Way back in 2008, when I was an Emergency Prep NEWBIE, I found a water filtration product I fell in love with that no one else in the Emergency Preparedness world had even heard of (at least it felt that way). The first time I saw the Sawyer water filter I thought it must be too good to be true. A water filter that filters a million gallons of water! Everything else on the market filters about 200 gallons before the inside filter needs to be replaced (at about half again the cost of the original filter). Sawyer products are designed to back flush the inside filter when it becomes dirty so the filters do not need to be replaced. This saves a lot of money! Sawyer filters are guaranteed for 100,000 gallons (Mini) or have a lifetime warranty on the filter element (everything but the mini).
I was also excited about the ability to attach the filter inline on a Camelbak so you could continue to use the water packs you already have with the added ability to filter your water. Sawyer water products use the same technology as dialysis machines. They do not use ceramic, glass, or carbon filters. This makes them more durable than other filters that can crack and break if dropped or frozen. Sawyer water filters do not filter out taste so if you are planning on drinking the water out of the Jordan River I might suggest some Tang!
Things to consider when purchasing a water filter:
- Price? (Original purchase price and replacement cost for inner filters)
- How quickly it filters water? (Sawyer filters can filter 2 liters in less than 2 min. using gravity!)
- How much of your energy and time does it take to filter the water? (Do you have to pump it, can you use gravity, do you need to squeeze the water through, etc. You don’t want to spend half of your backpacking trip pumping water)
- Effectiveness of filter? (what elements is it filtering out, what size of bacteria is able to pass though the filter)
- How often will the filter need to be replaced? (how many gallons of water will it filter before it needs to be replaced)
- Do you want a filter that will filter out bacteria — or bacteria and viral? If you are visiting another country a viral purifier is a good idea. Also, following an emergency you need to decide if you think our water will become contaminated with viral elements such as human or animal urine and feces. Viruses are responsible for gastroenteritis, HIV, hepatitis, influenza, etc. As far as I know Sawyer is the only company that has a Viral Purifier. Usually you have to add chemicals to your water to kill viruses. The cost difference between a 4 liter bacterial system (#479) and a 4 liter bacteria/virus filter (#481) is $33.50
***I’m going to stop right here and give you two options: 1- For those of you who want to know more and want to do additional research. I’ve included a lot more information below about Sawyer filters. Feel free to keep reading and enjoy the videos. I think they are very well done. 2- For those of you who don’t have the time or the desire to know more about filters, but still want to know what filters you need for your family this is the shortened version. If you trust my judgment, this is what I’m doing/have done for my family.
- I have a Mini Filter (#476 – $18.50) for each member of my family for their individual 72 hour kits. I’m grabbing a couple extra for my Scouters. I don’t want them taking the water filter out of their 72 kits. They will never get put back in.
- I also have a 4 liter Viral Treatment System (#481 – $178.00)for my family 72 hour kit. (This is an additional kit that has larger items that will be awesome if we are all together as a family) This allows me to filter 4 liters of water at a time. (This is the very first water filter I bought)
- I am going to get an All In One Filter (#477 – $50) or a Point Two Purifier (#480 – $123.50) for circumstances that require me to filter my water for extended periods of time. The bucket set up with these two systems is pretty sweet. It will filter approximately 295 gallons of water per day. I just can’t decide if I want to pay the extra money for another viral purifier where I already have one viral purifier, but I will definitely be getting one or the other.
As with everything in Emergency Preparedness, you need to have options to filter your water that work with these three different scenarios:
- Walking away with what you can carry or roll (72 hour kits)
- Driving away with what will fit in your car (Grab N’ Go)
- Having a long-term solution without needing to leave your home (Sheltering in Place)
I’ve included some short videos that explain the benefits of Sawyer Water Filters.
This is a YouTube Video on the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System # 476
This is a YouTube Video on the Sawyer All In One Filter #477 This is a YouTube Video on the Sawyer 2 Liter Water Treatment System #478 This YouTube Video is a great video that covers a lot of different filters and the difference between Bacterial and Viral (Purifier) filters This YouTube video explains how to use the bucket system
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