How To Boil Water Camping? 11+ Best And Effective Tips

How to boil water camping? – 11+ easy ways for heating water

Clean water is the first necessity when camping.

Saying the word “hike”, most people probably imagine tourists with big backpacks, forests, mountains, and certainly lakes and streams with incredibly clean, clear water.

Some just carry gallons of clean water with them in the car, but more hardcore outdoor enthusiasts need to know how to turn the water in a river or stream into a drinking source of clean water.

Bacteria can be in the water, so you have to boil it. This will make it easier to prepare meals and water will be safe to drink.

Luckily, we’re ready to introduce you to the ways on how to boil water camping, from traditional kettles, using a camping stove to using a car’s power energy.

Kettle over a campfire

The most typical way to boil water while on a camping trip is to simply hang a traditional kettle of water over the fire. Most camping kettles are no more than 1 liter in volume, which means it will take no more than 5 minutes to boil water this way.

Be careful not to take too large kettles, they will then be difficult to maneuver.

It’s an easy way to pour yourself a cup of coffee or brew oatmeal. Wear protective gloves to avoid burns.

Take an iron grate to put over the fire so that the kettle stands stably on something while it heats up.

Always go with a stainless steel or cast iron kettle. Avoid kettles with plastic handles and bits – they’ll melt right off from the heat.

Electric kettle

Many public camping areas have access to electric kettles. This method of boiling water will take no more than two or three minutes. Some electric kettles have the option to keep the temperature hot, which is very convenient in cold temperatures.

Jetboil stove system

How to use it

  1. The JetBoil camping stove cooking system is assembled quite simply and quickly, no third-party tool is required.
  2. First, you need to completely free the pot, then unfold the stand and place a cylinder on a camping stove, then remove the measuring cup from the base of the pot and securely fix the gas burner, at the end, it remains to screw the burner onto the cylinder.
  3. Before starting boiling water, add the required amount of water, close the translucent lid, open the gas supply with the regulator and press the piezo ignition.
  4. After the operation, we completely free and, if possible, wipe the kettle, and disassemble the camping stove in the reverse order.

Internal flame kettle

There are many kettles that include a small spot inside where you can start a flame.

Fire allows water to boil faster than in a traditional kettle.

The big advantage of these types of electric kettles is their size and weight. It eliminates the fuel canister that Jetboil system has, so it can easily be carried in a backpack.

A trusty pot

Another way to boil water while camping is simply to fill a pot with water and let it boil over a traditional campfire. It is slower than the options that include some technologies, but it’s still basic and reliable.

Great if you have a saw with you! In this case, you can easily cut branches for a fire. The most suitable for camping is a cordless saw. Therefore, our advice is to make sure to choose the best cheap chainsaw before you go hiking.

Electric pot

This option is similar to an electric kettle, there are many electric pots and there is a large selection of them on the market. They are popular among those campers who have access to electricity.

Most $50-$100 electric pots can hold 1-1.5 liters of water. Therefore, you can get hot water in five minutes.

If you are a hardcore backpacker this option is not for you, but if you prefer a more relaxed holiday with access to electricity this option will be convenient for you.

Power from your car energy outlet

Did you know any of the electric options on this list can be powered via your car’s auxiliary power outlet?

Car camping is very popular, so you can boil water in an electric kettle by plugging it into an outlet, sometimes called a cigarette lighter. Of course, if this method is abused, you can drain the battery of the car. You can use this method several times, but not more.

Charcoal grill

Many national parks have a built-in charcoal grill in their campsites. Depending on the size of these grills, you can boil water while camping in a kettle or pot.

Charcoal is great for cooking because it gives off heat evenly, but it takes a long time to heat up. But for those who relax admiring nature, time is usually not a problem.

Flameless ration heater

The heater can get pretty hot, all the way up to 203 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just below boiling point, so high heat is not reachable with bucket heaters. Therefore, it is unlikely that it will be possible to purify water in this way, but it will definitely heat up. So be careful if you take water from natural resources like a lake, river, or stream.

Tin can

It’s not a good option because there’s no protective handle to pick up the tin can after the water is done boiling. Additionally, there are probably bacteria and other germs in the tin can that won’t make it the most appealing.

Boiling water with stones

Boiling water with stones is one of the easiest methods to make your water hot if you do not have a kettle our any dish to warm it up in. The only thing that is required is some stones and some sort of a container. You can use anything you have to boil water. Think through what you have that can be used as a container. Even a plastic bag will do.

You can dig a hole in the ground, create that hole that makes it impossible to protect the water. It can be a polythene raincoat or something else. Fill the hole with water. Select some stones. Ideally a round pebble. Rinse the stones and heat on the fire. Use two sticks to place them in the water. One stone is in water and the other is in fire.

3-4 stones will do the thing for a small amount of water. You can even make dinner this way. If you used polyethylene, then do not allow the stone to heat up, touch it.

Life hack. How to heat water without dishes

You have water and fire, that is all that is needed. This way of heating water is extremely easy and can save you in hopeless situations. Going on a short hike, we do not take a pot or a kettle, because we do not seem to be going to drink tea or coffee there.

But sometimes being in nature is delayed, or the weather suddenly gets worse, or someone is unwell, in general, you have to make a halt. At a halt it is good to drink something hot, besides, it is sometimes necessary to warm up.

But here’s the problem, you have no dishes and nothing to boil water in. In fact, there is something, because you brought water in a bottle. Therefore, you can opt for boiling water in a plastic bottle.

We build a fire.

Carefully place the bottle in the middle of a smoldering fire.

Make a very small fire, from a few branches. This is enough for a couple of cups of heat water.

