So a lot of people are using the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter as their go-to water filtration system, and for good reason – it’s portable, filters well, and isn’t all that expensive. Well I think that’about to change. I think the Sawyer Mini water filtration system is superior, and here’s why…
I got a hold of one of the Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration Systems from Sawyer do some testing and see what all the buzz is about this thing. It now sits in my primary go bag. It’s only about 5 inches long and 1 inch thick so it doesn’t take up too much room.
First, here’s their sales video. I think I need to find a girl like her:
Here’s another one by Chad Poindexter:
Here’s what it includes:
- Sawyer Mini water filter that only weighs less than 2 ounces
- one 16 fl. oz. resusable squeeze pouch
- a filter tip cap
- a cleaning syringe
A few notes:
- Hollow-fiber membrane makes it easy to pull the water through the filter as you’re sucking it through the straw or from your Camelbak.
- Includes a 16 fl. oz. reusable pouch that you can fill at a lake or stream and then use to squeeze water through the filter
- 0.1-micron filter physically removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
- Includes a syringe to backflush the filter to keep it flowing strong
- Filter will also fit the threads on most bottles of water that you buy at a grocery store; can also be used as an inline filter (adapters and hoses not included)
Here are the weights:
- Sawyer Mini – 39.32 grams / 1.38 ounces
- Sawyer Mini Cleaning Plunger – 32.44 grams / 1.14 ounces
- Sawyer Mini 16oz bag – 21.48 grams / 0.75 ounces
- Sawyer Mini Straw – 6.24 grams / 0.22 ounces
One of the keys to its success is the syringe that comes with it. This backflushes the system to clear it out. You need to backflush it every few days if you’re using it every day though or it starts getting tough to suck water through. That means that you really need to carry the syringe with the filter just in case you’re out more than a few days.
What I really like is that the filter has a threaded end that fits on most water bottles. That’s pretty cool. Even more cool is that you can get adapters to fit it to your Camelbak or other system as an inline filter. You’ll need the Sawyer Inline Hydration Pack Adapter for Screw On Filter if you want to connect it inline though for some reason. What I don’t like is that the backflush syringe for some reason doesn’t connect to the water filter. WTF? You have to carry a hose along to connect the two. The first video explains how to backflush the system. What I do is connect the hose to the output and the syringe to the other end. Then dip the sawyer mini input in some clean water and pull/push with the syringe until it flows cleanly. That seems to work.
Also, the .1 micron filter (as opposed to only .2 micron for the Lifestraw) is much better than filters out there – and you can run 100,000 freaking gallons through it! For comparison, the lifestraw is rated at 264 gallons.
The collapsible water bottle in it is something that I needed anyway so it’s awesome that it comes with it.
Want to see it in a video? Here’s one from Prepared Mind 101. First time I’ve seen one of his videos but I like this guy:
Water is one of the most important keys to survival. I know they say you can only go three days without water but that’s actually kind of misleading. If you go three days in a normal situation; you’re dead. If you’re in a hot environment or using up water more than normal, it’s even worse. The real fact is that after just a few hours, you start getting dehydrated. A few more hours and you start getting dizzy and disoriented. If you get disoriented, you make bad decisions. If you make bad decisions, your dad gets punched in the stomach for a can of soup. Even worse, you are more likely to get lost or make a decision that endangers your life if you’re disoriented. Here are the symptoms of dehydration and severe dehydration, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
- Decreased urine output
- No wet diapers for three hours for infants
- Few or no tears when crying
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
- Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
- Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
- Sunken eyes
- Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
- In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- No tears when crying
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
That’s bad ju ju. You need to make sure you have enough clean water so you can do all the other things in a survival situation like build a fire, build a shelter, set traps, signal for help, or whatever else your situation dictates. You absolutely can’t bank on going 3 days without water. Also, I’m pretty familiar with the symptoms of dehydration from several deployments to jungles and deserts. You not only get a headache and blurry vision pretty quickly, you start getting a god awful headache too. It really sucks.
So really, if you have a go bag or a bug out bag, you need to get a Sawyer Mini and a Berkey replacement filter. It’s lighweight, cheap, doesn’t take up too much space, filters to .1 microns, and does 100,000 freaking gallons if you flush it.
AND, rumor has it – vodka tastes pretty damn good if you filter it through this thing.