How Water-to-Go Was Invaluable To The Global Convoy

The project began in early 2016 with the idea to travel around the world as cheaply as possible through overlanding. The group; Max, Becca, Joel and Rich, created the concept of attempting to complete a full loop of the globe with no planning and with a tiny budget. We knew this would entail many challenging situations that would require serious team work. Shortly after sharing this idea on Facebook a number of people got involved and the team began to grow. We looked for the cheapest cars available on Gumtree, the first being a Skoda Felica for £75 and the second being a Nissan Micra for just £150. After purchasing these and getting more people involved this created a solid team for the convoy. We then started approaching sponsors asking for help through donating kit or support us and as a result, Water-to-Go were one of first product sponsors. 

Then we set off East. Travelling across 4 continents and a total of 46 countries, we found ourselves in all sorts of situations both good and bad. Being an optimistic and a slightly crazy team from the start, we were ready to face all challenges ahead of us and only hope for the best of situations. Our first continent, Europe showed us the possibilities of collecting hitchhikers and at one point we had a total of 5 cars with 26 people. We were lucky enough to have our Water-to-Go bottles for the entire journey but even within Europe, we found ourselves cutting our costs by filling up from waterfalls, lakes and rivers.

Hot Springs, Guatemala Photo by André Correia

Entering Russia and Central Asia on the other hand, was another story. Things became a lot more serious and challenging. Due to the roads in this part of the world being in some cases ‘non-existent’ we had some of our biggest breakdowns on the trip. The first, being in Kazakhstan, when we hit the oil sump on the diesel Skoda and were stranded in the desert. A twelve hour journey turned into 3 days, but we were rescued by the amazing workers at a nearby oil refinery. During this time as we weren’t prepared to be stranded in the desert, Water-to-Go was literally a life saver. We were given water from a passer-by and we didn’t even question using our bottles as we knew that although we had no idea where the water had come from we could drink without having to worry about illness or dehydration. 

The Sacred Vallery, Peru

After our final sprint to Vladivostok just in time for our visas expiring, we flew to Japan. This was the first time the Convoy as a whole were without the cars and to embrace Japans hospitality and quirky culture we decided to hitchhike our way to Korea where we would later fly on to Canada to collect the cars. Japan gave us some of the most in-depth cultural experiences from to drifting down Mountain ranges near Mount Fuji and Samurai sword making, but this was our first experience backpacking with Water-to-Go. It allowed us to carry all our gear and not have to worry about lugging around litres of water. This convenience allowed us to focus our time on absorbing the culture rather than worrying about when we would next find drinking water.

Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

Canada was the first of our shipping nightmares! We were faced with a month-long delay but on the positive side this allowed us to venture out into British Columbia and explore the beautiful nature that Canada has to offer. We were lucky enough to experience the beautiful landscapes of North America by visiting an array of national parks, including Yosemite. As hikers we used our bottles frequently in Yosemite, filling up from some of the most famous waterfalls! Being able to drink such untreated water and not getting sick felt literally so refreshing.

As we headed south through both Central and South America we continued to be accepted into communities across Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This part of the world was very much new territory for the majority of us and we found ourselves captivated by its temples and Mayan history. Unfortunately, some of these areas are heavily covered in rubbish. We were horrified to see piles burning on roadsides continuously through Central and South America and beaches swamped with plastic. It was saddening to see beaches in Utilla, Honduras covered in plastic that had washed up from other places, destroying the environment. For the team it was a time of realisation that Water-to-Go bottles help prevent this. We calculated that if the team were to drink an average of 2 litres of water a day, for the duration of the trip, we would have used around 2,760, 1 litre plastic bottles.

