13 Ways to Boil Water While Camping

If you’re a camping enthusiast or have simply decided to spend the weekend in nature, one of the most important things you’ll want to know is how to boil water while camping. Even though it’s a basic task, it’s also one of the essential ones, and there are many ways to do it. However, it all depends on what type of equipment did you bring with you. In this article, we’ll cover all the methods that you can use to boil up your water. So, let’s start!

How to Boil Water While Camping? Depending on whether or not you have electricity, we recommend using an electric kettle or pot, Jetboil, or power from your car. Other solutions are using the campfire and a regular kettle, tin can, or pot. Last solutions are an internal flame kettle or a propane stove.

Boiling water in nature is very important if you want to ensure that you’re drinking healthy, bacteria-free water. The thirteen methods mentioned below will help you do this whether you have the best equipment out there or no equipment at all.

13 Effective Ways to Boil Water When Camping

Depending on the tools that you have with you, there are a lot of ways to boil water during camping. Some of these methods will require electricity, but we’ve also included effective methods even with tools you could find outdoors. Read on to find out the best methods to boil water outdoors.

1. Kettle Over a Campfire

Approximate time: Around 5 minutes for 0.26 gallons (1 liter)

Boiling water by using a kettle over a campfire is one of the most common and easiest ways to boil water. If you’ve come prepared and brought a kettle, your water will be drinkable in just 5 minutes. However, this depends on the kettle’s size, but keep in mind that a kettle filled with 0.26 gallons (1 liter) of water will need around 5 minutes to kill all bacteria in the water.

Even though there are kettles that can hold more than 0.26 gallons (1 liter) of water, pouring from the kettle might be difficult and even dangerous since the water will be boiling. Furthermore, it would be best to have a grill plate to place the kettle on, preferably a cast iron one.

It will ensure durability and stability. The kettle is probably the best method since it is very practical and makes it easier to boil. Lastly, make sure that you’re wearing some type of protection for your hand to avoid getting burned. The best option is a protective glove like the one you would use for cooking.

2. Electric Kettle

Approximate time: Under 3 minutes

Electric kettles are the best option for everyone who can access electricity while camping. Not only do they allow you to boil water, they can also be used to maintain the temperature of any liquid, meaning that the tea you boiled a few hours ago can still be hot.

What’s more, electric kettles boil water even quicker than the regular ones, and they only 3 minutes to make the water drinkable.

The downside to this method is quite obvious: the electric kettle is useless without electricity. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re staying at a public campsite which usually offers this commodity.

3. Alcohol Stove

Approximate Time: Between 6 to 8 minutes

An alcohol stove is one of the best options for those who want a more eco-friendly solution. The alcohol stove runs on either ethanol or methanol and is fairly easy to use. One thing to keep in mind is that the only way to extinguish the flame is to put the lid on top. So be careful when using it.

The alcohol stove needs around 6-8 minutes to boil the water. Depending on the size of the stove, it can heat anything from 250 mL to 1 liter. Therefore, consider this option if you are one of those people who often go camping.

4. Propane Stove

Approximate Time: 2 minutes

A propane cook stove is an effective and simple option for boiling water outdoors. The great thing about these cooking stoves is that propane cannot be frozen, meaning that it is great for camping trips where temperatures are below zero.

Also, unlike a campfire, it doesn’t require any wood and doesn’t take time to heat up. Immediately after you’ve started up the stove, you can place the kettle on top of the stove, and the water will be boiled in just a few minutes.

If you are going for a 3 day camping trip, be sure to read What Food Should I Bring for 3 Days Camping.

5. Internal Flame Kettle

Approximate Time: 3 minutes

Internal flame kettles are recommended for those who go camping with their backpacks because they are easy to use and, most importantly, it’s lightweight. The main difference between a regular kettle and this one is that water boils faster because the kettle has a flame inside. Due to this, the time required to boil the water is reduced by roughly 3 minutes.

Related Article: How to Attach a Sleeping Bag to a Backpack?

