Sawyer Mini Water Filter
After shelter, securing a clean water source is your top priority during an emergency. You can only go a few days without it. Less if you are under stress or in hot conditions. But you can't just run up to any lake, pond, or stream these days and start drinking without the risk of exposing yourself to pathogens which can make you sick. There are many different products out there that can help filter out pathogens to make drinking water safe. Some require a process, some work instantly. One of our favorites and one of the latter types is the Sawyer Mini Filter. It is arguably one of the best filters available on the market for many reasons, lets see why.
Sawyer Mini Filter Advantages
The Sawyer Mini Filter is small. It only weighs 2 oz and is about 5" x 1". It comes with a straw and a water pouch and can also go inline with a bladder system. The bottom input side is threaded to fit onto your standard plastic water bottle. So there are lots of ways to use it depending on your need. The Sawyer uses a hollow-fiber membrane to remove nearly all bacteria which could be present in a water source. It does remove viruses such as Hepatitis A, Polio Virus, & Rotavirus (this is more of a concern outside of the US.) You would need a purifier for hepatitis or polio outbreaks like the GRAYL Legend Travel Water Purifier or a Go Berkey Kit.
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It can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water when you use the included back-flow pump to clean it out from time to time. We've used ours several times in backwoods areas where we weren't concerned about chemical or viral contamination but where wildlife and humans were present. It's feces in the water which causes issues with bacteria by the way.
On one of our trips we used the Sawyer to filter from stagnant canal water for several days during our time with Byron Kerns at his Survival School. The water actually tasted like green tea and was good! We used a 1L Platypus PlusBottle as our dirty water container, screwed the mini to the top of that, then squeezed out clean water into our Kleen Kanteens.
Since they are pretty cheap ($20 each) we bought one for each vehicle in our Get Home Bags, and have them in our Bug Out Bags as well. They come in different colors which is a good idea to take advantage of, that way should one be malfunctioning you can easily differentiate it from the others.
Filter Material: Hollow Fiber
Removes: Bacteria, Protozoa, E. Coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholerea, Salmonella Typhi
|Common Disease||Micron Size|
|E.Coli, Cholera (Vibrio cholerae), Salmonlella||Bacteria||0.2-10 microns|
|Hepatitis A, Polio Virus, Rotavirus||Viruses||0.0004 to 0.1 microns**|
*Though the strand size is 0.05 micron in size, this bacteria is shaped like a corkscrew, therefore the shape of the bacteria prohibits it from passing through our 0.1 micron pores.
**Viruses are not commonly transmitted in water, however Sawyer’s 0.02 micron purifier will filter 99.9999% of viruses. If you’re traveling to an area where there is a known hepatitis or polio outbreak consider using a purifier instead of a filter.