We wanted to create a project where everyone and anyone could be involved and we would work with what people had to offer. Not only were we optimistic for ourselves, but by creating a project for all to be involved, created optimism in others and gave opportunities to likeminded people. The project specifically demonstrates how little equipment or modification to your car you need in order to survive. At times we wished we were more prepared but our teamwork and optimism got us through the journey and from this we have created some strong friendships with people all over the world. Sponsors like Water-to-Go really helped us achieve this goal and have been hugely influential on our journey and survival. Upon our return we have been taking our Water-to-Go bottle with us across Europe to an array of Outdoor and Adventure shows where we were able to share this amazing product.

Becca has also featured Water-to-Go in her top 10 Essentials to Travelling. These include the things that she has taken with her everywhere around the world.

 

Guest blog post written by Rebecca Marsh

Public Relations and Peacekeeping

Global Convoy

Chaz Powell becomes new Water-to-Go ambassador

Water-to-Go is delighted to announce that Chaz Powell has become a new ambassador for the brand. This a fantastic opportunity for the business and for Chaz so we are excited to see what the future holds.

We caught up with our new ambassador – “It is a huge honour to announce that I have now been made an ambassador for the life-saving water filtration system Water-to-Go.

Water-to-Go is a product that has breathed new life into my expeditions over the past few years and is now one of the most crucial pieces of kit that I carry whilst out on my many remote and wild journeys.
It has changed the way I look at adventure, allowing me to venture further into more and more inaccessible regions, but yet still obtain safe clean drinking water without the worry of becoming sick or seriously dehydrated. With my plans for more wild African based trekking adventures in motion, I look forward to continuing to be supported and using such an incredible piece of equipment.”

Chaz recently completed his Zambezi Hike – walking the length of the Zambezi River and eventually reaching the Indian Ocean completely unaided. It was an incredible achievement which lasted 137 days, 3000km & 4 million steps! We were pleased that Water-to-Go was an important part of this expedition and that Chaz wants to continue his journey in partnership with Water-to-Go.

It is great to see that our values align as Chaz is also an advocate of sustainable and responsible travel. Using the Water-to-Go bottles is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint and plastic waste when travelling. It is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and is the solution to the huge plastic pollution problem in our oceans. Chaz will be helping us to spread the word so it is great to have someone onboard who is going to be amplifying these values to the wider public.

Chaz is always looking for his next challenge and we want to make sure that Water-to-Go is with him every step of the way. He is currently looking to do a couple of big treks over the next couple of months. He is also planning some bigger expeditions which we can’t wait to tell everyone about. You can be sure that Chaz has a lot in store in the next few years and we are looking forward to what we can achieve together.

Keep up with our journey on social media and on our website

Introducing the new Camouflage Range

The wait is finally over. Our new Camouflage range is now available!

5 months ago, we showed you several designs and asked you to vote for your favourites. The campaign was such a huge success, we decided to make 2!

We are now proud to introduce the 2 new additions to the Water-to-Go family… Desert and Jungle.

The new bottles are available on the 75cl bottle which houses our larger filter which can treat 200 litres of water anywhere in the world.

Perfect for all outdoor adventures!shop-now-button

 

£1 per product sold donated to Raleigh International

After the huge success of the first campaign, Water-to-Go are once again donating £1 from every product sold over the next 2 weeks to the charity, Raleigh International.

Raleigh International is a sustainable development charity that exists to create lasting change through youth.

Raleigh, believe that when local communities and young people work side by side it empowers them, and it’s the energy and motivation of empowered people that creates lasting change.

A core strategic priority for Raleigh is WASH: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Raleigh want to help meet the Global Goal for Sustainable Development 6 – ‘ensure water and sanitation for all’. Raleigh pursues a holistic approach to WASH interventions by inspiring behavioural change – better hygiene practises can save lives. In rural schools, homes and communities, they achieve transformational change by supporting young women and men to have access to safe water, and sanitation.

Because Raleigh projects deliver safe, clean water in Malaysian Borneo, Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania, Water-to-Go has pledged to donate £1 per product sold in the online store between 21st Nov and 4th Dec.

Buy a Water-to-Go product today and play your part in changing lives!

