At Forest Fundamentals, we have been long-term users of the old British forces Millbank bags. However, these bags are extremely hard to find now, and the ones we did manage to get our hands showed signs of years of use - they were full of stains and oil residue. So we thought, why not start to make our own!
Meet the Forest Fundamentals Millbank bag!
We have used the same proportions as the original British Forces bags. However, after some testing, we made a few design changes including:
• The bag is handmade using 12oz unbleached cotton canvas. Unbleached canvas is more natural, safer for us and the environment. For additional strength and durability, we have used V69 3ply Bonded Polyester Thread, the same thread used in high-quality tents and backpacks. Overlock double stitching has also been used on all of the seams for added strength and to avoid any raw edges. The overlock seams also provide another layer of filtering.
• Our Millbank Bag is larger than other bag designs, making it easier to purify larger amounts of water at once. Our instructions and logo have been printed on the bag with a waterproof, non-toxic dye so there is no chance of it washing off after use!
• We have replaced the cord with a 550 military-grade survival cord which includes strands of copper wire, fishing line, waxed jute, and parachute cord. The cord has a range of uses in the field including repairing shoelaces, fishing, snares, shelter building, etc.
• We've also included a 210D Nylon waterproof drawstring carrying bag and instructions cards. The carrying bag also doubles as a great tinder pouch! An online how-to guide is also available here.
Please be careful using original British Forces Millbank bags! Today, mostly all Millbank bags being sold are surplus - they have seen years of use, and were most likely used to filter oil and other nasty chemicals. It is better to play it safe, and buy a fresh one!
What is a Millbank Bag?
• A Millbank Bag is a water filtration device, designed to filter out all of the detritus from the water. These detritus include sand, mud, silt, or other suspended particulate matter.
• Removing all of the detritus before further sanitation is extremely important. Even if there are no waterborne diseases present, turbid water will irritate and cause damage to your digestive system. In addition, turbidity can reduce the effectiveness and lifespan of other water sanitation systems including the well-recognised Life Straw, for example.
• However, a Millbank bag will not filter out pathogenic organisms unless those organisms are attached to the detritus that is filtered. This is why additional forms of sanitation are required, including chemical or heat sterilisation. If your water source is already clear and has no detritus present then there is little advantage to using the Millbank bag. Although, few of us are lucky to find such water sources out in the wilderness!
How do you use a Millbank Bag?
• We have printed the instructions on one side of the bag. We also provide an insert with these instructions. For a full how-to guide with pictures, please check out our website.