Taking a refreshing sip from a cold mountain stream is an experience that has become all but impossible in modern times. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reporting that over 90 percent of the world’s water is contaminated in some way. Consequently, gathering fresh drinking water away from the comforts of civilization has become very difficult.
Whenever you drink from an untreated water source, you are exposing yourself to both biological and chemical hazards. Dissolved heavy metals, agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, and microbial dangers are present in nearly all fresh water. Aside from being poisoned by toxic chemicals, you risk the possibility of death from hypovolemic shock due to fluid loss. Rampant diarrhea and vomiting is enough to completely disable the unwary wilderness traveler.
In order to avoid these risks, one must always practice safe water treatment. However, there are many ways to go about this. Some more effective than others. One of the most practical ways to de-contaminate drinking water is through filtration. Many experts agree the Sawyer Mini Water Filter to be the best option for most people.
Microscopic organisms like Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E. Coli can seriously destroy your health. Becoming infected with a serious microbe can completely ruin a trip, not to mention your life. In order to filter these tiny hazards out of your drinking water, one must select the appropriate device. Membrane filters use thin sheets with precisely sized pores to prevent objects from passing through. All filters are rated by pore size. Specifically, the micron. For example, the period at the end of this sentence is about 600 microns in diameter. In order for any harmful microbes to be blocked, they must be larger than your filters pore size. This is why becoming familiar with your filters rating and the watershed you plan on visiting is so important. Study the potential threats in your area, and bring a filter capable of handling them.
While most commercial water filters can easily remove bacteria, it should be noted that not all contaminants are suitable for filtration. While uncommon in most areas, viruses like Hepatitis A. are simply too small to be filtered. Furthermore, heavy metals and harmful dissolved solids cannot be removed without an activated carbon device.
Because the Sawyer Filter is rated at 0.1 microns, it is effective in removing virtually all harmful pathogens. Bacteria and protozoa like giardia or cholera range in size from 0.2-4 microns. When tested for effectiveness, the Sawyer Filter was proven to remove 99.99999% of microorganisms.
You can use this filter in a variety of different ways. Attach it to a water bottle and drink straight from it, or use the provided pouch to squeeze water into a container. You can also splice it in to hydration bladder line. When drinking straight through the filter keep in mind that it will require plenty of suction to operate. Flow through the device is slow, as water needs time and force to pass through. After repeated use, one must backflush it to clean and reduce clogging, ensuring maximum life of the device.
All things considered, the Sawyer Filter has the best combination of quality and features for it’s price. Thus the reason why many consider it to be the best backpacking filter.
- Usage: personal
- Pore size: 0.1 microns
- Accessories: 16 ounce squeeze pouch