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 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.
💧 An estimated 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day in the UK
💧 Plastic bottles are the most commonly found single-use item on beaches in Europe
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.
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.
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!
My name is Daniel Eggington and I’m a solo traveller
So a bit about me:
After leaving the UK in 2010 and embarking on a backpacking trip to Indonesia, I found my love of exploring. I spent 12 days in the forest with three local guides, travelling through and camping at a new spot each night. This added some life-changing experiences for me as a naive 18-year-old alone in a foreign country, not knowing any part of the local language. When I got back to the UK, I decided that this is the career path I wanted to work towards.
I decided I wanted to work in the travel industry, where my passion in life truly lies. After that trip and immediately planned for other journeys. I decided to explore Latin America where I got I real feel of the indigenous culture. I planned and prepared for a journey to the Darien Gap Panama-Colombia border region which was a fantastic experience. I then began planning my return to head to Guyana where I canoed a river with 2 local guides, travelling for 12 days and covering 288km to be exact.
I knew that my dream job would now be to work as an expedition leader where I could live out my passion for leading in remote and exciting places. I now had an abundance of remote travel experience, the required knowledge and soon the qualifications that it takes to do this. I have now done my ML training so I am working hard to make this a career choice a reality.
So my next trip will begin from Jurado in Colombia, travelling north through the Choco Department of Colombia and into the Darien Gap which leads into Panama. The endpoint will be in Jaque and I will be following the Pacific coast of Colombia. I aim to make it a wholly solo project and document it on a daily basis on my return. I will be providing an educational perspective of a region in a part of the world that is relatively unknown. The trip will be around 50 miles in total which should take around 15 days. I want to push myself to my very limit, of my capabilities as an explorer.
The Darien Gap Project will involve visiting the Colombian Choco Department which is the least explored region of Colombia due to its notorious past. Quibdo is the capital of the chocò region where half of the population are said to live and work. The rest are in small communities scattered throughout the region where a majority are on the coast such as Nuqui and surrounding towns of Quibdo.
I also want to use this expedition as a platform to raise awareness for conservation and indigenous communities rights. I will be travelling, wholly unsupported, over a number of different landscapes from primary rainforest to high valleys and wetlands.
I use Water-to-Go for the simplicity and how effective it is. It helps in a few ways from less weight and not having to carry a few litres of water in 2 or 3 bottles. I have used it from Guyana to Costa Rica.
There are not many detailed maps of the region so it isn’t a journey for the faint-hearted. The journey will be documented via videography and photography and tracked at timed intervals through the Delorme device. As I will be entirely alone in the region, a tracking device will be essential.
The region has many issues from severe poverty to armed conflict between paramilitary and people. The Colombian Chocò department is the least explored region of Colombia due to its notorious past.
I am planning to do this trip as it is something that I have always wanted to do and if successful, would be first of its kind. Where I will be raising awareness for a cause I am passionate about which is conservation and indigenous peoples rights.
The project will be in partnership with Alpaca Raft, Hennessy hammock, Water-to-Go as well as Backcountry Scot.
Keep up to date with everything Daniel is up to on social media.
After many years of travelling and after pursuing many different life changing adventures, I soon realised I needed more and soon realised I needed ‘The Wildest Journey’ and something that would stretch me far out of my normal comfort zone.
I knew I wanted to discover wild lands that were little known to others, lands where people daren’t venture due to tales of danger, mystery and the unknown. Something that would take me to a whole new level of exploration and be my ultimate adventure.
So, in 2016 and 2017 I spent a combined duration of 137 days walking for over 3000km from source to sea along the mighty Zambezi river. An expedition that for me was the ultimate test – To walk the length of Africa’s wildest river….
Walking the Zambezi
The expedition had taken two years of strict planning and during those 2 years, I’d managed to find myself a local guide, who had also seemed passionate about walking the length of the Zambezi river and tackling this wildest journey by foot.
But after reaching the river’s source and coming face to face with the reality of walking through remote lands for the next 5 months. He quickly changed his mind and succumbed to his fears, saying that this was a crazy idea and it can’t be done! He then turned back in the direction we had come and left me alone to walk the length of the Zambezi river, I never saw him again.
After the shock of being left alone in these strange lands, I soon got my head together and started walking. Remembering why it was I had taken on this challenge and knowing I needed to try and embrace every second of this great journey.
