Hygiene/medical on the road! by Becca

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(Lake Atitlan – Guatemala)

So from my experience of spending almost a year in the cars with mostly boys there are a few things I have learnt about keeping fresh and a few tricks to learn on the road!

Firstly for products, bring as little as possible as they take up space and you can double products up! One thing I would say for sure to bring is coconut oil. It can be used as moisturiser, conditioner and even as sun lotion as it has an SPF of 4. It can also be used when applied to cotton to make fire lighters and is also great to cook with! It is also an anti-fungal so if great for hygiene when you can get to showers as often as you had hoped. On that note, another must have is baby/wet wipes. I must have gone through so many on the trip as they become your nearest thing to a shower in some circumstances. The pretty much covers it for personal hygiene other than if you can get hold of some chemical free shampoos or soaps (I buy the bars from LUSH) then these are great as you can use them in outdoor/beach showers and you’re not polluting the water. If you don’t already have one then look into purchasing a microfiber towel as these are lightweight, fast drying and quite often have antibacterial tendencies so they don’t hold any bad smells, but the downside is they just aren’t as good as a real towel!

So keeping your clothes clean can be tough when we are wild camping and not always around civilisation so there are a few options that I have learnt throughout the trip, one is to wash your underwear with you in the shower. Particularly in hot countries it will dry in no time and it keeps them fresh and gives them a temporary wash until you find a laundrette or somewhere suitable to wash clothes. Another option is something called The Scrubba bag, which we had on the last trip. I wouldn’t say they are that amazing as we barley used ours, but if you are a bit of a clean freak then it might be ideal for you as you can wash wherever there is water and your clothes will keep fresh. They don’t deal well with seriously dirty clothes so if you plan on wearing things until they are super dirty then I wouldn’t bother with this. It is more designed for slightly dirty clothes to be freshened up. Finally perfume or oils! If you want to keep smelling fresh then carry a small bottle with you to douse on your clothes when they start to get a bit gross!

Finally on a more medical side Tiger Balm! Great for any aches and pains as well as bites!! A good all-round item to carry, just in case you need it. I would also say to bring a small personal amount of general first aid items like pain killers, bug spray, hand gel and plasters as these can be very expensive in remote areas, as well as illegal in some countries!! So make sure to check what pain reliefs you can take into some of the countries outside of Europe. We will try our best to pass on any information we know.

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(Swan Lake – BC Canada)

If you would like any more information about what we are going to pack and recommendations of products then check out our YouTube channel  ‘Global Convoy’ for our Skillfully-ish videos on travel!

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What to bring on a typical Global Convoy Overlanding Adventure – by Becca

What to bring? – MAYhem Trip

So we have learnt a lot from our last trip about what to bring and really not what to bother with! Essentially there are so many variables between people; how long they are joining the trip and personal preferences. If you like your creature comforts then you will probably be packing more, but if you can live with the bare minimum then you will be looking at a lot lighter journey. Also to consider the space in the car you are in, make sure to check with the driver how much allowance you might have or if there are things you can pitch in for as a group or if you would prefer to do things separately, but where’s the fun in that!

Here is suggested personal check list of basic survival things you WILL NEED for yourself:

  • Sleeping bag (as were going in spring, make sure to get a decent bag as it could still be cold)
  • Tent or hammock (we recommend a pop up tent as they are cheap and easy to set up!)
  • Sleeping pad or roll mat
  • Plate/bowl/mug/knife/lighter/spoon/fork (any other eating utensils)
  • Personal cooker or jet boil (if you want hot water and hot food)
  • Water filtration system or tablets (get yourself a Water-to-Go with our discount code GLOBALCONVOY and then you will have clean drinking water for the trip!)
  • Battery pack (unless anyone is having some crazy ass rig in their car, it can be difficult to keep things charged on the road and when wild camping we don’t always have power, so very useful if you want to keep cameras and phones charged!)
  • Head lamp/torch (sometimes if we set up camp late it is a pain when you can’t see to put your tent up!!)
  • Passport/visas/bankcards/cash
  • 1x decent pair of boots/shoes
  • 1x rain jacket

Below are some ideas of what you might want to kit out your car with, as a group and pitch in so it’s cheaper. If you plan on group cooking etc then you might want to all pitch into cooking things etc, but it’s down to the individual to sort it out!

