over the past month to aid his preparations and to build up support and awareness around this whole campaign. The momentum around Ash’s expedition from across the world, particularly in China, has been staggering with interest coming from leading businesses who are looking to get involved and promote sustainable practices, to outlets who want to get their products on a global platform.

Health and Happiness organised a special launch for Ash’s expedition in Shanghai, very fittingly, on a luxury cruise liner on the Yangtze River. Many guests including high profile dignitaries from China, global media and key individuals from around the world were invited to learn more about this venture with keynote speeches from Ash himself and the Water-to-Go team.

Water-to-Go Founder and CEO, Dave Shanks, speaking at the launch in Shanghai

Water-to-Go Founder and CEO, Dave Shanks, flew out to China specifically for this event where he also spoke about this iconic moment for Ash and how his expedition aligns perfectly with Water-to-Go’s wider mission and goals.

The night was a celebration following all the training, preparation and hard work from Ash and his team so it was fantastic that we were able to give him a good send-off before he embarks for the source of the Yangtze River to start his mission next month.

Ash Dykes promoting his new book, Mission Possible, which has just been released in Mandarin.

Ash was also pleased to be able to officially release his book, Mission Possible, in China as it has just been translated into Mandarin. This book documents his journey up to this point including his 2 other world firsts – solo trekking the length of Mongolia and walking the entire length of Madagascar’s interior. He depended on his Water-to-Go bottle throughout these expeditions and now swears by his bottle to keep him healthy and hydrated wherever he goes.

In all, it was a very successful night and we were delighted to see so much enthusiasm around the mission and the reasons behind it.

Along the way, Ash is seeking to also give back to the local communities, promote positively and spread awareness on his expedition. Water-to-Go will join him at key sections along the Yangtze, to provide our filter bottles to communities, in order to reduce plastic and provide them with fresh, clean drinking water.

The night was also about bringing awareness to certain issues and raising money for specific charities. We were delighted to raise 1,000,000 renminbi at the event for several charities and organisations that we are supporting.

The sheer craze and excitement over the past few weeks as well as at this event from fans, sponsors and supporters would be enough to overwhelm anybody but Ash has managed and dealt with this all superbly. The commencement of this expedition has been months and months in the making so after all the intense and scrupulous preparation, it is great to see everything coming together so well. The 26 year old is set to make history and Water-to-Go are privileged to be a part of his journey.

Water-to-Go supports World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future held every year on 8th June. It is a global initiative bringing communities together from across the world to fight for a healthier marine environment and to raise awareness of the crucial role the oceans play in our lives. Different themes are assigned to World Oceans Day and in 2018, the theme is Preventing Plastic Pollution. This is to bring awareness about the threats our oceans are under and to encourage solutions to ensure a healthier ocean and a better future for us all.

Numerous events are held around the world every year to mark World Oceans Day and this year is almost more poignant. As well as photo contests, fossil hunting walks, demonstrations, and concerts there will be more beach clean-ups and plastic pick-ups this year as we look to take actions to ensure the sustainable future of our ocean.

By using a Water-to-Go bottle, you can do your part to protect the World’s Oceans by using an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic water bottles that contaminate our oceans. You can save money as well as saving the planet by not needing to purchase overpriced bottled water.

Water-to-Go seek to protect our customers’ health and well-being by offering safe, healthy water anywhere in the world but to also protect our planet by offering an environmentally friendly reusable alternative to single-use plastic water bottles.

Water-to-Go are working with travel companies to help fulfil their role as responsible tour operators

Water-to-Go is working with several leading companies in the area of reducing their carbon footprint, and ensuring that their clients travel responsibly and safely. Water-to-Go have recently partnered up with UK tour company, Explore, to further their philosophy of responsible tourism. Explore are actively promoting Water-to-Go as essential kit on their trips so that their customers have access to safe, clean drinking wherever they are.

Water-to-Go offers a brandable reusable filter water bottle which will ensure their clients and customers have no need to contribute to the blight caused by single-use plastic water bottles, also filtering out harmful contaminants.

Port of London Authority (PLA) announced plans to stop using single-use plastics for World Ocean Day by partnering up with Water-to-Go

The PLA has partnered with  Water-to-Go to provide specialised bottles to the crews of their vessels to save on their usage of single-use plastic water bottles and protect our oceans. Dave Shanks, Founder of Water-to-Go said:

“I’m delighted to see them being used on port authority vessels on the Thames.  If our assistance can help the PLA achieve its single-use plastic free goal, it’ll be a great and noteworthy result.”

“Single-use plastic bottles for water are a blight, wherever you go in the world.  Our bottles provide everyone with the chance to access clean, filtered, water on the go.”

Water-to-Go is doing its part by educating plus informing their consumers and partners on the perils of destroying marine life in the world’s oceans as well as being personally responsible for one’s usage of plastics in everyday life.

The issue of plastics pollutions has been pushed more into the public consciousness through Sir David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” programme and images of the catastrophic impact plastic waste is having on marine wildlife. This article by SLO Active highlights the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and what we can do about it

Plastic Pollution – Single Use Plastic Impact on our Oceans

This has prompted actions to be taken by organisations, governments and authorities to tackle the problem. Organisations such as Surfers against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society advocate beach clean campaigns throughout the year to protect our oceans and this is replicated all over the world.

The Ocean Project

The Ocean Project has been the global leader for coordinating and growing the event for over 15 years. The organisation was founded to advance ocean conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums, and other youth and visitor-serving organisations around the world. Back in 1999, it instigated the most comprehensive research ever carried out on the public’s attitudes to, and understanding of, oceans and the environment. This prompted a complete rethink around how aquariums and other attractions present their exhibits and how they communicate and engage visitors with conservation.

Today, The Ocean Project’s partner network numbers around 2,000 organisations. It continues to offer support with public opinion and communications research, strategic insights, and support for innovative and effective public engagement, and conservation impact.

The world’s oceans play a key role for life on Earth

70% of our planet is covered by one huge, continuous body of seawater – the ocean. It holds 1.35 billion cubic kilometres of water and plays a huge role for us and marine life. According to the UN, they are “the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, [as well as] a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.” In the past few decades, the threats from pollution, overfishing and other forms of exploitation to marine habitats have increased dramatically.

The Ocean Conference called for the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, civil society, mayors, children, youth and others who will utilize this momentum to galvanize action-oriented partnerships at all levels – local, national and global – that provide lasting and long-term solutions to protect our oceans.

Read more about how to mark World Environment Day with Water-to-Go and what else is being done to tackle plastic pollution in our previous blog.