Water-to-Go in partnership with Oasis Overland

Water-to-Go is excited to announce a new partnership with Oasis Overland. They are an adventure tour company that operate adventure trips from 5 days to 10 months duration in Africa, South America and Asia. Travellers who join them are looking for something a bit different and something off the beaten track.

 

Oasis Overland realise the important role they have to play in ensuring that their trips are run responsibly to maximise the potential benefits to local communities and minimise the negatives. In alignment with their philosophy of responsible tourism, they have decided to partner up with Water-to-Go to ensure that their clients travel responsibly and safely as well as reducing their carbon footprint. Oasis Overland are actively promoting Water-to-Go as essential kit on their tours so that their members have access to safe, clean drinking wherever they are.

 

Water-to-Go is a supporter of Oasis Overland and has supplied Water-to-Go filtration bottles to them, and are proud to extend the association. We are giving their members an exclusive discount on Water-to-Go products and furthermore, Water-to-Go will match that percentage discount as a donation to the charities that they support. Water-to-Go is excited and delighted to support Oasis Overland as a referral partner and its efforts and goals with their charitable projects and hope that together we can make a difference.

 

This partnership will have more far-reaching effects than just to the people who go on their tours. Oasis Overland is committed to working with local operators and service providers and supporting communities with their trade. As such, Water-to-Go will be helping Oasis Overland to support the following projects worldwide:

 

 

Toilet Twinning ~ Travellers on Oasis Overland trips will be aware that they often pass through, and camp in, remote areas where toilet facilities do not exist. 

2.5 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the loo. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet. For people in poor communities, a hole in the ground is literally a life saver – protecting women from the risk of attack as they find somewhere private to squat, and shielding children from preventable diarrhoeal diseases.

Oasis Overland have just joined forces with Toilet Twinning to build seven new latrines for communities in Africa. Toilet Twinning raises funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a decent toilet, and to learn about hygiene – a vital combination that prevents the spread of disease, reduces the number of deaths among children, and brings hope for the future.

 

 

Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe –
Oasis Overland have made donations of food, clothing, computers & sports equipment to this home & are involved in ongoing projects. In 2008 we funded the installation of a bore hole to enable the Home to be far more self-sufficient in food production & enabling the children to practise essential horticultural skills. They also paid for gardening tools & seeds.

 

Since 2008, they having been running an event, fondly known by our crew as ‘Kids Week’. Essentially we use our trucks and crew to take all the children out on a day trip and end up with a big party back at the Home. Many of the children rarely leave the compound where they live & the trips have enabled them to see some of the sights their country has to offer. Our last trip was in December 2017, when we took the children to the Imire Game Reserve in our overland trucks, finishing off the event with a big party at the Home-complete with candy floss and Bouncy Castles!  We’re never quite sure who enjoys these trips out the most-the children, staff, or our crew!!!

 

 

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya ~ This trust has played a significant role in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife and has pioneered strategies to reverse the extinction of the endangered black rhino and provides extensive rehabilitation programs for elephant, and other animal orphans. Projects include de-snaring, mobile veterinary services, animal welfare, water conservation and community outreach. Oasis Overland sponsor an elephant, Kamboyo & three of their trips visit this project.

 

Water-to-Go are delighted to be able to support several charities through our various partners and tour companies. Water-to-Go stands for so much more than just filtering water. We stand for protecting people’s health by giving everyone access to their basic rights of safe, clean drinking water anytime, anywhere; and also protecting the planet by producing an alternative to single-use plastic bottles. We seek to work together with organisations that share our aims and goals and together we can change the world, one bottle, one person at a time.

Support the movement to treat Kilimanjaro Porters fairly with Water-to-Go

Water-to-Go have teamed up with Three Peaks Africa; a responsible travel business that offers expeditions to Tanzania’s highest peaks; Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Longido. This is the ultimate adventure challenge brought to you deep from the African Savannah and is a significant milestone on many bucket lists. Three Peaks Africa are currently working on a new crowdfunding project for a real cause that is close to their hearts. They are seeking help and support from many different partners and sponsors so we wanted to raise awareness about this great cause.

On average over 35,000 travellers a year climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime experience where they spend months, even years saving, researching the right kit and training for the opportunity to reach the roof of Africa. Once they are back down and at home, they will smile and remember their friends, motivators and biggest supporters on the mountain, the Kilimanjaro porters.  As many of you may know, it takes a whole host of porters and other mountain crew to support the climbing team. The porters carry all of the team’s food, equipment, set up the camps, sing and keep everyone motivated and safe.