For more information on Raleigh International and the amazing work they do, check out their website www.raleighinternational.org

Water-to-Go will donate £1 per item sold. This includes all products including bottles, filters and lids.

shop-now-button

Water-to-Go Launches in India

We are delighted to announce that Water-to-Go bottles are now available in India. The Indian website is set up and ready for orders. Please visit www.watertogo.in

One of the key issues facing India currently is the lack of safe drinking water, with a high burden of water-borne illnesses across all age groups through out the country.

Availability of quality drinking water is a major public health issue for India. Approximately 37.7 million Indians are affected by a water-borne illness each year, and sadly this includes 1.5 million children dying of diarrhoea alone in the nation. With 73 million working days lost annually as a result of water-borne illness, the overall economic burden has been estimated to be around $600 million a year. The true burden of water-borne related hospitalisations and fatalities is hard to estimate due to under-reporting.

The provision of clean drinking water has been given priority in the Constitution of India, with Article 47 conferring the duty of providing clean drinking water and improving public health standards to the State. Various plans have been implemented by the Government to increase access to clean drinking water, however lack of safe and clean drinking water continues to be a major health and economic problem.

With rapid growth in the population the average availability of water is decreasing and it is estimated that by 2020 India will become a water stressed nation. Groundwater is the major source of water in the country with 85% of the population dependent on it.

However, a recent assessment by WaterAid showed that an alarming 80% of India’s surface water is polluted:

“The report, based on latest data from the ministry of urban development (2013), census 2011 and Central Pollution Control Board, estimates that 75-80% of water pollution by volume is from domestic sewerage, while untreated sewerage flowing into water bodies including rivers have almost doubled in recent years. This in turn is leading to increasing burden of vector borne diseases, cholera, dysentery, jaundice and diarrhoea.” Source, The Times of India.

Water-to-Go filter bottles offer an effective, convenient and cost effective solution. Using three different technologies in the filter, Water-to-Go eliminates well in excess of 99.9% off all microbiological contaminants + more in water.

Water-to-Go filters have had extensive testing in Europe, US and India. They’ve been tested on a range of different contaminants including:

Metals & Chemicals

  • Chlorine, Fluoride
  • Chromium, Mercury, Nickel, Copper, Iron
  • Lead, Gold, Silver
  • Aluminium
  • Volatile Organic Compounds including Formaldehyde*

* In certain areas of the world natural Arsenic occurs, WtG filters cannot filter Arsenic to 99.9%.

Virus

  • Norwalk
  • Hepatitis A
  • Tota Virus
  • Adenoviruses
  • Enteroviruses
  • Reoviruses

Bacteria

  • Coliform, E.ColiCholera, Typhus
  • Dysentery, Botulism, Polio, Virus Botulism
  • Vibrio Disease, Campylobacteriosis
  • Leptospirosis – Weil’s Disease
  • Legionella (Legionnaires Disease and Pontiac Fever)

Oocysts- Protazoa

Parasites and waterborne pathogens

This list is abridged but includes some of the most recognizable and common problems.

  • Fasciolopsiasis Taeniasis – Tapeworm
  • Echinococcosis Ascariasis
  • Coenorosis Schistosomiasis
  • Cryptosporidium Tryonosoma (Sleeping Sickness)
  • Threadworm Guinea Worm
  • Hookworm Roundworm
  • Pinworm Onchiocerca
  • Fasciola Hepatica/Liver fluke

Please visit the Water-to-Go India website for more info: www.watertogo.in

2 Camouflage Bottles Coming Soon

We received such an amazing response to our Camouflage Bottle designs that we have decided to create 2 of them!

Customers were given the choice of 5 different Camouflage designs to choose from with the idea being that the most popular one was going to be made.

However, due to the overwhelming response, we’ve decided to make the 2 most popular! A & D were the clear winners and will be going into production shortly.

