New backpacking gear
I know some of you are into backpacking/hiking/BOB gear so I thought I'd share. I recently made two purchases to compliment my backpacking style.
I got an Oware Two Person Silnylon Bivy that weighs in at an impressive 11oz, and packs to about 3" x 8". It's big enough for myself and my dog, and also has loft points on the outside of the front top. Have not been out to use it yet, but in the past my bivy has been an old (but great) L.L. Bean bivy with a zippered secondary bug mesh for days when the weather is great. The Oware has bug mesh at your face, but does not have a full secondary zippered mesh lining at the top.
The second purchase I made was a Sawyer in-line filter designed for hydration packs. You simply cut your current hydration bladder tubing, splice in the sawyer (quick connect components included) and your good to go. Size is 1.75" x 3.5", weight 2oz. I have used this quite a bit while out hiking to see how it holds up and it has worked well. As expected you have to suck a little bit harder to get the same amount of water, but it isn't bad at all. The sawyer is good against all your bacteria, cysts, and parasites down to 0.1 microns, which is the same standard as all your bulkier pump action filters like the MSR or Katadyn. The filter is cleaned through backflow pressure, either using the sink adapter when you get home, or by blowing water back through with your mouth while on the trail. As with any filter choosing the right spot and prefiltering your water is paramount.
So far it seems like the best ultra light filter to date, all you have to do is pour water into your hydration bladder and your ready to drink, but of course using aqua mira or other chemical treatments in tandem with a filter is always recommended. If your at your camp site and you don't want to be using your hydration bladder to drink you can either compress your hydration bladder and squeeze water through the filter into a bottle, or you can use one of the quick detach points and use the filter like a straw. Don't get me wrong, this filter does have it's limitations, but as a backpacking filter where size and weight are important, and you need to have a filter system, then this is the way to go, works very well in that regard. If your looking for a filter that can filter water for your whole camping party and empty it into water bottles and containers then this filter would take longer to do that, and may not be the one your looking for.
As an additional note Sawyer guarantees this filter for 1 million gallons of water, stating that this filter will never need more than backflow to keep it working at optimal condition if it should begin to clog up (as all filters eventually do). I will definitely test this, and if their claim doesn't hold up they will hear from me.
The other big components of my backpacking gear include a Gregory Tarne 36 backpack (actually an alpine pack), REI travel sack (light, compact, and inexpensive warm weather bag, NOT a cold weather bag), Thermarest prolite plus, MSR pocket rocket with GSI soloist pinnacle cooking gear, clothes, food + water, miscellaneous gear and first aid bag, nylon ground sheet/rain fly. Depending on length of trip and known water sources total weight comes in around 25lbs. My big 4 (pack, shelter, bag, and pad) weigh in at 7lbs and change.
Hope you enjoyed the reviews, based on other Oware gear I have seen and owned in the past, and from what I have seen of the Sawyer so far I would recommend both. Now I just need to find a good chest rig for my G26 to carry with the backpack on! I may get the Simply Rugged chesty pully system. At the moment I just slip my LCP into my pocket because it's the only thing I can stand for days of walking (and please don't think either gun is for animal protection :smile:, we don't need to start that argument). Thanks for reading, stay safe.
Thanks for posting that. I am "officially" going to start hiking around here in the Florida woods when it cools off. I say "officially" because all I've done so far is think about it for the last couple of years but I bought a High Sierra backpack a couple of months ago, got some equipment and off I'll go. I'm going to check out that Sawyer filter for my hydration bladder. After reading your post, I want to go now but it feels like 95 outside right now!!
9MMSpecial, I feel ya on the 95 thing.