In the excitement of preparing and being on the trip, we can sometimes forget that not everyone on the mountain is always as fortunate as us when it comes to health and safety and workers’ rights. In 2018 it is still estimated that 3 out of 4 porters may be paid less than a proper wage, not being fed 3 meals a day and sleeping in inadequate quarters. Based on minimum wage and tipping amounts, on a typical 6 day Kilimanjaro climb, a porter could expect to be paid the equivalent of US $1,090 a year.  That’s just £825 to support their entire family. As a result, there is sometimes huge pressure for them to accept work at less than minimum wage and sub-standard working conditions; just so that they can earn some sort of living.

Three Peaks Africa are committed to supporting ethical and responsible travel initiatives, partnering only with local operators and companies who align with them ethically in ensuring that their practices have a tangible benefit to the local community, economy and environment.

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a not-for-profit based in Tanzania. It is a tiny organisation working on a limited budget that has been working hard to improve porters working standards, and raise awareness to travellers about responsible travel choices.  Their work on the ground has already impacted over 7,000 porters, however there is still a long way to go. Marie Cheng, founder of responsible travel business for Three Peaks Africa, began working closely with KPAP when sourcing local Tanzanian climbing companies to operate her Three Peaks expeditions. She says,

“It was really important to me to run my Three Peaks trips with a responsible and ethical provider. The porters do so much for us, it is only right that they should be treated properly on the mountain”.

Marie Cheng, Founder of responsible travel business at Three Peaks Africa

Three Peaks Africa are now crowdfunding for the Kilimanjaro Porters, to increase the essential funding for KPAP and to increase the awareness of what they are doing to improve porters working standards. The money raised will be spent on the “Clothes Lending Programme” allowing all porters to borrow mountain gear, free of charge as well as on monitoring activities for the “Partner for Responsible Travel Programme” that determines if climbing companies are meeting proper porter treatment standards.  Funding will also go to help reinstate training programmes such as First Aid and Leave No Trace environmental sustainability that will benefit 175 porters.

Porters are Tanzanians who work freelance and often depend on tourism on the mountain for their livelihood.  We have an overwhelming collective responsibility to make sure that they aren’t being exploited.

Three Peaks Africa support this by ensuring that they partner only with local operators in Tanzania who are partners with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a Tanzanian not-for-profit organisation who monitor the treatment of porters by sending staff on climbs, conducting porter interviews and meeting regularly with operators to review their treatment practices.  As well as ensuring that operators adhere to the good porter treatment guidelines, KPAP also focus on improving working conditions for porters through a number of initiatives.

Ezekiel, a porter with a KPAP company says “KPAP and the partner companies have worked together to drive improvements in working conditions for us.  It has really helped me and my family. I can now take my kids to school as I was able to save money because I am paid properly”.

To support Three Peaks Africa, KPAP and their commitment to making a big change to the treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, visit their page and pledge before the 9 August: http://chuffed.org/project/kilimanjaroporters

Any donations of £100 or more also goes into a prize draw to win the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro in 2019.

With a big focus on responsible travel, Three Peaks Africa are actively encouraging and highlighting the collective responsibility that we as travellers have on local communities and the environment. Water-to-Go are pleased to be working with responsible and sustainable tourism organisations such as Three Peaks Africa who are working to protect the environment and to change lives. By highlighting to their clients the impact that single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment, they hope to do their bit in helping to reduce plastic waste.

Keeping hydrated on the mountain is even more essential for these avid trekkers and it is important that the expedition team has access to clean and safe drinking water.  Using the Water-to-Go filtration system, this eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

By helping Three Peaks Africa to reduce plastic waste with Water-to-Go bottles, Water-to-Go will also support Three Peaks Africa in their crowdfunding campaign.

Water-to-Go are working with The Outdoor Guide

Water-to-Go are delighted to be working with The Outdoor Guide (TOG), a resource set up by Julia Bradbury and sister Gina that aims to bring together information for walks all around the UK. This online platform reflects their love of the Great Outdoors and encourages everyone to discover what the outdoors has to offer. It is also a showroom that puts companies with the same ethos together in one place to inspire families to get out and explore this wonderful world. 

“We are thrilled to have Water-to-Go on The Outdoor Guide and to spread the word of the benefits of reusable bottles. These bottles are great and can be used throughout the world.”

The Outdoor Guide

Julia Bradbury in the Peak District (Credit: The Outdoor Guide)

On TOG you will find fab walks, amazing gear and gadgets along with some recommended places to stay when out walking. Things are happening very quickly at The Outdoor Guide and it is a very exciting time to be working with them. They are working with many different partners to highlight their favourite walks and gadgets to people who love the outdoors. We are privileged to be working with TOG and are pleased to know that Water-to-Go is a valued product within their organisation.

