11 Ways To Boil Water While Camping

Camping is one of the most freeing and wonderful experiences a person can go on. You can climb the highest cliffs and perch yourself down only to see over beautiful valleys and lakes or take a cozy little tour of a forest, with no city in sight. It is also a challenging and difficult experience that drains you of all energy. 

All the walking, setting up camp, finding food, finding water, building a fire, and on and on, there is no convenience with camping and while it is an amazing experience, it does wear on the body. One way people get around this fatigue is small routines they do at the beginning and end of the day while camping

For some, this is as simple as waking up, boiling the kettle, and having a nice cup of tea while sitting in the new sunlight at the start of the day. But this can also hit snags. Like, how do you boil water while camping? Do you have to bring the equipment, or can you do it with surrounding items? 

In this article, we will look at how you can boil water while camping and detail 11 ways in which this can be done. 

Ways To Boil Water

Ways To Boil Water

Metal Kettle On The Fire

Most people who try their hand at camping will bring a metal kettle along with them. These are round metal basins with a handle and a single opening at the snout.

These kettles are great, because they are durable, easy to fill, and have a lid on the snout that whistles when the water is done. 

These types of kettle are perfect for meal time preparation as they can hold up to 1 liter of water, and they only take about 5 minutes to boil.

The downside to these kettles is their inflexibility and size, as if you are camping for long periods or going on a multi-day trek, then they can be burdensome. They are not easy to fit inside backpacks and tend to clank as you walk. 

Camping Stove

If you don’t want to carry your kettle but still need to boil water, then you might consider bringing a camping stove. A camping stove is essentially just a burner with a pot attached to it.

They come in many shapes and sizes and are useful for heating up meals, cooking food, and even heating up water. Camping stoves are generally more portable than a kettle and easier to pack into a backpack. 

There are two main types of camping stoves: gas and liquid fuel. Gas stoves use propane cylinders and are very common in Europe and North America.

Liquid fuel stoves burn alcohol or diesel, and are used almost exclusively in Africa and South America. There are pros and cons for each type of stove, so read up on what type would work best for you before buying. 

A word of caution here, though, make sure to check the regulations where you plan to camp. Some countries require you to register your stove or buy a permit first. This is often required to ensure safety and prevent wildfires.

If you live somewhere like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the United States, then you are probably fine. For other places, make sure to research the rules first. 

Electric Kettle

If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any device that has an electrical outlet, then you can also use one of those to heat up water.

As long as you are near an outlet somewhere (namely the campsite) and don’t mind plugging into it, then you can charge devices while camping. You can either purchase a small solar panel or you can build one using parts from around the house. 

The advantage of using an electric kettle is that it provides almost immediate hot water without needing to wait that long for it to boil. It is also convenient as all you need to do is plug it in and turn it on. Disadvantages include the cost of buying a kettle and the fact that it requires electricity to operate.

This means that you can’t use it if you run out of power. Also, if you forget to switch off the power source, then you could end up electrocuted. So it is important to know how to safely shut down electronics.

Solar Still

The solar still uses sunlight to generate steam that boils water. This method isn’t widely used by modern day hikers due to its lack of convenience and portability.

However, this method does allow you to cook with water that is already boiling, which makes it ideal for someone wanting to eat food while hiking. The solar still consists of a large container that collects rainwater or damp air.

When there is enough sun, the water heats up and produces steam that rises through holes in the top of the container. Once the water reaches a certain temperature, it will start to bubble and produce vapor.

From there, the vapor condenses back into liquid form and flows back down into the container. By repeating this process several times, the water becomes heated and boiled. 

Advantages of using a solar still include that it works well in areas with little rainfall, as long as the air has enough moisture. Disadvantages include that it takes a lot of time to collect water and that it doesn’t produce much water at once.

To get a good amount of water, you’ll need to set it up for hours on end. Another disadvantage is that solar energy is only available during daylight hours.

A Metal Pot

This method involves heating up a metal pan over a fire. Metal pans are heavy and bulky, but they can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are useful because they are durable enough to go on hikes. Since they are made of metal, they won’t melt even if left unattended for a long period of time.

The downside to using a metal pot is that it is not portable, and it is difficult to move since it weighs too much. It is also hard to clean and maintain. It is recommended to keep it covered during cooking to avoid rusting.

An Electric Pot

Electric pots are easy to use and provide fast results. If you’re looking for something lightweight and quick, then an electric pot may be your best option. However, it’s important to note that they require a constant supply of electricity to work properly.

Electric pots have two main advantages: they are convenient and lightweight. A disadvantage is that they take a long time to reach a boil.

