Boil water while camping is a necessity for many reasons and it is an essential skill to know when outdoors as bringing gallons of water is not always working. Thanks to many different ways, you can try the best method to boil water while outdoors that works well with your camping style.
The most common way to boil water while camping is using a kettle over a campfire which is working for almost all camping situations. But if you are quite a modern type of camper over a traditional kettle, you can go for a portable stove, electric, or even a car’s power supply.
Concerning your different needs, we bring you the best of 13 ways to boil water while camping. So use one of these to ensure your water is bacteria-free and safe to consume.
- Kettle over a campfire
- Electric kettle
- Jetboil stove system
- Internal flame kettle
- A trusty pot
- Biofuel Stove
- Electric pot
- Power from your car
- Charcoal grill
- Alcohol Stove
- Flameless ration heater
- Tin Can
- Use the Sun
Everybody is craving camping to live away from home closer to nature. But without being proactive on basics, you cannot make it totally desirable. Go through different ways to boil water and find their own pros and cons.
Kettle over a campfire
Using a kettle over a campfire is the most common and traditional method to boil water while outdoors. This is quite simple as you need only to make a fire to keep the kettle or pot over. It will take about only 4 or 5 minutes to boil a kettle about 1 liter over the fire. Only if you use larger kettles would it take more time.
Make sure you are not going with a larger option here as it will take more time to boil at the same time making it harder to pour with a lot of water inside.
A kettle can be used on a grill plate (cast iron grill plate) for stable placement or can hang over the campfire. And for high durability, make sure you go with a cast-iron kettle as ones with plastic handles could melt. Do not forget to take protective gloves to your campsite to avoid possible burns when handling.
This old-fashioned method to boil water is a nice experience for campers and quite easy to handle with minimum requirements. However, keeping your kettle or pot over the campfire could turn it black with coal dust. And always consider the minimal environmental impact when making a campfire.
An electric kettle is an ideal way to boil water if you have the access to an electric hookup where you are planning to camp. In public, state-owned campgrounds, electric kettles are very common and it will take only 2 or 3 minutes to boil water. You can find electric kettles in different sizes and they can be found at very affordable rates.
Today, you can find electric kettles with many advanced settings to keep water warm, heat up to various temperatures, and illumination. If you are thinking about fast boiling, ease of use, this comes top of all the options. Most of the kettles are coming with plastic handles for easier handling and protection in use. But this will only work where electric hookups are accessible and will not work in all camping situations.
Jetboil Stove System
If you are thinking about extremely fast ways to boil water while camping, a Jetboil stove system is recommended. Being versatile and compact, it is highly rated by backpackers.
Taking only about 100 seconds, it can boil your water making it ready to use. However, with extra features and support to camping cooking, temperature control this comes in a bit pricier tag especially compared with other methods. But if you are a regular camper, this will work the best, and no waste of investing in it.
It links up to a fuel source and takes a very strenuous heat area to boil water very fast and effectively. If boiling water is one of the top concerns when camping, it is worth buying a Jetboil stove system.
Are you interested in buying one?
Internal Flame Kettle
If you like to use kettles to boil water while camping but are not fond of traditional kettles, this internal flame kettle is a nice option to try. It holds a small flame inside the kettle making it faster and more efficient in its role. The estimated time for boiling here is 2 minutes which is very fast and makes boiling easy as expected.
For backpackers, this is a highly recommended method considering its lightweight and compact size. It does not require a fuel canister just like in the Jetboil stove system. So it is a high pro when it comes to its weight. Instead of fuel, you can use small twigs and dried leaves to make fire inside of the kettle.
If you are looking to travel light without carrying heavy fuel canisters, this is a good option for effective use. For those who are not on the side of traditional kettles, this is a different kind of kettle for faster boiling and for long time use.
A Trusty Pot
If you are thinking about an absolute basic way to boil water while camping, a pot over the campfire will work the best. This is slower compared to some other options in this roundup; but if you do not want an extra weight of a kettle or something like a Jetboil system to take in your pack, a trusty pot will make the deal.