As mentioned, The Outdoor Guide was co-founded by Julia Bradbury, a television presenter and outdoor enthusiast who has dedicated her career to exploring the great outdoors. Julia is continually in the media connected with walks, camping and caravanning, outdoor trends and clothing. Over the last decade, Julia has filmed over 50 walks which feature on The Outdoor Guide and in 2016 / 2017 her two new primetime series on ITV reached an all-time high averaging an audience of around 4 million viewers per episode. 

Julia recently presented Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100 on ITV in association with the Ordnance Survey and The Ramblers, which showcased the nation’s best walks, with routes shortlisted from right across the UK, reflecting some of the nation’s most stunning scenery.

There are many different aspects of The Outdoor Guide that gives it a widespread appeal and reach. AccessTOG is the mobility ‘arm’ of The Outdoor Guide run by disabled ambassador Debbie North. TOG is committed to creating a countryside for all through the development of wheel-friendly walks for people with poor or no mobility. AccessTOG is putting together complete wheelchair-friendly packages for wonderful days out in the hills, towns and canals including the perfect pitstops, the perfect accommodation and the perfect cuppa.

Debbie North in the Yorkshire Moors (Credit: The Outdoor Guide)

Debbie uses a 4×4 all-terrain wheelchair called TerrainHopper to access the countryside. She wants to inspire other wheelchair users to get outdoors and feel the excitement of being in the hills and dales, come rain or shine. It is fantastic to see that she stays healthy and hydrated with her new Water-to-Go bottle as well.

 

Whether you are on a TOG walk or just enjoying the great outdoors, you can be sure to stay hydrated on the go with Water-to-Go. You can fill up from mountain streams, lakes and standpipes to name a few and have access to clean, safe drinking water, free of harmful contaminants wherever you are meaning you won’t need to buy any single-use plastic bottles and do your bit for the environment.

We first met Julia and The Outdoor Guide at The Destinations Show back in 2015 and she recommended Water-to-Go as her gadget of the day. Water-to-Go is the perfect way of staying healthy and hydrated when on the go. It is a reusable and refillable bottle with a built-in 3-in-1 technology filter that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source so you can have safe, clean drinking water anytime, anywhere. Not only that, Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic water bottles so by using your own Water-to-Go bottle, you will be protecting your finances, your health, and also the planet from the damage caused by plastic pollution.

Water-to-Go met The Outdoor Guide at 2018 The Destinations Show. From left: Dave Shanks – CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go, Julia Bradbury – co-founder of TOG, and Graham Archer – Marketing Consultant at Water-to-Go

We are looking forward to working with The Outdoor Guide and to seeing this partnership flourish. Together, we want to highlight the best ways to enjoy the outdoors and to discover what the Great British outdoors has to offer. Make sure you check out The Outdoor Guide website for the best walks around the UK, and stay healthy and hydrated whilst doing so with a Water-to-Go bottle.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unravelling Travelling: Water-to-Go is the number 1 item in our backpack

Well hello there! We are a couple who travel and work our way around the world full time whilst running our travel website Unravelling Travelling. Our aim is to make travel more accessible by sharing tips, tricks and advice to those who may feel that travelling is out of their reach. The most common question we get asked is how expensive it is to travel, even on a budget. Whilst we focus mainly on transport and accommodation, we want to bring attention to the smaller amounts that add up, like bottled water in countries where tap water isn’t drinkable, which is why we’ve turned to Water-to-Go.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Water-to-Go make filtration bottles which allow you to drink from any non-salt water source using filters that remove over 99.9% of bacteria. Their mission is to offer safe and healthy drinking water worldwide whilst saving you money (every backpacker’s dream) and providing an alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Whilst we’re travelling, it’s extremely important for us to stay hydrated, especially when we visit countries with a high humidity and temperatures way beyond those we’re used to. The lack of drinking water in many parts of the world resulted in the buying of bottled water, which had a disastrous effect on both our pockets and the environment. In the USA and Europe alone, we consume over 70 billion single-use plastic water bottles, of which only 20% are recycled. Not only does this have a detrimental effect on the environment, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals die from ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic waste per year.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

A video has recently emerged of a tourist beach in Bali showing the amount of plastic contaminating our oceans. Not only is it extremely sad for the wildlife, but also affects us as travellers; it is our duty to leave our destinations as we found them. Drinking a single bottle of water does as much damage to the environment as driving a car for 1km, and for every 5 bottles made, 1 bottle full of oil is used to distribute them.

So why don’t we just reuse the first water bottle we buy when we arrive at our destination, especially as some places do provide free and safe drinking water from the tap? Because reusing our bottle can lead to physical breakdowns of plastic where bacteria can harbour leading to bacterial contamination and that is the last thing we need when we’re in the middle of a trip of a lifetime!

