‘Wild swimming’ is taking a dip in any natural body of water such as the ocean, a lake, river or waterfall, and for the most part, usually the water is quite cold. These are the places our almost all people went swimming before pools came along and in current times it’s a great way to connect with nature. Whether you are all or nothing and dive straight in or more of a tip-toe kind of person, wild swimming is for everyone and will make you feel wonderful.
There are so many benefits to cold water therapy, from boosting your immune system to flooding your body with feel good endorphins, you should definitely be adding a dip in the ocean to your adventure.
Time Of Year / Water Temperature
I’m not going to pretend that the sea here is anything but freezing. For the majority of the year, it’s really really cold. But if you are a seasoned sea swimmer, it’s nothing you can’t handle. I’ve been swimming throughout the year, and the warmest months are August, September and October – still cold, but slightly warmer than winter. If you haven’t done any sea swimming or cold water therapy before, take it slowly. The cold water can be very overwhelming and it takes about 5-10 minutes of being in the water before it becomes bearable.
Always always go with someone. Either a fellow swimmer who is going to join you in the water or as a watcher from the shore, this is the best way to keep safe. If you are travelling solo, look for the Hebridean sea swimming club and join one of their sessions for a safe experience.
Some of the beaches of the Hebrides have strong currents and although may look inviting, you should not swim at. Dail Mor and Dail Beag has some pretty strong undercurrents and would not be a good choice to swim. My rule of thumb would be if it’s popular surf spot, then it isn’t suitable for sea swimmers.
The water is going to be very cold, so wear a wetsuit, boots and a hat to keep your body temperature up. If you aren’t wearing a wetsuit, keep your ocean dip to 15 minutes so you don’t loose too much heat. Have a dry towel and warm clothes to bundle up in afterwards, and if it’s a little exposed on the beach, get back to your vehicle and warm up.
A popular spot with the locals, this little beach is a great spot for an ocean dip. There is parking at either end of the beach and you can stay overnight here as well. Check the weather conditions for this beach as it can sometime be a little choppy on a windy day from the Atlantic Ocean, remember to always have a swimming buddy!
The Braigh, Point
This is one of the sea swimming clubs favourite spots for swimming and for good reason. The shallow sandy bottom makes it a super easy and safe place to swim and and there is almost always someone walking along this beach so great for a first time swimmer.
My favourite spot for wild swimming is Bosta beach. This sheltered cove is the perfect place with white sand and (usually) calm waters. Be sure to swim out to the tide and time bell and give it a ring if you can! This is also a great place to watch the sunset from, so climb up one of the small hills to the right of the beach and relax while watching the sunset.
Let me know some of your favourite spots for wild swimming!
Going on a scuba diving trip is so exciting and having the right gear with you makes your dive so much more enjoyable and, more importantly, safe. Assuming you already have you mask, fins and snorkel, here are my other essential accessories you should have for every trip.
By far one of the most expensive but also essential piece of scuba gear you will need to buy is a dive computer. You’ll need to do a bit of research into the different types out there but mostly watches can be categorized into either conservative or liberal. Liberal algorithms tend to give you more bottom time and quicker surface times while a conservative will give you a very comfortable safety cushion where your NDL is concerned. Which you pick is up to your personal preference, age and physical fitness. Take your time to research which will be best suited to you
For all those exciting night dives, you will be needing a torch! Professional divers will have a main torch and a smaller backup torch, but if you are diving with a guide or a group – or just doing one or two night dives, then one will be sufficient. Torches are also really good for wall or wreck dives, peaking in the cracks and shadows for creatures that might be hiding! The two most important things to look at is the brightness – I’d recommend somewhere around 1000 lumens – and the run time should be around the two hour mark. Below is a handy video showing you the other important factors to consider when buying your torch.
SMB or dSMB
Getting an SMB or dSMB is really important for your saftey in diving. These little guys roll up small enough to fit in your BCD pocket or clip onto a D-ring and either inflate at the beginning of your dive and tow behing you, or they are inflated towards the end of your dive as you are at your saftey stop. Having a SMB is a requirement on many dive sites across the world so learn how to use your SMB and practice using it on your first few dives so it’s not as scary.