We are hoping to have these available on the website before Christmas.

camo-fbIf you voted for your favourite design, you might have entered our competition – We were offering 10 lucky winners the chance to be the first owners of the winning design. The 10 winners are:

  1. Patrick Ramsey
  2. Phillip Davies
  3. Wayne Lawton
  4. Selena Pratt
  5. Ben Richards
  6. Joseph Ritchie
  7. Hannah Corke
  8. Trevor Muhammad
  9. Eric Pritchard
  10. Kurt Holtzen

Congratulations to all our winners!

We’ll keep you posted on when the Camouflage bottles will be available to purchase. We would say ‘keep your eyes peeled’, but they are so good, you wouldn’t be able to see them!

 

Water Purification Methods…

Whether you’re getting close with nature in the great outdoors or drinking from questionable taps on your gap year, holiday, backpacking or hiking adventure you’re going to need safe access to water.

Coming down with the dreaded ‘Delhi Belly’ or ‘Travellers Diarrhoea’ can wipe out an entire trip or holiday, not to mention the more serious contamination that can be lurking in untreated water.

Travelling outside of the UK, you are exposed to a number of different water contaminants that often force us to rely on bottled water (which is extremely bad for the environment, not to mention the vast expense).

Hepatitis A, E.Coli, Cholera, Weils’s Disease, Giardia, Legionnaires Disease and Cryptosporidium to name a few!

The only way to make sure what is in our water when we’re away from home is to treat it ourselves. But, what is the best method for purifying water?

Let’s take a look at the some of the different methods for treating water:

Boiling

pot-883036_1920Boiling water to remove unwanted germs is the oldest trick in the book. It’s extremely effective in eliminating microbiological contaminants from the water. It’s recommended to bring the water to a rolling boil for a minimum of 1 minute to purify it. At an altitude above 2,000 metres you should increase this to 3 minutes.

What does boiling water remove: Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

What doesn’t boiling water remove: heavy metals such as lead, debris, nitrates and pesticides.

Advantages of boiling water: Very effective for removing harmful organisms, no cost involved.

Disadvantages of boiling water: Time consuming; access to heating method required E.g. fire, stove or kettle, not effective against potentially harmful chemicals or metals that may be in the water. Smell and taste are not improved.

Purification Tablets/Halogens

Purification tablets/halogens, have always been pill-in-water-1529109-639x1052a popular choice for outdoor trekkers and travellers to treat water. For a time, they were the only alternative to boiling water. Essentially they use chemicals to kill off microbiological contaminants from the water. Iodine was traditionally used to purify water. However, in 2009, The European Union (EU) banned the sale of Iodine for use in disinfecting drinking water due to it’s associated health risks. The most common tablets or drops used are made from chlorine, silver or chlorine dioxide.

What do purification tablets kill: Microorganisms such as Bactria, viruses, cysts (depending on type).

What don’t purification tablets remove: Chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, sediment.

Advantages of purification tablets: Small and Lightweight, cheap and cost effective.

Disadvantages of purification tablets: Usually a minimum wait-time of 30 minutes. Some require a wait-time of up to 4 hours to kill contaminants such as cryptosporidium. After the water has been treated, you then still drink the chemicals and additives. Usually have a foul taste.

Ultraviolet Light (UV)

uvwaterfilterUsing UV light to purify water is great for neutralising microbiological contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and cysts. They are operated using batteries and are usually small (often in a pen form) and lightweight. There are also versions of the technology in water bottles as well. The process is very quick, usually taking 60-90 seconds.

What does UV light kill: Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

What doesn’t UV light remove: Chemicals, heavy metals sediments and debris.

Advantages of UV light: Small and lightweight (depending on type).

Disadvantages of UV light: Relies on batteries (restricted access to batteries when travelling). Won’t remove any sediment or debris, taste or odours.

Water Filters

poresize copyWater filters are fantastic for dealing with all types of different water contaminants (depending on which one you go for). They traditionally involve drawing water through a microscopic hole (pore) by pumping or sucking. Most water filters for outdoor use or travel will be able to deal with bacteria and protozoa (Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia for example). Very few are equipped to deal with viruses.