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Using a Water-to-Go bottle gives us access to water in the most remote regions of the world. Whether we’re near a puddle, a stream or a bucket of rain water, we use our bottles to filter it into perfectly safe drinking water. Secondly, for every 260 plastic bottles we would have to throw away, we only get through 1 filter with our bottles. Thirdly, it’s safer to drink puddle water from Thailand in a Water-to-Go bottle than it is to drink tap water from a reused plastic bottle in UK. Plus, we save a rather large sum of money.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

As backpackers, we spend the months leading up to our trip eating nothing but beans on toast and working 70 hour weeks to pay for it, but we would often forget to add ‘keeping hydrated’ to our budget. An average person is recommended to drink 2 litres of water per day. This equates to 4 bottles of water per day (assuming our bottle size is 500ml). With no access to tap water, we would then spend £4 per day minimum. On a 6 month trip, we would need to budget £744 just for water, whereas with a Water-to-Go bottle it costs £29 for a 500ml bottle and 2 extra filters, plus we save £252 per filter, assuming each filter is equal to exactly 260 plastic bottles costing £1 each. We also remove the filter and use it as our regular day to day bottle, as tap water in the UK only costs 2p per litre.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

We received these bottles as a present for Christmas 2017 and have taken them on every trip we’ve been on so far. One of these places was Malaysia, where we decided to hike Bukit Saga, just outside of Kuala Lumpar. Our 3 hour journey quickly turned into 9 hours when we got lost and we hadn’t taken food with us. Luckily what we did have was our Water-to-Go bottles which we filled every step of the way from any water source we could find. Had we bought a bottle of water from a shop beforehand instead, we would have ended up drinking from muddy, murky waters with no filtration system and potentially been extremely ill afterwards. Not something we would have relished during our first few weeks of our trip! You can read our full horror story here.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

We recently voted our Water-to-Go bottles our number 1 item in our backpack, but don’t just take our word for it; there have been incredible testimonies from people in a variety of situations and places such as a medical trip to Rwanda, a 4,500km walk the length of India, expeditions to Mongolia and Madagascar, walking the length of the Zambezi River and Kayaking the length of Angola’s Kwanza River, all of which you can read about here.

So, what are you waiting for? To all the backpackers out there, your Water-to-Go bottle will be your best friend and maybe even your life saver! Be sure to purchase a bottle and as many filters as you’ll need before you go. It’s an absolute life changer!

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Guest blog post by Li Vinall from Unravelling Travelling

All photos by Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Try something new for National Walking Month with Nordic Walking

To celebrate National Walking Month, Water-to-Go is encouraging everyone to get outside and discover what the outdoors has to offer. We want to promote a healthy lifestyle and show how you can explore the world we live in.

Nordic walking is a craze in many European countries including Germany and Denmark.  It involves using poles made from either carbon or aluminium to walk.  Participants in Nordic walking must be properly instructed in how to practice the sport. This exercise is an all-body activity in that it works the lower and upper body simultaneously.

You can practice Nordic walking between two and five times a week. Some of the poles that you can purchase are adjustable to your torso height and leg length whilst others are already fixed ahead of use. Nordic walking allows people to experience fresh air, nature and an increased heart rate by raising the amount of breaths plus exertion effort.  There is anecdotal evidence to suggest Nordic walking can positively affect those who suffer from asthma.  Nordic walking can be practised as a group or singularly.

Nordic Walking UK

You can try something new this National Walking Month by trying Nordic Walking with our partners, Nordic Walking UK. Nordic Walking UK is the original brand and award-winning leading authority on Nordic Walking across the UK.  They can help you take your first Nordic Walking steps by introducing you to your local instructor or group and recommend a range of equipment you may need.  They also offer a comprehensive instructor training scheme and solutions for community projects nationwide. They are passionate about getting more people outside and taking part in this great exercise technique.

Stay hydrated with Water-to-Go

Hydration is very necessary to walking exercises.  Water hydration accelerates weight loss through quickening the body’s metabolic rate and by increasing electrolytes in the body.  Water also flushes out toxins, not to mention filling you up before, during and after meals.

Studies show that controlled groups told to drink water up to 30 minutes or an hour before a meal as opposed to those who were taught to think that their stomachs were full mentally, showed that the participants with a lot of water in their system lost the most weight over a given period of time.  It is recommended to drink two litres of water per day by health experts.

Eight glasses of eight ounces of water is a good way of kick-starting this new habit.  Drinking water and walking can also significantly enhance your health.  Water-to-Go is ideal as an accompaniment when nordic walking as the 3-in-1 filter technology will give you access to safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source. It is great for staying hydrated and the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

The matching of nordic walking and water hydration through the Water-to-Go bottles is a perfect marriage of outdoor exercise with a healthy beverage. Particularly exploit the weather this May and get outside to explore what the outdoors has to offer. Get to know more about Nordic Walking with this video of the 2018 Peak District Festival in Derbyshire and get inspired.