From then on, I spent time in the remotest of settlements with the humblest of people. People who had absolutely nothing in their lives but seemed to give absolutely everything. I came to rely on these people not only to help guide the way, but also for the incredible hospitality I received on a near daily basis. But this wasn’t without hesitation, as I was often mistaken for being a demon, a witch, a diamond smuggler and even a reincarnation of the great David Livingstone. I was the first white person many had ever met, so it came as quite a shock to see me walking through their remote lands.
During my great journey, I faced many a challenging obstacle along the mighty river. From crossing the 400-mile long swampy Barotse floodplains, near-death experiences in the Zambezi gorges, and being held hostage in a small remote village in Mozambique. All of these challenges moulded me and saw me overcome all the fears that I’d built up before tackling this mighty quest. I’d reached the Indian ocean and my end goal knowing that I wanted to continue to take on more wildest journeys and to raise awareness for the devastating loss of wildlife and wild lands across the continent of Africa and throughout the world. I knew it was my passion to explore and discover and I’d now continue to do so to fight for the voiceless.
After a long 2-day journey we eventually reached the source of the Gambia river. The river itself starts in the remote highlands of the Fouta Djallon in Guinea-Conakry, and is a wild, rugged landscape consisting of steep hills and remote settlements. Paths along the river’s banks were minimal and we were often forced into climbing the steep tracks away from the river itself! This was the beginning of what would turn out to be an incredible yet wildest journey, where we found ourselves tackling this challenging environment, but were treated like kings in this land of warmth and kindness. Leaving us feeling overwhelmed and fascinated by the amazing cultures and the hospitality we received from the most humble of people.
Soon the river started to widen and consisted of numerous twists and turns. Its presence left us feeling overwhelmed and in a fascinating state of isolation along its wild banks. We came to rely on it not just for the water it gave us to drink and cook with, but for the sense of freedom it bestowed upon us with its beauty and grace. It was home to not only the good people who accommodated and fed us whilst we hiked its waters edge. But also to the wildest of animals and the most magnificent of ever changing wild landscapes.
During my journeys I relied on drinking straight from the rivers with my trusty Water-to-Go bottles. There was several sections of river where the water was just too contaminated. So whilst using my bottle it gave me both the confidence and tools I needed to survive in the most remotest of regions.
One of the most incredible parts of our journey was walking through the Niokolo Koba National Park. After nearly being denied access into the park, but by some miracle managing to secure a last-minute permit. We hiked and skirted along the river’s edge until reaching the parks gates. On arrival we were accompanied by two game rangers and started by far the wildest section of our trek. Unfortunately, during those 4 days I felt at my lowest. My appetite had disappeared and the heat/lack of food was seriously draining my energy supplies. But these guys got me through and made it by far one of the most memorable moments of our source to sea journey.
When times became difficult, it was often the good people we met along the way that would lift our spirits and inspire us to keep pushing forward with our journey. People who had very little in the way of possessions but would often open their doors and hearts to us to make us feel welcomed. This kindness of strangers is what motivated us through the difficult times, and the good people of Guinea-Conakry, Senegal and The Gambia made this expedition one of greatest journeys I’ve ever made.
On reaching the Atlantic Ocean and the end of our 1120km, 47-day source to sea journey by foot. We were left feeling a huge sense of satisfaction, elation and overwhelming joy. We had become the first known people to take on and complete this mammoth task, and we knew that this difficult, yet humbling challenge had all been worthwhile.
We had hiked through some of the wildest regions in Western Africa and been welcomed by all that we had met on our path. This was an adventure that will stay with me forever and one that will be difficult to compare with any of my future ‘the wildest journey’ expeditions.
What next for The Wildest Journey?
In September 2019 myself and (potentially) a small team will be setting out in an attempt to walk not only the width of Madagascar, but also source to sea along the country’s longest river – The Mangoky.
Starting on the East Coast of Madagascar we will walk to the source of The Mangoky River and then follow its 564-kilometer (350 mi) length all the way to the Mozambique Chanel on the country’s Western Coast. We will be heading out on this epic adventure to not only take on an incredible journey. But also to raise awareness and funds for the loss of wildlife and wild lands throughout the region…
So there is a lot to look forward to. Keep up to date with all of my adventures and expeditions on Instagram and Facebook.
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.
We are delighted to announce that through our partnership with UK tour company, Explore Worldwide, we have managed to raise over £2000 for charitable projects.
We started working with Explore on World Water Day 2018 and since then, we have managed to raise over £2000 for charitable projects. Over just a year, £2211 has been raised via bottle sales from their customers who are going on their trips and want to stay safe and single-use plastic free. This is a fantastic sum and we are delighted to be supporting Explore and their charitable projects. Explore support several initiatives and projects such as Toilet Twinning that make a difference to the destinations they travel to.