This is a very cheap method you can try and absolutely easy to use. So find a good pot that has a pointed opening that makes it easier in pouring. And you can choose from various size options depending on your needs. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes to boil water and will not work for those who need quick boiling.
If you are kind of eco-conscious, Biofuel Stove is a well-designed option that works perfectly in woodland settings. Without troubles of carrying fuel, here you can make it boil water with twigs and other remains in the forest. It is completely environmentally friendly due to its biofuel and you do not have to worry about running out of fuel in the middle of camping.
This biofuel stove will work for many camping situations except alpine settings and is icy as it works with wood and forest debris. And compared to some other water boiling methods, this is slightly slower and less efficient. But if you have enough time, this will work the best.
However, if you are using this stove for the first time, it would be a bit challenging. So choose a popular model and follow up the right instruction to set up and use. Overall, this is a good option to try rather than carrying fuel.
If you have electricity at your campsite, you can use an electric pot to boil water just as using an electric kettle. The market is full of electric pots giving you thousands of options to choose from. And this is really good to boil water while camping where there is electricity that would only take about 3 to 5 minutes.
You can find different options under electric pots price ranging from $50 to $100 also carrying 1 to 1.5 liters of water. So for a good price, you can go for this option which will boil water in less than 5 minutes.
For committed backpacking campers, this is not a very fitting option to boil water. But if you are not restricted with space, weight or anything and more into relaxed camping, this will work with access to electricity in the campsite.
Power from your Car
Did you know you can use your car for boiling water? Yes, you can. Thanks to automobile auxiliary power outlets (at times stated as the cigarette lighter receptacle) you can use some of the electric options with connection to it to make boiling water possible while camping.
Car camping is almost one of the popular camping styles and this makes it more work. Look for the best items offered in the market to bring up the best connection to your vehicle and use it as a method to boil water. But too many boils could drain the battery and it is the biggest downside of this method. If you are interested in trying this, keep a backup option too once you have enough boils with power from your car.
The estimated time for a boil will depend on the electric option you are going to use with the car. However, certainly, it would not keep you waiting any longer. So make sure you try this in a shorter car camping journey for its best support.
A charcoal grill is another useful method you can try to boil water while camping. Even though this takes plenty of time, once the charcoal is hot, it will get speedier in its boiling process. You can find built-in charcoal grills in most of the national forests, state parks, and national parks including the popular Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon.
These grills can be different in size. So decide whether to use a kettle or pot depending on the size of the grills. Even it takes longer to heat up; charcoal can produce heat evenly and will last longer for your cooking needs.
If you are a relaxing type of camper, this is a perfect way to boil water and it takes more than 30 minutes to heat charcoal. Bring a kettle or pot in the right size to keep on the top for your water needs.
This Alcohol Stove is a popular option among backpackers being an ultralight option that runs with any alcohol fuel. At gas stations, you can easily find fuels like ethanol, methanol, and denatured alcohol.
These stoves are very much effective in boiling water with minimal fuel usage. So to boil 1 liter of water, will only take 5 to 10 minutes. And thanks to wide-ranging options out there in the market, you can find a good alcohol stove that fits your needs. And if you like your own style of an alcohol stove, you can try it out with a simple soda can.
One downside of this option is its lack of on/off valves. So it can be a fire danger if not used sensibly. And with certain local regulations, some land managers do not allow alcohol stoves. So check with this if you are going to take this type of stove to your campsite.
Flameless Ration Heater
This is a different method you can find as a way to boil water while camping but not an effective way. With these heater packs, you cannot hit the boiling point even if it gets hot enough. So this is good to boil water for different uses like making ready-to-eat (MREs) meals but not to purify water.
Make sure you proceed with good care and know when it is perfect to use. It certainly heats 203ºF and takes about 5 to 7 minutes to heat up.
This is a good option for emergencies or when you have no other way to boil water while camping. You can find a tin from food cans you have, a coffee tin or any suitable for this. And you can make a handle of your own to hang it over the fire. What you have to remember is it is not a very safe method to use regularly. With no proper and protective handle, it is not easy to pour water after boiling.
