The Quiet Survivalist Review of the MSR Miniworks EX water filter
This is an answer to a long asked question. Why do I use a specific filter in my field bags?
I settled on, or decided with research the MSR MiniWorks was the right filter for me in my part of Az. It has everything to do with my other gear and how this filter works with it.
Why does that matter? It’s just a filter, right?
Well in a word , No.
I have a military background, and have over the years collected a significant amount of gear which I use to one degree or another. What I have learned among other things is gear has to be compatible with the rest of the equipment you carry or its just added weight.
This is where this filter has become a favorite with the group I run with. We all stopped using military canteens many years ago. For 1 big reason. We don’t have the military supporting us any longer with water jugs or blivets dropped to us, so we need bottles that fill fast, last well to hard use and are fairly economical. This has become the Nalgene line of bottles. Colors are obvious and you decide what you like. The thing drawing us all to this, over any other method of carrying water, is the MSR MiniWorks threads directly to the bottle to fill it. Also it threads to my favorite Nalgene Canteen
Imagine, its dark. Close your eyes if you have too, its not a graded exam.
Try holding a canteen and filter, lined up so the water goes in, while pumping the filter and keeping the hose in the water. Its not going to go well. I’ve been there, trust me.
With the MSR, screw the filter to the Nalgene bottle and pump away. Keep the hose in your water source and unclogged , you are in business.
No fooling around , no spilling. Just unscrew, and screw an empty back on. It’s fast and very efficient
The fine print.
You have to clean the filter every so often, if the water you are working with is clear you rarely do, but if its dirty, cleaning makes it work much faster.
Important safety tip here- the filter is extremely fragile when its outside the filter housing. If you drop it, its broken, so if this is the only option for clean water you are in trouble. Not a huge deal if you are careful.
It never hurts to be prepared with these extras, and if you are in a group you can have others buy filter elements and spread the cost around.
Life is also much easier if your keep dirt and suspended solids out of the hose intake. I’ve seen things from coffee filters to cloth, I like a nylon stocking bought at the dollar store. That and a rubber band, take the stocking off when its clogged and rinse. Easy fix to a complex issue.
Yes its a filter, not a purifier. It does not filter viruses. In North America water borne viruses are usually immunized against in adults. If you haven’t had your shots, get them, its worth it to not get Hep A.
I really like the MSR Mini Works EX filter. I have been carrying one and using it in the bush for over a year now, and the predecessor for 10 years before that. Ive never gotten sick, and I’ve filtered some nasty water.
I recommend this filter for you or a small group for wilderness use.
This has been the Quiet Survivalists Review of the MSR Miniworks EX water filter.