Having a slate is going to come in useful if you’re not sure how to hand signal something or to ask questions to your dive buddy. They are super handy if you are doing any activity such as surveys or underwater clean ups, or you just want to ask what species that tiny fish is! They come in many different sizes and styles so pick one up next time your at the dive shop.
FISH ID GUIDE
When diving in a new area, you’re going to need to pick up a fish ID book, to learn which new species you are seeing. Back on the boat after a dive, everyone will be talking about what they saw, figuring out if it was a queen parrotfish or a princess parrotfish and whether the yellow snappers were adults or juveniles. So be sure to have a slate or guide with the areas common animals so you can begin learning which species you are seeing.
Your hands are one of the main points that a diver looses heat, so if you are diving in water that isn’t tropical, gloves will make your dive much more comfortable. Gloves will also come in useful for wreck dives or on dives with strong currents where you might need to hold onto rocks to rest or complete your safety stop. Gloves will also be essential if you are on an underwater clean up where you are picking up plastic and rubbish. But gloves are definitely not used for touching coral, fish or anything that isn’t plastic.
What are some of your dive essentials to take on a dive trip?
Podcasts are one of my favourite ways of keeping up with ocean news and discovering new ocean explorers. They are so easy to listen to in the car or cooking dinner to give you your daily dose of ocean magic. Here are some of my favourite podcasts to subscribe to!
Here are six of my favourite ocean inspired podcasts!
OCEAN PANCAKE | KATT ANDRYSKOVA
Dive into conservation, sustainability and the conversation with fellow eco-warriors. Ocean Pancake is a place to learn, question and create waves of change together. Katt Andryskova works to bring people together to protect the marine ecosystems, find alternatives to plastic and find sustainable solutions. If you love the ocean, then this is the podcast for you!
MY OCEAN | OCEANWISE
My Ocean takes listeners on an adventure into the minds of some of the world’s true ocean champions and dives in to the remarkable ways they are protecting our blue planet. Each episode profiles a new personality, someone who has thrown convention to the wind and instead followed their own path to making a difference for the world’s oceans. Hosted by Alexis Brown.
OCEAN PODDY | MADS ST SCLAIR BAKER
Born in a London flat during the COVID-19 madness, OceanPoddy is a fun, unfiltered (and occasionally tipsy) podcast about the sea, hosted by tropical marine biologist & underwater photographer Mads St Clair Baker. So grab a glass of wine and get ready to dive in as OceanPoddy brings a menagerie of saltwater-lovin’ people into your daily life – and proves that it’s not all doom and gloom for our blue planet.
THE MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE PODCAST | DR CHRIS PARSONS
Marine Mammal Science is a podcast covering some of the latest scientific research on marine mammals – whales and dolphins, polar bears, seals and sea lions, manatees and dugongs, and sea otters. With some episodes only 10 minutes long, this is a really good podcast for bitesize information.
SPEAK UP FOR THE BLUE | ANDREW LEWIN
Speak Up For The Ocean Blue raises awareness of the variety of ocean science and conservation projects conducted all around the world. It covers so many topics including marine mammals, sharks, climate change, coastal development, plastic pollution and many more. It will inspire you to live an ocecan-friendly life through the stories and topics it talks about.
THIS OCEAN LIFE PODCAST | JOSH PEDERSON
This Ocean Life Podcast is a weekly podcast series capturing the stories and perspectives of people around the world who have based their lives on the ocean. Fishing, free diving, art, music, surfing, paddling, spearfishing, conservation, sailing, anything in the ocean. It explores peoples relationship with the water and how they have found themselves drawn to the oceans magic.
Let me know any other ocean podcasts I should listen to!
The most annoying part about diving is hair care. If only we came out the ocean looking like Ariel, dive life would be much easier! Here are some of my tips to keeping your hair in good condition!