If you would like to be more knowledgeable about May’s National Walking Month, please refer to the relevant blog.

Celebrate National Walking Month with Ramblers Walking Holidays and Water-to-Go

May is National Walking Month in the UK and we are encouraging you to get outside and explore everything that the outdoors has to offer. Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays want to show how you can celebrate National Walking Month and how this could benefit your health.

Ramblers Walking Holidays

Ramblers Walking Holidays have been providing great value small-group guided holidays in spectacular locations around the globe for over 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. In total, they offer over 200 walking holidays in over 60 countries.

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Benefits of walking

The benefits of walking are having gentle aerobic exercise and this mild sport can prevent cardiovascular diseases too.  Rambling or walking can add to your general wellbeing by allowing you to see views you would not otherwise see if you were not walking and permitting you to breathe in fresh-air on your ramble. Walking assists with strengthening the bones and muscles.  It can improve our mood; improve our balance and coordination.  The faster, farther and more frequently one walks, the greater the benefits.

Stay hydrated with Water-to-Go

It is important to stay very well hydrated when embarking on an activity such as walking.  Therefore, water is a must to take with you and Water-to-Go is the perfect way to access safe, clean water wherever you are. Both Water-to-Go bottles from the 50cl to the 75cl are welcome support aides when seeking to be well-hydrated with water on your promenade.

The practice of drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Our bodies are composed of approximately 60% water. The functions of our bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, the creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

Celebrate National Walking Month

A great way to celebrate National Walking Month with Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays is with the Walk About Festival which will take place between Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018.  This would be the perfect time to take a Water-to-Go bottle and go for a walk around Britain’s countryside. Various different walks will be organised around the country during that time, particularly more than at other periods during the year.

The combination of walking often and keeping well-hydrated with water regularly leads to a healthier lifestyle plus better well-being.  This improved lifestyle will lead to better cardiovascular and respiratory health. One brisk walk a day is enough to cut the risk of early death by as much as 15 percent, according to Public Health England.  All of this has the potential to lead to a longer and more prosperous life if practised frequently.


If you are interested in venturing further around the UK, make sure you check out Britain’s Favourite 100 Walks by Julia Bradbury.

Chasing Gandhi’s Shadow: Olie Hunter Smart completes his 4,500km walk the length of India

In April 2017, Olie Hunter Smart set off on a solo journey to walk the length of India to uncover untold stories of Independence and Partition that took place in 1947.  He’s just returned to the UK and shares his story with us.  You can read about the background to his journey here.

Olie’s route through India

As I stared out of the aeroplane window on my way up to Ladakh, I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew.  Not only did the plains of India look hot, dry and particularly arid, but the Himalayas looked huge and the snowy conditions were not something I was experienced with. 

Looking down at the folds that make up the Himalayas

However, I soon became distracted by the beauty of the mountain landscape; deep purple mountains capped in white snow; huge sunny skies and crisp fresh air; and the gentle sound of prayer wheels spinning as people went about their daily routines.  It was magical.  I was excited about the long journey that lay ahead.

Mountain scenes and snowy peaks of Ladakh

After a few days of acclimatisation, I set off with a guide essential to navigating the mountain trails that would take us off the roads, following valleys and climbing high mountain passes that blocked the route south.  We carried food with us so as not to be a burden on the remote communities we passed through, increasing my already heavy bag to around 28 kilos.  Thankfully, the Water-to-Go bottles saved us valuable weight as we filled up from icy cold snow melt streams.  It was so thirst quenching!

I filled up from ice-cold streams while trekking in the Himalayas

As we emerged from the mountain trails some 5 weeks later, I waved goodbye to the guide and set off for the dusty plains of northern India.  Temperatures soared to a staggering 48 degrees so it was critical that I kept cool and remained hydrated.  I discovered this area was heavily impacted by Partition that took place following Independence in 1947.  Millions of people fled, escaping violence and persecution as Hindu ruled East Punjab and Muslim ruled West Punjab were divided.

An elder I spoke to along my route

Most nights I stayed with families which gave me the opportunity to hear elders recounting their experience of that traumatic period of history; I found myself wincing at their accounts of the brutality, the stories of families fleeing their homes never to return, or of fathers giving their children daggers to use on themselves to avoid being subjected to violence and abuse.  I was very moved by their descriptions, something I had not anticipated hearing, but that was reality for them.

Would you walk along the railway lines in India?

