Disposable plastic syringes, fitted with screen discs and circles of filter paper, can be used to extract small amounts of pore water from unconsolidated sediments. A wooden screw frame or large C clamp supplies pressure for field use. Supplementary techniques enable small volumes of fluid to be recovered and handled easily. The Goldberg compensating refractometer provides a useful companion tool for field studies. It can determine, in less than a minute, total dissolved solids in brackish to salt waters to an accuracy of 0.5 parts per thousand on a drop of fluid.