Things that you can arrange to share with your car team:

  • Tent/tarp/shelter the more the merrier 😉
  • Cooker/gas stove
  • Cooking utensils or equipment/pots/pans
  • Chairs
  • Odd useful bits like:  bin bags/toilet rolls/wet wipes (life savers)/duct tape/jerry can

Other things to consider if you have the space, the luxuries for the trip:

  • Speaker
  • Board games/games/entertainment
  • Pillow/blanket

 

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If you would like any more information about what we are going to pack and recommendations of gear then check out our YouTube channel  ‘Global Convoy’ for our Skillfully-ish videos on travel!

Publication in Europe 4×4 Magazine: Around the world on nothing but optimism

We have been lucky enough to have a few of our articles published in magazine across Europe, one of our first being in Europe 4×4 magazine. It is really something to be able to share our story with anyone possible, whether it be with the friends we met during the trip, or to new people back home. We hope to inspire and to challenge peoples perceptions of travel and encourage people to join us for an adventure to see and learn something new, or follow our journey through our YouTube channel!

 

Thanks for reading and keep following our blog for more updates and stories about the Global Convoy – Becca

Follow the link to see the full article:

Europe 4×4 Magazine – The Global Convoy

 

 

How Water To Go Was Invaluable To The Global Convoy

 

by Rebecca Marsh

If you have followed our story of our journey around the Globe then you will see that we try and get as many companies as possible on board to sponsor us with gear or equipment. One of our biggest sponsors so far has been Water-to-Go and they sent us a selection of their bottles before our journey; they were life savers!

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

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

 This then led into North America, which had some of the most beautiful landscapes to offer and we were lucky enough to experience some of its beauty by visiting an array of national parks, including Yosemite. As hikers we used our bottles frequently in Yosemite, filling up from some of the most famous waterfalls! Being able to drink such untreated water and not getting sick felt literally so refreshing.

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

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

If you want to get your hands on one then head over to their website http://www.watertogo.eu and use our discount code: GLOBALCONVOY at the checkout for 15% off bottles and filters!

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What we do?

So since our return back to the UK in July 2017 we have been extremely busy bees. We picked up a lot of attention from media outlets across the UK and were invited to become public speakers at shows across Europe, including The Adventure Travel Show, London, Adventure Overland Show, UK and Adventure Northside, Germany, sharing the story of our crazy adventure.

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We were invited to speak on BBC Sussex Radio, appeared in The Independent and various local newspapers as well as ITV News and this attention gave us the opportunity to spread the word and this led us to creating a documentary about our trip. This is being premiered at The Adventure Travel Film Festival in London summer 2018, so make sure to watch this space for updates!

Our aim now is to get as many people out there on adventures. We are a non-profit organisation at present and hope to develop this into a sustainable business, whether it is through running overlanding trips or continuing to make micro documentaries about the weird and wonderful places of the world.

This blog aims to share our stories, mistakes, successes and advice from all of the trips we have ran and we hope to inspire others to get out there and explore no matter what your budget or time frame is, you can always do SOMETHING different or fun.

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The Global Convoy – Circumnavigating The Globe

The project began in early 2016 with the idea to travel around the world as cheaply as possible through overlanding. The group; Max, Becca, Joel and Richard, created the concept of attempting to complete a full loop of the globe with no planning and with a tiny budget. We knew this would entail many challenging situations that would require serious team work. Shortly after sharing this idea on Facebook, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to get involved and the team began to grow, so much that we had to recruit more vehicles to accommodate the interest. We looked for the cheapest cars available on Gumtree, the first being a Skoda Felicia for £75 and the second being a Nissan Micra for just £150. After purchasing these and getting more people involved this created a solid team for the convoy.

Then we set off East. Travelling across 4 continents and a total of 46 countries, we found ourselves in all sorts of situations both good and bad. Being an optimistic and slightly crazy team from the start, we were ready to face all challenges ahead of us and only hoped for the best of situations. Our first continent, Europe showed us the possibilities of collecting hitch hikers and at one point we had a total of 5 cars with 26 people. This experience exposed us to the large hitchhiking community within Europe and got like minded people involved in the project. We were lucky enough to have met some amazing people on this leg of the journey who in the future, returned to the convoy and have continued to help us since our return to the UK. The ability to make these connections really built the trip and kick started the project to become what it is now. Over the past year we have built a solid community from which we made some lifelong friendships and relationships.  

