For drinking, cooking, and washing the cooking pots, you’re going to need water. And, whether you’re camping in the wilderness or you’re just a long walk from the campground faucet, you’re going to need a place to store that water. Sure, you could pack a lot of disposable water bottles, but that’s terrible for the environment and not great for your wallet either. A durable water container is a convenient solution.
Water containers for camping come in various sizes, from under two gallons to more than 5 gallons. Some are collapsible so they don’t take up any packing space. Meanwhile, others are rigid, multi-functional, stackable, or insulated.
If you’re looking for a sturdy water container with a high capacity and an affordable price tag, the Aqua-Tainer from Reliance Products should meet your needs. It’s made from durable polyethylene that’s food-safe and BPA-free. Plus, this product is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Although the Aqua-Tainer is a little bulky compared to others on this list, it offers an impressive 7-gallon capacity (26.5 litres), which will be useful when there’s no water available near your campsite. The container is also stackable, saving ground space if you have more than one container at your campsite or in your garage.
Another handy feature is the reversible spigot that you can hide away inside the container when transporting or storing the product. You also have a screw vent that helps the water come out smoothly.
- Durable construction
- 5-year warranty
When you need a cheap water container that doesn’t take up much storage space, the WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container is a sensible choice.
It’s lightweight and collapsible design makes it easy to carry to your campsite, even if you’re travelling without a car or campervan. Even the largest size should be compact enough to tuck inside a backpack if you’re hiking to your camping destination.
What’s more, because it’s made from a single piece of food-grade PE plastic, there’s less chance for common problems like leaky seams or loose handles to occur. However, the BPA-free plastic is fairly thin and you might want to keep it off the ground while camping and take care while transporting it.
The container is available in three sizes, 1.3-gallons, 2.6-gallons, and 5.3-gallons and all versions have an on/off spigot that controls the water flow. One drawback is that it doesn’t have an air vent, so the water flow might be slow and you’ll need to tip the container as it empties.
- Portable design
- No plastic taste
- Available in three sizes
- Excellent value
- Not the most durable
Another of the best collapsible water containers for camping is the Colapz 2-in-1. The container is made from FDA approved food-grade and BPA-free plastic and constructed with sturdy welded seams. What’s more, the material is resistant to UV-rays and frost, so you should be able to use this container in all four seasons.
The best thing about the Colapz 2-in-1 is its versatility. Though its main purpose is to store water, it can double as a bucket or a watering can. This means you’ll be able to use it at home as well as on camping trips. The removable lid also makes it easy to clean. Additionally, its folding handle is comfortable and strong enough to hang the container from when full.
Another feature we like is the built-in water-level measurements. That should help you keep track of how much water is left. Meanwhile, the screw-on spigot has two settings, giving you greater control of the flow.
With only a 1.8-gallon capacity (8-litres), this is the smallest water container on our list. For this reason, we recommend it for solo campers or couples. However, it’s still a convenient size for a picnic or campsite, where there is water access nearby.
- Compact carry size
- High-quality materials and spigot
- Easy to fill
- Holds its shape
- Smaller capacity
- Removable lid is not firmly secured
The WaterBrick Stackable Container is designed for camping and outdoor activities as well as emergency preparation. Because it’s made from high-density polyethylene, it’s one of the most durable water containers on the market.
Furthermore, its rectangular design means that it’s very easy to pack into a car or campervan when Overlanding. One container holds 3.5-gallons which should be enough for most overnight trips. When you need to bring more, the container stacks securely because it has ridges and notches that lock it in place. Additionally, the handles fold down out of the way so you also have the option of stacking the WaterBrick containers side by side.
Another advantage is the wide screw-top opening which makes it easy to fill but also easy to clean. It’s worth noting that this water container has a high price tag compared to others of a similar size. Also, the spigot is not included so you’ll have to add that to the final price.
- Highly durable
- Higher price tag
- Spigot not included
If you want a large container that can keep your water cool, then take a look at the Igloo 5 Gallon Portable Cooler. Thanks to a combination of infrared technology and UV inhibitors, this insulated water container can keep drinks cool for up to three days which is useful on a multiday trip and for summertime activities.
We also like that the pressure-fit lid feels secure; this should keep dirt and dust out of your water supply while minimizing spills. That said, because the lid doesn’t screw or clip-on, it can pop off whilst moving. The lid is also strong enough to double as a camping seat. Alternatively, you can stack another container on top.
Meanwhile, its reinforced handles are strong enough to take the weight of the full container. But, due to its size and weight, you may need two people to carry it any distance.
- Long ice retention
- The lid keeps dust and dirt out
- Large capacity
- The lid is not fixed
- Very heavy when full
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED TO TAKE ON A CAMPING TRIP?
How much water you need per person depends on a few factors. For example, what climate will you be camping in? How long will your trip be? How much physical activity will you be doing? Will you have access to non-potable water for cooking, washing dishes, and personal hygiene?
If you only need to take drinking water, then bringing a bare minimum of 2-3 liters per person per day might be enough but you’ll need a lot more if you plan to spend your days hiking in hot temperatures. Likewise, if there’s no water access nearby for washing and cooking, you’ll probably want to bring as much as 10 to 15 liters per person per day.
WHERE CAN I FILL A WATER CONTAINER?
It’s surprisingly easy to find a place to refill your water container. Almost all developed campgrounds will have a water tap with potable drinking water. Undeveloped campgrounds may also have potable water, or at least non-potable water, available. If not, you can often fill up at the national or state park’s visitor center on your way into the park or ask at the ranger station or forest services.
Alternatively, you may be able to fill your water container from taps in city parks or beaches, grocery stores, or gas stations. Just remember to double-check that the water is safe to drink; it’s worth bringing a water filter or water purifier for your trip.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN CAMPING WATER CONTAINERS?
You should clean your water container after each trip to minimize the risk of contamination.
The easiest way to do this is to rinse the container with warm water and dish soap or a small amount of baking soda if it needs a deeper clean. It’s a good idea to wash the outside and opening too with dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove any remaining soap, let the container dry fully, and store it in a cool place with the cap loose.
FINAL THOUGHTSOur top five includes a range of water containers, so there’s something for almost every kind of camper. Whether you prefer a stackable, collapsible, insulated, or budget-friendly container, there should be something on this list for you.
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