Cool Water – You Can Lead a Cyclist to Water!

Free Clean Drinking Water.

We all need it on a daily basis and if we don’t get any then we’ll die scary thought but it’s true. If a human doesn’t drink water for 3 days then there is a serious risk of death and to continue without water any longer, then humans die. When we do activities like cycling we need to keep hydrated and will no doubt drink more than we usually do but I had a few problems.

One problem was finding a clean drinkable water source. Sometimes I’ll be miles from anywhere and would have to find drinking water. There would be no shops around for miles and even if there was, bottled water is expensive, let alone bad for the environment. If at all possible I try and find what I determine as a sensible source of water. If I’m in a town or village I sometimes will ask a local if they can refill my water containers. I have several times in France knocked on the door of a little terrace house at the edge of a village and when the owner appears. I look sheepish and show them my empty containers. I’ve never been refused and I’ve always received water even though I can’t speak French.

Occasionally I’ll revert to my selection of other options, parks, churches, cemeteries all of which tend to have an outside tap. I’ve entered bars and walk straight into the restroom filled my bottles and left. Although I’m partial to a coffee and sticky bun and if I call into a cafe I always leave with free drinking water. Passing motorists have also been a very good source of water, as the inhabitants of the vehicle ask where I’m heading. Some have offered me a lift to the next town which as yet I have declined. I do however always thank them for stopping and instead of saying I don’t require a lift, I ask if they have any water.

I carry a utility key and a British waterways key both these allow me to access water in a large variety of places. One of these keys also gives me access to toilets and laundry services, the other has been know to give me access to a plug socket close to my wild campsite. These 2 keys are extremely useful on a cycle tour.

There are times though that I’m in the wilderness or countryside and don’t have access to any of the above. I pass many streams, rivers, fountains, lakes and other natural water sources and I use them all. I have the confidence to use these sources of water because I carry a Sawyer Mini water filtration system.

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The Sawyer Mini water filtration system has been the best value for money item I have ever carried. If I was to add up the cost of buying water on my cycling tours, well I probably wouldn’t be on a cycle tour. This pocket size device filters 99.9% of everything I’m ever going to be worried about. It allows me to keep my water containers topped up as well as allowing me to drink direct from a natural water source. The Sawyer Mini has a screw fitting which just so happens to fit on a standard retail drinks bottle. I could buy a bottle of water and then refill that bottle time and time again from a stream or pond.

In Europe there are places where the tap water is not guaranteed to be drinkable so I use the Sawyer Mini to filter water from the taps. In Cape Verde I saved hundreds of pounds by filtering my own water, as drinking water is only available from shops. The tap water is not to be drunk directly, some apartments have filters fitted to the taps. Whilst others, the water is just for showering and washing. As I worked away from my apartment everyday, I was able to filter water to take with me. This saved me buying expensive water in plastic bottles. Cape Verde also had power and water outages, they both came hand in hand because if there was no electricity then there was no water. I was able to filter 20 liters in advance and store it, so when the power went off, which was often, I was prepared.

So the one item I always take on a cycle tour is my Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System.

Our lightest and most versatile personal water filtration system, the Sawyer MINI weighs just 65grams, fits in the palm of your hand, and provides 0.1 micron absolute filtration — removing 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli, and removing 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium).

Attach the easy-to-use MINI to the included drinking pouch, use the included straw to drink directly from a water source, connect it to hydration pack tubing, or screw it onto standard disposable water and soda bottles.

Rated up to 100,000 filtered gallons of water, the award-winning MINI is perfect for everything from camping with the kids to traveling abroad where tap and bottle water cannot be trusted to kitting out your emergency go bag.


Great for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and international travel, and emergency preparedness, the Sawyer MINI gives you a number of ways to access clean water.

Simply fill up the included reusable pouch at any water source, screw the filter onto the pouch, and drink directly from the filter or squeeze water into a water bottle.

You can also drink directly from water sources with the included straw. For even more versatility, screw the filter onto most standard disposable water or soda bottles, or attach it inline on hydration packs (sold separately).


In addition to the added versatility of being able to be used on any standard 28 mm threaded bottle or pouch, the Sawyer MINI filter provides higher levels of water filtration while also outlasting other personal filters on the market.

All of our filters are air tested three times before leaving our production facility to ensure that no pathogens can slip through our filter fibers, a claim that no other water filtration company can make.

With a total field weight of only 65GRAMS, the compact MINI rolls up into its included collapsible mylar pouch to take up minimal space in your pack and won’t weigh you down.

0.1 Micron Absolute Filtration

Our water filters contain a high number of tiny ‘U’ shaped hollow fiber micro-tubes that trap contaminants while allowing decontaminated water to freely pass through at a high flow rate — eliminating the need to store water and reducing the possibility of water contamination after the filtration process.

The Sawyer MINI is certified for 0.1 micron filtration, meaning there is no pore size larger than 0.1 micron in size. This makes it impossible for harmful bacteria (like salmonella or leptospirosis), protozoa, or cysts like E. coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholerae, and Salmonella typhi to pass through the filter.

All Sawyer water filters meet or exceed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended removal rates.

100,000 GALLONS

Rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons, the MINI’s filtering membranes are sturdy enough to withstand backwashing using the included syringe, restoring up to 98.5% of the filter’s flow rate.

The MINI can be cleaned and reused almost indefinitely with no expensive cartridges to replace… ever. We recommend backwashing and sanitizing the filter after every outing for optimized use.

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