Sawyer Mini Tips

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    Erica Napolitano
    BPL Member


    Locale: Northeast

    Do you have any tips for filling my water bag when the water is not moving so much and is not very deep.


    jimmy b
    BPL Member


    Erica, many folks use an old platy bag and snip off the top. What remains makes a nice scoop for scooping the untreated water into your Sawyer squeeze bag. I suppose you could also make a silnylon or other waterproof small bag or stuff sack or even try a zip lock bag but the platy would probably work a lot better.

    Also when at ponds and lakes where the water isn't flowing I wrap my fingers in tube like shape and seal it against the sawyer bag and blow into my hand inflating the squeeze bag. Then I grab the sides of the bag so it retains its shape and submerge. That way it fills to capacity much easier. I guess I could just inflate the bottle directly but it keeps the nasty water from direct contact.


    Charles Grier
    BPL Member


    Locale: Desert Southwest

    I use the bottom half of a 2 L Platypus water bottle as a scoop/pouring spout. It gave second life to a leaking Platy and serves as a lightweight way to fill the Sawyer water bag from shallow and slow flowing sources.

    BPL Member


    I found that the Mountain House Pro Pack sized bag is the perfect water scoop. It's rigid enough to stand on its own. I bought a cheapie 1L platy knockoff and found that I actually prefer the Mountain House scoop.

    Also doubles as a cozy if need be.

    Steven Paris
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I also use a cut-up bladder (a Nalgene one). I recommend cutting it straight across; you still get the corners that can get under low streams of water easier and you get an in-camp "sink" you can fill with untreated water to wet a bandana, pour over hands when washing, clean off a toothbrush, etc.

    I collect water with the scoop, pour it into whatever "dirty" bladder I'm using, connect the Mini and squeeze into a Smartwater bottle.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    If you don't have a Platy to cut up as I did not either. I use a gusseted plastic 1lb sugar bag that had a ziploc opening on it. Cut the ziploc off and it holds more than a liter. I use it as a wash bucket also, as the opening is larger than that on a Platy.

    Jeff McWilliams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    I made a scoop/funnel out of a used 16 or 20 oz Pepsi bottle, by cutting the bottom off the bottle.

    I replaced the soda bottle's cap with a push/pull cap, in which I cemented a fine wire mesh screen to filter out any large debris.

    I scoop water into the large opening of the bottle, then hold the bottle over the Sawyer bag so that water drains out the soda bottle's cap, going through the wire mesh screen as it drains.

    It take about 3 scoops to fill the Squeeze bag. I think I got this idea from elsewhere in one of these forums.

    I can fit the Sawyer Mini and a rolled up 1L Sawyer bag into the soda bottle, which then goes into a side pocket on my pack. The back flushing syringe is carried separately in the same side pocket.

    Owen McMurrey


    Locale: SE US

    Set up was lighter with a 500mL bottle, but for the last few months I've used a cut down 1L Smartwater for a dipper, and like it a lot better, because it also holds my filter, a screened fuel funnel, straw, and 1.5L Evernew.
    Having a dipper and funnel makes collecting and pouring up water quick and simple.
    Edit: the Smartwater fliptops can also be used to backflush the filter.

    With a pair of 700mL Smartwater bottles…

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I just use 2 liter soda bottle. Make mark at 1 cup and 2 cups so I can use it to measure. Cut off top above the 2 cup mark and throw that away. It doesn't collapse in my pack, but there's a place I can put it where this doesn't matter. 0.64 ounce.

    Bob .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Vancouver Island

    I generally have clear creek or lake water. I just use a small freezer ziplock and snip off a corner. Works well.

    John Rowan
    BPL Member


    I have taken to just keeping an empty Smartwater bottle in my other water bottle pocket, filling it up, and then pouring into the sawyer bottle. If I need to carry more than a liter, then the Smartwater bottle just gets used as…another bottle. It basically fills the same role as a scoop for me, but serves double duty as a second bottle.

    I like the shape of the smartwaters (1l tall size) because it's super easy to fill them in anything deeper than a puddle.

    Andy F


    Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic

    Similar to Jeff, I use a 12 oz plastic pop bottle with the rounded top portion cut off so that it holds around 8 oz. I scoop the water, then hold the top in a pour spout shape when pouring it into the dirty water Sawyer bag. Having a solid scoop make things less fiddly, and it's easier to get water from small sources like a seep or spring which only has a small puddle accessible. (I obtained water from one of these once with only a bag scoop, and that's why I use a pop bottle now. :)

    I use a Sawyer Squeeze, but the technique is the same.

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