Similar to my Survival Kits I have a water filter kit. This is all part of How I Organize my Hiking Gear, which you can read using the link to my older post. But basically I keep all of the gear I commonly use for hiking organized by use and in ready to go Magpul DAKA pouches. This lets me pick a pack based on the hike I’m going to do and then fill it up quickly with the pouches I will need. It makes packing a breeze!
In my water filter pouch I keep everything I need for filtering water while out hiking or camping. The kit is based around the Sawyer Squeeze filter system. I have had a Sawyer Squeeze for years but I recently purchased a Sawyer Micro Squeeze to try. A lot of people have had issues with the flow rate on the Sawyer Squeeze Mini so fingers crossed. I will write a review of the Sawyer Micro Squeeze after I’ve put it through it through some decent testing.
My kit includes these specific items (the links go to Amazon):
For those who haven’t used the Sawyer Squeeze water filter system I would strongly recommend it. If I can manage to work it anyone can. The Sawyer Mini and Micro are available for $20-30 and you can get the original Sawyer Squeeze as a kit with soft bottles and everything you need for around $50.
One must have addition to the Sawyer Squeeze is a better dirty water bag and I can’t recommend the CNOC dirty water bag enough. It has a huge opening on one end that allows you to fill the bottle from any source in seconds. Fold the opening over and close the slider and you can easily carry around 2L. To filter water from it you simply unscrew the other end and screw it directly into the Sawyer Squeeze. Then turn it upside down and you are filtering water. The included Sawyer soft bottles will work but the small opening can make filling them from certain water sources an act in patience.
I use a hydration bladder when I hike so I like to carry a Sawyer soft water bottle and the thread adapter so that you can filter clean water into the soft bottle. Then you can take the soft bottle and pour the water into your hydration bladder. I have found it to just be a mess to try and filter water directly into into a soft water bladder. Because I have heard of the issues with the Sayer Micro Squeeze jamming up I bring the included syringe with. It is used to backflush the filter by pushing water in the opposite direction you filter water. This is to clean the filter out and restore flow rate.
This whole system including the small Magpul DAKA pouch (6”x9”) weighs in at 259 grams. For those who are curious the Sawyer Micro Squeeze by itself weighs 66 grams. But the purpose of packing my gear this way is that when I want to have the ability to filter water while hiking I can simply grab my water filter pouch and I know I have everything I will need. One tip though is to keep the CNOC dirty water bag at the top of the pouch. This way you can get it out without having to take everything else out. So if you come across a water source but don’t want to take the time to filter water right then you can quickly fill up the dirty water pouch, throw it into your pack, and then filter your dirty water later when you stop for a break.