Water Filtration systems


Which water filtration systems would you recommend?
We are hiking fishriver canyon soon and I would like to invest in a good waterfiltration system. Something other that the drops or purifying pills. I’m thinking about getting the Sawyer Mini Filtration kit, but I have no info regarding the product. Have anyone used it before or do you have other suggestions such as Lifestraw etc? Or do you have better, quicker methods of getting clean water at the fishriver canyon?


I use a Sawyer Mini Filter. It’s affordable, light, small and works well. It’s a little laborious using the squeeze bottles they supply, as they are a bit small, but I think the filter fits onto a standard soda bottle, so there are options.


I’m also doing the Fish River in July and was looking for a water purifying system. The Getaway article (linked somewhere off this forum) raves about the water pump they used. Unfortunately the link attached to the ‘rave’ doesn’t go anywhere, so aren’t able to ascertain what they used. We too are keen to know what others are using.


Thank you so much for the reply. Will the Sawyer be a bit time consuming to fill a 1.5L Hydration Bladder? I suppose if you have to use the squeeze pouch it might take some time hey? Or is it not that bad?


It’s not too bad. It takes me just over 4 minutes to fill a 1L bottle - that includes filling the squeeze bottle a second time (they only take 500ml). I’ve also seen guys use the Sawyer Mini Filter in a gravity-fed system, which is super convenient.


I also believe that Sawyer is one of the best on the market. What you can do is do a little DIY on your hydration pack and link the filter to the tube. Source Hydration has done this commercially and can be bought at Cape Union Mart.

I have never needed any serious filtration on the Fish River though. The water has generally been pretty clean and nothing that a buff and water purification can’t handle:slightly_smiling_face:


Agreed on no filtration device neccessary. Could depend on the water levels though, but when we did the fish last year July I just used a normal piece of cloth. Couldn’t say it made much difference though, the water was still brown. What worked best for us was to let it stand for a while, then most of the “colourants” would drop to the bottom of the container


Thank you so much for all the replies guys! I really appreciate it. My system is extremely sensitive to water. Even our town’s normal tap water makes me sick. So I just want to be extra careful. When we did the otter trail we drank the tap water supplied but added the Kurbo charcoal koins which worked very well. I’m going to take more of those koins to fishriver just in case. But will see how the Sawyer works. I have never done the Fish before so just I bit unsure on what the water quality etc will be like. But it seems like you guys say it should be fine. I will then probably just take all the purification items as precaution :slight_smile:


When I did the Fish River Canyon, many years ago, the water was very low and very dirty and even with purification tablets (but no filtration), a lot of us had upset stomaches. Taking the Sawyer along is a no-brainer - it ways very little and works like a charm :wink::+1:


Thank you so much!


I literally just returned from my 2nd Canyon hike. Both times with Sawyer mini. Firstly we use a collapsable bucket to treat the water with One-Drop. It really has got NO taste and is available from Cape Union Mart and Due South. We actually tested a few. Let it stand for 30min to an hour while you set up camp. Then the filter production starts. You will need a hard bottle to filter in, as it is just too difficult filtering straight into the bladders. Even your cup will work fine. I would also suggest you order a 3 pack of 1Lt Sawyer bottles from Amazon. They are not expensive and deliver within a week,
. Use them instead of the small one you got with the filter. During the day you can fill your 1Lt Sawyer bottle, add the One-Drop and chuck it in your bag as your back up water. As you can drink directly from the bottle with your filter.
Currently the sedimentary level is quite high, so you need to backwash frequently. But honestly its no effort once you are used to it, and it goes along with good planning.
Oh your filter also fits perfectly on your bladder pipe! So if you get really lazy on the last 2 days you can just drink straight from the bladder. But again, One-Drop directly to your bladder then.


Thanks for the tip Desica! Just ordered my 3 x 1L squeeze bottles for R307.14


Hi; I have used the Katadyn pocket water filter for over 30 years. There was a time I used it daily for 5 years in a row. In those 30 years I am now on my second silver impregnated ceramic filter. Durable, 600 grams, and standard issue to Red Cross field workers. Makes all other filters look stupid. Have a great hike.


Seems like everyone got to this post before me :smile:

As per the testaments above, I too have just returned from the Fish River using this exact filter. It worked great and the water tasted so much better in comparison to tablets or drops.

As I was filtering for both myself and my fiancé, it did take about 35mim to squeeze and filter 8L of water. ( Two 3L bladders, water for coffee and cooking)

I would highly recommended taking an additional bottle or cup with to scoop the water out of the river as filling up the collapsible bottles can prove to be challenging


Hi there,
I’ve done two FRC hikes and very successfully used a Forbes water bottle which I got from H2O in Stellenbosch Tel: 021 883 2057 or email: admin@h2ostellenbosch.co.za simple to use. I have recently bought a SteriPEN Classic 3 a UV Purifier info@steripen.com www.steripen.com
I must confess the water wasn’t bad at all, if you just keep your eyes open and use flowing water you should be fine anyway. On both occasions Sept 2016 and 2017 we had plenty of fresh water.


SteriPEN’s are AMAZING! Combined with a Sawyer mini filter, you could happily drink out of a public toilet!


We just returned from our hike in the Fishriver Canyon. The Sawyer mini Filtration system worked amazing. It was a bit time consuming but definitely worth it. We filtered the water for our bladders in the evening and also had to do a quick filter in some of our lunch breaks before we attempted the short cuts. Its an amazing little gadget that I will definitely take with on more hiking trips. Its also so light and compact to carry.


I hiked the Fish River Canyon in May 2017. The river’s water level was a bit low, but we drank the water without filter, purification or anything else. No one got sick. The water was a bit murky, but otherwise fine. One just has to be selective about where water is collected … for example, avoid water near palm springs, and only collect moving water. For those with a sensitive constitution, I’d recommend water purification tablets, but generally speaking, the water in Fish River Canyon is fine … unless, of course, if the river is not running.


One of my hiking companions hikes the Fish River Canyon more than once a year, and has now done it more than 50-times already … he has never filtered or purified the water, so I’m relatively certain that the water is fine to drink without filtration or purification.