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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Travel Plan

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Photo Use Info

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Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

UV Light, Ceramic Camping, Trekking, and Backpacking Drinking Water Filters and Purifiers for Bicycle Touring.
(see also Stealth Camping and How to Save Money While Traveling)

  Tim's Picks for future purchase

UV Water Purifiers

UV water filters are cheaper, lighter and smaller, making ultraviolet light purifiers hard to beat.

 Tim's Picks 2 or more people

Katadyn Vario Water Filter

Perfect for two or more people traveling in the backcountry or internationally for extended times.

 Tim's Picks for Solo Travel

Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter

A best buy for solo and ultra light
water filter

A must have

Collapsible Water Bag

A water bag is the key to free camping and goes nicely with your water pump

Water is something you need every day.  If you are hiking, backpacking, and camping in remote wilderness areas it is impossible to carry enough water to meet your needs.  A light and compact water purification system is necessary to reduce weight.

While traveling internationally in developing third world countries you can not fill your water bottles from the tap.  Most long distance backpacker travelers and international cyclists in these countries buy their water every day. Bottled water in developing countries usually costs more than it does in the USA.  Locals in rural farming areas do not have the money to buy water. They find the whole idea of buying water strange. Bottled water is mainly for the tourist or the very rich and therefore, somewhat expensive; especially when you consider it as a daily cost.

I filter or boil all of my drinking water in underdeveloped countries.  With very contaminated surface water I do both.  I seldom trust third world water systems.  It is up to me to clean my own drinking water.  I use a water filter instead of buying water.  It pays for itself every couple months.

Many have suggested using chemical tablets to treat water. The argument is that pills are much smaller than a bulky filter. I do not want to drink chemically treated water for months at a time. It cannot be good for my health and does nothing about the strange things swirling around the glass of a poor country's tap water. I always have a small bottle of iodine tablets for emergencies. You never know when a kindly old lady is going to invite you in for a glass of ice tea.

A water filter is nice for wilderness camping as well.  In the pristine streams of remote areas and National Parks I use a ceramic filter for the surface water.  A lightweight camping water filter makes any trekking or backpack adventure more flexible and healthy.  In the developing countries river and lake water is usually so contaminated I avoid it.  In these places it is best to filter tap water.

There are several types of water filters but I have only owned the ceramic type.  I like a ceramic filter because it can filter enough water to remain functional for over a year without the necessity of replacing expensive and hard to find parts.  Our current water filter can clean literally thousands of liters of water with only minor field servicing and cleaning.

Things to look for when buying a Water Filter

- Long lasting.    Make sure the pump and filter treats a lot of water before the filter needs to be replaced.  Replacement parts are most likely not available in developing countries.  Because I am a long term travelers I look for the top number of liters / gallons than can be filtered.  My ceramic filter claims to clean 2000 gallons / 8000 liters before a new ceramic cartridge needs to be purchased.

- Pumps quickly - Two people need a lot of water on a daily basis.  A water filter is no good if it can not keep up with demand.  Most water filters sold will state how much water per minute they can filter.  These numbers tend to be optimistic but do hint at some useful information.

- Field serviceable.  I must always be prepared for things to break during my travels.  A water filter has many moving parts which create numerous opportunities for failure and breakdowns.  No matter what goes wrong with the pump and filter, it must be able to be repaired while camping or traveling in remote areas. 

Accessories that I like

- Field Repair Kit.  If the water filter does not already come with a repair kit I strongly recommend buying one.  The repair kit must include tools and parts for cleaning the filter, replacing seals, repairing the hose, lubricating the pump mechanism and anything else that can break.

- Detailed instructions.  Closely examine the instruction book before deciding to buy a water purifier.  Some are written in poorly translated English.  I check to see if the information is clear, easy to read, and covers all aspects of the pump and filter.

- Comes with nice case.  The place where you carry and store your water purifier is just as important as the machine itself.  If it does not come with a sturdy usable case even the best designed product will fail or break.

 Katadyn Pocket Filter

with Output Hose for international travel and more than two people camping.

(from Tim) Perfect for small groups of two or more people.  I have used this water filter year after year on my world bike tour.  I have never gotten sick and save money by not buying bottled water. Pumps do not require batteries or electricity to function, making them well-suited for camping situations.

This robust water filter made of heavy-duty materials is ideal for long-lasting continuous use--even under extreme circumstances. Re-designed with a comfortable pump handle grip and outlet tube for increased ease of use. Durably constructed for a lifetime of use. Removes particles, bacteria, cysts and parasites larger than 0.2 microns, including protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidia. Comes with a brush to clean the pores of field-cleanable ceramic filter. Ceramic filter is silver-impregnated to inhibit bacterial growth inside its pores. Quick-connect adapter sends the filtered water directly into your REI hydration pack or Nalgene® reservoir (both sold separately). Case and cleaning tool included.

Click to Purchase Katadyn Pocket Filter


Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter

  for solo, ultra light, and light weight traveling and camping.

 (from Tim) A best buy for solo and ultra light travel and camping in remote places.  I used this water filter in my early days of solo traveling.  It was easy to use as it fit in the palm of my hand.