SECURE YOUR HAIR
You’ll want either a low or high style – middle is no good as that is where your mask strap will be. I tend to do a high poytail and then tie hair bands all the way down the length which keeps my hair tangle free. Another popular option is braids, either a single or double, it keeps all your hair secure against your head. You could also just make a high bun which you can then take out in between dives, just make sure to take a spare hair band with you for flyaways and loose bits.
USE A MASK STRAP COVER
To save your hair from being pulled out every time you put your mask on or take it off, get a soft strap cover. They slip over the silicone strap and make it so much easier to remove and replace your mask. Have a look at this Girls That Scuba one here!
GET A HOOD OR BUFF
Another popular choice is a wearing a hood or buff! A hood is a good choice for cooler waters, making sure there is no movement of you hair underwater. Buffs are basically thick headbands which cover your hairline, so babyhairs don’t get trapped in the mask – I will be grabbing one for my next trip!
RINSE RINSE RINSE
This is the step to not miss. Once back on dry land, make sure to rinse the saltwater from your hair. Leaving it in makes your hair sticky and unmanageable, so a quick rinse when you can will keep it from turning into a horrible mess.
Coconut oil has many uses, but popping a little bit on the ends of your hair after your dive will help to keep the ends healthy and soft. Just rub a small amount on your hands and comb through the ends and it will do your hair wonders.
When it comes time to wash your hair, use cool water and make sure to let the conditioner soak in. Saltwater tends to make hair very dry, so try and give it some moisture back. Find a good leave in conditioner and comb it through.
The last thing your hair will need after diving all day, is a hot hairdryer. The best thing to do is to let your hair air dry but if you have to dry it, use the cold setting on your hairdryer. Remember saltwater is already damaging your hair so try to protect it by not using heat.
Got any other hair care tips you live by? Leave them in the comments below!
Your first time in London can be a little bit daunting, especially if you only have a few days to see the most popular spots. Making sure you see everything in the most logical order so you aren’t running back and forth across the city is essential to making your time count. When I first visited, I planned it all out, exactly like you will see below and I found it actually worked really well, letting me make the most of my time while hitting up all the best places. So, here is my tried and tested guide to making the most of your four days in London.
Morning | Arrival. Check in to your accommodation, grab some lunch & make your way to the nearest tube station.
Afternoon | Natural History Museum & Harrods. Navigate your way to the must see Natural History Museum on the tube. It’s free to enter and it’s so huge you’ll spend a few hours here. Pick up a map and head to the areas you are most interested in. If you have time in the late afternoon, walk to London’s most iconic department store Harrods for a nosy at some luxury shopping.
Evening | Kensington Palace & Notting Hill. Walk through Kensington Gardens and see Kensington Palace before heading to Notting Hill for an evening meal.
≫ Oyster cards are available at all central London tube stations – simply find an oyster card machine and select from the options.
Morning | Buckingham Palace & St James Park. Walking to Buckingham Palace and through St James Park, enjoy the wonderful gardens London has to offer – don’t forget to watch the changing of the guard which takes place at 11am daily over the summer – check out the schedule for up to date information. Carry on walking towards Trafalgar Square and stop at one of the many cafes for lunch.
Afternoon | Visit A Museum. Choose one of the many museums to spend the afternoon. The British Museum and the National Gallery are the most popular choices but there are also many smaller museums including The Science Museum, The Charles Dickens Museum or even the Museum of Happiness!
Evening | The West End. Return to your accommodation and your glad rags on because tonight your going to the Theatre! Get some tickets to one of the many West End productions, sit back and enjoy an amazing show.
≫ Book your Theatre tickets well in advance if you want to see a particular show as many of the popular shows do get booked out. If you don’t mind what you see, there are many places to get discounted tickets the day of the show like the TKTS booth in Leicester Square or online.
Morning | Here, there & everywhere! Today you will spend the day hopping around the smaller attractions in the city. Make your way to see St Pauls Cathedral, walk across Millennium Bridge and see Shakespears Globe Theatre before walking across the iconic Tower Bridge. From there hop on a river cruise to Greenwich and learn a little bit of London’s history along the way. Once there, head up to the Royal Observatory and meander around Greenwich market, which is filled with small artisan crafts and food stalls.
