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#202776 - 03/11/19 06:03 AM 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System?
mytam Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/11/19
Posts: 2
I'm planning to do a 2.5 day hike in the Saguaro Wilderness / Rincon Mountains by Tucson. If you have any insight in that area voice up.

For this trip I'll finally need a reliable filtration system. I've had first hand experience pumping after a long day of hiking and being tired. It wasn't fun. Gravity filters just sounds like a no brainier to me.

I'm eying the Sawyer Complete Water Filter System. They have a 2 liter and a 4 liter system. The four liter system looks nicer, with the spigot and handles. Do you think I'll regret having the large bladders when solo hiking?

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#202777 - 03/11/19 08:17 AM Re: 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System? [Re: mytam]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1791
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I spend a lot of time in the Rincons.

A lot of your filter choice depends on when you are there. In May and June, most years, I’d recommend something like an MSR Sweetwater; they work well at pulling water up out of pockets between rocks. We’ve had a wet winter this year so the streams may be flowing when you are there. If that’s so then any filter should work but you’ll want some sort of scoop. The water can be pretty skanky though and can quickly clog any filter; be prepared for that.

I carry containers enough for 4 liters. They are not always in use though. The water at some of the designated camps is not always reliable so it a good idea to water up when the opportunity arises. You can get reasonably up-to-date water reports at the visitors center. CHECK! In my experience, you can fairly reliably find water at Manning Camp, Cedar Basin and Happy Vally Saddle (you might need to look hard there), Mud Hole Spring and in The Devil’s Bathtub drainage. Not so reliable are Italy Camp, Deer Head Spring, Grass Shack and Spud Rock; it depends on time of year and prior conditions. If things are generally dry I carry three liters, if things are wet I just carry a liter.

My containers are two one-liter repurposed Schweppe’s tonic bottles and a two liter Platypus collapsible bottle.

Be sure to get a permit.

PM me if I can give you more info.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#202780 - 03/11/19 11:57 AM Re: 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System? [Re: Pika]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 960
Loc: Torrance, CA
I wanted to second Pika's concern about clogging filters. I once camped in the Superstition wilderness during a rain storm. It was nice to be in the desert and not have to worry about water, but all of that new run off meant the water was all very murky. It was nice to have a filter that was easy to clean (I think we also had an MSR) compared to gravity filter. We would pump half a liter, pull out the filter, clean off the layer of silt, rinse, and repeat.

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#202782 - 03/11/19 12:21 PM Re: 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System? [Re: BZH]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1791
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona

Originally Posted By BZH
I wanted to second Pika's concern about clogging filters. I once camped in the Superstition wilderness during a rain storm. It was nice to be in the desert and not have to worry about water, but all of that new run off meant the water was all very murky. It was nice to have a filter that was easy to clean (I think we also had an MSR) compared to gravity filter. We would pump half a liter, pull out the filter, clean off the layer of silt, rinse, and repeat.

“Fond” memories. As I recall, your half-liter per cleaning is spot-on. If you are not dealing with silt, you are filtering out various protozoa which leave a jelly-like layer in the filter. Once I had to filter my water from a rock tank that had a dead coyote floating in it. Surprisingly, the water didn’t taste all that bad but I didn’t drink any more of it than I needed. It is funny how lack of alternatives can change one’s mind-set.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#202801 - 03/20/19 02:54 PM Re: 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System? [Re: Pika]
grit Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 210
Loc: Happy Jack, AZ
Pika,

I, too, have spend many nights in the Rincons, beginning in 1967.

I recognize all your references to water sources except for two. Is Italy Camp the same as Italian Spring? And is Cedar Basin also known as Juniper Basin?

If not, it looks like I've got more exploring to do!

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#202803 - 03/20/19 05:52 PM Re: 2 or 4 liter Sawyer Complete Water Filter System? [Re: grit]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1791
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Senior moment😀. You have the names right!
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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