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Old 25 Jan 2009
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Location: Oxford, UK
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Showers in Africa

I am new to the forum so hello hello,

This time next year my girlfriend and me will be 2 or 3 weeks into an Overland Journey from the UK to the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa. The plan is to head down the west coast and return up the east coast and back to Europe via Turkey. We hope to complete the journey in 12 to 14 months.

We are slowly getting the truck together but are now at a stage where we really need to work out and qualify what to spend our money on, and also how to lay out the vehicle's necessary additions and storage. As the £ continues to devalue our purse strings are tightening, and we need to know what things are really needed and those that are not.

So before we can decide on much more there are one or two things we could really do with finding out from anyone who has travelled around Africa.

How often will bush camping will be really feasible?
How much do we need a large water tank?
How much do we really need to fit a shower?
Given that a lot of camping may happen in campsites, missions etc. will these places have showers for campers and travelers passing through?

I guess we are just trying to work out how dependent on the vehicle, and what it carries, we need to be to keep us and our things clean. Is there some kind of rough estimate or ratio of nights camping with and without showers? For example 7 days traveling with 2 showers via other means (campsite, mission, hotel etc). If we can expect to find only 2 showers a week then fitting a shower in the truck seems like the sensible thing to do, 4 showers a week starts to feel a little different.

So, please, any advice or thoughts on showers and personal hygiene whilst overlanding will be very much appreciated.

Best Wishes

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Old 25 Jan 2009
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keeping clean

We've just completed a 2+ year trip in a landrover - we fitted a twine shower and it was FAB!
We are almost finished a rebuild of a truck now and have fitted a Truma shower system- all the big trucks seem to favour it.
The big question is what size of vehicle you have and how independent you want to be??
In our landy we had a 70litre water tank- this would last 5 days and included all our drinking, cooking and showering needs. We showered every day, that used 9 litres a day.
On our truck we are going to fit a 200 litre tank. Other truck owners can fit up to 400litres or more!!
The thing you need to consider is availability of water and how you are going to get it into your vehicle. Our preference is either hose or bucket- no pumps.
The cheapest way to shower is to fit a black drain pipe to the outside of your truck, the sun will warm it as you drive and all you have to do is fit a simple hose and tap system to make a great bush shower!
Good luck and don't forget your soap on a rope!!
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Old 25 Jan 2009
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I was also thinking about shower when preparing my Defender. However, I ended up with no shower, just 20l + 10l (with tap) jerry cans and have no regrets. I just want to keep things simple and in the bush it is possible to wash yourself completely every evening without shower, no problem.
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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Bush shower

We used a black 20lt jerry can which sat on the roof rack all day getting nicely warm. Fit a garden pump spray with nozzle & hose.
Stand in washing bowl to keep your feet out of the dirt - or stand on floor mat. Get your partner to do the spraying.

Result - A lovely bush power shower that uses about 5lt of water!

Have fun,

Atlas Overland - Specialist adventure tour company providing off-road holidays for 4x4 enthusiasts in Europe and North Africa.
Tours to Morocco, Tunisia, Arctic Circle, Alps, Pyrenees, Eastern Europe, Corsica, and UK weekend tours.
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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+1 for the 'JoJo1' system!
Plastic black jerry - cheap as chips- gravity fed with hose and shower head- (save more weight no need for partner ...)
Used rubber car mat to save weight of extra item to stand on.
Use bio-degradeable soap to be kind to the environment
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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I've used one of these as a shower for about 6 months and it works great.

THEEPOT on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Water from a Jerrycan stored inside the vehicle stays luke warm quite a while after sunset (if you leave it outside it'll get cold by the time you go to bed).

- How much bushcamping you do depends on yourself. 50/50 seems reasonable to me.
- You don't need a large tank. I prefer 2 or 3 20l jerries. These are easier to fill at a water hole or village pump, and you know how much you have left.
- you don't need to fit a shower at all if you can do with a plastic teapot or any other alternative (like presurised insectiside spray thing)
- The campsites and missions will have some sort of shower (bucket-, cold-, hot-,...).

I made use of the darkness to quickly shower right before I got in my tent. It's good to bring something where you can stand on to keep your feet clean when you're showering.

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