K.C. Dermody / Jan 30

From the Edge of the Arctic to the Baja Peninsula with LARQ

K.C. Dermody / Jan 30

Packing light is something that I’ve finally managed to accomplish after years of lugging around a suitcase that just misses the maximum 50-pound mark. But after discovering the LARQ water bottle, it’s been one thing that I won’t leave without.

Recently my travels brought me all the way from the tiny town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada at the edge of the Arctic Circle to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, both of which are fragile, wildlife-filled environments that are important to protect.

Those plastic water bottles can take thousands of years to biodegrade, polluting the natural environment and significantly impacting our oceans. It kills off coral life and threatens marine species while destroying the reefs that thousands of creatures call home. Reducing plastic waste benefits wildlife and those fragile environments.

While in the process of eliminating the use of as many single-use plastics as possible, I’ve found the safe, non-toxic LARQ bottle to be one of the most important items to bring on my travels.

Kayaking with Beluga Whales in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Churchill was the first trip I took with my LARQ water bottle in hand. When talking with travelers who’d been there before, many mentioned the importance of a reusable water bottle for use out on the tundra and during activities like kayaking. Single-use water bottles are a thing of the past up here and it’s essential to stay hydrated. The air is dry, and the sun can be intense. In fact, during the summer it’s a lot warmer here than you might imagine. You don’t want to wait until you arrive as everything is more expensive here due to the expensive transportation costs.

While LARQ wasn’t exactly cheap, I felt it would be well worth it considering how often I travel. My old, traditional water bottles were starting to smell musty and constantly cleaning them isn’t exactly something I’ve enjoyed, or admittedly, remembered to do. LARQ actually self-cleans every two hours so you don’t even have to think about it.

As you might imagine, reaching Churchill required multiple flights so I was able to make use of my new water bottle immediately, emptying before going through security and then filling it up at the airport. Those tiny plastic cups of water the flight attendants pass out never cut it, and the water doesn’t taste great either, but LARQ solved that problem.

Once in Churchill, I was not only able to use it while kayaking with the beluga whales but while exploring the town and on all of our excursions, including the tundra tour and boat tour where we were fortunate to see several polar bears, despite it being the peak of the summer season.

The Other Extreme

Having checked Churchill off my travel bucket list, it was time for another extreme: Baja California Sur which is the southern Mexican state on the Baja Peninsula (Baja California Sur translates to Baja California South). This is a unique area, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other, with a mountain range crossing most of its length. Temperatures regularly reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Some of the world’s greatest biodiversity can be found here, including land animals like red fox, coyote, black-tailed deer and European jackrabbit. But the marine life is what makes it especially extraordinary, leading world-famous explorer Jacques Cousteau to call the Sea of Cortez the “world’s aquarium.”

The nutrient-rich waters that surround the peninsula are feeding grounds for sea turtles, whale sharks, sea lions, dolphins, manta rays and a wealth of fish. They’re also a hot spot for cetaceans, including gray whales, humpback whales and blue whales.

Hiking and Kayaking in Baja California Sur, Mexico

This region brings a different set of issues when it comes to staying hydrated. Not only is the tap water not suitable to drink, but the state of Baja California Sur has taken great steps to abandon the culture of plastic to protect the environment and the creatures that live there. The state recently became the first in Mexico to sign the UN Environment global campaign “Mares Limpios” (“Clean Seas”). Araiza Lopez, secretary of Tourism, Economy and Sustainability (SETUES) noted: 

“Today BCS is a reference in Mexico according to environmental matters. We want our children and their future generations to breathe fresh air and have transparent seas full of fish; it is their right and it is our obligation.”

The Sea of Cortez and its beautiful lagoons where countless gray whales come to mate, give birth and nurse their calves, often bringing their babies right to the boats, is what drew me here in the first place. I was on board with doing whatever it takes to protect it and after my positive experience with the self-cleaning LARQ Bottle PureVis, I decided to invest in the LARQ Bottle Filtered too.

As it turned out, my thoughtful local Airbnb host provided plenty of drinkable water for me. My LARQ Bottle still got a good workout by keeping my water bottle clean throughout my trip. When I’m traveling (and I travel a lot) it’s not easy to sufficiently clean my water bottle and a nasty smell usually develops. You don’t get that old saliva smell with LARQ because of the PureVis technology—thank goodness!

I brought it with me kayaking out to the famous arch formation at Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas and when exploring the mangroves in La Paz Bay, an important habitat for numerous fish and bird species.

After meeting up with a friend who was traveling through Baja, I was really glad that I’d brought both LARQ water bottles as she’d left her water bottle on the plane. I let her borrow my LARQ Bottle Filtered and she used it for the tap water in her rental. Thankfully, it never failed her, and it was easy to drink from with the filter-while-drinking straw.

We hiked together several times, sometimes under the searing afternoon sun through the rugged hills that edge the sea. I didn’t expect the water from the LARQ Bottle to be icy cold after that but was pleasantly surprised to find the double-walled vacuum-sealed container truly did the trick. That cool drink of water while standing in the waves was the perfect way to end an epic hike.

Having traveled with LARQ to two different extremes from the far north to the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, I’ve come to understand just how important these water bottles can be when it comes to hydration and helping to preserve some of the Earth’s most fragile environments and the animals that inhabit them. Next destination? The Galapagos!