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Sawyer Products: Bringing Clean Water to People Around the Globe

Many of us have heard of the importance of staying hydrated, even in the winter while on our snowshoes. To some, staying hydrated may seem obvious and a need that is easy to fill. We can take for granted the gift of clean, nourishing H2O. But for over 785 million people around the world, that is not the case, and access to basic water services is difficult to come by. One outdoor brand has been working tirelessly over the last decade to turn the tides and ensure that clean water is available to millions around the globe.

You may be familiar with Sawyer Products and some of their flagship outdoor accessories for safe adventuring: water filters, insect repellent, first aid, sunscreen. Their sunscreen, in particular, is essential for us snowshoers as we head out into the winter sun (yes, they can go together). But, what you may not have known about this outdoor company is that they’ve been working with international programs for over 12 years with a commitment to using their products to save lives.

The Start of Sawyer International

Sawyer began the journey on water filtration technology in 2001 (though their insect repellent and sunscreen products have been around since the 1980s). Then, just seven years later, in 2008, looking to expand their mission to help the community, pilot programs of their sustainable impact projects and their initiative for Sawyer International began, leading to their first charity partnership in Fiji that same year.

As Travis Avery, Sales and Marketing Director at Sawyer Products, says, “We dabbled in the beginning with how to do the implementation ourselves. But a company who makes filters is not always the best charity. Also, what works well in one county does not work well in another. There are different strategies needed for each country.”

For example, in Papua New Guinea, one family can share their water filter with three other families. But in some countries, each family may need their own filter because they don’t have that communal culture. “The skills, knowledge, and abilities of these various charities are capable of taking these filters even further than we ever could ourselves,” says Avery.

Interested in learning more? Read the complete article on Sawyer Products and their international efforts, written by Susan Wowk here.


May 9, 2022

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Snowshoe Magazine

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While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

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The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team