This Tin can method is only recommended in emergencies. You can go for this option easily as tin is what is found in your own trash. In one way, it is a good way to improve your survival skills when outdoors. But before you are making use of it, put your tin on fire to burn off bacteria if there is any. This will take 5 to 10 minutes, keeping you waiting no longer.
However, tin can is a method you should keep in your head as a supplementary method to boil water when camping. And when handling the heated tin can, use protective gloves.
Use the Sun
Sun can be a very useful source when you are outdoors. And here for boiling water, you can make use of the Sun’s RV rays effectively. You can boil water, keeping water directly under the sun, or can generate power to use through solar-powered kettles. In addition, a portable solar water heating bag is another easy and effective option to boil water while camping.
When using the sun we could not tell the exact time it could take. That depends on the external conditions of the camping environment. However, do not make this your only option when boiling water in your camping adventure. And as this takes more time, use this when you have enough time to spare.
Things you should know to boil water while camping?
Boiled water is fundamental to daily life and there is no exception when camping. If I say, boiled water is more essential when camping, you may agree as that is the best way you can purify water when outdoors. It is nothing complex when you are home; but when outdoors, it is a challenge and you should remember that you deal with natural sources.
Above, we made it easier by bringing the 13 best ways. And now, we bring the best tips and tricks you should respect to ensure your chosen method is perfect to go. Keep these facts in mind to go safe and avoid accidents.
Know the water source; know from where water comes
Rather than packing gallons of water in your camping trip, using a natural source is effective. So first you should know where water comes from.
Boiling water will make it ready to drink, killing all bacteria. But it will not remove toxic chemicals. With that, you should choose a water source that you can trust wholly. Or you can use a specific water filter to get rid of toxic chemicals if any are included.
Do not use stagnant water
When you are out camping, stagnant water is not a working idea. Therefore, find a water source that is flowing as fast as possible to ensure hygiene.
Filtering water before boiling
Boiling is not only enough if you are taking water from a stream that may contain mud and sediment. So pack a portable filter to make sure your water is clean and dirt-free. Then you can boil for further purification to ensure water is bacteria-free and drinkable. If you do not want to pack extra stuff like a filter, you can use a clean cloth to filter water before boiling.
Make sure water is rolling boil
You should boil water while camping to make sure it is free of bacteria or pathogens. So you should keep it boiling as long as possible. Regardless of your hurry, bring water to a rolling boil at least for a complete minute.
Boil longer when you are at a higher elevation
If you are a type of camper/ hiker in higher elevations, you should remember to bring water to a rolling boil longer than other camping days. When at a higher elevation, try at least 3 minutes at a rolling boil to ensure water is safe to drink.
Safety first when boiling water near the tent
A kettle over a campfire to boil water while camping is very common among campers. But here you need to take a safe distance from your tent and other tents with the unpredictable wind. This is important for your own safety and also to leave no chance for wildfires.
Have your first aid kit ready!
No matter where you camp and how long, you should have a proper first aid kit ready. Even it seems quite simple when it comes to boiling water; it makes you deal with boiled water and hot objects. So you are exposed to burns and accidents where you should have your first aid kit ready. Pack a burn cream, dressings, and all necessities.
What is the best way to boil water while camping?
There are different ways you can try to boil water while camping and every method come with its own pros and cons. However, the best way to boil water will come subject to your state and of all the tools you have. And with the conditions outside, you will find different support from each method. Especially if you are a fan of the traditional kettle over the fire, wind and rain are obstacles and need good care.
From many aspects, using a camping stove or something in the same category is effective if you are ready to hold some weight. And if you are going somewhere with access to electricity, you can go with a more luxurious option like an electric kettle that is safer and easier to handle too.
Looking for a stove to take in the next camping? Find the best camping stoves here
Depending on various things, you will find different working methods to boil water. However, the last decision should make you comfortable in handling, efficiency, compactness also with value to its price. So think about a good option that can withstand many conditions and will help in making use for a longer time.
The right access to boil water is essential when camping; have happy times outdoors!