Sawyer Squeeze Filter Modifications Part 2 – Cleaning Syringes and Storage Bag
Posted: September 12th, 2012 by: h2
The Sawyer Point One Squeeze filter (0.1 micron version) has grown to be one of my favorite pieces of gear.
There are two pages of modifications:
- Simple Modifications for Sawyer Squeeze Filter
- Sawyer Squeeze Filter Cleaning – Syringe Options (this page) Update 2013-06-30: Do not use smaller syringes than 60ml/2oz, this can form channeling over time.
Ok, so you’ve done Part 1. This now lets you do part 2, and fixes what is in my opinion the single weakest part of the Sawyer Squeeze design, the backflushing syringe they include. First, the one they provide is really big. Second, it doesn’t seat nicely into the clean end of Sawyer Squeeze, you have to sort of press it on.
However, have no fear, that’s an easy problem to solve.
Changing Irrigation Syringes – On Trail And Home Use
[Update: do not follow this suggestion, I have reconsidered this question and this is a bad idea, use either 60ml syringe for maximum 2oz flow for about 1 second, or use nothing. Use of smaller syringes can lead to filter tube channeling, which is not reparable). The long tip 60ml however works very well, and is highly recommended.
I had a brain storm (too bad it was wrong, see note above), and realized I should check for smaller or better fitting irrigation syringes. That’s what that big thing is, with the plunger. After discovering that big pharmacy chains were totally useless and didn’t carry such things, I went to an old local store, Johnson’s Medical Supply in Berkeley, if you live in a larger city, you almost certainly have a true medical supply store. NOT, repeat, a junk filled big box chain place, it’s a store dedicated to only medical supply products.
So I went, and, lo and behold, I found two syringes, one absolutely perfect for home cleaning, or bounce box storage and in town resupply type use, the other a bit too small, but I think it will be sufficient for on trail cleaning. And boy is the small one light. I think a 15 or 20 ml version would be much better, but they didn’t have that size, so this is ok. Note that the small unit is 1/6 the size of the big one, so you need to do a lot more refills to get it clean. (Do not do this, it’s a bad idea, use only 60 ml syringes).
Pictures tell the story fine here, so here we go:
Here we have the filter and tube mod from Part 1, the small irrigation syringe, 10 ml, and the bigger one, notice how it has the tip? That tip will fit into the tube, making a snug and clean fitting. The 10 ml syringe can just be pushed against the tube, which is bigger than the syringe end on the inside, but it’s soft material so it fits well.
There’s the big one, with its tip stuck into the tube. Works perfectly.
You can see the old one that Sawyer included, that tip doesn’t fit into anything, and it’s hard to actually understand what Sawyer was thinking when they picked that unit.
And there’s the little unit. Takes 6 refills/plunges to equal one big one, but my feeling is because you don’t get a continuous stream of backflushing pressure, it’s probably not wise to only use the little syringe over time. (update: not only is it not wise, it’s a downright bad idea because it can lead to channeling inside the filter that can never be corrected, so use either the 60ml or nothing if you want your filter to last).
I did, by the way, try using two screw on ends with hoses, to try to use a bladder bag to backflush, but I couldn’t generate enough pressure, and it felt like I’d probably end up bursting the bag over time if I tried it, and it really didn’t get much more than a dribble when backflushing. You will come across people who suggest this in an attempt to save weight, but I strongly urge you to NOT follow that advice if you want your filter to last over time.
Make a Small Mesh Storage Bag
Now that’s it’s all done, I wanted a way to store it all, so I could put it in outside pockets without worrying about losing the prefilter elements, and also having the syringe there for easy access. I’ll usually store this in an outside pocket of my backpack, unless it’s going to be below freezing, then it has to go inside, and I’ll also include a small plastic bag to keep things dry inside the pack.
There’s the nylon mesh stuff sack, this one is made out of 0.9 ounce per yard nylon noseeum netting, you can use 0.7 oz yd. The stuff sack weighs 2.5 grams. Could be just a plastic bag, but this is more permanent, and doesn’t weigh much more than a plastic bag either.
And here it is with the Sawyer Squeeze cut down 16 ounce bag water scoop rolled around the filter inside the mesh bag, if you decided you want to do it that way.
And there you have it, some very easy and cheap mods for your Sawyer Squeeze filter.
Never let the Sawyer freeze, if you do, it has to be discarded to be safe. Sleep with it in your sleeping bag if it’s going to get cold at night.
Take the prefilter element out when backflushing it, you don’t want to trap gunk behind it, or accidentally pop the prefilter out and have to find it somewhere on the ground.
Carry a spare prefilter screen, it doesn’t weigh anything and you already have bought the coffee filter anyway.