6. A Trusty Pot

Approximate Time: Between 5 – 10 minutes

Even though it’s not the lightest item to carry when going camping, if you have a pot with you, you’ll be able to boil water. Just like with the kettle, simply place it over the campfire and be careful not to get burnt when handling it. The pot is still quite helpful and easy to use despite not being the best way to boil water compared to other methods.

One thing to remember is that pouring out of a regular pot might prove difficult, so be sure to bring one that has a pointed opening. Therefore, this method is recommended if you don’t have money for more expensive tools from this list.

7. Jetboil Stove system

Approximate time: Around 1.5 minutes

A Jetboil stove is made precisely for boiling water during a camping trip. Also, if you opt for one of the more expensive models, you’ll be able to utilize some other functions that will make cooking much easier.

Jetboil stoves work using fuel and heat the stove at desirable temperatures. The cooking system from Jetboil guarantees that you’ll be able to boil your water in a minute and a half. Even though it is fairly expensive, if you’re someone who enjoys outdoor activity, it’s a great investment that will make your camping trips all the more enjoyable.

8. Electric pot

Approximate Time: Around 3-5 minutes

Using an electric pot will be a more appealing solution to those who tend to camp in public camping spots or RVs. Just like any electric kettle, an electric pot also requires electricity. Unlike regular pots, these devices boil water in just under 5 minutes.

Keep in mind that most electric pots can hold up to 1.5 liters of water. If you opt for one of these, know that it will cost you around $90.

9. Hot Water Propane Heater

Approximate Time: Depends on the model.

A hot water propane heater is a more advanced version of the propane above the heater. This device can be used both for drinking water and for showering. If you were to ignore its weight, which is usually around 6 kilos (about 13 lbs), the large propane heater could be one of the best options. It heats water on demand, meaning you’ll have access to drinkable water at all times.

10. Electricity From The Car

Approximate Time: Around 5 to 10 minutes

Nowadays, many people go on a camping trip with a car. You can boil water anytime and anywhere by connecting any electrical appliance to your car’s outlet, also known as the cigarette lighter outlet.

The downside is that your car battery will most definitely drain if you use it for several hours, and the only way to charge it is to drive around. Which isn’t the ideal way to spend your camping trip.

Related article: How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes? 12 Best Ways

11. Charcoal Grill

Approximate Time: More than 30 minutes.

A built-in grill can be found in most public camping areas, and you can use them for boiling up your water. The only downside is that the charcoal grill will take some time to heat up.

However, if you’re enjoying nature and aren’t in any hurry, using a charcoal grill could provide that extra step to the perfect camping experience. Of course, you will need a pot or a kettle to boil water on a charcoal grill.

12. Flameless Ration Heater

Approximate Time: Between 5 to 10 minutes

Even though it isn’t primarily made to boil water, it could still be used for that purpose. The only issue is that ration heaters usually do not produce the required heat to reach the water’s boiling point.

Unfortunately, this means it won’t be able to purify your water. However, it will be able to heat it up to a certain point. After this, you could continue heating the water with another device or appliance.

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13. Tin Can

Approximate Time: Around 6 minutes

Tin Can is the last method we recommend to help you boil up your water. To properly boil water in the tin can, you should place the can over the fire to make sure that all bacteria from the can disappear, after which you can add water and repeat the process.

Be careful when handling the can since it has no protective handle, and getting it out of the fire can be tricky. Still, this method works, and hardcore campers might also opt for it.

For those who want to purify water during camping, be sure to read How to Purify River Water For Drinking (5 Methods).

What Is The Best Way To Boil Water While Camping?

It is hard to say which method works best since it all depends on what you have at your disposal. Some methods work better and quicker, but almost all will get the job done. Still, the recommended option is using a camping or canister stove, but as we’ve mentioned, it depends on what you bring with you at the camping. Also, some hardcore campers might use a more difficult method just for fun.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of methods to boil water while camping, and we have covered most of them in this article. Some require high-end equipment, whereas others only need a campfire and a pot. The choice is up to you. But be prepared for all kinds of events and always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. Carrying a regular kettle in the back of the camping backpack is always a good option.

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