This money will go towards Explore Leaders’ local communities around the world and the Explore Start-Up Fund. Explore created the Explore Start-Up Fund in 2016 and each year, they award a donation of £1,000 to three sustainable start-ups. The business proposals come from their overseas teams around the world and the only imperative is that the ideas are sustainable, and can continue to grow and flourish without continued financial support. From looms being purchased for women’s’ cooperatives in Morocco, to a vertical garden project in Cambodia, to a bike repair shop with apprentice scheme in Tanzania the scope is wide and the project is very exciting!
Explore Worldwide specialise in small group adventure holidays and travel tours for every kind of customer; offering over 600 trips worldwide in 130 countries. From family trips to holidays for solo travellers; cycling tours to wildlife safaris; trekking mountains or exploring miles of scenic coastline; self-guided holidays or small group trips; there is something for every kind of traveller with Explore.
They believe travel should change us, not the world. That communities and cultures should benefit and flourish and that we should leave nothing but footprints behind. That is why responsible travel is at the core of everything they do from sponsoring projects around the world and offsetting carbon emissions of their flights to supporting local communities and protecting wildlife. Water-to-Go are delighted to be working with them and we look forward to what the future holds as we continue to make a difference in the travel and tourism industry.
At Explore, their priority is their customer’s health, well-being and safety. Ensuring you are drinking enough clean water when trekking in Nepal, taking a long, hot train journey across India or snorkelling in the Med is key to staying well and having an amazing holiday. However, whether it’s on the TV, in the paper or over the radio, the ever-growing plastic problem is unavoidable and they are keen to lead the way in reducing single-use plastic on our trips. Sounds like it should be an easy task but it’s not.
An average group of 16 people, on a two-week tour will use, and throw away, between 800-1000 plastic bottles! We have been trialling a few methods around the world to reduce these numbers but we haven’t found a perfect solution – until now. We’re very happy to partner with Water-to-Go to offer our customers an exclusive discount on their refillable, filtration bottles to ensure you can stay fighting fit and guilt free during your adventure!
In fact, since we started our partnership with Explore this time last year, we are pleased to report that their customers have saved around 105,000 single-use plastic bottles from waste on their trips around the world by using Water-to-Go bottles!
We hope that this is just the start of what is already a very fruitful partnership and we look forward to working further with Explore to help make a difference.
For more information on our partnership with Explore Worldwide, click here.
Peter’s story of how he overcame the issue of safe drinking water whilst travelling
Water-to-Go customer, Peter, loves to travel all over the world. He has travelled to many colourful destinations near and far including South Africa, India, Mongolia and Rwanda.
However, when travelling Peter encounters the crucial challenge faced by so many travellers; having vital access to clean safe drinking water whilst not having to rely on environmentally disastrous single-use plastic bottles. Often when on holiday abroad water sources can be unsafe to drink from and can end up completely ruining your holiday through horrible illness. This means travellers are often forced to revert to bottled water as a means of getting essential clean safe drinking water. The problem with this is the horrendous damage single-use plastic does to our beautiful wildlife, particularly in our incredible oceans.
Peter was then at a travel show and came across an intriguing demonstration from the Water-to-Go team. The demonstrator ‘put dirty river water into a reusable plastic bottle with a replaceable filter and then filtered that water into a glass. The water was now crystal clear and he drank it’. Peter added ‘with all the demos he did that day, I did not actually check to see how close he was to the Gents!’ Seeing this demonstration Peter was amazed by what the bottles could do and bought two at the show. These bottles would then be used on every journey since including trips to India, Myanmar, Thailand, Russia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa and Jordan.
Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays are delighted to have raised over £1000 that will go towards charitable projects and initiatives that Ramblers support. Dave Shanks, Director of Water-to-Go, presented the Heart & Sole team with a cheque for £1,150 as a donation based on the number of Water-to-Go bottles purchased by their clients in 2018.
Ramblers and Heart & Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. Ramblers Walking Holidays have a scheme called Heart & Sole, managed by their office staff, and their aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries they visit. Their hope is to make a long term, direct impact on these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. Heart & Sole will be able to use these funds to continue supporting ventures at home and in the countries they visit around the world.
Heart & Sole offers much-needed support to projects and charities in the UK and overseas, dealing with both large issues such as animal welfare as well as small, and more personal, ventures such as providing schools equipment to village communities. They are currently working with SPANA in Morocco, Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, SOS Children’s Villages in Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Malawi and Morocco.
