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  1. #1
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    Default Backup for Sawyer Mini

    I used the Sawyer Mini for my recent two week section hike mostly for drinking water during the day along with Aquamira drops for treating larger amounts of water at camp. This worked reasonably well. However, I feel comfortable enough with the Sawyer Mini to make it my primary method of water treatment on my upcoming Colorado Trail thru hike.

    Even though I plan to use the mini as my primary treatment method, I still want to take some sort of backup system in case the filter gets lost, destroyed, or if I allow it to freeze (unlikely but possible if I forget to put it in my sleeping bag at night).

    My initial thought is to take along Aquamira as a backup. I have the AntigravityGear kit for repackaging Aquamira into a smaller container and the kit as a whole should weigh 1.2 ounces vs. the 3 ounces for the original AquaMira packaging. However, from my experience on the JMT with the kit, the drop sizes were inconsistent and I ended up using more than probably needed to be sure.

    I recently came across a listing for Aquamira tablets which seem to weigh next to nothing and could be viable as a backup method. The downside seems to be the extended 4 hour waiting time but that's probably ok for a backup method. I'd probably need to take along enough tablets to treat 6-8 liters, and then put extra tablets in my bounce box.

    As a backup for the mini, which backup method would you choose?
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  2. #2
    Ricky and his Husky Jack
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    what about a second mini? its only $20, small, and light.

    Im buying my first sawyer this week, so I'm looking forward to reply recommendations here too, so that I can look into a back up as well. (I was thinking of a second mini, but if theres a recommendation thats great, i'll look into it)
    Me: Ricky
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    From Dalton, Georgia (65 mi above Altanta, 15mi south of Chattanooga)

  3. #3
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    The wet weight for the mini is 1.8 ounces so I'm not sure it makes sense to take a second as a backup especially since it is prone to a common risk (freezing). Repackaged aquamira is 1.2 ounces and the tablets are less than half an ounce to treat 12 liters (based on what I have read).
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  4. #4
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    I thought about it. But since I'm set up to cook, I plan on boiling water as a back up. It helps that I will be doing summer hikes for the foreseeable future so I don't run a risk of freezing my filter.

  5. #5
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Most water on the A.T. Is far safer than people think and there are plenty of hikers who simply don't treat their water at all. I treat my water as a precaution and currently use the sawyer mini as well, but I'll just drink from a clean flowing source as my backup, if I don't trust a water source I'll boil it as a last resort.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  6. #6
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    What does a bottle of Iodine tablet weigh?

  7. #7
    Registered User ChinMusic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Most water on the A.T. Is far safer than people think
    He posted that this will be for Colorado.

    I would use tablets as a backup. That has been my backup for years.
    Fear ridges that are depicted as flat lines on a profile map.

  8. #8
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Could probably repackage however many you wanted into one of the tiny ziplocks, then wrap in a small piece of aluminum foil. Lighter than the glass bottle they come in and still protected from light. Just a thought.

    I have about a thousand of the tiny 2X2 inch ziplocks if you want a small handful, just send me a self addressed stamped envelope. PM if interested.

  9. #9
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinMusic View Post
    He posted that this will be for Colorado.

    I would use tablets as a backup. That has been my backup for years.
    Doh!

    I might need to refer back to this every now and again...

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...ng-to-a-thread
    Last edited by Sarcasm the elf; 06-01-2014 at 13:23.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  10. #10
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Tablets. I give them the same 30 minutes that I give the AM liquid, as they end up at the same concentration of ClO2 in the water. Been using tablets for solo weekend hiking for a couple of years, but they are prohibitively expensive for two people for a hike longer than about a week.

    We used our Sawyer Mini for the first time last weekend -- totally awesome little filter. Easy, fast, and very, very light. I'm bringing tablets a a backup, but this thing will be our primary water treatment for a longer hike this summer.

    I'm more worried about the squeeze bags, and plan to have at least one backup with us all the time.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  11. #11
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    The wet weight for the mini is 1.8 ounces so I'm not sure it makes sense to take a second as a backup especially since it is prone to a common risk (freezing). Repackaged aquamira is 1.2 ounces and the tablets are less than half an ounce to treat 12 liters (based on what I have read).
    The mini is not prone to freezing damage until it gets used. So I could understand the argument of an UNUSED mini as a backup.

  12. #12
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Tablets. I give them the same 30 minutes that I give the AM liquid, as they end up at the same concentration of ClO2 in the water. Been using tablets for solo weekend hiking for a couple of years, but they are prohibitively expensive for two people for a hike longer than about a week.

    We used our Sawyer Mini for the first time last weekend -- totally awesome little filter. Easy, fast, and very, very light. I'm bringing tablets a a backup, but this thing will be our primary water treatment for a longer hike this summer.

    I'm more worried about the squeeze bags, and plan to have at least one backup with us all the time.
    I m not sure if you know it or not...they came out with re engineered bags this year that are suppose to be much tougher. Worse case...you could always lay on your belly, put the filter in the water and suck water from source.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    I'm more worried about the squeeze bags, and plan to have at least one backup with us all the time.
    I got a couple of Evernew bags to use as clean water reservoirs when I need to carry more than what my 20 oz Gatorade bottles will hold (long dry stretches, dry camping, really hot weather, etc...). I can use them as a dirty water reservoir just in case. The Evernew bottles have been hard to find, but the seem to be in stock at a number of retailers now. Threads are compatible with Sawyer.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    What does a bottle of Iodine tablet weigh?
    More then the tablets themself weight. Repackaging them and iodine tabs are a very light weight backup.

  15. #15
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    your backup can be boiling water. Why carry extra?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdbamabrad View Post
    your backup can be boiling water. Why carry extra?
    Boiling water takes a lot of fuel, which weighs more than a handful of Aqua Mira tablets (60 of those weigh maybe an ounce; it'll take a lot more than an ounce of fuel to boil 60 liters of water.)

    Also, looking way back, treating water by boiling was such a PITA, especially on a hot day when I needed water to drink.
    Ken B
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  17. #17
    Registered User mudsocks's Avatar
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    I carry 10 of these Potable Aqua tablets repacked inside one of these 3x3 4-mil ziplock bags kept in my first aid kit. The weight is negligible.

  18. #18
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    I ended up carrying aquamira in Colorado using the Antigravity Gear containers at just over an ounce. Never had to use the backup. Although the mini did slow down between backflushes, it was never unusable. I kept the backflushing device in my bounce box and used it in towns. I found that the mini got progressively slower and started to get annoying (but still usable) after about five days of use. I did have a smartwater flip cap on the trail which I could have used as a backflush if needed. I would have treated the smartwater bottle with Aquamira first to clean it prior to the backflush. But never had to do this.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

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