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

Ash Dykes Reaches Halfway Point in #MissionYangtze

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite this, Ash remains positive. He said:

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

Ash Dykes

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

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

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

Ash Dykes

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

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

Top 10 Adventure Travel Essentials

10 Terrific Pieces of Adventure Travel Kit used by our Ambassadors

Over the past few years, Water-to-Go has worked closely with a wide range of travellers, explorers, travel bloggers, volunteer workers, etc., travelling with them around the globe.

As a result of their travels, we’ve been able to find some brilliant pieces of travel gear used by ambassadors such as Ash Dykes, Chaz Powell, Emily Luxton and many more. This guide will help you decide on the best items to choose when travelling and which items are right for your destination.

Adventure Travel Tent

Having a reliable, convenient place to sleep is essential for any adventurer, and for those travelling off the beaten track having a high-quality tent is extremely important.

Vango’s tents are a great travel item for anyone that will need to camp during their travels. Vango produces a wide range of tents from family tents, with some designed to fit up to 8 people per tent, to solo one man tents for the lone adventurer.

Originating in the Highlands of Scotland, Vango has a history when it comes to producing adventure tents. The tents are designed to be easy to set up and take down so that you can spend more time trekking, mountain biking, cycling or doing whatever it is you have planned.

With such a range of tents, Vango is ideal for anyone who is in need of a tent from large parties of adventurers to solo trekkers.

Lightweight Portable Charger

Being able to have your phone or camera with you is a great way to capture the memories of your adventure. So, it’s important to make sure you’re able to keep these devices charged by using a portable charger.

The power traveller is a lightweight portable charger that’s powered using solar energy. The device is a great way to make sure your phone, camera, tablet, etc. are able to capture the best moments of your travel experience. After all, you’ll only need sunlight to keep your devices fully charged.

The use of solar energy also means you can help reduce your carbon footprint when travelling by avoiding non-renewable sources of electricity.

Whilst perhaps better suited to holidays off the beaten track where access to electricity is limited, the power traveller is also a great little device for those more environmentally conscious travellers.

Water-to-Go Personal Filtration System

Has bad tap water ever made you ill and ruined your experience? Well, the Water-to-Go filter bottle is able to filter out 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, chemicals and pesticides from any non-salt water source. This means it can provide safe, clean drinking water from any river, lake, mountain stream or even bad tap water.

The bottle is also a great way to reduce your plastic footprint. Instead of buying more and more single-use plastic water bottles, the reusable Water-to-Go bottle can be used to replace them without having to worry about getting ill from a bad water source.

Additionally, with each filter being able to process 130 or 200 litres of water (dependent on filter size) the bottle will only cost you around 5p per litre. So you can also save yourself some extra money to spend on your travels.

Coming in both an everyday use 50cl bottle and a larger 75cl bottle, there is a bottle for both the casual day-tripper or the hardcore adventurer.

Food Parcels

Now that your drinking water is sorted, you’ll need to think about the food you’re going to eat along your journey. A great way for adventurers to prepare their meals is through Firepot’s food parcels.

Firepot provide healthy, dehydrated food that comes in lightweight meal pouches. Firepot say their goal is to create a healthy hearty meal that won’t weigh you down on your adventures. Their recipes have been developed to maximise nutrition within each parcel as well as providing great tasting meals. Therefore, Firepot is great for anyone who will be spending extended periods of time off the beaten track away from other food sources.

 

Specialised Travel Backpack

With all your travel equipment you’ll need a means of transporting all these important items. A great specialised product for this purpose is an Osprey Travel Backpack.

Originating in California, Osprey has been designing backpacks for adventurers since beginning in 1974. The innovative and high-quality backpacks offer any adventurer a fantastic way to travel with all of their gear. Osprey also design their backpacks for long life, meaning you will be able to use it again and again as opposed to having to constantly repair or replace the product.

Additionally, Osprey design backpacks specifically for different types of adventure travel. These include backpacks for snowsports, climbing, hiking and biking.

The high-quality and long-lasting nature of these backpacks means it will be for you if you are serious about adventure travel and are ideal if you are in need of carrying big loads of equipment.

Outdoor Durable Phone

Having a phone that can cope with your terrain can be an incredibly useful tool, especially when travelling across more extreme areas.

Land Rover’s ‘Outdoor Phone’ is possibly the toughest phone out there. The phone is extremely durable having been tested in temperatures from -30C to +60C. You also won’t have to worry about dropping your phone in puddles, rivers or even the sea as the phone is waterproof even in salt water.

With an extra-long battery life, the phone will suit anyone who is away from a power source for an extended period of time. A range of specialist apps also makes this a great companion for any explorer.

An ideal product for those that are out and about in rough terrain with a high chance of their phone getting bashed about. Or it could be good if you are just clumsy when it comes to your phone!

