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North Africa Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca

Trans Sahara Routes.

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Old 3 Jul 2001
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Water Filtration

Does anyone out there know of any good, or recommended water filtration systems for Africa?

Since we can't possibly take ALL our water with us this would be very useful information to have

What we need is a process that removes up to 3-microns, so it takes out cysts, eggs, bacteria, other germs, impurities etc, etc.

chris, any advice or recommendations?

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Old 3 Jul 2001
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Hi Renate,
I have purchased the filter from Brownchurch separately, without their rather intricate installation including a pump, valves, stopcocks, tubing and shower head(?). Works out much cheaper and runs from the pump in the water tank. The filter can be hung on a piece of string, which works OK without the penalty of size and weight of the extra bits. Spare candles are also available from Brownchurch.

Roman (UK)
Roman (UK)
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Old 5 Jul 2001
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We've used tablets (1 tablet does 25l) and avoided problems. We have also used the Pur Explorer that works great, but leaves the water tasting of something (iodine?). We've met others using a Katadyn filter which they said worked fine - they were filtering all their water for 4 adults. Also the Brownchurch system is good, and easy.

Friends of ours also travelled from S.Africa to Europe and didn't treat or filter their water at all - and had no problems! Rather them than me though.


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Old 6 Jul 2001
ctc ctc is offline
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Re water filtration. I would recommend Katadyn. The ceramic filters are silver impregnated and get rid of anything and save boiling water. I have one of their Stirrup pumps (2nd hand from Anchor Supplies ex Camel Trophy - advertised in LRO a month ago) which you can use to pump water from a river, well etc and also a Katadyn gravity system similar in concept to the Brita water filters you get. Expensive kit but I hope worthwhile. I intend using the gravity system each evening to ensure we have enough drinking watwer for the next day and stirup pump as required.

I also designed and made up a portable water filtration unit using an electric pump and two filters one to take out shit up to 20 microns and then a Katadyn filter to take out everything else. Lets just say it was a white elephant and could not justify weight and space - measures about 24" by 9" by 20" but works beautifully anybody with a truck should take it (50GBP)! Cost me over 200GBP to build so go for the brownchurch unit would be my advice if you want electrics. Building your own is expensive!
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Old 8 Jul 2001
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Does anyone know where to get filtering equiptment second hand?
Also, what petrol stoves would people recommend?

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Old 9 Jul 2001
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I have just fitted the Brownchurch system to my truck, curtesy of Chris and his overland store (2nd hand section !) , Seems to work fine but have not tried it for real (have plumbed it so the shower section actually supplies direct to my sink or you can use the filter so we can have the best of both worlds). Will try it in October in Morocco for real

As for Stoves I can only tell you the do nots !

Do not buy an ex British army twin burner stove, they are useless (so now we know why the army sold them)

But at least by cleaning it every day we managed to keep it running, the Coleman petrol stove that someone else had just gave up the ghost so I would not recommend them at all either.

I have an MSR multifuel stove that I am very pleased with but thats a small backpackers stove (we also carry it in the truck as an emergency backup)




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Ex Owner LR101 300Tdi Ambi 'Tiggurr'
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Old 12 Sep 2001
GWJ GWJ is offline
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Any chandlery will supply the filters and pumps you need very cheaply. Do not bother with a shower - wastes water (use a bowl).

Cooking - I always take one MSR dragonfly and a fuel bottle, but used it once in last three months (and not at all in previous desert trip of five months) - get wood from forested areas and cook 'au naturel'.

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Old 13 Sep 2001
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Got Brownchurch water filter for sale if anyone is interested.

Sold separate - no backboard, pump, pipes or shower.

Only run for a few minutes.

e.mail me direct if interested...

Best regards,
James Stephenson
Land Rover Defender 130 camper
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Old 13 Sep 2001
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Lenny, re stoves, I would go for ordinary twin burner gaz (butane) stove (30 quid in a camping shop) not petrol - safer, simple to light, easier to refill out there (with possible adaption needed). Camping gas is as easy as gas at home.
I've just been using a small Optimus backpacking stove in Canada and it is truly a liability (more in AMW soon), as was an ex army twin burner stove I bought a couple of years ago. If you're on a bike though - I've found the Coleman peak reliable, stable and works OK on pump petrol.

Chris S

Author of Sahara Overland and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, among other things


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Old 29 Sep 2001
REX REX is offline
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Katadyn filters are the way to go. We have an Expedition to fill up cans, A Combi Plus for in hotel use and a Pocket Filter for emergency use/backpacking. We also use Micropur (made by Katadyn) & now use Micropur Forte.

Note: PUR stopped selling their filters because of some EPA issues! But, PUR model 06 & 35 desalinators are the only way to go when you need fresh water from salt water.
Also, Katadyn just bought PUR! check our www.Katadyn.ch


E-Mail if you need to.

[This message has been edited by REX (edited 28 September 2001).]
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