I can say in all truth that the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System has saved me from hospital visits several times now. I spend a large portion of my life in places where the water will turn you into a convulsing volcano at both ends of your body.
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Three weeks before the writing of this article I was in a tiny town in Guatemala among the Achi tribe. I didn’t know they wouldn’t have potable water from the tap, but my friend Sawyer let me drink that sweet, sweet liquid with zero ill effects. Let me give you four reasons why you need one of these.
- Lasts Like a Million Years
Okay, so a million years might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. If you take care of your Sawyer Mini and maintain it correctly, it is rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water. If you buy it for individual use, and filter a gallon a day, it can last (depending on the water nastiness level), up to 273.9 years. Can you live that long? Maybe in a few years when science gets us there, but not yet!
- Filters Out a Bazillion Creepies
Again, possibly a slight exaggeration, but despite the word Mini in its name, this beast filters 99.9999% of all bacteria. It hurls into the shrieking abyss things so evil, I don’t even know what they do or how to pronounce them! Things like cryptosporidium. You know that has to be nasty. Want an extra scoop of cryptosporidium along with your Tang and Cliff Bar? I don’t. Want to remove all that gnarly cryptosporidium? Use the Sawyer Mini and don’t die.
I personally have used the Sawyer Mini to drink straight from rivers where I can guarantee someone pooped not long before I got there. I’ve had to drink from the same place where people from people have bathed, washed clothes, pooped (did I already mention poop?), and so many other things. Also, all the poop. Not once have I ever gotten sick from the water.
- Easy to Pack
If you are like me your backpack is like real estate, and every item must be scrutinized before it is given a few square inches. After a few years of wandering the globe like a hobo married to a pilot (don’t ask how that happened), you start to realize how little you need to do so, but when going to developing nations, a water filter is a must. The Sawyer Mini is small, only 8 x 4 x 3 inches, and that’s before you roll it up and turn it into something like 3 x 2 inches. The container itself is a super durable plastic pouch that can be stuck anywhere, and the filter is a small cylinder that isn’t flexible, but can fit in a shoe or side pouch no problem. When out on a journey you can stick it in your pocket and whip it out at the first stream you find. You won’t even have to paw through your bag while everyone stares at your unmentionables.
The other great thing about the Sawyer Mini is that is weights almost nothing, and we travelers all know how precious weight is. Whether you are trying to stay under that fifty pound weight limit on airlines, or are going on a long hike, weight is a major factor. With a field weight of two ounces I dare you to find a lighter filter.
- Doubles as a Water Bottle
This is another thing I love about the Sawyer Mini. It comes with a straw attachment so you can feel like you are drinking a Slurpee, but it isn’t, it’s clean water. It makes drinking water fun. Sure there are water bottles with built in filters, and many other water filters are designed strictly for group use, but this is designed for both. Having a personal filter is great, but there has been more than one occasion where I have been in a wasteland of dirty water, and the group filter got clogged or punctured. They didn’t have personal filters and I don’t particularly like the idea of everyone drinking from my single bottle. With the Sawyer Mini this isn’t a problem. It has a straw for personal use, but it’s designed in such a way that you can easily direct the filtered water into another person’s bottle, or even a larger container for the whole group.
I have used a lot of filters over the years, and many are great, but the Sawyer Mini is something special. It is my favorite by far. It is so versatile, and works so well, and the incredible price (about $20) is unbeatable for what you get. The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is a must have for any avid traveler,