Field maintainable, the Hiker PRO includes extra features for higher performance and improved versatility. Includes field maintenance kit with cleanable filter protector to extend cartridge life in challenging conditions. To clean filter protector, simply swish it in the water. Quick-connect fittings permit easy installation and removal of input and output hoses. Lightweight and easy-to-use design makes this filter a great choice for all-around use. Filter physically removes particles, protozoa and bacteria down to 0.3 microns in size, including Giardia, salmonella, cryptosporidium and others. Glass-fiber element is pleated for increased surface area to handle silt and muddy water. Activated-carbon core adsorbs chemicals and pesticides to improve taste of water. Pre-filter at hose inlet filters to 150 microns, removing larger contaminants before they reach the main filter to increase its life span. Quick-connect fittings allow direct attachment to drinking tube (1/4'') of your hydration pack. Ergonomic pump handle is comfortable and easy to pump. Includes a carry sack and bottle adapter that fits most water bottles.

Shop for Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter


UV Water Purifiers


(from Tim) UV water filters are the new option for making water safe to drink.  I have not bought one yet but I plan to.  I like the ones that use regular AA rechargeable batteries (like in my bike/head lights) so I can charge them most of the time but also keep a pack of alkaline batteries around as a backup or for long off grid wilderness sections of my bike tour or backpacking in a national park.

The SteriPEN Adventurer provides the same great water treatment as the original SteriPEN, but with a smaller size and even lower weight.

* SteriPEN Adventurer also features a soft-touch coating, offering a comfortable texture in your hand and scratch resistance in harsh environments
* Requires no pumping, chemicals, test strips, extended time-keeping or filters; leaves no aftertaste, will not clog and does not require lubrication
* Innovative SteriPEN system uses UV light rays instead of chemicals to purify water for drinking
* Ultraviolet (UV-C) light rays safely sterilize clear water by destroying 99.99% of protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), bacteria and even viruses
* SteriPEN protects you from risks that cause botulism, cholera, dysentery and typhoid, just to name a few
* SteriPEN Adventurer is simple to use: Just press a button and gently agitate the water with a quick stir
* Purifies 16 fl. oz. of water (cold or warm) in less than a minute, or 32 fl. oz. in a minute and a half
* Small size fits most containers—use it in cups, mugs, water bottles and canteens; carries easily in a shirt pocket
* SteriPEN Adventurer turns itself off once ultraviolet treatment is complete; light source can be used up to 8,000 times!
* Watertight seals keep water away from the electronics; rubberized coating ensures secure handling in wet conditions
* Low-power indicator lets you know when batteries need replacing; twist-off cap permits easy battery access
* Long used by municipal water districts and bottling companies, low-level UV-C light treats water safely, and unit's light will not damage eyes or skin
* Use only on clear water, as cloudy, sediment-laden water hinders effectiveness
* SteriPEN Adventurer includes 2 nonrechargeable lithium CR123A batteries; SteriPEN does not recommend the use of alkaline batteries, as they provide very few treatments
* SteriPEN recommends the use of name-brand CR123A lithium batteries with a capacity of 800 milliamp hours (mAh) or greater, such as Duracell, Energizer and Panasonic
* SteriPEN Adventurer features convenient battery access, water bottle and military canteen compatibility and an embroidered nylon canvas carrying case

Shop for UV Water Purifiers


Potable Aqua Iodine Tablets

Shop for. Potable Aqua Iodine Tablets

(from Tim) I always have a bottle of water purification tablets in my panniers for emergencies.  It's not healthy to drink iodine week after week but there are times the people I stay with offer me a drink with ice I am not sure about and I sneak it in or I do not have the time to pump.  Also, every couple months I like to put a strong dose in my bike water bottles to sterilize them.

Potable Aqua iodine tablets are a lightweight and economical way to make water suitable for drinking.

* Iodine tablets kill bacteria, viruses and giardia without the weight, bulk and cost of a water filter
* Includes 50 tablets; 2 tablets treat 1 quart of water
* Each tablet contains 20mg of tetraglycine hydroperiodide, which releases 8 ppm of titratable iodine
* Potable Aqua tablets require that you wait at least 30 min. before drinking the treated water
* Unopened bottles of Potable Aqua tablets should remain effective up to 4 years when maintained under controlled temperatures between 60 and 86°F
* An opened bottle of Potable Aqua should not be kept for more than 1 year
* Caution: Iodine tablets are not effective against Cryptosporidium

Shop for Potable Aqua Iodine Tablets


A must have

Collapsible Water Bag

A water bag is the key to free camping and goes nicely with your water pump




(see also Stealth Camping and How to Save Money While Traveling)


eXTReMe Tracker

REI - Camping, Cycling, and Traveling Gear

REI Outlet Store:  Great deals on camping and bike gear

Very good prices on hard-to-find bicycle touring panniers, racks, and more.

Jenson USA - great deals on complete bicycles and parts.


Bicycle Touring
Tips & Advice

- Bike Stuff
- Camping

Touring Bicycles

Tools and Spares

Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress
Camp Stove
Water Filter
Pots and Pans
First Aide Kits
Solar Power
Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
Bike Touring Shorts

Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

Sponsors (how?)

Cycle Touring Racks

Tents and ground cloths
Sleeping Bags
Camping Mattress Pads

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