How do you carry water in your bug out bags?  Personally, I like the US Military canteens.  I have used them for many years without a problem.  If you can still find them, the older stainless steel ones are my favorite, but the new plastic ones are functional.  I avoid the aluminum ones; they always seem to be corroded.

The newer canteens come with a good sturdy cover and clips that can be attached to a large variety of belts or straps. The older ones were designed to only work with the pistol belt.  A canteen cup and a stove will fit in the cover with the canteen.  The cup is extremely handy and can be used for heating hot drinks or cooking.  It is made of stainless steel.

canteen cover, notice pouch on side for purification tabs

The stove is designed to work with military heat tabs but can be used with a variety of fuels.  I have used mine with small quantities of hot coals when the wind was blowing and been able to heat up drinks.  There are some new commercial designs that claim they can be used with wood.  I have not tried them so buy at your own risk.

old style canteen cup

If you take care of the military canteens, they will last for years.  I have not found any civilian canteens that will outlast the military versions.  When you go to purchase one, be sure to get a real US one and not a cheap knock off.

canteen, cup and stove ready to place inside cover


canteen and stove ready for cooking

3 thoughts on “Canteens”

  1. Matt in Oklahoma

    I have camelbaks in everyones gear. The different sizes allow me to fit everyones strength/weight limitations. I still have my old Army canteens to include the 1qt hard and the 2qt soft ones in storage. The canteen cups however are in use and always carried in the bags. I only have the one stove I carried for my 20+ and it is still handy to this day. There are some stoves that have been modifed with top that can be used to grill that I have plans on getting in the future. In several of our packs we also have the filter bottles or regular water bottles also to carry water with.
    I prefer the camelbaks because the noise can be reduced over the canteen and the size reduces as you drink it down in the pack. I can carry an extra bladder rolled up in a tight space when hiking and filter water into it. The canteen holds boiled (hot) water (to kill bugs) better than the camelbak when I’m in a hurry though.
    I also prefer the camelbak for the limitation in movement over the canteen especialy when hunting or on ops.

  2. A veteran who is preparing

    The 1 Quart is great for in winter, DO NOT fill it more than 3/4 full because of when it freezes. The collapsible 2 Quart with carrier and strap is great also. Used to wear mine over my gear on the strap, but don’t recommend it for during winter.

  3. Matt in Oklahoma

    In the winter we use the insulators on the tubes of the camelbaks which is the part that always freezes up the quickest. Once you have taken your drink blow the water back out of the tube and back into the reservoir. Carry it close to the body for heat transfer and between that and movement it will keep it from freezing until it drops into the teens then you are SOL without a outside heat source once you have been out a few hours. Always put the water in your sleeping bag with you during your rest periods.

    The soft 2qt canteens also make great pillows. If it’s cold wrap them and if it’s hot leave them where the cool water will transfer the heat from your head thru the plastic.

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