Sterilizing Water Bottle
Our friends over at Much Better Adventures are the experts when it comes to roughing it outdoors in all types of terrains. This handy list should be useful to any active and adventurous traveller preparing for their next trip into the unknown - take note, backpackers, campers, and volunteers (or any travellers) who will be staying in remote areas! No matter where you are in the world, these seven things will make your life easier.
Sterilising water bottle
Nobody wants to get ill when they're volunteering abroad, but quite often water-born bugs can be the cause. Sterilising water bottles are a great idea for those on the go. After filling the bottle up, the built-in filters make sure that the water which comes out is clean and safe to drink - no more tummy bugs! There are a range of different models available, so find one to suit your needs and budget.
This is another water sterilization piece of equipment, but works very differently. If you're staying in one place and will be cooking your dinner over an open fire, try the Jompy! The Jompy enables you simultaneously to cook food and boil water. This saves you time and up to 60% of your energy consumption. For every Jompy sold, the company donates one to a family in Africa, so these communities can also cook, sterilise water, and save energy!
Finisterre Base Layers
Finisterre Base Layer
Are you going to be active on your volunteer placement? Merino wool has taken the adventure sport world by storm. A base layer is the perfect place to use this wool. It keeps you warm when it's cold, cool when it's hot, wicks sweat away from your body, and doesn't even need washing that often - they don't smell even after a week of use! We recommend Finisterre base layers - they are great fitting, well made, and competitively priced. But they also make sure their suppliers take care of their sheep, with RSPC awards for their product. Finisterre have a wide range of great products, so go and have a browse!
Eat Natural snack bars
Now, we all want to experience local food and culture when we're away. But from time to time, a little home comfort can be a good thing, especially when you're recovering from that mystery stomach bug... Eat Natural bars are a favourite of ours - healthy, tasty, and filling. They don't contain a single artificial thing, and are gluten-free and veggie-friendly too! They're available in many stores and are certainly worth taking a box along with you wherever your travels take you...
Grannies Inc. Woolly Hats
Grannies Inc. woolly hats
If you're going up to high altitudes, now and again you might wish for a woolly hat. And if you're into your fashion, you might want one you've designed yourself! Step in Grannies Inc., an innovative UK-based company which allows you to design your own woolly hats (as well as gloves, scarves, etc). Your design then gets knitted by genuine UK grannies, using that wonderful Merino wool again! How cool is that!?
DEET-free Insect repellent
Who likes getting bitten by bugs and insects? Not us! But we're also concerned that DEET, the active ingredient in a lot of repellents, isn't great for us or the environment. Thankfully there are a range of DEET-free repellents out there, which are based on various natural essential oils. We speak from experience when we say that getting covered in bites can be a somewhat unpleasant experience, so DEET-free insect repellent is an essential bit of kit for the voluntourist!
Any other ideas?
Well, don't forget to take a head torch for night-time toilet trips (or just getting back from the bar!), a mosquito net (if you're going to a malaria-risk area), and perhaps a solar charger for your gizmos. Whether you're volunteering in South Africa or hiking through Thailand, be sure to keep these items in mind. Whenever you shop for items, it's definitely worth trying to search out green or ethical alternatives; there are plenty out there!