Spike Reid gave a presentation at the Adventure Travel Show on 21 January about his recent trip down the River Ganges by paddle boat. The river is drowning in single use plastic, much of which will end up in the ocean. I grabbed him afterwards for a quick chat about his experience as an adventure traveller. He’s given some real useful travel advice so make sure to read on.
Single Use Plastic
Spike travelled to the Ganges with a team of friends and they recorded their journey from the spring to the ocean. The title of his presentation was “The River Ganges – The Most Polluted River in the World”. Spike is especially concerned by the amount of Single Use Plastic (SUP) that’s thrown away around the world so he picked this as the special focus of the journey.
“Singe Use Plastic is the worst that can happen to the environment – you use it once then it ends up in the rivers and ultimately in the ocean for generations to come!”
His trip to the Ganges, excluding equipment he already owned, cost about £1,000 for three weeks.
He took dehyrdrated adventure travel food and lots of water. In fact so much that it was almost weighing down the paddleboat, he said.
“What I really wish I had taken with me is a Luminaid inflatable solar powered light, they come in very handy.”
“My number one tip is that you pick the right team before you…” Spike told me just outside the auditorium. “But what if you are a solo hiker?” was my immediate question.
“Well, pick the right equipment then!” came the response.
And what better advice? With crappy equipment you can be the best hiker on the world, your expedition will quickly fail.
“I would say the other thing is that you should always have enough capacity to carry a lot of water, that’s also very important,” Spike added.
If you are a blogger, it is also important to take plenty of photos and videos, Spike said.
“My main goal is to take images that will grab people, real eye catching stuff.”
But what to use for this?
Spike takes most of his photos using an iPhone 6 in a waterproof case. He also carries a 6D Canon SLR and two GoPro 4 Silver cameras.
“The GoPro is virtually bomb proof, you can take it anywhere!”
Spike also likes hikes, and he takes a couple of books to read and several podcasts to listen to.
“My favourite is How to Get to the North Pole by Tim Moss, but before I set off I read a lot of books relevant to the area,” he said.
For example, he read the “Great Game” before one of his trips and he could relate to the events that happened in the book by visiting the same places.
Music and Podcasts are also important.
“I download the podcasts in advance. My favourites are ‘From Our on correspondent’, ‘Ted’s Radio Hour’, ‘50 Things That Made the Modern World’ and ‘The Y Factor’,”
“I also listen to ‘Friday Night Comedy’ to lighten up the mood.”
Last but not least, take plenty of batteries and chargers! He uses solar panels to charge anywhere, and these are not even that expensive when you think about their importance.