Water filters for gap years, outdoor use and travel, come in a variety of formats including straws, pump units and water bottles.

Some water filters use a simple ‘carbon block’ technology. These are known as charcoal filters or activated carbon filters. Whilst these types of filters are excellent to reduce chemicals, and odours in domestic tap water they are not recommended to be used with untreated water such as rivers, streams or suspect tap water abroad.

Some water filters will combine a number of different filtering methods that will also remove viruses from the water as well as a large number of chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides.

What do water filters remove: Most should eliminate bacteria and cysts. Some will filter viruses if they have a combination of technologies or a small enough pore size. Some will even eliminate chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides.

What don’t water filters remove: Depends on type.

Advantages of water filters: Usually light, portable, quick and cost effective (depending on type).

Disadvantages of water filters: Filters will eventually need to be replaced. Flow rate may be slow (depending on type).

Traditionally when choosing a water filter, the most important question was ‘what is the pore size’. When you’re dealing with microbiological contaminants there are 3 key groups that need to be considered.

  • Protozoan cysts E.g. Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia. These range from 1 to 300 microns in size.
  • Bacteria E.g. Escherichia coli (E. coli), Leptospira. These range from 0.1 to 10 microns.
  • Viruses E.g. Hepatitis A, Polio, tota virus, rotavirus, enterovirus, norovirus, Norwalk virus. These are extremely small and range from 0.005 to 0.1 micron.

Unless the filter has a small enough pore size to deal with all of the above, or has a combination of technologies then it will be restricted in what it removes. Wanderlust Magazine, recently compared and reviewed a number of different water filters currently available.

When talking about the pore size, we refer back to standard technology. The mechanical restriction of the size of the pores has been the traditional 
measure of what a filter will eliminate. This is not the case with all filters. For example, Water-to-Go uses a unique combination of three technologies, each performs individually but it is the combination that makes it unique. Water-to-Go use a combination of two nano technologies, which not only reduce the pore size to 0.7 microns, but also create a positive hydrostatic charge in the membrane which attract and traps even the smallest of viruses!

watertogopurificationbottleIn addition to the nano technology used in Water-to-Go filter water bottles, activated carbon is used. However, instead of glueing them into a block (which loses 60% of its efficiency), it is incorporated into the membrane so it works at maximise the benefits.

What does Water-to-Go remove: All microbiological contaminants including Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa, Cysts, Chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, heavy metals like copper and lead as well as pesticides. See full list.

What doesn’t Water-to-Go remove: The positively charged minerals, E.g. calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium.

Advantages of Water-to-Go: Small and lightweight. Cost effective. Fast Flow rate (10-12ml per second) Works instantly, doesn’t require batteries, eliminates bad taste and odours.

Disadvantages of Water-to-Go: Replaceable filter (however, these are low cost and last up to 200 litres).

The 3 technologies in Water-to-Go water bottles far exceeds the EPA requirements for microbiological filtration. Water-to-Go achieves the following reduction:

  • 6 log10 (99.9999%) for Bacteria
  • 5-6 log10 (99.999-99.9999%) for Viruses
  • 4 log10 (99.99%) Microorganisms
  • 3 log10 (99.9%) Chemicals (Chlorine, Fluoride),  Heavy Metals (lead, copper) and Pesticides.

Have a look at the Water-to-Go bottle in action:

 

Coming to a GO Outdoors near you…

We’re delighted to announce that our filtered water bottles will now be available in the UK’s biggest outdoor gear retailer GO Outdoors.

Our Black 75cl Water-to-Go bottle will be available in all GO Outdoors stores across the UK. They will hit the shelves on Wednesday 7th October 2015 so keep your eyes out for them when you are next in store.

Our portable water purifiers are perfect for GO Outdoors as they cater for all walks of outdoor life, including walking, camping, fishing, skiing, climbing and running.

To find your nearest store, use our store locator.