10 Creative Ways to Boil Water When Camping

Do you need a way to boil water when you're out camping? Then you're in luck because we've gathered our 10 favorite ways of boiling water when we're out camping.

When you’re in the comfort of your own home, boiling water isn’t even a thought regarding how you’re going to do it. It’s one of the things that you really take for granted when you don’t have access to the luxuries that you’re used to having… boiling water.

Of course, if you’re camping in an RV then boiling water will still be a trivial task for you. However, if you’re backpacking, tent camping, hiking, you name it, boiling water can be a little trickier of a task. With that said, there are many different and creative ways of how to boil water when camping. So, let’s dive right into it, shall we?

1. A traditional kettle

If you want to go traditional and old-school, you can opt to just use a traditional kettle. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with this method as it just plain works when it comes to boiling water. More or less, this option is made for boiling water, and it’s also quite versatile for camping purposes.

After all, you can either hang a kettle over your campfire or just place it on the grill plates of a campfire ring. No matter how you slice it, a traditional kettle is a great choice.

2. Using a pot

Now, this is the method that most people will use to boil water at home or even in their RV. Using a pot to boil water is about as common as it gets, and it can be an ideal option even if you’re doing some minimalistic camping. It goes without saying, however, that cooking pots can add a lot of weight if you’re backpacking.

Plus, they can be awkward to pack as it’s not as if a traditional cooking pot is going to fold down compactly or anything like that. Still, if you don’t want to spend any extra money on another device, you can always pack the smallest pot you have to boil some water when needed.

3. Your car

Wait, what? Not too many people probably expected this to be an option when figuring out how to boil water when camping. However, indeed, you can utilize your vehicle (if you’re not hiking or backpacking that is) while camping to boil some water.

In order to pull this off, you’ll need an electrical water boiling device designed to use the cigarette lighter socket in your car. So, yes, for this option you will need to buy a specific device. Unless, of course, you already own a water boiling device capable of this.

4. An electric kettle

One could argue that this is the most efficient and convenient way how to boil water when camping that you’ll find. Then again, it does depend on whether or not you have access to electricity. If you’re boondocking then buying an electric kettle to boil water is probably going to do no good.

Obviously, this device requires electricity to be able to boil water. With that at your disposal, you’ll more than likely end up loving how easy it’ll be to boil water with an electric kettle. Some models will even come with different settings that you can toy around with.

5. A tin can

Okay, so this is one of those options if you don’t really have another option. It’s also an option if you want to be as minimalist as possible. Using a tin can to boil water is very possible, just be very careful when doing so as the last thing you want to do is burn yourself.

Either bring some hot pads or rig a system up that prevents you from needing to physically touch the tin can after it’s done boiling your water.

6. A Jetboil system

If you’re looking for the cheapest way how to boil water when camping, you’re probably going to want to pass on this next choice. However, a Jetboil system is arguably the best and fastest way to boil water while you’re camping.

Jetboil has a wide range of camping stoves that can work tremendously for boiling water, but most of them aren’t exactly cheap. So, this is a better option for those of you who camp often and know you’ll need boiling water quite often, as well.

7. An electric pot

An electric kettle isn’t the only electric option for boiling water on the market as you can also look into an electric pot. As with any electric option, though, this won’t do much good if you don’t have access to electricity (obviously).

Due to this, this is another option that isn’t optimal for hikers and backpackers. Electric pots can also sometimes cost a pretty penny, but they do work extremely well and can boil water in mere minutes.

8. A camping stove

If you just want to go all out, then you can always buy a camping stove to get the job done. A few things to point out about going this route, though. One, a camping stove will need to be connected to a gas supply. So, you’ll probably need to account for propane.

Two, camping stoves come in many different styles and sizes. More compact ones small enough for backpackers exist, but more complicated units are also on the market. Also, a camping stove is going to be capable of doing more than just boiling water.

9. A flameless ration heater

Let’s just be real here for a second, this could be considered the oddball choice out of the 10 you see listed here. It’s not as if this is a bad method, it’s just different and isn’t the most convenient or practical.

Additionally, some flameless ration heaters may not get the water hot enough to boil. Still, perhaps as a last resort, you could pack some of these for the purposes of boiling water.

10. An internal flame kettle

There are many different kettles you can use when figuring out how to boil water when camping, and an internal flame kettle is another one. As opposed to a traditional or electric kettle, an internal flame model does what you’d think it does.

It holds a small fire inside, and leaves and twigs can be used to help heat it up as it won’t use fuel. Hence, this makes it an excellent choice for backpackers who are looking to save every ounce they can.

Final thoughts

When it comes down to it, there are many, many ways to go about boiling water while you’re camping. Whether you need to do some cooking or just need some drinking water and want to ensure that the natural water source you obtain is healthy and safe to consume, boiling water can be a very useful activity to perform on your camping adventures.

Even if you’re boondocking or backpacking, several of the above methods can be optimal for you. Now the question becomes, which method do you choose? All we have to say is you can’t go wrong with the 10 listed above!

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Tyler Jones

Tyler is much like a swiss knife. Even though he has a degree in Computer Science, he knows almost everything there is to know about camping. He has been writing for HeadlessNomad since 2021 and has contributed with over 100 articles. If you have an outdoor-related question, then Tyler much likely knows the answer.