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Friday, August 17, 2018

New Gear - Water Purification

I have recently ordered several new pieces of hiking gear. Let's take a tour, one piece at a time.

Today is a new water purification system. I ordered the Sawyer Mini. It's a pretty nifty system. The filter is fibers, and it can be backwashed. It's supposed to be good for up to 100,000 gallons if you keep it clean.

Here's the stuff that comes with it, plus some coffee filters I keep with the water kit for extra nasty filtering, and a mayo jar that makes a good container, and has another use as well. Stay tuned.

The clear syringe is for the backwashing.

Sawyer Mini Filter

I wanted to give it a field test, so I went down to the Cemetery Creek. It's low. We haven't had rain in quite a while.


Nevertheless, I found a hole that was a little deeper. Even if I hadn't it still would have been fine.


First, I used that mayo jar to scoop up a quart of untreated water.

jar of creek water

One weakness of the system is that the water bag that comes with it is too small. It only holds about 12 ounces. There are ways to get around this, but for now, I'll live with it. You have to fill the bag with unfiltered water. Then you screw that bag on the actual filter. Place the outflow nozzle in your clean water bottle and squeeze gently. It's not fast, but it's tolerable. You can see that I've almost filled the clean water bottle. I'm sure I'd hold the bottle when really doing this task, but I needed a hand to take the picture.

Sawyer Mini Filter

With everything packed up in the jar, it makes a package that fits in one of the side pockets of my pack, and it's all contained. If you really were concerned about having enough water, you could fill the mayo jar with dirty water and carry it to filter later (have done this). You can also fill the bag with water to carry. If you were more concerned about space, it would fit in a smaller stuff sack, but this works perfectly for me.

Total weight of this water kit 6.6 ounces.

Sawyer Mini Filter

Just for comparison, the previous system we used was the Steripen. Its complete kit weighed 8.6 ounces, and the funnel was a perpetual annoyance. (Link below for how that worked)

Steripen water kit

Before that, we used the Sweetwater Guardian carbon filter. We actually liked that one a lot. Here's its complete kit. But it weighed 14.5 ounces, and didn't pack nicely.

Sweetwater Guardian water kit

Total weight reduction from this purchase 2 ounces. Increased confidence- a lot. I didn't like that the Steripen needed batteries, and they were an odd size.

In other news: I'm working on maps... yes, hiking maps... Will tell all soon.

See Steripen
See Sweetwater Guardian
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Ratty said...

Very interesting. I've been reading a lot about this subject recently, but for houses. I have to drink bottled water here because the water is so bad. The town brags that the water is just barely good enough not to be toxic.

Ann Thompson said...

Glad you explained how it worked. I was wondering how you actually went about filtering the water

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- that's awful! There are laws about municipal water, but you probably have a well

Ann- We've tried all these. I don't like the tablets, so I much prefer a filter

The Oceanside Animals said...

hello sharkbytes its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow i always just yoozed to drink frum puddels and wotever but i gess that is not gud for hyoomans to do!!! fortchoonatly yoo hav got teknolodjee to help yoo owt wen yoo need it!!! ok bye

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