I followed the railway line south, it being more direct as well as keeping me off the roads and away from the dangerous traffic and pollution.  I passed through Delhi and onto Rajasthan where I continued to hear similarly tragic stories about Partition, but on occasion was pleasantly surprised to come across a few positive stories from people who had been able to change their financial situation having set up successful businesses.  Food flavours were now changing every 100 kilometres or so as the agriculture influenced the dishes I was eating.  By now I’d been on the road for almost 4 months but I was loving rural India.

I’d been looking forward to the Salt March, the inspiration for my journey, since the start.  Today the route has become somewhat a heritage route making it far easier to navigate, yet the difficulty came in each village when trying to find various plaques or statues commemorating Gandhi’s walk in 1930.  Fortunately, the locals knew it well and took great pleasure in showing me around their community, regaling historical stories to boot.  I reached Dandi where Gandhi broke the salt law, realising that I was now over half way through my journey.  It was an emotional moment.

No longer reliant on Google maps as my route was marked to Dandi!

Back on the road I worked my way down to the busting city of Mumbai.  India is well set up for constant refills of your own bottle in the hot climate, whether it be a hand pump or well in a village, a tap on a railway platform or from the increasing number of reverse osmosis stations set up in villages to provide clean water to the communities. My Water-to-Go bottle provided me with consistently good quality and safe water from whatever source I found.

I would fill up anywhere I could find fresh water along my route

By now I was beginning to get increasingly frustrated with life on the road – the hooting, incessant demands for selfies and that spicy food.  Couldn’t I just have cereal for breakfast?!  I’d been walking for 6 months, but it was only when I worked my way uphill to Pune that I realised I had spent the best part of three months in the flat plains of India.  There had been no texture in the landscape, nothing on the horizon to aim for.  I’d been missing the hills, so I made it my mission to find a place to camp next to a lake, and soon enough I found the perfect spot!

Finding a place to camp was tricky, but on occasions I found the ideal spot

I continued south, meeting some freedom fighters that had fought alongside Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom, many of whom were over 90 years old.  As I neared Mysore I was confident with my progress until one day someone asked me how I would avoid being attacked by a tiger.  Tigers?!  They’d not even crossed my mind this far south.  I carried on, getting increasingly worried as I went, trying to figure out alternative routes.  I spent half a day with all senses on edge as I walked steadily through a tiger reserve, completely petrified.

Should I heed the warning signs?

That night I resolved to find a driver who could shadow me for the next stretch of forest.  The following morning, he arrived and I set off, safe in the knowledge that there was an extra pair of eyes on the lookout.  Relief ran through my veins as I reached the end of the forest and the safety of a temple that night.

Kanyakumari in my sights!

Kanyakumari was in my sights, but there was one final obstacle I had to overcome – Cyclone Ockhi with her devastating wind and rain.  Having already walked through monsoon rains I was determined not to be put off by some adverse weather and ploughed on, reaching the very southern tip of India on 6th December.  After seven and a half months on foot, I’d made it!  What an incredible way to experience real India!

With nowhere else to go, I can now relax!

Olie is currently working on a documentary of his journey. 

To find out the latest, follow @oliehuntersmart on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is attempting his toughest challenge yet

Ash Dykes is an extreme athlete and adventurer who is embarking on his latest challenge. After conquering Mongolia and Madagascar, Ash has announced details of his forthcoming expedition which is something that has never been done before. Water-to-Go attended an exclusive event at Canary Wharf along with other sponsors and partners to hear the announcement.

Ash Dykes with sponsors and partners at his expedition launch event in Canary Wharf (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

On Wednesday 7th March 2018, Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, launched his expedition to the world in style. The day saw a gathering of Ash’s team and sponsors at The Pagination in Canary Wharf, to celebrate the launch of the long-planned world first. It certainly went down as Ash’s greatest announcement to date; the expedition was the most talked about news throughout the UK on Wednesday, reaching hundreds of thousands of people within just 12 hours. The news was covered in the likes of the Independent, BBC News, Mail Online to name a few and his announcement video received well in excess of 100,000+ views.

“The support has been overwhelming and I’d like to personally and genuinely thank everyone for being behind me, team members, sponsors and the public – it’s been incredible and is only just the beginning.”

Ash Dykes

Ash Dykes with Dave Shanks, Water-to-Go CEO                                                                          (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

Ash Dykes is attempting to become the first person to walk the length of the Yangzte River.

This year, Ash will attempt his greatest expedition yet, as he walks from the Yangtze’s source in the melt waters of the Jianggendiru Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta near Shanghai, where it meets the East China Sea. This expedition is set to be his toughest yet; it will be over 4000 miles, an estimated 8 million steps, that will take at least a year to complete. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The Yangtze is the longest river in the world to flow through a single country. Its length has never been walked, until now.