Afternoon | Tower Of London & Westminster. Taking the return ferry back into Central London, either hop off at Tower Bridge so you can visit The Tower of London, or stay on the ferry up to Westminster Pier and spend the afternoon on the London Eye and take a tour around Westminster Palace.
Evening | Dine At A Local Pub. Find a local open mic or comedy night at a nearby pub for dinner and a pint for an authentic British experience.
Morning | Choose Your Day Trip. Your final morning can be spent at one of the many larger attractions London has to offer. Potterheads will love visiting the Warner Bros Studio, animal lovers can head over to the ZSL London Zoo or take a long stroll around Kew Botanical Gardens or football fans can take a tour around Wembley Stadium. There are so many places to choose from and all are a short train ride away from Central London.
Afternoon | Wander The Markets. If you aren’t leaving London until later in the evening, opt to spend the afternoon at Camden Markets or Covent Gardens and enjoy your last afternoon wandering the market stalls and shops.
So there you have it – my perfect four day introduction to London. Check out the map below to see all the locations mentioned!
First of all – congratulations! Welcome to the magical world of scuba diving! You’ve just passed your diving course and enjoyed every second of it (okay, maybe not removing your mask underwater, but you mastered it in the end). Maybe you’ve decided to start doing some diving in your home town or you might be thinking of taking the next course. But to go any further, there are three pieces of essential gear that every scuba diver – even beginners – should invest in.
I think most divers would say the first and most important piece of equipment to buy would be a mask! Masks come in so many different shapes and styles so it is super important to head into a store and try them out in person. A good fitting mask should stick onto your face without any air gaps to ensure there are no leaks underwater! You can get clear, coloured or black skirts depending on your preference and with either one joined lens or split lenses, which can be fitted with prescription lenses. Pop a mask strap cover in your basket as well which protects your hair from being pulled out as you put your mask on and off!
Depending on the water temperature you’ll be predominately diving in, you can choose from open heal or closed heal. Closed heal, for warm water, slip on without any booties so are a good choice for tropical diving and travelling. Open heal fins must have booties with them, keeping your feet warmer and better for shore dives and cooler temperatures. Paddle fins, those with one continuous fin, are good all rounders which is why you’ll see them most often at dive shops. Make sure to try your new fins out before heading off on your trip, just like shoes, fins can rub and cause blisters if they are too tight or loose, so give them a wiggle, stretch your foot out and make sure they don’t hurt your feet or slide around.
And the final essential piece of equipment you will want to have with you is a snorkel which you will need at the surface before and after your dive as well as those between dive snorkels. You will mostly likely get one to match your mask and it should be flexible towards the mouthpiece so it can push out the way when on your dive. In some countries, having a snorkel with you is mandatory but I would also have one for your own comfort, especially if the water is a little choppy, you’ll be glad to have it.
So what are you waiting for? Pop into your local dive store and grab these three items to start your journey into the underwater world!
Hello my lovely mermaids,
When I first breathed underwater it was strange, a little scary and honestly took me a few moments to relax my mind and feel okay. I don’t think I will ever forget the moment I first jumped into the ocean and started descending, and if you have taken your open water course, you too will know this feeling. I hope the course taught you just how capable and strong you are. And I hope you have many more diving adventures in your life.
Ocean dead zones are just what they sound like, areas of the ocean which are ‘dead’, large areas of the ocean where animal populations are greatly reduced due to a lack of oxygen in the water. They typically occur in the bottom 1.5 metres along the seafloor where there are countless small creatures living on or in the seabed, sediment dwelling animals like worms, bivalves (such as clams and mussels), sponges, crabs, urchins and starfish all live on the seafloor. These smaller creature which feed on tiny plankton and small particles are the beginning of the food chain in the ocean. The bottom dwelling creatures are eaten by slightly bigger animals and so on until you reach the top predators like whales, dolphins, sharks and seals. So as you can tell, the creatures living on the seafloor play an important role in the overall health and survival of the oceans.
How are ocean dead zones formed?