Cold Weather Clothing

Your clothing can be a vitally important part of your travels, particularly when travelling to colder regions where it’s important to wrap up warm.

When it comes to sub-zero weather clothing Rab is brilliant at keeping the cold out. Rab produces high-quilty specialist outdoor clothing with a focus on mountaineering. Their clothing is made up from high-quality materials and fabrics specially designed to be the best at insulation and keeping you warm.

Some great kit for those travelling to colder destinations, such as ski holidays, and will particularly suit mountain adventurers.

Alternative Adventure Travel Clothing

If you’re looking for something perhaps slightly cheaper than Rab’s range, then Craghoppers is a great alternative. Whilst slightly cheaper than Rab’s range, Craghoppers still produce high-quality clothing specialising in the outdoors.

Craghoppers say they aim to make their clothing as practical and comfortable as possible, enabling travellers to stay outside for as long as possible. Whilst Craghoppers focus on outdoor clothing designed to keep you warm, they also produce lightweight warm weather clothing with a range of trousers specifically designed to deter insect bites.

Excellent product range for those spending time travelling outdoors, with clothing ranges for both cold and warm weather conditions.

Appropriate Travel Footwear

Just as important as clothing, you will need footwear appropriate to the environment you are travelling in.

Keen are a footwear company that offer a range of footwear types to choose from. They specialise in footwear for different types of travel, from urban casual trainers to specialised hiking boots.

Keen’s variety of footwear means you should be able to find whatever you’re looking for on your next adventure.

Digital Mapping System

Whilst technically not a physical item, there is an excellent range of digital maps provided by Ordnance Survey (OS). These maps are an excellent way to travel in the more remote locations of the UK.

Starting as simply the producer of world-famous paper maps, Ordnance Survey now use data to produce digital maps across the UK. The OS maps aim to provide a comprehensive map of the ever-changing British landscape, doing so in extraordinary detail.

As well as their maps, OS produce online route planning, sharing services and mobile apps to aid in your travel experience.

Sadly for those travelling abroad this service is only available within the UK. However, it is a brilliant tool for those wanting to explore the more remote areas of the UK.

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

Molly Crookshank: Water-to-Go kept me safe in the Amazon

Hello there, my name is Molly Crookshank and I am an Animal Biologist living in Edinburgh with a strong passion for wildlife and conservation. This summer I spent time in Guyana and Ecuador assisting scientific research in the rainforest at the Iwokrama reserve and Timburi Cocha Research Station. Travelling with my Water-to-Go bottle I was able to experience these fascinating places without any risk of illness from drinking water. It also meant I bought less plastic bottles on my journey. 

I completed my final research project for my undergraduate degree in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. This was an unforgettable experience and what made me so determined to completed my degree. Unfortunately due to the water quality I was frequently unwell, which affected my fitness out on survey. I was therefore delighted to have Water-to-Go sponsor me a bottle for my jungle adventure this summer 2018 and felt totally prepared for what was to come.

“Water-to-Go have successfully specialised in making filtration bottles to eliminate 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This was ideal as it meant I could drink straight from the Amazon River.”

Molly Crookshank

 

Operation Wallacea Research Project in Guyana

My journey started in Guyana, one of the most intact rainforests in the world. This was with Operation Wallacea, a conservation and research organisation. Research was carried out in Iwokrama reserve, the green heart of Guyana.

Monitoring the biodiversity is vital in order to see how their sustainable logging is affecting the forest. Surveys are carried out daily and in the intense heat and humidity, keeping hydrated was essential.

Living in the forest was incredible, we slept in hammocks, had bucket showers and had basic structures made by the locals where we had our jungle laboratory.

In this remote environment living so close to people, it is easy to get sick. In fact nearly half the scientist became ill with a parasite from drinking the water and prevented them going out on survey. However, I was able to stay fit and healthy throughout the entire time on expedition, for which I am very grateful to Water-to-Go.

Getting to know the locals in Guyana was a true highlight and re-emphasised the importance of local engagement to conservation. Their own commitment to their environment is incredibly strong and their expert knowledge of their surroundings is invaluable.

Jungle Journey Continued: Exploring Ecuador

After the most incredible month spent in Guyana, I continued my jungle journey to the Amazon in Ecuador to assist a PhD student at Timburi Cocha Research Station adjacent to the Payamino River.

This was such an amazing experience and I got to see how the local communities are using and benefiting from their rainforest. Coffee and cocoa are the main crops produced in this region.

For the PhD we dissected bromeliads from the amazon rainforest, at different heights of trees and collected the invertebrates. This was great fun to test my invertebrate taxonomy and luckily it didn’t take long for me to get used to the creepy crawlies. I have always been fascinated by ants as they are amazing ecosystem engineers and have colonised on nearly every continent!