You should always pay close attention to safety when using an electric pot. Make sure that you disconnect the power cord before carrying the pot outside and that you remove the lid before filling it with water.

Be careful when handling the pot after turning off the power, as some people accidentally let their fingers touch the sides where the wires are connected.

Camp Stove

Camp stoves are useful for making pancakes or other such breakfast foods, and they often come with their own pot or pan.

Camp stoves come with different designs, sizes and features, depending on the brand. For example, some models have built-in grills so that you don’t have to worry about lighting the fire.

There are many types of camp stoves, including gas, charcoal, and propane. Gas camp stoves are reliable and versatile. Charcoal camp stoves are popular in rural areas because they are easier to use.

Propane camp stoves are the most expensive, but they have less hassle and burn cleaner than other kinds of camp stoves.

Disadvantages of using a camp stove include that they are quite loud, and they produce smoke. Using a camp stove requires a lot of preparation. You’ll need to gather wood first, find a suitable location to build a fire, and then build the fire.

After building the fire, you’ll need to wait until it’s fully lit. Once lit, you’ll need to check how hot the coals are every few minutes. If you want to stop burning the fuel, you’ll need to cover the fire with sand or dirt.

It’s not easy to extinguish a campfire, either. You’ll need a shovel or similar tool to dig out the embers from under the sand or soil.

Using The Electricity From Your Car

If you have access to an electrical socket, this is probably the easiest way to heat water without having to use any additional equipment, as you can plug an electric kettle or pot into your car without looking for a campsite outlet.

The advantage of this method is that it doesn’t involve anything else except a plug and a kettle. This makes it very simple to set up and operate.

However, there are disadvantages associated with this method. First, you will need to connect a wire from the socket to the battery terminals of your vehicle.

Second, it only works when you have a steady source of electricity, which means that you cannot rely on solar energy to meet all your needs and have to pray your battery has enough juice.

Third, you will not be able to cook food using this method as it is too unreliable and will only be good enough for boiling a small amount. So, not exactly the best method.

A Tin Or Metal Cup

A Tin Or Metal Cup

If you’re planning to stay at one place overnight, and you won’t need to travel far, you can also use a tin or metal cup to boil the water. While people may be wondering why should I use a tin, it is a metal container that can withstand heat, and they are easy to travel with. 

Advantages of this method include that you don’t need any additional equipment apart from a tin or metal cup. Also, it does not require any kind of power supply or connection to an electrical socket, so it would work well if you plan to camp in a remote area.

Disadvantages include that it might take several hours to fill up your container, as you may have to actively look for water, but if you brought some along with you, you should be fine.

Also, since it requires no external power supply, you will not be capable of cooking food using this method. And finally, it will not provide you with sufficient heat to make a full meal, so you may have to do some improvisation to ensure that you get through the night.

A Plastic Bottle

A bit more surprising than a tin is the plastic bottle. This choice is probably confusing a lot of people, but hear us out. Even though plastic will burn and melt when exposed to heat on its own, this doesn’t happen with water inside it.

It may bend slightly, but the water prevents the bottle from getting too hot, so it can’t melt until the water has completely evaporated. 

This is true for almost anything you place water in, as long as it is still inside the container, the container won’t break. This method has a lot of advantages, as plastic bottles are light, cheap, easy to carry around, and probably have been thrown away near your campsite.

The one disadvantage of this method is that once you use that bottle to cook, it is done, it cannot function as a water container anymore. 

Flameless Eation Heater

These days, many people are turning their attention towards flameless ration heaters. These are devices that use solid oxide fuel cells to generate heat, and then use it to warm up your food. Although not designed for the purpose, they can also be used to heat up your water.

They usually come with a built-in burner that heats up the air inside the device. The benefit of using these are that they are much smaller and lighter than traditional stoves.

The main issue with these packs is that they don’t heat up your water to that high a temperature, instead heating to just below boiling. This is not ideal as while camping you may need to purify your water and that normally requires boiling it. 


There are many ways to boil water while camping and, although it may appear difficult to do without a stove, it is actually a lot simpler than it looks.

You only need three things: a fire, a container that is heat-resistant, and some water. If you have those three things, there is no reason this shouldn’t be an easy thing to do.

About the author

Jesse Blaine

Jesse is the owner of LeesAdventureSports.com, contributes to a lot of the material, and directs day-to-day operations. He lives in Colorado with his wife and kids and loves the outdoors. He’s an avid skier, hiker, kiteboarder, and adventure sports explorer. Jesse has also traveled the world and lived in five different countries. He speaks several languages and loves communicating with people

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