Stainless Steel Canteen - safe for boiling water

I’m just putting it out there for those who may not have thought of this. It’s best NOT to use an ‘insulated’ (double wall) canteen (or water bottle) for outdoor survival. Here’s why…

While reflecting on the article, 11 Most Popular Tools For Outdoor Survival, in which a stainless steel canteen with a screw-on lid is #4, I realized something:

There are a lot of those stainless or aluminum water bottles nowadays that are insulated to keep contents cool. People may use them for hiking, camping, other activities. But there’s a problem…

For outdoor survival preparedness, you want to look for a non-insulated single wall stainless steel canteen. But not just any canteen! Here’s what I mean…



Only use a single walled metal container to boil water.

CAUTION: Since it is single walled (non-insulated) the container will become too hot to touch directly when boiling or for awhile afterwards. This is where “not just any canteen” fits in…

You want a stainless steel canteen that you can work with or manage while it’s hot! And the best one (or any with this feature) that I found for this purpose is as follows.

See if you can figure out why I like it:

Best stainless steel canteen - G.I. style

Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen


Stainless Steel Canteen – Features

The answer is the chain, and the fact that it also has a separate cooking pot with fold-able handles. The canteen fits right inside it. I’ll explain about the chain in a minute…

One of the best things about a stainless steel canteen is that you can boil water in it during an emergency situation if you need to – for water purification.

A stainless steel container could be hung over a fire (or set in the coals) to boil water to purify it for safe drinking.

Aluminum will work too but I prefer stainless. Stainless Steel will not rust or corrode and will resist denting and breakage.

By the way, this is how long you only need to boil water for safe drinking.

Why the chain? Because even if you didn’t have the separate cooking pot, you could use the canteen for boiling AND be able to handle it while it’s hot.

How? After the water has reached a boil, that chain could be wrapped around a small stick to lift. You could then get it off the heat to cool down. You could also use a second stick to tip the bottom while holding it (with your first stick) by the chain – and pour it into another container.

The chain could also be used to hang the canteen over a fire (with a stick or some paracord, etc..).

What about the plastic cap? Just be sure not to melt the plastic cap (I wish it were metal). I would advise to remove the plastic cap from the chain, a few links down from the fastener. Rig up a small clip for instant removal and re-installation of the cap (use your imagination – several ways to go about this).

Build a smaller fire to avoid high flames. Or set in coals to boil.

Of course, a good portable water filter will solve your drinking water problems. Though I do want to support the concept of boiling water and the right container choices and considerations.

Read more: The Sawyer Mini Water Filter



A problem arises if you’re using a double wall insulated canteen.

The double walled construction of such a canteen presents a barrier between the outside wall and the inside wall of the canteen (typically vacuum sealed).

The same principle that keeps your water cool (insulated) will also restrict it from heating to a boil while over a fire.

A double walled, insulated water bottle canteen is great for keeping a chilled drink. But it’s not ideal for the general purpose of emergency survival.


Container – One of the 5 C’s of Survival

Do you know the 5 and 10 C’s of Survival?

One of the ” C’s ” is Container. The idea is to have some sort of container that will hold water that you could boil for purification (or cook a meal or whatever).

Maybe it’s simply your mess kit. Or just a metal cup. Or possibly a stainless (or aluminum) water bottle.

It’s something to consider for any general purpose survival kit.

Read more: How to Make a Survival Kit

Mess Kits on Amazon