My next adventure; Paddle Pickup

by | Last modified on Oct 17, 2023 | Conservation, Paddle Pickup

My new expedition happened so fast and came from nowhere…literally! Clearly, it was meant to be.

I had sent an email to adventurer Erin Bastian when I saw that she had set up Evoke Adventures and was organising trips for women. Her ethos was similar to Love Her Wild so I thought it’d be good to touch base. It soon transpired that we have another common passion – saving the environment. Particularly our seas.

We spoke on the phone for the first time on Saturday and ideas started bubbling. By the next morning (after a late night Facebook message exchange), we came up with the expedition idea and committed to making it happen. A week later the Paddle Pickup; Coast 2 Coast expedition was finalised. Erin had scouted the route, I had built the marketing and we were ready to go live.

That’s what happens when you put 2 passionate doers together!

Coast 2 Coast expedition

Paddle Pickup: Coast 2 Coast Expedition

Our journey will begin in Bristol Harbour on 21st August, on the west coast of the UK. We will kayak 300km of continual waterways until we reach the East Coast in London. Along the way, we will have to navigate 151 locks (that’s a lot of carrying kayaks in and out of the water!), wild camping and unpredictable weather.

We found a group of men who had done this journey years ago, but no women, so it looks like we will be the first!

Although we are excited about the adventure, the real focus of this expedition is conservation. Specifically ocean pollution. Along the way we will collect plastic rubbish from the waterways, carry out research and raise awareness so that we can educate people about the serious plastic problem we have (it’s a big one!).

Utila Dive Centre beach clean up

Utila Dive Centre beach clean up

Fancy joining us?

Although we could have done this expedition by ourselves, we saw the power of doing it as a team. The more people involved, the more awareness we can raise and the more ideas we have. So we are looking for women to join us!

I was really nervous about the response I would get when I clicked publish on the website a week ago. I know Erin was too. It’s not easy putting your idea out there for people to judge or, even worse, reject. But Erin and I have been over the moon with the response. In 7 days over half the spaces have gone and we’ve had so much support and words of positivity.

I can’t tell you how much that lights a fire in my belly.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining us, then please do get in touch….but be quick! Full details on our website: Paddle Pickup; Coast2Coast

Um, I’m not actually a kayaker

So, I should say I’ve barely kayaked before…but that’s fine! This expedition was set up so that beginners like me could learn as they go. As with so many adventures, it will come down to endurance and attitude. I’m in safe hands with Erin and I look forward to her coaching me and the rest of the team to pro level!

I believe there is some core and arm muscles in me somewhere….although not currently present I’m joining a gym. With this and the Everest Adventure creeping up, I’ve finally got the motivation I need to get fit. No excuses now I’ve got a team relying on me not having a heart attack mid-adventure….

As always, there is lots to do behind the scenes. Working out logistics, connecting with charities and working out how best we can raise awareness. I’d like to organise a combating-plastic focused evening. If anyone would like to get involved, or has any suggestions/connections, please do get in touch!

Bex Band

Bex Band

Welcome to my blog! I'm an award-winning adventurer, bestselling author and founder of Love Her Wild. My work and adventures have featured in BBC, The Guardian and Condé Nast. I love nothing more than travelling and getting outdoors on solo and family adventures. Using my years of experience, I provide advice and inspiration on various topics, including wild camping, charity challenges, glamping and travel itineraries.


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