Going lighter is not just about lightening up the bigger items in my pack (or the pack itself), but also the small things. Of course the weight savings from the small items will not be as sexy, or as much fun to brag about, but in the end, it all adds up the same. So, now that I have lightened up (and down-sized) most of my bigger items, it was time to start looking at those little things…
And it was a good thing that I did! The little things have a tendency to be somewhat deceiving… And by this, what do I mean? Well, when I look at items that are listed as ounces (not by pounds because they don’t equal up to be a full pound), then it just seems so light already, why not add it? And to be honest, I found that the lighter they are the more deceiving they are…
This is a-ok for items that are necessities, but there are some (and possibly many) items in which there are still ways to lighten them up even more, but still have exactly what I need…
Case in point:
When I started carrying Aqua Mira drops rather than my Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter I was ecstatic that I just dropped 11 ounces (almost 3/4 of a pound!) in weight from my pack. In fact, I was so overwhelmed and proud that I didn’t realize that I didn’t even need to carry all 3 ounces of Aqua Mira since none of my hikes were long enough to require that much water purification. So, for nearly a year I carried the stock bottles of Aqua Mira around in my pack.
Don’t get me wrong, 3 ounces is not bad at all and is acceptable, not to mention that I thought to myself that with each use the overall weight was only getting lighter! But that still did not change the fact that I still did not need that much Aqua Mira on any given hike. During this time I had come across other hikers that repackaged the Aqua Mira in smaller dropper bottles, but at the time I was happy with the stock bottles.
Then I started counting ounces…
This is when I finally started to mod my gear rather than leave it stock. I began by cutting out cords and changing cord locks out for lighter more effective ones, and even simply leaving some items like stuff sacks behind. In the midst of all of this, I remembered those other hikers that repackaged items such as Aqua Mira…and this is about the time that Lawson Kline from Lawson Outdoor Equipment sent me 2 sets of his mini dropper bottles which he sells on his site! This was perfect timing for me to reduce the weight of my water purification method even more… ( like those “other hikers”… 🙂 ) The dropper bottle kits come with 4 different bottles: 3 ml, 6 ml, 10 ml and 15 ml. Here are the specs that Lawson list’s on his site:
-Capacity: 3mL, 6mL, 10mL and 15mL.
-Weight: 3mL 1.9grams, 6mL 3.6grams, 10mL 3.7grams, 15mL 6.7grams
-Drop Size: 3mL 42uL , 6mL 40uL, 10mL 40uL, 15mL 40uL
-Made In The USA
I was glad to have 2 sets of these bottles since each set consists of different sizes and like I said, I was looking forward to repackaging my Aqua Mira (preferably in 2 bottles the same size). And repackage them I did!
Before my next trip I decided to repackage the Aqua Mira in the smaller 3 ml bottles since it was only a day hike. To be honest I was a little weary of fitting too much inside the tiny 3 ml bottle, but I ended up getting 35 drops (enough for 5 liters of water at 7 drops per liter) in a single bottle before I decided that was more than enough for even this trip. And this was only half filled! Based on this, I estimate that I can get enough to purify 10 liters of water using the 3 ml bottles.
But the sweetest part of it all, the total weight of both bottles of repackaged Aqua Mira is a whopping 0.3 oz! And that is including the mixing cap from the stock bottles (I still need this to mix the 2 solutions in before adding the solution to the water). So, in the end, I went from a 14 oz water filter, to a 3 oz Aqua Mira solution to 0.3 oz repackaged AM. Of course this weight will fluctuate depending on the length of trip that I will be on, but I still know that I won’t go over 3 oz regardless!
So, in the end:
- this has been a SMART decision.
- this is obviously a LIGHT option.
- and these bottles can be had for CHEAP.