It all starts with human activity on the land. In nature, landscapes are filled with a wide range of plants and animals, all working in harmony together. But over the past 100 years, through intense industrialized agricultural practices like mono-cropping and clearing land for animal production, the land has been stripped of its natural barriers. What once was forest or prairies is now field after field of crops or cattle fields. And to keep continuous production high throughout the year, many farmers are using synthetic chemicals on the degraded soils. Made mainly of phospherous and nitrogen, these excessive fertilizers find their way into the water system in the form of runoff. These build up and become increasingly concentrated closer to the mouth of the river where it is met by the ocean.
Once these excess nutrients flow out into the ocean, combined with the warming spring temperatures, it leads to excess growth of phytoplankton, known as an algal bloom. This is where a much larger amount of phytoplankton feeds off the nutrients and forms a concentrated mass of algae in the water. In the summer months, the weather is calmer and ocean winds have dropped, meaning there is not much mixing of the ocean layers from the surface to the bottom. Once the phytoplankton dies, it sinks to the seafloor where microbes and bacteria breaks it down. This process, which uses up oxygen, forms an hypoxic layer about 1.5 metres high, where there is a significant depletion of oxygen and no life can live.
These areas can stay in this hypoxic state for weeks and even months, causing long term effects on the ocean. When autumn begins and wind pick up again, the ocean layers are mixed and the dead zone dissipates.
Where are ocean dead zones found?
Found all over the world, dead zones are most prominent where large rivers flow into the oceans. Chesapeake Bay was one of the first areas indentified as a dead zone in the 1970s. Urbanization and agriculture, particularly poultry farming, are two factors which contribute to the high dissolved nitrogen levels in that area. Dead zones in the Baltic Sea have grown to over 60,000 square kilometers in recent years due to wastewater treatment plants, sewage, large animal farms and overuse of fertilizers.
One of the most studied dead zones on the planet is found in the Gulf Of Mexico, where the Mississippi River flows into the ocean. The Mississippi River Basin covers a 41% of the continental US, stretching from New York in the East, to Minnesota in the North, to Montana in the West. Think of all the cities and farms within the Mississippi Basin. The majority of farm land within the Basin is used for three main products, corn-soybean rotation which is used for animal feed, animal farming of poultry, pigs and cattle, and ethanol for fuel. Since the 1950s, studies have seen nitrogen levels increase three fold.
The US Geological Survey reported 1.15 million tons of nitrogen pollution, enters the Gulf of Mexico, to put that in perspective, that’s almost double amount of oil that entered the ocean in BP oil spill.
Other increases in pollutants include unchecked and excessive usage of fertilizers, sewage, plastic pollution and animal manure pollution. All of these chemicals and pollution flows out to the Louisiana coast and forms the dead zone we find today. It covers over 8,000 square kilometres of ocean floor and is growing larger year on year.
How do dead zones impact the planet and people?
Ocean dead zones impact millions of people and animals around the globe. When there is a large dead zone, there is a loss of species, disruptions to food chains and a reduction in food availability.
Over 40% of US seafood is sourced from the Gulf of Mexico. These areas have a significantly reduced population of fish therefore fisheries may move elsewhere, leading to overfishing in surrounding habitats or even just stop fishing all together. Many jobs and business will be lost and not just in the fishing industry. Marine tourism will be heavily impacted if dead zones continue forming and changing the ocean life we visit for. In the Gulf of Mexico, recreational fishing contributed $10 million to the economy in 2009 alone. And this is true for many other countries around the world which have both have large fishing industries and booming tourism.
But the algal blooms don’t just affect oceans either. Pollutants and runoff can also feed into lakes which provide clean drinking water for millions of people as well as affecting fishing, recreation and tourism to those areas. Lake Erie in Cleaveland, Ohio now has annual harmful algal blooms which leave residents without clean drinking water to their homes. In Wisconsin, blue-green algae fills lakes during the summer. Harmful algal blooms are yearly occurrence in the Gulf of Maine.
How can we change it?
