Water Filtration
Table of Contents


Living in the mountains in the desert southwest of the US water has always been very high on my personal list of priorities. Water has been one of the major concerns for being able to live here in an off-grid situation. Since I homesteaded this place and there was no well or commercial power or whatever when I started building here. I had to haul water in with a 400-gallon truck tank from the community well which believe me I was very fortunate that our subdivision land owner's association had one. It really helped since it was only about 1-mile from me and had good water (800' depth.)

I travel a lot in the local area of operations in a vehicle and and am outdoors a lot. I cut firewood in remote areas by myself (and my dog.) I understand about surviving in the desert and the mountains. Since I live in the middle of nowhere I frequently travel hundreds of miles each way in very inhospitable terrain with no water.

Inline Water Filter for hydration bladder.

There are a lot of "tactical" water hydration bladders out there and many of them are really great, they hold up well to sustained use and are well designed. I try to choose what works best even if it is not considered high speed, low drag.

While I don't intend to be on foot unless absolutely necessary I tend to try to prepare to be on foot in harsh conditions. I always carry a case of water in my vehicle and have a first-aid kit, sunblock, extra batteries for my flash lights (I carry several of those), 15W solar charger for phones and batteries, energy food (nuts, candy, jerked beef, etc.) a shelter tarp, paracord, etc.

I have been concentrating on getting my hydration gear in order and to get some spares lined up as well so I obtained (4) Cascade Platypus 2L Big Zip bladder with the SP122 Sawyer inline filter. It is a kit that has the fittings to adapt it into the drinking tube of your hydration bladder. I like to simply everything and can't carry a lot of useless stuff around when you are my age. The drinking tube fittings and adapters in the filter kit are made by the same company that makes Camelbak fittings so the Sawyer SP122 kit seems compatible with standard gear.

Oddly enough I have a few of these filters I had bought a few years ago to use with 5-gallon bucket water filters and also a few extra SP122 kits as well. I also happen to have a couple of the Platypus 3L bladders I was saving for a rainy day. I tend to collect stuff I might need some day but might not be able to locate. I guess I am not alone in this. If you are reading this then you probably know what I talking about.

I believe in-line filtration on a bladder is the way to go, especially for something like in your emergency gear that you very seldom use as there is nothing to mess with you just put water in it and drink.

Almost any sort of water. Yes, this might make your hydration bladder contaminated. Yes, you might wish to wash it now and then after using it. Don't use water with a lot of sediment in it unless you want to clog the filter as well. You can clean it every time it clogs but you would be better off pre-filtering that sort of water.


First the filters have a lifetime warranty. I understand they will handle a million gallons of water. The filter medium is a 0.1 micron absolute hollow fiber membrane. The filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.


Taking a closer look at these Sawyer filters I'd want to get some extra o-rings to have on hand if you expect to plug and unplug the filter over a long period of time. You will also have to backflush this filter occasionally. I think the faucet adapter (if you got your Sawyer filter with the SP122 kit) used to backflush would work pretty well.

I have other water filters (MSR) pump style with the long tube you fill from the water source and spares but I will keep them as backups until needed if ever. When I have had a chance to use the Sawyer 3-Way Inline Water Filter and this Platypus Big Zip 3L long enough I might update. I am concerned about leaks after long periods of use and handling.


Here is what you start with.


Here is what everything looks like after cutting the drinking tube, inserting the new fittings and then re-attaching everything.


You will have to keep the back-flush kit with your filter and bladder, you never know when you might need it.

One thing I like to is scan the instruction sheet that comes with all this stuff and print a few copies and stash them with the gear as well and keep the original in some safe place When I am out in the field I don't have to worry that much about mangling the instruction sheet. I don't know about most people but I don't use this gear more than once a month at best. I am getting older so I need the instructions kept with the gear some times.

Here is the scanned copy of the instructions that came with the Sawyer 3-N-1 filter above.


I hope they help someone some day.