In South Africa, Heart and Sole support the Royal Drakensberg primary school, in St Lucia a school breakfast club and Andros Routes in Greece. Most recently, they delivered donated items to an orphanage in Tanzania and foster homes in San Jose, Costa Rica. By travelling with Ramblers Walking Holidays, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help make a difference in these communities.
Seeing the World on Foot with Ramblers
Ramblers Walking Holidays have been providing great value small-group guided holidays in spectacular locations around the globe for 70 years that allow you to discover the essence of the place you are visiting. They are all about seeing the world on foot, offering everything from lowland ambles to high mountain trekking, from short sightseeing walks to challenging long-distance trails.
Ramblers Walking Holidays also want to encourage sustainable practices in the destinations they send their travellers. They are advocates of responsible tourism in accordance with AITO and are extremely aware of the social and environmental impact of travel. By encouraging clients to buy a Water-to-Go bottle, they hope to reduce plastic waste and do their bit for the environment.
The Water-to-Go and Ramblers Partnership
We have been working with Ramblers Walking Holidays for a number of years to help keep their customers healthy and hydrated on their trips. Through our partnership, we have continued to raise money for Heart and Sole. In 2016, Heart & Sole used money donated by Water-to-Go to sponsor the building of a toilet block in Pakistan through an organisation called Toilet Twinning. In December 2017, Water-to-Go were delighted to present Heart & Sole with another cheque for £750 from bottles bought by their clients which has also gone towards their development projects.
We are delighted to be working with such a fantastic company that has a brilliant ethos and that is supporting some life-changing causes. Learn more about Ramblers Walking Holidays and our partnership here.
A Travel Health Guide designed to Protect you from Illness on your Holidays
Making sure you keep yourself healthy whilst travelling is something very important for your holidays. The last thing you want is for your holiday to be ruined by a nasty stomach bug or potentially something worse.
As a result, we at Water-to-Go have created this guide to help you stay healthy on your holidays. As a company we have worked within the travel sector for many years now, forming partnerships with travel clinics and companies such as Wild Frontiers and Explore. We’ve used this knowledge and produced this guide to give you an idea of what you need to be thinking about when planning your next trip.
Whilst we can’t tailor this guide to everyone’s specific holiday, these are some general thoughts for you to be aware of in relation to your travel health. For information about a specific country you will be travelling to, check out the Rough Guides website. They provide information for loads of specific countries and regions, such as their backpacker’s guide to India.
It’s important to be prepared medically for whichever country you are visiting, especially if you are travelling to countries like those within Africa where there is the risk of diseases such as Malaria.
The medication you’ll need will vary depending on the country you’re travelling to. Make sure to consult your GP or visit a travel health clinic to recommend the medicines/ vaccinations you will need for your travels. Their’s nothing worse than your experience being ruined because of an illness.
Filter Water Bottle
Water can be a common source of illness on holidays, especially if you are travelling to destinations such as India or parts of Africa where the water source may not be reliable. It’s therefore important to make sure you are able to get quick and easy access to clean safe drinking water.
The Water-to-Go filter bottle is the perfect tool for the job. The bottle’s unique filter is able to filter out over 99.9% of microbiological contaminants, meaning you can drink safely from and non-salt water source with confidence you won’t catch any illnesses.
In addition to this, one filter can replace up to 400 single-use plastic bottles. Therefore, you won’t have to contribute towards the world’s plastic pollution problem in the search for clean safe drinking water.
Think about your Travel Diet
Your food can carry similar illnesses as the water you drink. To avoid symptoms like diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting there are a few precautions you can take:
Tray and avoid fruit and veg that has been washed in local water.
Don’t buy unpasteurised dairy products.
Eat fruits such as Bananas and oranges which have thick peelable skins.
If you can, avoid Ice in your drinks.
Prepare your own meals where you can.
Obviously, this will primarily apply to those visiting hot countries where you’ll regularly be in the sun. It’s important to understand the strength of cream you will need and if you’re unsure, it’s better to go with a higher SPF to be safe.
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, reduces premature skin ageing and preventing blotchy skin.
Carry a First-Aid kit with you
Some form of first aid kit is something that should be essential when you’re travelling, especially for those going on a more adventurous trip. This kit will help you to avoid a small injury, such as a cut or scrape, turning into anything worse that can have a bigger impact on your experience.