Entering Russia and Central Asia on the other hand, was another story. Unfortunately due to Visas, the group rapidly dropped down to 5 as we entered Russia, which changed the tone for the group. Things became a lot more serious and challenging. Due to the roads in this part of the world being in some cases ‘non-existent’, we had some of our biggest breakdowns on the trip. The first, being in Kazakhstan, when we hit the oil sump on the diesel Skoda and were stranded in the desert. A twelve hour journey turned into 3 days, but we were rescued by the amazing workers at a nearby oil refinery. We didn’t have much luck in Kazakhstan, as to follow we had a speeding bribe followed by snapping the accelerator cable on the Skoda. But we worked together to make the best of a situation and because of that shared mindset, we visited some of the most wonderful places in both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

After our final sprint to Vladivostok just in time for our visas expiring, we flew to Japan. Japan was a breath of fresh air after the challenges faced in Central Asia. This was the first time the Convoy as a whole were without the cars and to embrace Japan’s hospitality and quirky culture we decided to hitchhike our way to Korea where we would later fly on to Canada to collect the cars. Japan gave us some of the most in depth cultural experiences from wedding parties to drifting down Mountain ranges near Mount Fuji and Samurai sword making. Japan was so rich in culture that there were endless good times and it was difficult to motivate ourselves to leave. We made our way separately to Korea, some of us had flights bought for us and others took the boat across to Busan. We all met in Seoul where we delved into the food culture, learning about Kimchi and exploring the never ending markets.

Canada was the first of our shipping nightmares! After having spent a month exploring Japan and Korea whilst the cars should arrive, we were faced with a month long delay. On the positive side this allowed us to venture out into British Columbia and explore the beautiful nature that Canada has to offer. But this caused a knock on effect to our rough time scale of returning home within a year. As always we embraced what we were faced with and once the cars had been collected we were well on our way to fixing them up and preparing for the states. The cars were covered in mould and we had a broken shock from the Trans-Siberian highway, so we grouped together to fix them up and by this point we had 2 Canadian cars join us so the team was back up to 10 people and 4 cars.

North America had some of the most beautiful landscapes to offer and we were lucky enough to experience some of its beauty by visiting an array of national parks, including Yosemite. We also had the opportunity to drive parts of the California 1, absorbing some of the stunning coastline of California. Our next stop was Mexico, traveling south we had to pass through colourful Las Vegas and of course the Grand Canyon.

Then, we entered Mexico. Our pre-conceptions and thoughts were very different to our experiences. We had been warned as Overlanders to stick to toll roads and don’t drive at night, which we stuck to religiously, until we experienced the community based culture it had to offer. This dramatically changed our thoughts and we had some of the most unique experiences, eating with locals after being invited into their homes and welcomed to their communities.

This warmth continued through both Central and South America where we continued to be accepted in communities across Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This part of the world was very much new territory for the majority of us and we found ourselves captivated by its temples and Mayan history. Then again we were faced with the ‘joys’ of shipping from Honduras to Colombia, which again caused many issues and delays but positively, we eventually were reunited with the cars and were ready to complete our last leg of the journey; South America.

South America for us was a very short period on the trip but this didn’t mean that we missed out. Due to the roads being equally as troublesome as those in Central Asia we found ourselves in many sticky situations where we relied on the help of locals. This didn’t stop us seeing some of the most renowned sites South America has to offer like Machu Picchu and of course the Bolivian Salt Flats. This was an ultimate high for the group as it really hit how far we had made it and what we had accomplished over the past 8 months.

Unfortunately due to money running low and time slipping through our fingers the trip came to an abrupt end. After shipping from Uruguay to Germany we were faced with the dreaded issues at customs and legalities of the cars by this point. We had to bring the cars home on trucks to get them fixed up and ready to go. Since then we have been touring Europe sharing our stories at various Adventure shows and we hope to continue sharing.

We wanted to create a project where everyone and anyone could be involved and we would work with what people had to offer. The project demonstrates how little equipment or modification to your car you need in order to survive. At times we wish we were more prepared, but our team work and optimism got us through the journey and from this we have created some strong friendships with people all over the world.

The convoy as a whole has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but one thing that got us through these times, was each other’s team spirit. Most people would choose to have the comfort and security when Overlanding by taking 4×4 vehicles, which to be fair, is a more sensible option but doesn’t always create the rarest experiences as we discovered. When the cars broke down or failed us we relied on locals to help us get them back into shape and this faith that we put into humanity helped to get us around the world! We found that this optimism allowed us to have life changing interactions with people all over the world, from remote villages in Kyrgyzstan to the Sacred Valley in Peru, where locals did what they could to help us fix the cars.

Not only were we optimistic for ourselves, but by creating a project for all to be involved, created optimism in others, and gave opportunities to like minded people.