The severity of this 6,437km challenge is not to be underestimated. Throughout Ash’s estimated 8 million step exploration, he will undoubtedly come across some of nature’s most intimidating experiences. From snakes to bears, wolves to Asian hornets – the isolating weather-ranging and isolating challenge will push all of Ash’s strengths to the limit.

Ash may be superhuman to most people but even he needs to stay hydrated and find safe drinking water whilst on his expedition. Whilst this may pose some problems to most people, this is something that Ash doesn’t need to worry about. The last thing he would want to do is add to the weight he is already carrying with bottled water not to mention also spending a lot of money on something that he can find for free.

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. The Water-to-Go bottle filters out well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants in water that can make you ill. These include bacteria, viruses, parasites, lead, chlorine and water borne cysts. This means he can fill up from any non-saltwater source and still be able to drink healthy, safe water making it his ideal travel companion.

Ever since we started working with Ash back in 2014, he now swears by Water-to-Go for all of his expeditions to keep himself healthy and hydrated. That year, Ash became the first ever recorded person to walk across Mongolia solo and unsupported, covering a 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. Whilst this was hard going mentally and physically, Ash was able to complete this incredible challenge and stay hydrated by filling up from local water sources without getting ill.

“I had been searching for some time, for a really good & effective water filter to take on my expedition across Mongolia, but I kept coming across water filters that needed to be pumped to purify the water (in a desert of 45 degrees C, this was the last thing I wanted to do).

My agent came across the Water-to-Go stand at an adventure festival and asked for a demo & how they worked. He was so impressed that he sent me a text straight after, in which I then went on the website, and found the perfect bottle to take out with me. I’ll be coming across all sorts of water sources in some extreme locations.

The fact that I could top the bottle up and drink it straight away was what hooked me the most, and it was an absolute must for me in such an environment, but even my latest trek in Scotland saw me topping it up constantly from lochs, rivers etc and the taste was perfect. The bottle really does deliver and I’m super impressed with it & can’t wait to use it on my latest expedition. Fantastic product, team & service, I highly recommend.”

      Ash Dykes

“The bottle really does deliver and I’m super impressed with it & can’t wait to use it on my latest expedition.”

His next amazing challenge was in 2016 when Ash achieved his second world record by becoming the first person to walk the entire length of Madagascar’s interior, whilst summiting its eight highest Mountains. An expedition of over 1,600 miles, taking 155 days to complete where he faced many challenges from being held up by the military, contracting the deadliest form of Malaria, crossing crocodile infested rivers amongst much more, and one that Bear Grylls wished him luck on.

His next expedition is just as mind-boggling and challenging as the others but with Water-to-Go by his side, we are sure that Ash will persevere to complete his toughest challenge to date.

Following our recent launch in China, this has been the perfect opportunity to help promote Ash’s incredible new venture to a whole new audience. We have appointed HH (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co Ltd. as our new partner and distributor for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao as Water-to-Go continues to expand and enter new markets.

Ash Dykes with our new partners and distributor for China, HH (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co Ltd. — Following our recent launch in China, this has been the perfect opportunity to help promote Ash’s incredible new venture to a whole new audience.

Sustainable travel is an important aspect of Ash’s expeditions which is why the connection with Water-to-Go is so poignant. We are only too aware of the effect that we have on the planet particularly when travelling and Water-to-Go is the perfect sustainable solution to the damage caused by single-use plastic. Water-to-Go are working with several organisations and partners such as Ash to help tackle this problem.

“Water-to-Go are delighted to be sponsoring Ash Dykes on his latest mission along the Yangtze River. Having worked with him since 2014 and sponsored him on his previous expeditions to Mongolia and Madagascar, we couldn’t wait to work with him again following the announcement of his next mind-boggling challenge. We know that in the toughest times of his previous expeditions, Water-to-Go has been with him every step of the way and has helped him through to the end. Ash is a fantastic ambassador for Water-to-Go we are grateful for the faith he has shown in the product and the business.

This announcement has coincided perfectly with our recent launch in China so it has been a pleasure to introduce Ash to our partners [Health and Happiness] in Shanghai. This has not only strengthened our partnership further but has been a great opportunity to promote both Ash’s next venture and our expansion into new global markets. We wish Ash all the best on his expedition and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Dave Shanks, Water-to-Go CEO

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.

Water-to-Go bottles and communications systems from Galaxy1 and Navarino       (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

Water-to-Go isn’t the only important bit of kit for his expedition. Ash will be able to stay constantly connected with this amazing Galaxy1 IsatPhone and Data Hard Drive from Navarino.

Ash will be venturing on this mission in the next few months and you can stay up to date with everything that goes on as he hopes to make it one of the most interactive expeditions ever as well.

