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Are canteens (with cups) still a good way to carry water on your person?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by lonewolf01, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. lonewolf01


    Feb 12, 2003
    Are they still used or is there a modern improvement? I like the fact that it comes with the stainless steel cup for cooking.

    Edited to add this: [ame=""] Guyot Designs Stainless Steel Water Bottle - The Backpacker: Sports & Outdoors@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

    It's a bottle that you can boil water in directly if necessary. Good reviews.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    I still have a couple old canteen/cup/stove kits, but don't use them anymore. Nothing "wrong" with them, just heavier than I think necessary anymore; plus the canteen (as far as I know) can't take hot liquids like a nalgene or similar bottle can do. You can pour boiling water into a nalgene; don't know how an old plastic military canteen would fare if you did that.

    Another approach that works is to simply use a nalgene bottle with a nested nalgene cup. Glacier is the brand of cup I have; there may be others as well. If you don't mind some home-tinkering, you can make up a nesting stove to go with the setup as well, from a 12-ounce coffee can:

    Nalgene bottle, glacier cup, and home-made stove, nested:

    Cup, and the stove tipped up to show the vent/airflow holes:

    How the cup sits on the stove during use. Stove can burn esbit, trioxane, pieces from fire-log starters, or even just twigs. Basically, anything combustible you want to stick in there:

    Wish I could claim it as my idea, but it's one I picked up from another forum a long time ago.

  3. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    Nalgene + Glacier is how i roll in my Jumbo.

    I have a bladder in my pack

    And a CANTEEN on my shoulder!

    +/- to each.
  4. Commander_Zero


    Sep 3, 2007
    Nalgene bottle and a Snow Peak cup/pot.....been really pleased with the combo.
  5. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    The Infantry Equipment Board during the First World War adopted an aluminum one quart canteen and matching cup for use by soldiers fighting in trenches across Europe. It was changed to stainless steel from aluminum; included a screw top cap; and was given an insulated cover to keep water cooler.

    By the Vietnam Conflict in the 1960s, the U.S. Military had moved away from metal canteens in favor of the M1961 olive drab polyethylene plastic canteen. The new plastic ones were found to retain water better

    Combat missions in hot, dry areas of the Middle East and Asia – coupled with better knowledge of hydration – have led to new approaches to keep soldiers properly hydrated in extreme conditions.

    Today, soldiers use a variety of canteens and hydration systems. These range from standard one quart plastic canteens to larger two quart canteens and large canvass water buckets. Soldiers also have the option of carrying "hydration packs. There is even an option of carrying a canvass "bladder" that is equipped with a hose and can carry 2.5 liters of water.
  6. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Love that home made stove, Quake. Clever dude you are. Must make one of those for meself.

    Now how do I get that large hole in the top?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  7. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    First, not my idea; I got it from a guy named mrostov on another forum years ago. I'm just clever enough to copy good ideas. :)

    Hole saw, going slow, for top hole and large side holes. Normal 1/8" drill bit for the small holes around the top edge.
  8. Tom Kanik

    Tom Kanik

    Sep 6, 2005
    S.W. Missouri
    A canteen and cup got me through a tour in VietNam, and I still prefer them. However, I prefer a metal canteen.
  9. i rely on bladders for hydration but do keep a usgi plastic canteen and metal cup for cooking. i use the canteen to treat water chemically so i dont get dirty water in my bladders. i will transfer the water once it has been treated.

    i have been thinking of moving to a nalgene and cup like Quake showed above but for now, this works for me.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  10. lonewolf01


    Feb 12, 2003
    Thanks for the reply guys.
  11. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    I usually use a bladder, but I also run a cup with a steel water bottle nested in it like quake has. Those wide mouth steel sports bottles are pretty cheap these days, and you can boil water in them just like a pot if needed. I know you can do the same with a "full" Nalgene, but that always kind of creeped me out with chemical exposure and the possible health risk. Also I would avoid Canteens and Cups made out of aluminum. Spend the extra money to get the steel or Ti version.
  12. RichJ


    Jan 26, 2009
    I also have the Glacier cup nested in a Nalgene bottle and that set up works very well. I don't use a stove though. I either just spread out some campfire coals and place it directly on them or, if I use something like Esbit, I'll set up some small rocks and set it on top with the fuel underneath.

    A scotchbright pad will shine the bottom back up if it blackens any, but I don't do that in the field. A wet leaf works just fine to remove any ash or carbon that gets on it. I like my cup shiny and new looking when I'm done but most people don't care if it burnishes a little.
  13. IV Troop

    IV Troop

    Jun 19, 2004
    Many may not know this but Nalgene makes bottles shaped like the traditional GI canteen bottles. I have a couple in various colors. I like the shape of them and they fit well in some of my packs. If you have an old GI cup, but do not like the taste of the water that you get from the GI canteens, then the Nalgenes would be a solution.

    Hope this info helps
  14. lonewolf01


    Feb 12, 2003
    Yes, very helpful. It also received great reviews on and is BPA free plastic. Get the cup and cover with it and it looks good.
  15. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    I always have two ways to make water and several ways to store it. At home I have about 4 or 5 ways to make water and a couple hundred gallons of storage available.

    In my BOB I prefer the bladder as primary and a couple of Nalgene bottles as backup.

    At home I prefer my 40 gallon blue barrels as primary and smaller 7 gallon plastic jugs as backup.

    At home my primary water maker is a Royal Berkey. Followed by lots of bleach. Followed by a small hand pumped filter.

    In my GHB the primary water maker is a Katadyn Pocket Filter followed by water purification tablets (PUR).

    You have to look at water from a system standpoint not from a thing your need to store/carry standpoint. You cannot carry or store enough water to be relevant for more than a few days and maybe a week or two at home unless you have some huge storage capacity for potable water.
  16. humanguerrilla


    Jul 25, 2006
    the woods
    [ame=""] Nalgene BPA Free Tritan Oasis Canteen 32 Oz Narrow Mouth Bottle: Sports & Outdoors@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]

    I like them and they fit molle canteen pouches.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  17. IV Troop

    IV Troop

    Jun 19, 2004

    That is exactly what I have. Plus the red ones. Pretty handy.
  18. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    N. Dallas
    That's a good plan TBH.

    I have some RFI military issued Skillcraft Camelbak. I never used it because I had a real Camelbak issued as well. But I like the Skillcraft as the insert is a 5qt OD green blivot w/ military screw head and heavy cord. I mean you can literally clean it out just like a 5qt only that it is oblong shaped.

    I am keeping it for that rainy day I really need to pack water. :wavey:
  19. WolfNotSheep

    WolfNotSheep Tackleberry

    Mar 1, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I still carry a US 1qt canteen with cup and stove. The cup fits a package of Ramen noodles perfectly and is just the right size. I also EDC a stainless steel, single walled water bottle. This stays with me at work and in the car. I got it at Walgreens for $5.99 and it can be boiled in.
  20. dirtdart504


    Apr 1, 2004
    I also still carry my USGI 1qt canteen with cup and stove. The canteen can hydrate me if I am in a Chem/Bio enviroment and in my pro mask (hope I am not walking out). In a non-Chem/bio Enviroment he canteen Cup is just perfect for heating up a cup of something warm to make the mornings suck less