SP128 Sawyer MINI™ Filter
Normally when out in the Scottish hills finding a water supply that I consider safe to drink directly is not usually a problem. Running water from high mountain streams is usually in good supply. But there are occasions, certainly during high camps and on walks over the higher range’s when re-supply from a suitable source can be a bit of an issue. When camping I always carry a stove and so water for cooking is boiled anyway however any water required for drinking also needs boiling which is fine as long I’m carrying enough fuel for both. Although carrying a filter will add some extra weight this will be offset on a camping trip by the need to carry less fuel. When a filter is as compact and as light as the Sawyer SP128 then the extra space and weight taken is pretty much insignificant, so much so that it can become one of the items permanently stowed in my pack. My recent trip to Skye was an ideal opportunity to use the filter, my second high camp saw me pitched alongside a few small lochans. After filling the pouch it was a simple job of attaching it to the filter and squeezing while holding the outlet nozzle over my water bottle. I was surprised and pleased how little effort this required having used another mechanical filter previously that required quite some force to push the water through. The water still flowed, albeit it a little slower, after I had released pressure. It would certainly be possible to use the system under gravity feed if required.
It’s important to ensure that the outlet nozzle of the filter does not come into contact with the water supply. If the outside of the filler pouch has become wet whilst being immersed in the water supply then I would recommend filtering at an angle rather than vertically. This should avoid drips of unfiltered water running down the pouch along the filter and into the drinking container, this of course should be borne in mind when using any in-line filtering system. After use I shook the filter a little and blew back through the nozzle to remove any excess water before storing away separately from the filler pouch.
Most standard threaded plastic bottles can be used as an alternative/replacement for the filler pouch, my Platypus certainly fits. I do find the filler pouch a bit inflexible and is a little difficult to fill from still water.
The filter needs to be cleaned occasionally and this is easily achieved by filling the supplied syringe with clean water, holding against the filter nozzle and pushing down the syringe plunger.
The technical stuff:
The SP128 filter Kit, at just 65grams includes:
1 – 1/2 Litre Lightweight Durable Collapsible Pouch.
Sawyer 0.10 Absolute Micron Hollow Fiber Membrane Screw On Water Filter.
Life Expectancy: 100,000 gallon (378,540 Litres) Guaranteed.
You can find the SP128 Sawyer MINI™ Filter here.