Sawyer Filter Camp Hydration System

  I have been using a Sawyer Squeeze Filter for over a year.  Treated countless gallons of water and still feel it is the best thing to happen in trail hydration.  Saving needless hours of having to pump, well as weight on my back.  Through this time period; as I refine my skills in the backcountry, my use for it has evolved.  Using a trial an error system to figure out what works for me, save time and refine daily tasks; such as treating water.  The less time spent doing little repetitive things, more you have to enjoy the surroundings.

Bottle filter
How I carry my Sawyer system in the field.  

Hiking with the Filter System

  I still choose to treat my water through a recycled plastic bottle (only certain thread patterns work).  This has worked out really well for me.  Have had no problems with with compromising the plastic, to cause a leak.  I chose to use a Smart Water bottle; because the threads match up, size works out well to fit in my backpack and can also recycle the cap, to fit on the end of the filter.

Try These Simple Steps:

  1. Grab bottle from pack (without taking it off, which is key)
  2. Unscrew filter
  3. Bend down at water source
  4. Fill 
  5. Screw back on filter
  6. Hydrate

  Time of treatment has been important to me, when wanting to make miles.  The whole process usually only takes me a few seconds, before I'm walking again.  Hydrating while moving; keeping the bottle in my hand, has helped keep weight off my back.  Doing this is also a reminder to drink water, important on a hot day.  I usually take a small drink every other minute on average.  Once bottle is empty, putting it back into my backpack for storage in between water sources.  

Filter in backpack
Carrying my bottle in between water refills.  

Staying Hydrated in Camp

  One thing I started doing this year, is making camp water.  Prior, I would just always drink straight from filter.  By setting up the Sawyer in Gravity Mode, allows me to have a few liters on hand in camp, to pound when thirst; after a long trail day.  Two items were added to my kit after deciding to go this route.  A small piece of hose, with inline adapter (you will need two female tread pieces) and an extra hydration bag.  I am big on keeping number of items inside a backpack to a minimum, but the pros outweighed the cons on this one.  

Sawyer bags
Pieces to used for Gravity Mode treatment. (note: string to hang dirty bag) 

sawyer gravity feed
Dirty water on top, filter, then hose with adapter and clean bag on bottom.  Tip:  Push air out of both bags before starting, for faster treatment times.  

Backflushing Filter in Wilderness

  I personally do not like using the syringe that is provided, especially when in wilderness.  Being a minimalist, this just doesn't set right for me.  Just adds to another item you need to carry in the field.  While in the backcountry I made a discovery, using that the same hose; when paired with bottle, can be used for an effective backflush.  Doing this will keep the filter working at its prime output.  

Backflushing at home or wilderness.  Bottle, hose w/ adapter and backwards filter. 

Not tested:  The latest generation of Sawyer Squeeze Filter, comes 'hose ready'.  So no adapter kit needed.  

Thinking about trying this water filter? Give the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter a try today!

I plan on using this system on my ongoing adventures into Olympic National Park. This is an awesome way to treat water, especially in the winter months. Hope you enjoy trying it too!

Updated in July 2015 by Barefoot Jake

Disclaimer:  This filter, and everything seen was provided for testing and review.