How To Boil Water Camping | 12 Easy Ways While Camping

When you go out camping, several staples will make it an enjoyable experience. Camp chairs, food, and beverages are some that come to mind. If you’re out for a prolonged period, a shower of some sort is also quite lovely. While camp chairs are easy, the others require some preparation and forethought, including boiling water. If you want to boil water camping, you’ll need to be prepared. However, know that it’s not hard to boil water outdoors if you have some how to knowledge and the right equipment.

boil water camping
boil water camping

How to Boil Water When Camping

There are many ways to boil water camping, although some may be more convenient than others. Much of how you boil water comes down to the type of camping you are doing, the camping equipment you have on hand, and the amount of water you need.

You can boil water using several methods, from a good old-fashioned campfire to portable propane stoves to fancier solar options. Of course, your altitude will affect the temperature water boils. With the boiling point being 212 degrees Fahrenheit at 0 feet elevation and going up from there, some of these methods may be better than others at different elevations.

To safely boil water while camping, you’ll always want to take some safety precautions. Remember that fire is hot, as is boiling water. It can very easily cause first-degree burns if scalding water accidentally comes in contact with the skin, so always be extra careful. Use heavy-duty gloves or oven mitts when handling hot pots or a specially designed handle for removing kettles or dutch ovens.

Best Way To Boil Water Camping

What To Boil Water In While Camping?

Cast Iron Kettle

The best option to boil water over a fire is probably the easiest and the oldest method in the books. You can easily boil water in a cast-iron kettle over a fire. These will be your most heavy-duty and longest-lasting option. And likely the most easy way.

The Camp Chef Cast Iron Tea Pot is an excellent option if you want to boil a pot of water cast-iron kettle style. First, Camp Chef is a well-known brand for camping products synonymous with durability and quality. The sleek, simple design allows it to hang easily from a rack or sit effortlessly on a grate. Nothing fancy is needed to boil water over a campfire. Additionally, this kettle comes with a ceramic lining to prevent rust.

Dutch Oven

Another option is to boil water in a cast iron dutch oven. The method is the same as the kettle, but you’ll typically be able to boil a larger quantity of water. A high-quality dutch oven is the 8-quart Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven. Lodge is another brand that offers excellent quality outdoor products and is known for its cast-iron in particular. This particular dutch oven is made of heavy-duty cast iron and heats evenly. It comes pre-seasoned and works well hung from a rack, placed on a grate, or nestled in coals.

Coffee Boilers

How To Boil Water Over A Campfire

Placing it on a campfire grill grate or hanging it from a campfire cooking rack or cast iron camping tripod rather than putting it in contact with direct flames or hot coals will prolong its life and give you years of use. But don’t panic if your kettle does come in contact with fire. Cast iron is rugged, and the occasional flame won’t do too much harm. You could use a cast iron kettle or dutch oven in a similar way over a charcoal grill.

Is It Ok To Boil Water In Cast Iron

Yes it is definitely is ok to boil water in cast iron. You want to heat your water up and get it to a nice boil and then take the cast iron off of the heat source. You dont want to boil longer that 10 or 15 minutes in cast iron or it may start affecting your seasoning of the cast iron.

Boil Water Propane Stoves

There are several options to boil water camping using a propane stove. Some are heavier options and best for a car camping trip, while others are lightweight enough for backpacking or backcountry use. A light stoves makes for a convenient portable stove.

Propane Camping Stove

Coleman Propane Stove

The first is a standard one- or two-burner stove like the Coleman Gas Camping Stove that runs off standard propane. You can buy 16-ounce cylinders to operate them or use a special hose and attachments to hook it up to a larger propane tank. You’ll need a pot, kettle, or other containers to boil the water in. Obviously, it needs to be able to withstand high heat. These are heavy, so they are best for car or RV camping. And yes, although the model has changed, this is the same Coleman stove that your family used when you were a kid.

Most RV’s also have propane stoves that operate off propane in the same way. They’re just set up a little differently, but the concept is the same, and you can use them all to boil water.

Fuel Canister Stove

Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

The second option is a smaller, lightweight canister stove system such as the Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove. These Jetboil System stoves require a propane/isobutane fuel mixture that comes in 100-gram, 230-gram, and 450-gram canisters. Several brands make this fuel, and you can use it interchangeably in canister stoves as long as you double-check the mixtures are the same. There are also some blends designed to be more efficient in cold weather.

The Jetboil heats water in about 100 seconds using minimal fuel. They are popular with backpackers since they are lightweight. Jetboil uses include boiling water for freeze-dried food as well. They are also a good option for car camping as they are quick and efficient and stow easily.

