Picked up my first Sawyer mini

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by NordicWolf, May 8, 2019.

  1. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    Just came home from picking up my first Sawyer mini water filter. seems like it may do the trick however a couple of questions still remain on it after reading the packaging it seems that it only filters microorganisms which I know goes along with boiling water first (no brainer) but what do you do in terms of in the chance that there may be chemical contaminants in the water or metals that sort of thing. not trying to sound paranoid just not trying to die trying to die.
     
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  2. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    The mini won’t help those metals etc in fact few products do. You would need a purifier for that. Mine is from firstneed but it’s quite bulky and I don’t carry it often. I have heard that distilling water helps but have not studied enough to suggest that without more research.
     
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  3. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A still ‘should’ provide relief from metals and such. But, most cities have nasty water...
    I wouldn’t worry about the small amount you might drink on an outing. If you are worried, add a charcoal filter.
     
  4. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock So long, and thanks for all the fish Supporter

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    Plus one on the charcoal filter it also improves the taste of the water.
     
  5. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    You live in Iowa, the nation’s proud capital of agricultural pollution, so you should have gotten the big Sawyer Squeeze, not the Mini.

    But, you’re fine.

    It may clog but so what? Get the big one next time. Use it while it keeps squirting.
     
  6. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    Is there a way to add a charcoal filter to a sawyer mini like as an add-on?
     
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  7. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    They had the big squeeze one there as well I was torn between the two I literally stood in the store for like an hour and a half going back and forth and just decided to buy this one I haven't opened it and I still have the receipt I could always return it and swap it out I guess
     
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  8. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Get the big one if you still can. I live where I can still drink raw from the mountain; you don’t. The mini — from all reports — is a poor sister prone to clog. The big one is a great advance.
     
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  9. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    The squeeze is easier to back flush and unclog but a flip cap smartwater bottle will backwash the mini. I have never seen an in-line car in filter for them.
     
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  10. JV3

    JV3 Scout

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    if you're boiling regardless i'd filter first then boil.
     
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  11. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Good point. That’s what I do. You should explain.
     
  12. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    This came up in a Google search when trying to see if anyone sold a charcoal filter attachment for the Sawyer I thought this was brilliant I'm kind of tempted to try it for myself to see how well it really works (link is below)
     
  13. Burncycle

    Burncycle Scout

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    I like the mini because it's smaller.

    I often wondered why Sawyer didn't include a carbon element, perhaps a replaceable one since they generally have limited lifespan compared to the filter itself. The only thing I can figure is their contention is that the dwell time as the water passes through the element wouldn't be sufficient to absorb enough to matter.

    However, if you want an off the shelf solution you can buy a Platypus gravityworks carbon element separately, and use it in-line with the Sawyer mini with the tubing to improve the taste of water, but I wouldn't rely on it to make water with contaminants in it (pesticides, heavy metals etc) safe to drink even if it does snag some of it on the way through. There's no good way in the field to know how contaminated water like that is, or make it safe to drink in large quantities.

    [​IMG]



    It's been mentioned before but is worth reiterating -- remember that with few exceptions, backpacking filters will only effectively filter out cysts and bacteria, not viruses -- and while it's true that viruses aren't usually an issue in the back country in the west, that all changes if you're using the filter in water that might be contaminated by human feces, from populated outdoor recreational areas to urban areas, particularly in post disaster situations (Katrina, etc); or if you're traveling overseas to 3rd world countries. Hike your own hike, some people just filter and call it good -- after all, it does remove the most common biological threats you're likely to encounter in the back country, but I'm paranoid about that sort of stuff and always followup with water purification tablets or boiling. Never know what died or who pooped in the water upstream...

    As an aside, post disaster water in urban areas will often include other, non-biological contaminants like petroleum products, chemicals, and so on, so it's got a whole different set of challenges. My concern is that some people buy them for their bugout bag and think it'll make water like that safe to drink without understanding it's limitations.

    Also, instead of the 16 oz bag it comes with, you can use a 1 Liter Evernew bag which is more convenient and rolls up pretty much just as small. The threads on the Evernew syncs up with the sawyer mini better than the platypus ones.

