Klean Kanteen for Boiling Water and Melting Snow
Klean Kanteen water bottle for hiking and backpacking
great for boiling water over the fire, cooking, melting snow and use as a daily water bottle.
When I choose gear to carry into the wilderness for hiking or backpacking, I like to find things with multiple uses, whenever possible.
I find the Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle and other similar stainless steel containers to be very useful in this regard. Not only can they be used to carry water like a standard Nalgene-type plastic bottle, but can double as a pot in which to boil and purify water over the fire, brew up a pot of tea, simmer some stew or even melt snow to replenish your water supply, if you're out in the winter.
Using Klean Kanteens to boil water over a fire...
A simple wire handle makes it far easier to manage the hot Klean Kanteen when removing it from the fire
I wrap wire around the bottle's neck below the threads so as not to interfere with closing the lid, but there are many ways one could accomplish this, including adding a permanent wire bale.
The bottle comes in both a wide and narrow mouth version, but I have found the wide mouth to be by far the easiest to use if one intends to do any cooking in the bottle, or to melt snow.
Water can be brought to a boil in under a minute by surrounding the Klean Kanteen with coals and flaming sticks.
Klean Kanteen Wide - Boil water over a fire, right in your water bottle!
I find a stainless steel bottle like this one good to carry for so many reasons--it provides a lightweight and sturdy water carrier which can't easily be split or damaged and doesn't leach chemicals into your drinking water, allows for boiling water for purification, cooking and melting snow over the fire.
Mine has been a valued part of many expeditions, and the addition of a simple wire handle makes it easy to place on and off the fire for cooking.
Heading out for the day...
Stainless steel water bottles are great, and I carry them year round, even using them to melt snow to replenish my water supply during winter expeditions.
Carrying and using stainless steel in cold weather, however, can really draw a lot of heat out of your hands and even increase the risk of frostbite under some conditions, so when not cooking/boiling water in my stainless bottles, I like to keep them wrapped in a flexible, rubberized bandage product to provide a warmer, more grippy surface for the hands.
Similar products are sold under a variety of different names--self-adherent wrap, adherent athletic tape, etc--but I've found the most affordable source to be farm, ranch or veterinary supply stores, which sell it as "vet wrap."
The wrap, of course, must come off before using the bottle again over a fire.
Materials for wrapping bottles in cold weather
Klean Kanteen to boil water over a backpacking stove
BPA, Potential Health Risk
Many plastic bottles contain a polymer known as bisphenol A, which in recent studies has been shown to carry the potential for disrupting hormones and increasing cancer risk, especially in growing children. Plastic bottles are now available which do not contain BPA, but the stainless steel versions have the advantage of being naturally BPA-free, and also easily usable over the direct heat and flame of a campfire or stove.
Why Avoid BPA? - Links to help you begin your own research...
Stainless steel water bottles on Amazon
While stainless steel bottles are available in double-walled, insulated versions and in a variety of colors and patterns, you need to stick to the plain single-walled stainless if you wish to use your bottle in/over a fire or stove.
How do you prefer to carry water when hiking or backpacking?
Klean Kanteen and other stainless steel water bottles are lightweight, durable and heat-resistant, providing a great solution for those of us who like to carry gear with multiple uses. If you want a bottle which can be used to carry water, brew up a cup of tea or hot chocolate on the trail, boil and purify water from creeks and streams when you're out backpacking and cook your meals, consider trying a Klean Kanteen or similar product, and you won't be disappointed!
All photos taken by the author, unless otherwise noted.