Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System and Mack’s Ear Care Products

As most of you know, I am sometimes sent outdoor health equipment and supplies to evaluate. I’ve recently received a few items worthy of mention.

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration SystemFirst, there is the Sawyer Products ‘Squeeze’ Water Filtration System. Advertised to be able to endure filtering 1 million gallons of water for the purpose of water disinfection/purification, this 0.1 micron filter is rated to be able to remove sediment, bacteria, protozoa, and cysts from water. It uses an in-line series of a bag (to contain the unfiltered water: 3 bags are supplied in sizes of one each at 32 ounces, 16 ounces, and 12 ounces) connected to a filter that simply screws onto a fitting at one end of the bag. The water is then squeezed through the hollow fiber-containing filter and exits the system through a discharge port similar to the pop-up closure top found on many water bottles, such as those used by cyclists.

It is easy to use, extremely lightweight, and convenient to pack and carry. The kit comes with a 60 milliliter syringe to be used to backwash (clean) the filter should it become less efficient, because it is becoming clogged with whatever has been removed from the water by the unit. You can learn more about this product and others from Sawyer Products at

Next, there is a multitude of earplugs, ear care aids, and other products that are sold under the brand name “Mack’s.” If you go to the website, you will be introduced to such items as Ear Seals Shooters Earplugs (noise reduction rating [NRR] of 27 decibels [db], which is a measurement of how well a hearing protector reduces noise as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency), Shooters Earplugs wallet roll-ups (NRR 21 db), Shooters Earplugs moldable silicone putty (NRR 22 db), Shooters Earplugs soft foam ultra (NRR 32 db), High Fidelity Hear Plugs (NRR 12 db), earammo soft foam earplugs (NRR 30 db), ProRinse Earwax Removal Kit, Dry-n-Clear Ear Drying Aid, and others.

Mack's Ear Seals Earplugs for Swimming & Noise Reduction Mack's Ear Seals Earplugs for Swimming & Noise ReductionI tested a variety of the earplugs and found them very comfortable and effective. They certainly were helpful at a recent live concert when Tom Morello cranked up the volume and shouted out “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine.” I also used the Ear Drying Aid liquid after swimming, and it worked as advertised. 

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.