    Finally, I'm not carrying that big syringe around, but I do keep a smaller syringe with it (was originally for an IV flush). Not quite as good but much more compact and I can still backflush if I need to or draw up water from hard to access places.


    Hope it helps!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  14. Ephemeral

    Ephemeral Tracker

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    Yes there is, as an inline filter system.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  15. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I should have done that

     
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  16. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    i just watched a video where a guy adds a small dose of bleach to his prefiltered water then runs it through im confused as to when that would come in he didnt explain very well ( i would thing that would damage the sawyer) al where and when does the use of water purification tablet come in?
     
  17. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    I have both the mini, and the squeeze, but I always use the squeeze, although I didn't like the stiff bags that came with it so I purchased the CNOC bag, which is more flexable and has a large opening for filling.
     
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  18. Burncycle

    Burncycle Scout

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    Sawyer recommends occasionally back flushing with a water and bleach solution to clean and sanitize it, such as prior to storing your filter for a while. Not something you will need to worry about in the field.

    Also, after long term use if you suspect calcium buildup is causing flow issues despite backflushing, you can soak in vinegar and back flush with warm water.

    Purification tablets can be used in the field as either a stand alone solution (in the case of chlorine dioxide based products), or in conjunction with the filter (in the case of iodine based products) to cover the full spectrum of likely biological threats.

    Iodine based treatments and bleach based treatments will kill bacteria and viruses but are ineffective against cysts like cryptosporidium which have a protective outer shell. Chlorine dioxide based treatments (like Micropur MP1) will work against all three types but in the case of cysts it can take 30 minutes to four hours depending on the water conditions, again because of that outer shell.

    Since cryptosporidium is relatively large though, it’s pretty easy to filter out with the commonly available hiking filters along with most bacteria, and together they represent the most common biological threats you’ll typically encounter. If you are concerned with viral threats or just want to be extra sure, you can use a chemical treatment (described above) or boil after you filter, though some won’t bother to after a risk assessment.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  19. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    You have to get a different type of filter for chemical contaminants. The Sawyer mini filter is designed to remove microorganisms besides viruses. Sawyer produces a filter that will remove viruses, but it's slower, heavier and more expensive. The mini is designed for outdoorsmen, not survivalists.
     
  20. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Bleach won't damage the sawyer, in fact they recommend it be cleaned with a bleach solution.
     
  21. Ephemeral

    Ephemeral Tracker

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    Deleted due to very little interest, no discussion.

    The OP doesn't even acknowledge that people expend effort in trying to help him with his questions.

    This sort of (non)response really puts a damper on any desire to help others out with these things, beyond cursory answers.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
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  22. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    Well, I would not delete as at least now someone else can use the info if they search for it. You never know what’s going on in his life either, I agree that much discussion was had without any further input from the op.
     
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  23. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    I sincerely due apologize i was not trying to blow you guys off at all this past week thing has been crazy busy for me i havent been able to put up much by way of reply posts i at least tried to click like on your post s to acknowledge i was seeing them and found them valuable...i did not mean for any one to be upset at all i truly due apologize but serious that you all for you help this has really helped me understand the direction i need to go
     
  24. NordicWolf

    NordicWolf Scout

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    Just curiousfor the sake of understanding why is that?
     
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  25. JV3

    JV3 Scout

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    i want the floaters/dirt/sediment/other stuff removed from the water first so it doesn't get in my pot. if that stuff is in the water when you boil it then it essentially "flavors" the water at the very least. i know this is the extreme case but let's say there are frog eggs in the water when you scooped it up in your pot...do you want to boil it then filter it? or filter it out first then boil it?

    also, boiling there's less chance of the water being re-contaminated since the whole pot will be heated up. with a filter all you need is a drop of dirty water on the outside falling into your clean container while you're filtering the water and the whole supply is again contaminated.

    last, for me boiling is more effective than filtering.
     
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  26. perdidochas

    perdidochas Guide

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    Filtering before boiling definitely makes sense.

    Boiling is more effective than filtering. That said, boiling is also less convenient than filtering. Boiling is great if you're planning to cook or drink hot drinks (tea, coffee, etc.), but when you're hiking, it would be a pain to have to stop to boil and cool in order to get a drink.
     
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