I drank pond water yesterday. Wasn't planning on it but I figured I should probably give it a shot rather than just show you pictures of a product you could just find with a google search. Honestly, wasn't too bad after being filtered through the Sawyer Mini. I grew a third arm today but I heard that goes away after a while.
First: Why buy a water filter?
Answer: Because without water you die! That's a bit dramatic but the fact is that it isn't hard to run out of water, even on a day hike, and the only real essential ingredient to making it out of the woods in decent shape is to stay hydrated. Same goes for your kids. Just drinking water straight from a brook or body of water can be risky due to unknown and unseen bacteria...
Second: Some facts on dehydration
- Dehydration causes fatigue
- It clouds our memory and judgment- not good for orienteering in the woods
- It can make you crabby/irritable
- It can make you dizzy and/or sleepy
On a short hike the other day, one of our hydration packs leaked. All of the water was gone. Now, I had 2 Nalgenes as a backup, but if I didn't, we could easily have been left 2 miles from the trail head without any water. That's like 5 miles for kids. With a small water filter, you can take a potentially dangerous situation and turn it around.
On to the filter: I really like the Sawyer Mini because...
- ...it's small. You can easily fit it in a day pack, fanny pack (bring back the 90's!), satchel, man purse, baby bag, etc. It weighs 1.3oz...hard to argue with that.
- It's as effective as any other filter on the market. It basically filters out any bacteria, but not viruses which, according to what I've read, isn't an issue in North America. You can also add some Aqua Mira to make it taste better...if you want.
- It's easy. You can let gravity feed to water through the filter or squeeze it into a water bottle. Or you can just screw it onto any standard water/soda bottle or with the included water pouch. It also comes with a straw to drink directly from the stream or water container.
- It's affordable! Great deal for a sub $20 piece of gear.
Overall, this product works. Drinking through the filter, I found it to have good water flow, especially when you squeezed the bag. That's why it has 100's of positive reviews and I honestly didn't expect my experience to be any different. I am happy with it and t will always be in my bag when I head out, with or without the kids.