A great way to make the most of your first aid kit is to create your own personalised kit. By doing this you’ll be able to prepare for the specific health concerns that you’ll be facing on your trip. As well as including your own first-aid items, there are some essential items you should include. These essential items we recommend are plasters, antiseptic wipes/ cream, paracetamol, scissors and any prescription medicine you would normally take.
If you are unfortunate enough to encounter some form of illness or injury whilst on your travels you’ll want travel insurance. Dependent on the country you are visiting, it may not be worth relying on local medical care as some countries can be unreliable.
For this reason, it’s important to get yourself some travel insurance that covers your health. You should be able to find some pretty cheap and good value insurance deals online and will certainly be less expensive than if you were to receive medical attention without insurance. Just make sure to check your insurance covers everything you feel you’ll need on your trip.
Start adjusting your sleeping pattern by an hour or two (in the correct direction) before you travel.
Drink plenty of water whilst travelling.
Use an eye mask and earplugs to help get to sleep, so you can adjust your sleeping pattern.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible while travelling.
Set an alarm to avoid oversleeping.
Spend time outside during the day if you can, sunlight will help your body clock adjust.
Avoiding Altitude Sickness
This is something that won’t affect everyone however, this is something that you will have to take into account for a large proportion of holidays, such as skiing holidays or visiting places such as Machu Picchu.
In terms of counteracting altitude sickness, there are a few techniques and medications you can use. Firstly, acetazolamide is designed to prevent and treat the symptoms of altitude sickness. You’ll also want to bring some paracetamol or something similar to prevent headaches, as well as anti-sickness medication like promethazine. It’s also important if you are experiencing altitude sickness, to stay where you are and not try to climb any higher as well as drinking plenty of water. For more information about medication consult your GP.
After 47 days, 1120km and 1.5 million steps, adventurer, expedition leader and Water-to-Go ambassador Chaz Powell along with his fellow adventurer and expedition photographer Tim Roberts have become the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.
This epic journey took them through Guinea, Senegal and the complete length of The Gambia to become the first people in known history to walk the river’s length. The map below shows the route they took.
“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one!”
Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts
They said it was “a challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”
Chaz is no stranger to adventure and has over 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience. In 2016/17 he spent 137 days walking the 3000km length of the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and wildest river; becoming only the second person in known history to complete this wild and dangerous journey by foot. Roberts joined Chaz on this latest wildest journey as expedition photographer and to help document this historic feat. He’s also no stranger to adventure and has walked various challenging treks all over the world.
This expedition will go down as one of their biggest challenges but also achievements to date as they have now both written themselves into the history books. Whilst they both wanted to test themselves on another wild journey, an important aspect surrounding the expedition was to experience Africa and learn about the wildlife, the culture and the people that live and depend on the Gambia River.
Chaz and Tim experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not have known even existed so this adventure was able to provide a real insight to Africa that would have been completely different to what many people had experienced before.
It’s important to remember that this was no walk in the park as Chaz and Tim definitely faced a number of challenges along the way including dealing high temperatures and threats from wild animals. One of the major challenges on the expedition was finding safe drinking water. To solve this, Chaz and Tim were pleased to work with the UK company, Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go is a portable water filtration system that eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This, therefore, allowed them to fill their bottles up from any freshwater stream, local tap or from the Gambia river itself to keep themselves healthy and hydrated throughout the expedition without getting ill.
Chaz has used his trusted Water-to-Go bottle on many of his adventures and this on-going partnership highlights his commitment to sustainable travel and protecting the environment. The Water-to-Go ambassador is keen to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles on his expeditions and showcase a simple alternative that everyone can use.
One of the main reason’s behind this expedition was to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and highlight serious wildlife crimes that are happening along the remote regions surrounding Africa’s rivers. Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for this expedition, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations that focuses on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands. Throughout his expedition, Chaz was providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.
Chaz also highlighted our partnership and current charity project with the African Wildlife Foundation whilst on this expedition. Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. We have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz used on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.
If you want to get involved in the campaign, Water-to-Go’s special AWF branded bottles are still available via our website with £10 from each bottle purchased being donated to the incredible projects and programs run by African Wildlife Foundation.
“Through my ‘The Wildest Journey’ expeditions, I hope to inspire people to take note on what’s happening to the remaining wildlife and wild lands and support my journeys to help me raise the vital funds needed to ensure these places are protected and managed well for future generations.”
Chaz has a lot more expeditions in store so watch this space to see where he will be exploring next on ‘The Wildest Journey.’