One of the highlights was walking up Armadillo Hill to get a spectacular view over the amazon. Having my Water-to-Go bottle, meant I didn’t have to worry about the source of the water I was drinking from, so I was able to keep hydrated throughout the long hike. 

Having being able to fully embrace every moment of the rainforest without suffering any illness, I was able to get far more out of this trip compared with 2017.   

I was lucky enough to have a week after to travel around Ecuador. With the incredible mountainous terrain and beautiful waterfalls, it didn’t take long to realise how truly amazing this country was.

Having my Water-to-Go bottle I not only cut down on plastic bottles but I also never had to worry about drinking from the tap in the towns and cities.

What adventure is my bottle going to take me on next?

I have recently just started my postgraduate Masters course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Edinburgh Napier University.  For my research project, I plan to go to South Africa next June to study in the Gondwana Reserve. Here I will be looking at the effects of herbivore grazing in the Cape Floral Kingdom. With the Water-to-Go replaceable filters, I can now take my bottle and stay hydrated for my data collection in South Africa.

Thank you Water-to-Go!

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.

Water-to-Go are working with Traveleyes

Travelling around the world and experiencing different cultures is one of life’s glorious gifts. These adventures, unfortunately, do come at a cost to the planet. In an aim to return the favour, and to thank the planet for giving us natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon Rain Forest, we have partnered with Traveleyes.

It is not often we get approached by a company as unique as Traveleyes. So when Traveleyes got in touch and asked about working together to help make an environmental impact for the good, we were definitely intrigued.

Traveleyes are a world unique travel company. They pair sighted and visually impaired travellers together on amazing adventures all over the world. The sighted travellers share their sight, guide and describe the world for those with visual impairments. With over 15 years’ experience and travelling to over 60 destinations, Traveleyes offer a chance to see the world differently. 

The company have taken blind and sighted travellers across Mongolia, sailed yachts around the Greek islands, hiked the Camino De Santiago and tandem-cycled the length of Holland – all in the name of sharing the adventure!

 

Water-to-Go have partnered with Traveleyes to encourage more people who travel to not purchase single-use plastic water bottles and to provide a sustainable solution. Our 3-in-1 filter system can eliminate all microbiological contaminants to well in excess of 99.9%. This means you are never far away from drinkable water and by refilling one of our bottles you are making a huge environmental impact.

Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled and bottled water cost over 1000 times more than tap water. When Travelling we think it’s convenient to buy bottled water from the shop but that one bottle took 3 times the amount water to produce than it does to fill it.

Water-to-Go is committed to reducing the damage to the environment caused by the amount of single-use plastic bottles. Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose and many end up polluting our rivers and oceans. It is essential we all do our bit to protect the planet and cut down on our plastic usage. A very easy way is to use a Water-to-Go bottle; just one of our 75cl filters is the equivalent of 400 single-use plastic bottles. Just think of the difference that could make.

Through our partnership with Traveleyes, we are offering 15% off Water-to-Go bottles and from each bottle sold, a percentage will be donated to Sightsavers, a charity which Traveleyes have supported for many years. Sightsavers work with organisations in third world countries to help reduce preventable blindness.

Head over to the Traveleyes partner page and help make a difference.

#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

No Fixed Home’s Top Tips For Green Travel

Who are we?

Hello, we are Charlotte and David, and we run the travel blog, No Fixed Home. We are passionate about the environment, so it’s really important to us that we travel as green as we can. Seeing how beautiful the world is on our travels makes us feel strongly about protecting it. Read on to find out how our Water-to-Go filter bottles have helped us to achieve this goal, as well as some of our other top eco-friendly travel tips.

Before leaving for our travels, we were based in Brighton, UK, where Charlotte is a librarian and David is a chef. Our adventure started in November 2017 with a month’s stay in Nepal, where we did some trekking and fell in love with the Nepalese people and their delicious food (seriously, the momos are to die for!) Then came three months in beautiful, chaotic and incredible India. We also travelled around Sri Lanka for a month, taking in lush green tea plantations, picture-perfect beaches and wild elephants.

The next leg of our trip has taken us to South East Asia, where after spending six weeks getting to know Thailand, Cambodia captured our hearts. Right now we are in the quiet leafy city of Siem Reap which lies in the shadow of the mighty Angkor Wat. After falling for this beautiful country with its friendly people and yummy food, we decided to rent a flat here for a couple of months.

Our top tips for eco-friendly travel

Looking after this incredible planet is something that we feel very strongly about. We all have a duty to travel responsibly. For us, that means making sure that our travels don’t have a negative impact on the places we visit. Here are just a few of our top tips on how to travel green – or you can check out the full article here.

