Best Way To Boil Water Camping

When you go camping, there is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee at certain times of the day and when it’s time to wash up after a long day on the trail. Hot water can make an entire trip more enjoyable.

However, there are certain situations where you can’t have a rip-roaring fire as if you were car camping at a campsite. In this situation, you have the luxury of a fire, and you can boil water in car battery kettles that plug in your cigarette lighter.

It is much different when you are off coffee pot camping down the brack trails, and the only gear you have is what you can carry. (Read How to Make Coffee While Camping)

Man pouring hot water in container

In our guide, you can learn the best way to boil water while camping. It will cover most scenarios, and you will see the various ways of boiling water while camping.

Can I Boil Water on A Grill?

The good thing when you go on a camping trip is that you can boil water in many different ways. All you need is to provide a means for heating your water, and you are good to go.

However, not every water boiling method is a great option, as in the case of using a grill. When cooking on charcoal only, you get that distinct barbecue flavor. Thus, you could find your water has a flavor.

How Long Does it Take to Boil Water on a Campfire?

When using a campfire to boil water, you don’t have access to controlled heat, thus depending on your water container, you could find yourself waiting a long time for your morning cup of coffee.

You can see a few methods here and how quick water boils on a campfire using these methods.

  • Pot Over Fire: 5-10 minutes
  • Coffee Pot: 5-10 minutes
  • Dutch Oven: 10 minutes

If you don’t have any of these, you can use one of the new solar water heating bags. However, a water heating bag is only intended to heat water for showering. Besides this, they wouldn’t be any good for morning coffee.

You can purchase solar water heating kettles that can boil water, yet these take 20-minutes to do so when the sun is up to an hour in overcast conditions for almost 100 degrees centigrade.

How Do You Boil Water When Camping?

When you want to boil water when camping, you have plenty of options, though as we see, not all are ideal. Here are more ways to boil water.


To get the best camping experience, you have your open fire. Also, it is the easiest way to boil water and make coffee. The downsides with an open fire are the heat isn’t controlled, and you can’t keep lighting a fire when backpacking.

Campfire in the woods

You also need to make sure the fire is out before moving on.

Camping Stove

You have a large camp stove if you were car camping, or you’ll have a more portable stove when backpacking or away from camp and need quick boiled water.

A camping stove can be handy, as they are a great way to boil water quick. However, a smaller one is only suitable for a small amount of water.

A camping stove is best used when you have your main base, and you don’t need to carry an extra stove that could weigh you down. (Find the Best 3 Burner Camping Stove)


A Jetboil is a specific type of camp stove that is more of a kettle. The Jetboil uses specific fuels, and while it can boil water faster, the fuels are not much use for any other type of stove.

Car Kettles

We have seen car kettles when you need to boil water, and all you need to do is plug into the lighter socket.

You do have an alternative to these if you wish to heat large amounts of water. A bucket heater is like a wand with a stainless-steel guard or an element as you see in the old style kettles.

If you wish to boil smaller amounts of water for drinks or food, using a smaller container such as 1/3 of a cup of water for fast food noodles, etc., can take up to 12 minutes with a small bucket heater. (Find the Best Camping Coffee Maker)

What is the Most Efficient Way to Boil Water?

When you want to know how to boil water while camping, you will want to make sure you boil water quickly. Unlike at home, you won’t have that luxury, and hence why an open fire isn’t suitable to heat water all the time.

One of the best solutions for boiling water is the Ghillie Kettle. While only a few years old, the Ghillie made its way from the UK to the USA. It has one purpose, and that is boiling water.

The way the kettle works is to have a fire inside the kettle itself. You find an internal core where to start the fire, and surrounding this is water in a separate chamber.

It is capable of boiling water to a rolling boil in around one minute up to 5 minutes depending on the internal flame and how full of water the is. (Read Things To Do While Camping)

The advantage of the fire inside of the kettle is that you need much less fuel, which means for sites where you are following leave no trace; there are hardly any remains.

When you need to boil water on a camping trip, you can find this kettle easy to use and much cleaner than other methods.

Boiling water when camping will be a necessity. It isn’t just for keeping clean, but you never know what germs and bacteria are in the water. So, boiling water to the desired temperature can make the difference between staying healthy or find yourself with an upset stomach.

Best Way To Boil Water Camping