By reducing the land based pollution, we can stop dead zones from forming at all. By following marine scientists advice and adhering to laws put in place to limit the pollution found in waterways, dead zones can be reduced. The size of these areas can be controlled by limiting runoff and pollution from the land which all starts with political pressure, governmental change and a significant change in industrialized agriculture. The introduction of buffer zones, areas of deep rooted trees and plants, between fields and waterways could help reduce the volume of runoff and chemicals into streams and river. Establishing sustainable farming practices, such as organic farming, that work alongside nature, with mixed vegetation instead of mono-cultures would see a decrease in the use of synthetic fertilizers along with growing seasonally and locally. Dead zones are also driven by the continuous warming of sea surface temperatures as the ocean circulations rely on the balance between the warm surface water and the cool deep waters, so reducing individual carbon emissions and implementing governmental climate laws are both important parts of the solution.
With international travel on hold for the moment, I’ve been looking at some dreamy getaways on AirBnb. One country which I have been longing to explore has been the little island of Sri Lanka, just off the southern tip of India. With lush forests, exotic animals and amazing food, here are five unique places to stay during your adventure.
KINGFISHER ECO LODGE
Tissamaharama, Southern Province
“We had a wonderful three day stay in the Minivet lodge. The resort is small and beautiful with amazing views out on to the lake. The staff can’t do enough to help you and made our stay wonderful.”
Just a short journey from Yala National Park and nestled amidst the bird sanctuary by the tranquil Weerawila lake, the luxury tented lodges offers relaxation and rejuvenation. Enjoy organic cuisine sourced from local communities, while staying in eco-friendly glamping style lodges with a king size bed and private decking area, perfect for enjoying the sunrise and sunset.
“The Banyan Camp is the place to go to unwind and be close to nature in the most tranquil setting I’ve ever been.“
Perched on the edge of a lake, Banyan Camp offers a peaceful and idyllic escape. You can expect to wake up to natures bird song and shower under the stars, glide across the lake in a canoe and be immersed in the jungle throughout your stay. The Banyan Lodge is built using champagne and wine bottles, harvested timber and Palmyra leaf roof and the oil lamps, lanterns and solar bulbs provide a warm glow instead of electricity.
“Staying at Banyan Camp was the highlight of our entire trip, it was just magical from start to finish.”
Staying in Banyan Camp, the Wine Lodge is a beautiful earth house made using, you guessed it, wine bottles. Along with upcycled doors and roof tiles, this 2 bedroom lodge was the first of its kind built in Sri Lanka and offers an immersive jungle experience with traditional meals provided. The
“Sitting in the nets watching the sunset was one of my most memorable experiences of our trip, then having breakfast delivered as the sun crept out and sitting out on the balcony was so lovely.”
The Hideout Ella provides two beautiful wood cabins built on a mountain facing an infinite valley & the famous Nine Arch Bridge. These cabins give a spectacular view with a cozy atmosphere, set exactly right for a getaway or romantic escapade. I think this counts as a room with a view, right?! Situated close to Little Adams Peak and Ella, hiking trails and local sightseeing are right on your doorstep.
This beautiful one bedroom apartment opens out onto a private wooden deck overlooking the mountains, valley and tea plantations. As you can imagine, the morning sunrise from the deck would be magical. With Ella just a short walk away and close by to 9 Arch and Little Adams Peak, this little getaway is a highlight for many visiting Sri Lanka.
Today I’ve been thinking about all the long distance trails across the world after getting hooked on some beautiful creators thru-hiking on YouTube. After some deep diving into the world of thru-hiking, I have found some absolutely incredible trails to inspire your hiking adventures.
Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail & Central Divide Trail | USA 2650, 2180 & 3100 miles
The holy grail of US long distance hiking is the Triple Crown – the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. These three hikes will each take between 4 to 6 months to walk, leading you through some of the best wilderness the US has to offer. But these are no easy task, steep ascents, river crossing, deserts and hiking through snow are just some of the challenges these three trails will throw at you. There is a huge community spirit on the trails and you’ll become hiker trash and learn the kindness of trail angels in no time.