Just Say No (To Plastic)

Plastic is in the news all the time recently, and we have seen the effects of it first hand on our travels. We are all aware of the impact that unnecessary plastic has on the environment. Some people need plastic straws, and that’s ok. But why not consider alternatives such as metal or bamboo – they take up very little space in your luggage!

We also travel with a handy spork each so we can avoid plastic cutlery. Occasionally the language barrier causes amusing confusion – once we asked for no straw only to get given more straws! It’s easy enough to carry reusable bags and say no to plastic carrier bags as well. While we’re on the topic of plastic…

Bring Your Own Bottle

No, not like that. We mean bring your own water bottle! Consider you are visiting a hot country – you know that you’ll need to stay hydrated and drink at least 2 litres of water a day. But in places where you are not advised to drink the tap water, this can pose a problem. Imagine the mountain of plastic bottles that would be produced by just one person on a two week visit, and you can see how quickly the rubbish would pile up. Instead of buying many single-use plastic bottles, you could buy a refillable one and top up whenever you find safe drinking water. However, just finding safe drinking water can be a challenge in some parts of the world. Fear not – there is a really easy solution!

We love our Water- to-Go bottles with their built-in filters. We can fill them with water from any tap and they make it drinkable. We’ve used them to drink the tap water all over Asia and haven’t had any problems, it’s brilliant. We even filled them from outdoor streams and waterfalls while we were on our trek in Nepal, so we were able to stay hydrated on the long days of hiking without adding any plastic waste to the beautiful mountain scenery. And as well as saving the environment, they also help us save money – it’s a win-win!

In fact, we calculated that our Water-to-Go bottles will save us a whopping £546 EACH over a whole year on the road… that’s a whole lot more cash in the travel fund! Not only that but we’ll have avoided using 1400 plastic bottles.

These Feet Are Made For Walking

One way of leaving a smaller travel footprint? Having smaller feet of course! Just kidding, but actually using your feet is a great way to travel green. We walk A LOT while we’re travelling and it really is the best way of getting to know a place. Being on the ground, soaking up the sights and smells, interacting with the people you meet on the street, its all part of the experience!

Don’t be worried about getting lost, some of the best places we’ve seen are a direct result of just arriving in a place and going for a wander. Just don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re pounding the pavements – exploring on foot can be hot work!

Bus(t) a Move

Getting public transport in other countries is definitely an experience! We’ve had amazing train journeys, and we’ve had ones which are akin to torture. But we wouldn’t change it for the world. From being tightly packed into a speeding local bus in Sri Lanka’s hill country, holding on for dear life, to sharing food and stories with extended families on long Indian train journeys. These experiences have shaped our journeys and the way we view the countries we’ve visited.

You can learn so much more about a culture by sitting on a bus than you can sealed in an air conditioned taxi any day. And we all know that sharing transport leaves a smaller travel footprint, wherever you are in the world.

Tread Softly

We’re all familiar with the saying “Leave only footprints, take only memories” but it is worth remembering. There is simply no excuse for leaving rubbish, ever. Yes you may be visiting a place where public bins are few and far between, but seriously, just take it with you. It doesn’t matter if there is already lots of rubbish there, don’t add to the problem. Because we take our Water-to-Go bottles everywhere with us, we’re never caught in a situation where we have empty plastic bottles and no way to dispose of them.

Stay on marked paths, try to avoid trampling over plants and do your very best not to leave any trace of your visit.

Some of our best travel moments so far

There have been some amazing and unforgettable moments on our trip so far, and there are bound to be many more. We’re both huge animal lovers, so seeing elephants in the wild has got to be a standout memory. In Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka, we were lucky enough to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. To see a large male casually stroll right past our jeep, and a family with babies playing in a watering hole was just one of the most incredible things we’ve ever seen – it was quite emotional!

Another highlight was a dawn pilgrimage at the top of Adam’s Peak, also in Sri Lanka – getting up at 2am and walking to the top, before watching the sun come up surrounded by people of many different faiths from all over the world was an incredible experience. Spending Charlotte’s birthday snorkelling in crystal clear waters off the coast of a perfect Thai island, or getting coated from head to toe in colourful paint as part of India’s Holi celebrations… there are almost too many moments to mention!

What does the future hold for us?

Our Water-to-Go bottles may have prevented us from getting any actual bugs on our trip, but the travel bug has seriously got hold of us! We feel like we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of all the incredible places in the world that are waiting to be explored. We’re returning back to the UK in October, as there are jobs, friends and family to get back to. But we have dreams of becoming location independent and finding a way of travelling long term. Just watch this space!

If you want to follow our adventures you can head over to www.nofixedhome.com and subscribe via email. Our website features eco-friendly travel tips, travel inspiration and vegan recipes. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so why not come and say hi!