February 21st, 2018
What happens when you find yourself separated from your primary gear or campsite and in need of water when enjoying the outdoors? Is there a convenient way to carry a basic kit of emergency items should you find yourself scouting an extended area away from your base camp? Is there a way to carry water on a tactical assault or daypack without sacrificing your pack load capacity with a three liter water bladder?
The Sigma 3 Water Kit offers a solution to address your water needs while experiencing the outdoors. It is versatile, modular, and addresses the basic needs for water carrying, procurement, and processing when in any environment or situation. This kit should be an essential item whether your are an avid outdoorsman, work in a large urban center, or live on a rural homestead. What are some basic characteristics of the Sigma 3 Water Kit?
The Sigma 3 Water Kit comes in a Fox Tactical™ Hydration Carrier Pouch. It is a tactical MOLLE padded pouch with a drain hole in the bottom. The pouch has three rows of PALS webbing. It comes with a detachable accessory pouch that also has MOLLE PALS webbing. The style of the water pouch is sometimes called a Nalgene® Bottle carrier.
The Carrying Pouch:
The carrying pouch for the kit is a tactical MOLLE Nalgene® water bottle carrier-type pouch sold by Fox Outdoor Products. It is 10 inches tall and 4.5 inches in width. The pouch itself weighs approximately 12 ounces. The pouch features a lid enclosure with a hook & loop closure flap on the top for Nalgene water bottle compatible drinking tubes. It is constructed from Condura® fabric.
The Water Bottle:
This kit comes with a Kleen Kanteen® 40 ounce, stainless steel, single-walled, wide mouth water bottle with a loop-cap. The bottle features the Sigma 3 Survival School logo. The water bottle is made of 18/8 stainless steel offering excellent corrosion resistance in a field environment. The wide-mouth feature of this bottle allows it to be used to collect and boil water, or prepare some type of sustenance such as teas or soups.
The Sigma 3 Water Kit comes with a box of Aquatabs® water treatment tablets containing 30 tablets. These water treatment tablets are 49mg containing 17% Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate as the active ingredient. They are effective in treating water-borne pathogens such as Giardia Cysts, bacteria, and viruses.
It also has a complete Sawyer® Mini water filtration kit in the accessory pouch. The filter is rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water. The water filter weighs 2 ounces. It provides 0.1 micron absolute filtration by removing 99% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli, and removing 99% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium). It also comes with a collapsible water pouch and straw to drink directly from a water source. The filter can connect to hydration pack tubing, or be screw onto standard plastic water bottles. It can be cleaned and reused by using the back wash syringe included in the kit.
The Sigma 3 Water Kit is a compact item with modular capabilities. Its capabilities allow for many options beside the items that come with the kit. The stainless steel water bottle will address many needs in the field. While the bottle maybe heavy when filled with water, it makes up for it due to the other functions that it brings to a field environment. The water treament tablets offer a back up option for treating contaminated water when boiling may not be practical. However, the tablets do have a shelf life and therefore the expration dates should be checked periodically. If there is a break in the seal of the tablets, the tablets may disntegrate in humid conditions. Thus, care should be taken to keep the tablets in a waterproof or water resistant bag. The addition of the Sawyer Mini water filter provides an excellent water treatment option beyond the stainless steel water bottle or the water treatment tablets. How does the Sigma 3 Water Kit peform in the field?
The water kit peforms well in the field. The cordura material on the water bottle and accessory pouches provides a high level of abrasion resistance allowing the kit to go anywhere and to be used under any conditions. The zippers on the pouches preformed well for general use and provide water resistance in a light rain. However, since the zippers are not water proof, they will allow water sepage with extended exposure to heavy rain or if submerged in water for a lengthy period of time. The water bottle worked flawlessly both as a water carrier and as a general use, waterproof container. The Aquatabs® were easy to handle under general conditions; however, due to their small size they can be awkward to use in cold weather when fingers may have limited feeling due to exposure to the cold or easily droped and lost in limited lighting. The Sawyer® Mini filter worked well in the field with minimal effort to employ its use or to clean. The over all performance of this kit was excellent.
The best employment for this water kit is during the following activities: day-hikes, multi-day backpacking, hunting, fishing, camping, prepping, or wilderness survival training. This kit also would be a nice consideration for vehicle or emergency disaster kits. Day-hikers can employ this kit as a carry-alone option with use of a carrying strap or attached to the pants belt. This will limit carrying a larger load. Hunters can use this kit attached to their hunting rig or placed in the fanny pack of their load bearing equipment. For multi-day backpackers, the Sigma 3 Water Kit can be carried inside of the pack if the intent is to use it as an emergency item only. Another option for multi-day backpackers is that it can be placed near on the top of the load of backpack under the main compartment flap for easy access. If hiking or backpacking with a backpack that has PALS webbing, the water kit can be easily attached to the outside of the pack for easy access on halts, rests, or setting up your bivouac area. This water kit would also be an excellent addition to one’s home or vehicle emergency kits, 72-hour Bug-Out Bag, Get-Home Bag, or INCH Bag.
Suggested Optional Considerations
Other water treatment options:
If you are not a fan of the water treatment tablet or the Sawyer® Mini filter there are other water treament options that one could use with this kit. Some of them are the following: The Aquamira® Frontier or Frontier Pro Water Filter Straw, liquid iodine, or liquid water treatment drops. However, carrying any liquid water treament option has its own set of problems such as leaking, spillage, cracked or broken bottles, freezing or becoming semi-solid in extreme cold weather.
Other water bottle options:
If one wants to reduce the overall weight of the kit, other water bottle options could be a consideration. Some of the other water bottle options that are compatible with this kit are the following: 1 liter Plastic Nalgene or Nalgene-type Bottle, 1 liter CamelBak Chute Bottle, or LifeStraw® Go Waterfilter Bottle.
Other additional options:
There is one additional option that could be a consideration for this kit without eliminating any of the standard items. This option would allow for a food preparation capability. The addition of the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Bottle 18 oz. Cup as a nesting cup with the stainless steel lid.
The Sigma 3 Water Kit is a wonderful option for the outdoorsman or the prepper. The versatility and durability of the kit make it compatible with any activity in any terrain and in any weather conditions. This kit can be used in the arid conditions of Death Valley, California or the cold and icy conditions of Mount Everest. It can be used in the combat environments of the Middle East or in the military training areas in the United States or Europe. It would be at-home on extended hunting trips to Alaska or Safari hunts in Africa. The Sigma 3 Water Kit will be a welcome addition to anyone’s gear regardless of occupation or activity.