OK, so I bought this off Amazon for a trip to Isle Royale. According to the Information I gathered about the Island from the nps.gov site all water not obtained from the spigots at Rock Harbor or Windigo must be considered to be contaminated. The main issue there is the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm and you must have something that can filter at 0.4 microns or less. Alternatively you can boil the water for two minutes which should also do the trick.
Sounds awesome right! We better not play around here, parasites are nasty and if you watch that “Monsters Inside Me” show you have an idea just how nasty they can be.
The reason I decided on the Sawyer Squeeze was mainly because it wasn’t too expensive and it had really good reviews on Amazon.
So how did it perform?
Well, I used it plenty of times and I never got sick so there’s that. The main thing I like about the Sawyer squeeze is it’s very portable and simple to use. The included pouches come in a variety of sizes and are very light weight and pack down nicely. I only brought the biggest one along with me on my trip and found it to be more than sufficient.
The easiest way to collect water in the pouch is with a scooping action. I found if you just submerge the pouch in water it doesn’t fill very fast or all the way. If you scoop the water you can fill it full in just seconds. In one scenario I was laying down on a dock scooping water from a lake, very easy. Another scenario however found me trying to scoop water from a very shallow water source that was not flowing, this proved a little trickier.
Once you have the pouch filled you just screw on the included filter and squeeze the water into your water bottle. This is how I did it but you can also drink right from the filter squeezing the water from the bag into your mouth. This felt a little awkward to me though so I prefer the first method.
Overall, I do really like the Sawyer Squeeze personal water filtration system. As the name implies I do feel that it’s really meant for a solo person and everyone should have their own to collect water. If you’re just collecting drinking water for you and one other person you will probably make it work. If you’re supplying water for the family/group and cooking purposes you might want to consider something else like the MSR Miniworks. This coupled with a five-gallon/20 liter collapsible water container is great for keeping extra water at camp to cook or clean dishes with.