Saturday, 19 May 2012

Denim Millbank Bag

There has been quite a bit of talk recently on some of the forums about Millbank Bags, for those who have no idea what a Millbank Bag is, the below is copied directly from Wikipedia 

"A Millbank bag is a portable water filtration device made of tightly woven canvas made for use out of doors. They are light, compact and easy but slow to use.The bag is filled with water, which filters through the canvas by gravity. It is useful for removing sediment and organic matter but the water will require further sterilisation before being drunk"

The big problem with Millbank Bags these days is the cost, i bought one ages ago and paid less than £10.00 for it and it came with a bottle of Iodine as well, these days, well they go for over £20.00 on places like Ebay on what seems like a daily basis.

Issue Millbank Bag
The truth of it is this, you can get a Millbank bag for nothing, if, you are willing to put in ten minutes of time to make it, all you are going to need is an old pair of Jeans and a sewing machine, to make the bag, cut off a leg from the Jeans and turn it inside out, mark out a diagonal and cut along it, then sew up the diagonal, i did four lines of stitching on mine for strength and also used Polyester thread so it doesn't rot, then turn the leg the right way out and hey presto a Millbank Bag, from , well rubbish really, as you were probably going to throw the Jeans away anyway.  If you think about it when you cut the leg off, you can keep the hem on the bottom, punch a hole through the material just below this and add a paracord loop so you can hang the bag up from a branch or fence post.

This bag is not a one stop water filter, it will only remove particulate matter to a certain size, as indeed does the issue bag, and you will still need to boil the water to make it safe, and OK, it's not as light as the Issue Bag is, nor does it pack down as small, but the Jeans Bag does the same job and as the Ebay sellers continue to put their prices up and make a bigger profit margin each time,  why not save a few pennies and  make your own from an old pair of Jeans, and when you are done, dont throw the offcuts and oddments away, keep them and turn them into Charcloth and make some storage bags from the bigger pieces - can't get more Bushcrafty than that.


  1. Now that's a good idea. I had thought about getting one but thought the price was a bit steep for a choth bag! So, I have a pair of old jean waiting for the scissors any minutes now!

    1. It works a treat Joel, ive made one small mod to the bag since i initially made it and that was to make it about an inch narrower so it hangs slightly better