 

 

 

Follow his journey on social media and on his website

How to become a responsible traveller

Last year, the UN General Assembly declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development; and since then there has been much more emphasis on Responsible Tourism. We all share this beautiful world that we live in and it is important that we treat it with care especially when travelling. Some are more fortunate than others to live in developed areas where the culture of travel is not as sustainable as it should be. Responsible travel is now high on the agenda and hopefully this will give you a few ideas as to how you can become a responsible traveller.

 

Tourism is today the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuels. It brings hope, prosperity and understanding to so many lives and livelihoods all over the world. In 2016 alone, 1235 million travellers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion.

A lot of the time, we don’t really think about the places that we are visiting and how it might affect them. It is therefore important that we change attitudes and behaviours to have minimum effect on the environment.

Use a Water-to-Go bottle

With millions of tourists and travellers exploring ever more exotic destinations every year, having access to safe drinking water is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, when we travel we are forced to buy bottled water when there is not a safe alternative. Single-use water bottles are having a devastating impact on our planet with the latest report indicating that plastic waste could outnumber fish in the ocean by the year 2050. This is possibly the worst problem that has occurred from travel and is something that has to be addressed.

The team at Water-to-Go have been battling this problem right from our inception in 2010 and through painstaking research, we have created a sustainable and responsible alternative to the single-use plastic water bottle. The Water-to-Go bottle filters out over 99.9% of all the bad things in water that can make you ill. These include bacteria, viruses, parasites, lead, chlorine and water borne cysts from any non-saltwater source. That means you can fill up from questionable tap water, mountain streams, canals or puddles and still be able to drink healthy, safe water without ever having to buy bottled water making it the ideal travel companion. The cost of the filtered water works out at just 5 pence a litre, so you will be saving a small fortune in not having to buy expensive bottled water.

We want to raise awareness about the issues of plastic pollution but to also highlight that there is a solution. To illustrate this, 1 Water-to-Go 75cl filter is the equivalent of using 400 plastic bottles. Water-to-Go is a sustainable solution to plastic pollution and is the embodiment of sustainable and responsible tourism. 

Pack light

If you are packing a Water-to-Go bottle, you are already packing light and saving weight. Think twice about how much you are packing and decide whether you actually NEED it. It will be so much easier for you when you are travelling as you won’t have so much to lug about and it means you have space to bring something home. Furthermore, a lot of this stuff may end up becoming waste meaning that will have an effect on the environment.

Lower your carbon footprint

Leaving less of an effect on the environment will mean that you will automatically lower your carbon footprint when you are travelling. The easiest way to do this is reducing your waste. For example, try to take eco-friendly sunscreens and deodorants. When shopping, say no to plastic bags and put your items in your backpack or in a reusable bag. A Water-to-Go bottle will also mean that you are lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your plastic waste.

Respect the culture of a community

If you are already lowering your carbon footprint and reducing your waste, you are already respecting the area that you are visiting. However, it is also important when travelling to learn about the culture, flora, fauna of a community. This will allow you to experience the real essence of the place you visit and you will appreciate the diverse world we live in. A holiday you will remember will take you out of your comfort zone and educate you about different lifestyles. When travelling you should adapt to the local way of life and not the other way round. A good way to do this is with an eco-friendly travel company such as Steppes or Wild Frontiers who have links all over the world. You may be surprised about what you discover if you do this and how much of a better person you become. For a start, a new language will make you a more well-rounded person, more respected in business and very appealing to employers.

Go local

To respect the local community, the least you can do is eat locally produced food. This, in turn, will have an impact on the local economy and the living standard of the local people. The world would be a boring place if we constantly ate McDonalds or KFC. Don’t buy from chains or multinational companies as this will only benefit only a few. Going local also helps reduce the environmental impact of travel while at the same time helping the local community create a better life for themselves.

Give back to the community

Going local with regards to food and resources is great but sometimes that isn’t enough for families in underprivileged areas to get by. A great thing that we can do is take part in charity work and give back to the community. If you are travelling with the eco-friendly travel companies mentioned earlier, they are just a few that work with charitable causes that do life-changing work in neglected communities. As a tourist, it may sound silly but buying souvenirs at full price could help that person no end. It is important that resources go straight back into the communities and an easy way is giving it straight to the people who need it most.

We are naively unaware about the consequences of our actions especially when travelling and in this current climate, it is important that we educate others about responsible travel. As this has highlighted, there are some easy ways to become a more responsible traveller which in turn will make us better people and make a better planet. Becoming a responsible traveller and choosing to bring this attitude as a tourist means travelling in a way that’s ethical and pays a lot of respect to the local people, culture, environment and economy by bringing a positive impact on the community. 

We have to build a better future for people, planet, peace and prosperity.
You can be the change you want to see in the world.
You can be an ambassador for a better future.