Hot coffee or tea may be the best way to energize you when you are traveling all day in the happy moment of your camping. But if you want to make coffee or tea, you will need boiling water first. Apart from this, for other needs such as drinking water, cooking, etc., water has to be boiled. You can re-hydrate your already made freeze-dried meals with hot boiling water to make your cooking easier during camping.
There are various ways to boil water during camping but it will depend on the type of camping and the number of members traveling, experience, etc.
Let’s find out how you can boil water in your camping:
Portable Camping stove
Camping stoves are much more effective for heating or boiling water because they can be set instantly and the temperature can be set to your liking. A camping stove is a good solution if you can set up base camp instead of hiking or backpacking because it is relatively large and heavy.
A camping stove is usually perfect for family camping or group camping. If you use the Coleman Dual Burner Camp Stove, you can cook and boil water at the same time. Also, if you want to increase your camping duration, you don’t have to worry about boiling as it has a large fuel tank. You can set up a 20lb fuel tank by hooking up an extra hose.
Jetboil Cook System
Considering the convenience of hiking or backpacking, the FluxRing technology for faster cooking and the lightweight Jetboil Cook System are now very popular. It uses Liquefied Petroleum Gas as fuel which consumes about half as much fuel as the traditional system. This cooking system of compact design has compatibility with a hanging kit, pot support, coffee press, skillet, etc. So, by setting its stove portion with a fuel canister, you can enjoy all kinds of cooking facilities instantly.
If you have several camping partners or family, that means you have to boil a lot of water together. So if you have a generator or electricity, you can use a bucket heater to boil water. A good quality 1000 watt, 120-volt power Bucket heater is capable of boiling about 5-gallon water in 10 to 15 minutes at a temperature of about 150 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A good quality Bucket heater also has Thermostat and Auto Shut off system so that you can ensure water at a certain temperature.
Moreover, a good quality Bucket heater is UL-Listed and has a power indicator light, heavy-duty Stainless-steel Guard, etc.
This method is the most ancient, laborious, and time-consuming. If you are a single hiker or backpacker then this method will not be useful for you at all. This can be somewhat effective if you are on a tight budget and camping at a specific location with a group of people for camping purposes. This method is suitable for a pro camper because a campfire is difficult and time consuming to control.
For those who are fans of cowboy coffee, this laborious method can be an exception. If you want to boil water on an open fire, try to use a cast iron camping tripod.
Internal Flame Kettle (Ghillie or Kelly kettle)
Ghillie or Kelly kettle is perfect for camping minimalists or backpackers who like lightweight tours. This type of kettle does not require the use of electricity, gas, or oil, so it is an eco-friendly option. You can use dead organic materials such as grass, leaves, and twigs as a natural fuel. Another great advantage is that it can be used in any weather such as windy or rainy conditions.
The heat of the fire can be applied in a separate chamber from both the bottom and the top of the kettle, so the water can be boiled very quickly. It has a rubber stopper that is used to retain heat. It also has a pouring spout so that water can be poured directly into a cup or mug. The fire heat flows upwards so that any other food can be heated while the water is boiling. Above all, it is a cost-effective method for making tea, coffee, or boiling water, but you have to work a little harder.
MSR Pocket Rocket
It’s a lot like a Jetboil but a bit smaller in size, perfect for long-distance hikers or backpackers. 1 liter of water can be heated in about 3.5 minutes because it uses WindClip wind protection and a focused burner system. It uses high-quality Liquefied Petroleum Gas and is very easy to set up. Unlike Jetboil, it does not have a match igniter so you will need lighter or dry matches to use it.
12V Car Kettle
If you go car camping, you can use your car’s cigarette lighter socket to boil water or make coffee with a 12V Car Kettle. You can also use it to make instant noodles, soup, baby milk, or other hot water based meals. It’s perfect for making 2 to 3 cups of coffee in about 15 minutes. Good quality 12V Car Kettle has features like digital temperature display, stainless steel, food-grade silicone, vacuum insulation cup, thick film heating technology, etc. So if you have a 12V Car Kettle with you, it will be a lifesaver on a road trip.
Follow these steps to boil water over a campfire:
Safety Considerations When Boiling Water over an open fire:
- When you are at home you can follow many tools or methods to purify the water but it is different when it comes to camping. If you have a portable camping water purifier machine, you can also drink pure water while traveling. But not everyone has this type of option so water can be boiled as an alternative.
- Always try to give priority to a fast-flowing source when collecting water during camping as it is relatively clean.
- There may be sediment and dirt in the water in the camping area. So, it must be filtered with a sieve or clean cloth before storage.
- A safe distance from the camping tent should be maintained while boiling water in an open fire.
- Boiling water in an open fire during camping can cause the fire to get out of control due to sudden random winds so necessary arrangements need to confirm in advance.
- While cooking in the campfire, unintentional minor accidents can happen. So, keep first aid kits to give first aid treatment if needed.
- The water used for drinking water should be boiled well in all conditions.
Does boiling water purify it camping?
One of the reasons for boiling water is to protect the water from bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. When you collect water at camping, always try to collect water from good natural sources. It is better to collect natural spring water as the best source as it is dynamic so there is no chance of excess dirt in the water. There is no guarantee that you will always get good quality water at camping, so if the water is rolling boiled for at least one minute, the water is more likely to be pure.
How do you purify dirty lake water?
If you ever discover clean water from a natural source while camping in backcountry and wilderness areas, don’t drink it without purifying it. You can follow the following steps to purify the water of dirty lake:
- Sanitize your hands and water container first. Prefer moving water or higher elevations to collect water. Always try to collect water near the surface level.
- Now use at least 1 Micron Carbon Sediment Filter Cartridge to filter the collected water. The more good filters you use, the more it will be possible to remove cryptosporidium and giardia from the water.
- In the final step, disinfect the filtered water and boil the water for a few minutes to kill viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Purify the lake water by ensuring sufficient contact time with the water with a Portable battery-operated UV purifier to disinfect the water in the final way when the boiled water is cold.
David is a passionate traveler who completed his MSc in Travel Industry Management from University of Hawai’i.