This epic trail takes you across the greatest mountain range in the world, including the iconic Everest Base Camp trek and the Annapurna Circuit. As of 2019, only 93 hikers have registered as completing the full trail! There are many multi-day trails that make up the Great Himalaya Trail, so there really is something for every ability. From city walks around Kathmandu to the incredible Everest hike and everything in between. Explore cities and temples, rural villages and mighty mountains. Hiking in this part of the world is much more expensive and will require higher insurance premiums as many of the hikes are at high altitude, which also means generally a higher level of fitness is required for some of the harder routes.
Completed over the warm months of summer in New Zealand, this long distance trail combines everything from beaches to mountains, cities to volcanoes, farmers fields to national parks. The trail is best tackled from south to north, walking on average 15 miles each day for 4 months. If that is too long for your hike, there are many multi-day section hikes for all abilities to enjoy.
The South West Coast Path is a gem, and while it may not have the extreme landscapes or terrain of other trails, it certainly does deserve a place on this list. The UK’s longest trail takes you through some of the best seaside towns England has to offer such as Weymouth, St Ives and Falmouth as well as some areas of outstanding beauty including Exmoor National Park, Jurassic Coast World Herritage Site and Lands End. Taking just 2 months to complete, this can easily be fitted into the summer months.
Greater Patagonia Trail | Chile & Argentina – 1864 miles
One of the most beautiful trekking regions on the planet has got to be Patagonia. The Greater Patagonian Trail takes you through the diverse and challenging Andean mountains. Much like the Great Himalaya Trail, this South American trail is made up of more than 9,000 miles of smaller trail, including the world famous W-Circuit in Torres Del Paine National Park and the Fitzroy Massif. This trail system are some of the least developed in the world and should only be attempted by the most experienced hikers. Outside of the national parks, trails become vague and very few are signposted, so wilderness trekking, navigation and survival techniques are all needed if you are undertaking this incredible challenge. There are many tour companies which will take you on the more accessible routes and show you the most beautiful mountain the Patagonia has to offer.
Although there is no one organization that cares for the trail, this page on wikiexplora has the most in depth information available.
What long distance trail would you like to hike? I’d love to know your favourites.
We all want to have cute clothes that make us look and feel good, and that is no exception for diving! I’ve found some gorgeous brands that make ocean inspired swimwear, wetsuits, leggings etc etc to make your dive wardrobe that much cuter.
EXCEL WETSUITS X OCEAN RAMSEY
In collaboration with Ocean Ramsey, Xcel Wetsuits sell wetsuits, rashvests and leggings with ocean inspired prints including whale shark, tiger shark, water ripples and dolphins! Xcel Wetsuits use lots of eco initiatives including using recycled plastic yarn and repurposing old neoprene – you can read more about the steps they are taking to become more sustainable on here. Check out their Ocean Ramsey Collection and follow them on Instagram @xcelwetsuits.
LILJA THE LABEL
A Finnish swimwear brand with the cutest style one and two piece sets, there are so many styles, colours and patterns and best of all they are ethically made in Bali! Have a look at their full range at Lilja The Label or click on their About Us page to read all about the production and sustainable steps they are taking.
One of the most popular dive leggings are from Waterlust – with many different ocean patterns and styles, it will be tough to pick just one. Waterlust also dontate 10% of their profits to the related cause, so when you buy something cute, you’ll know some money is going to research – find out more at Waterlust Causes. Their instagram is @waterlust and their full collection can be found on their Waterlust Website.
STAY WILD SWIM
Hello swimwear made from regenerated ocean plastics! Founded by Natalie Glaze & Zanna van Dijk, this London based company is eco-consious is everyway possible – carbon neutral shipping, no plastic packaging and making every piece in their London warehouse ensuring a real wage for the workers. Beautifully designed double layered bikinis and swimsuits, these swimwear pieces really are worth the price tag. Head over to their website www.staywildswim.com and follow them on instagram @staywildswim
Started by Mads St Clair Baker, Nü Wave stocks swimsuits, sports bra & leggings, beach towels and rash vests. My favourite is the whale shark one piece but there are so many cute designs! Follow Nü Wave on Instagram @nuwave.co and check out her online store at www.nuwave.store
What are some of your favourite ocean brands? Share them below!