Liquid Fuel Stoves

Using liquid fuel stoves is an effective way to boil later. Liquid fuel stoves, like the MSR WhisperLite Universal Canister and Liquid Fuel Stove, are a great power source and are flexible in the fuel they operate with. These stoves can use auto fuel, gasoline, kerosene and isobutane-propane,

Boil Water Internal Flame Kettle

An internal flames kettle or rocket stove kettle is another great way to boil water without propane. It requires sticks and other organic combustible materials that burn. It operates in much the same way as canister stoves, but you don’t have to pack propane. A Kelly Kettle and a Ghillie Kettle operate in a very similar manner. Kelly Kettles are available with aluminum or stainless steel. Ghillie Kettles are available only with aluminum metal.

Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle is a lightweight, stainless steel option. It’s all you need to boil water because it is a self-contained water holder and has a chamber for adding fuels like sticks and leaves to burn. It will boil water in minutes, and the best part is you’ll never need to carry fuel again!

The Kelly Kettle comes in a large base camp (54 ounce), medium scout (41 ounce), and trekker (20 ounce) models. They also make the Kelly Kettle Ultimate Scout Kit which is a great option and would be a perfect gift for the camper in your life.

Best Way to Boil Water Camping Using Solar

Yet another option for boiling water while camping (oh, the endless possibilities!) is the solar route. These can take longer and obviously rely on the sun, but this may not be an issue depending on where you’re using them. These may not be an ideal option in colder, cloudier climates.

Solar Water Heating Bags

While a solar heating bag is designed not to boil water, they can undoubtedly get it plenty hot given the right conditions. These are a better option for heating water for solar showers outdoors of off grid. In ideal circumstances, they can get hot enough for a hot beverage. They would also likely work okay for a freeze-dried meal, but only in a pinch since boiling water is preferred (for the freeze-dried meals, not the shower!).

How to Heat Water While Camping

KIPIDA Solar Water Heating Bag

The KIPIDA Solar Heating Bag or Shower Bag is a great solar water heating bag. This bag holds 5 gallons of water and can heat up to 113°F (Fahrenheit) with direct sunlight in about 3 hours.

These bags are highly affordable and environmentally friendly, as the only energy they require is from the sun. However, in places where the sun doesn’t shine much, or it’s winter, you may be waiting a long time for your water to heat, if it does at all. Circumstances do matter, so keep that in mind.

How To Heat Water Camping Without Fire

Solar Oven

Finally, we get to the option to boil water with a solar oven. Many solar ovens can reach high enough temperatures to boil water. If you have plenty of sunlight, you have plenty of energy to run one of these ovens.

All American Sun Oven

The All American Sun Oven is a unique, interesting-looking appliance. At a weight of 23 pounds, unless you’re packing with livestock, it is too heavy to pack in on your back. However, it may be just the ticket to cook and boil water efficiently for RV living or car camping.

It can reach up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and has adjustable legs that help you angle it to get the most from the sun’s rays. It heats up to reasonably high temperatures in less than an hour, meaning the boiling point will be even less than that. You can also bake and cook in this unique device like a regular oven!

Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker

Another Solar Oven option is the Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit. This Solar oven can boil a quart of water in 40 minutes according to Haines. A few more minutes for a full rolling boil. Easy set up and storage.

Bucket Heater

A bucket heater is also known as a submersible water heater. Assuming you have an electric plug in this is an easy option for warming heating up water in a bucket or a container. Fill a bucket with water, plug in the Gesail 1000W Electric Immersion Heater, Bucket Water Heater with 304 Stainless-steel Guard into a power outlet, submerge the bucket heater in the water, and wait a few minutes for the water to heat up.

Electric Kettle

Another electric option is the electric kettle. The Mueller Ultra Kettle features Speed Boil technology as well as LED lights indicating the electric kettle is heating. This Electric Kettle produces 1.8 liters of boiling water at 1500 watts. The kettle glass is durable as it is borosilicate glass.

Final Thoughts – How to Boil Water While Camping

There are many great ways to boil water camping, as you can see. What works best for you will depend on the type of camping you are doing, if weight matters, the altitude you are at, and how much water you need to boil. Also, it depends on what you find to be the easiest way to boil water when camping.

Whether you need boiling water for a freeze-dried meal, a cup of hot chocolate, a cup of water for your morning coffee, or to add to your shower hot water to warm it up, there is a method out there that will work for you. Fortunately, none of these methods are overly complex, ranging from just plain easy to a little more effort but not difficult.

The good news is many of these methods are pretty cost-effective, and experimenting will give you a great excuse to get outside in nature and do some practicing! Try a few of them out to decide what will truly work best for you.

The bottom line is to get out there, get camping, and get some water boiling if you need to. Don’t let the need to cook or boil water stop you from getting out in the great ol’ outdoors!