While boiling the water, open the bottle cap. It is better to unscrew the cap immediately, otherwise you will burn yourself trying to unscrew it.

Boil water for a couple of minutes

The bottle will not melt because the melting point of plastic is much higher than boiling point of water.

Being on fire with water inside, the plastic simply cannot heat up to the melting point. Water, in fact, cools it down to 100 degrees.

As long as the bottle is full of water, it will not melt and will serve as an excellent teapot.

In the same way, you can disinfect water if you have run out of drinking water, but have access to another source.

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It is better not to drink water directly from a river, lake or stream, you need to get rid of germs. Boil water for 5 minutes. Fill the bottle to the brim and place on embers. Do not put on open fire. Place in the middle of embers.

Follow the process, do not overexpose the bottle on fire, while boiling water. Oddly enough, the bottle will not melt in this way. You can use it multiple times. If you want to heat directly on the fire, then fill the bottle one third and hang it over the fire

Even before you go hiking, you need to very carefully work out the route of movement regarding water sources.

Studying maps on the Internet, reports of tourist groups that have already passed this route, mark for yourself all the information about springs, streams, snowfields, glaciers, lakes and rivers on the way, whether they dry up at the time when you intend to cross them, what is the quality of the water in them .

Where to store water?

Well, we competently prepared for the trip, correctly laid the route and provided ourselves with water. What is the best way to store and carry it? Let’s figure it out.

Purchased water bottles

The easiest and most budget option. Minimum costs – you just buy ordinary or mineral water and then use the container.

Such a seemingly win-win choice, however, has many drawbacks. Firstly, the cheap, disposable plastic of such bottles cannot withstand any serious mechanical stress. By the end of even a short week-long hike, your “flask” is usually a sad sight.

The process of drinking from such a crumpled container does not give any aesthetic pleasure. In addition, it is not very convenient to pack it in a backpack, without additional straps it is impossible to fasten it from the outside and it is practically impossible to wash it normally from the inside.


Traditionally, this is one of the best solutions for storing water on a hike or any trip. There are a large number of flasks of different types, but in general, by design, they can be reduced to three large groups.

Soft flasks

The concept of a soft flask dates back to the times of the deep antiquity of mankind. One of the first such products were containers made from animal skins, in which our distant ancestors stored water, milk and drinks. Currently, soft flasks are made from modern materials. As a rule, it is a special flexible plastic.

How to clean water besides boiling it

Hot stones

Hot stones can be an alternative to boiling. You need big boulders. They need to be heated in a fire for an hour and then placed in a container of water until completely cooled.


Sand can be one of the most affordable water filtration media. Make holes in the bottom of a plastic container or tin. Cover the opening with a clean cloth. Pour washed and calcined sand on the fire on it. The container should be positioned so that the water passing through the layers of fabric and sand gets into a clean container. It is better to filter water in small portions.


Every tourist has table salt in his backpack. It will help prepare the water for cooking. You should add one to two teaspoons of salt to 1 liter of water and let it stand for half an hour. After that, the water can be used to prepare dinner. Drinking it will not be very pleasant – the water will be too salty. But it won’t get infected.

Bark and leaves

You can purify water with the help of some plants. For example, oak, birch, or willow bark, as well as young branches of pine, spruce, or juniper, are ideal for this purpose. Approximately 150-200 grams of bark or branches should be mixed with 5-10 liters of water and boiled for 40 minutes.

A precipitate may appear, so clean water without impurities will need to be carefully drained. Alternatively, red rowan leaves can be used – 10-20 leaves should be added for every 2 liters of water and infused for two hours. The substances contained in these plants will remove pathogenic microorganisms from the water.

Wool thread

To create this simple filter, you will need two containers: one with water, and the other empty. One end of a woolen thread folded several times is lowered into a container with water, and the other into an empty container. Water will soak the thread and gradually flow from one vessel to another, getting rid of some of the harmful impurities.

Iodine or potassium permanganate

You can disinfect water by adding a few drops of iodine or a couple of potassium permanganate crystals to it. But you need to be careful with this method – a too-concentrated solution of potassium permanganate or iodine cannot be taken orally, because it threatens a chemical burn. But it is possible to wash the wound with such water.


How do you boil water when camping without a fire?

You can purchase a camp propane stove that works off of propane or some other options of fuel, or you can opt for an alcohol stove, you have a plethora of choices.

What is important about them is that they can help you boil water while camping. The solar heater will make a great option as well as it does not require fuel.

How do you boil water for wild camping?

The easiest method for boiling water at a campsite is using a camp stove. You can hike a lightweight backpacking stove or the Classic Coleman Stove with a wind guard.

No matter which type of stove you use, water will be boiled! If you have sunny weather, you can even use a solar heater or solar kettle. If you have power, you can also heat it with an electric kettle.

Is it safe to boil water when camping?

It is not only safe but also necessary if you want water that is clear of microbes. Boiled water is safer. Whether you choose camping stoves, an internal flame kettle, a bucket heater, etc. make sure that your water is safe to consume.

How long does it take to boil water to purify camping?

Steps for boiling water:
. Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes).
. Let the boiling water cool.
. Store the boiled water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.

What is the safest material to boil water?

Stainless steel is the safest option for heating water while camping, it needs a very high temperature to melt and it conducts heat very well. Such material is easy to clean and maintain, so this is the best option.


Boiling water on camping trips is not as difficult as it may seem. You can boil water while camping in numerous ways including camp stoves, a Jetboil stove system, an electric pot, a charcoal grill, a solar-powered kettle, etc. Whether you prefer RV camping or tent camping, we’ve gathered methods of boiling water for everyone!

We’ve answered how to boil water while camping and hope you will use our tips.

Enjoy your trips and leave your comments down below!


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