7 Quick and Easy Ways to Boil Water Camping

Unsure how to boil water camping? You’re in the right place. This guide to camping boil water outlines 7 of the best ways to boil water while camping.


Looking for the best way to boil water camping? Here are 7 quick and easy methods that should do the trick.

I love the back-to-basics reality of camping.

You’re surrounded by nature, filling your lungs with fresh air. You sit around campfires, stare up at starry skies, and sleep under canvas.

It’s simple, raw, and far removed from the lavishness of everyday life.

The only downside?


Or, to be more precise, the task of boiling water to make coffee.

After all, there’s no 24/7 power supply and convenient electric kettle at most basic campsites! You might be in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the natural resources around you and the gear in your backpack to use.

Your morning caffeine hit (not to mention a warm shower and hot water to wash your clothes/dishes) can feel like a long way off.

Thankfully, when you know what you’re doing and come prepared, you can boil water camping with relative ease!

Want to find out how? Check out these 7 effective ways to boil water while camping.


Trying to find the best way to boil water while camping? I hope these ideas help!

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7 Effective Ways to Boil Water When Camping

With your morning coffee on the line, finding ways to boil water camping is all-but imperative.

Thankfully, the following methods will make light work of the task. I hope they help!

1. Use an Electric Camping Kettle (Easiest Way to Boil Water While Camping)

For fancier camping trips, the easiest way to boil water is to buy yourself a small electric camp kettle. Why “fancier”?

Because you have to stay at campsites with a power supply to use them! You’re unlikely to find that kind of luxury when you’re way out in the wild, with nothing but fauna and flora for company. And without electricity, the kettle’s basically useless.

It’ll only take up space and add unnecessary weight to your pack.

Top Tip:

Want a cool alternative that doesn’t required electricity? Buy a solar powered kettle instead. This technology’s in its infancy, you need good weather, and the kettles still take ages to boil (think 40 minutes or more), but it’s still cool that you can harness the sun to boil water!


  • Boiling water camping is as quick, easy, and convenient as it gets.
  • You don’t have to fuss around making a fire.
  • Brewing your morning cup of Joe becomes a breeze.


  • You need a power source!
  • You have to carry it around with you.

2. Use an Internal Flame Ghillie Camping Kettle

Here’s a great little video explaining all about the Ghillie camping kettle (another effective way to boil water camping).

Ghillie camping kettles are exceptionally cool.

They’re also made by the reputable Ghillie Kettle Company, a business that’s been in operation forever and a day in the UK!

Here’s how they boil your water:

You create a small fire in the base, pour water into the kettle, and place it on top of the fire…And then you wait a few minutes until the water’s boiling.

Assuming you have the means (and know-how) to make a fire, the process couldn’t be simpler. The kettle’s double-walled too, with a “chimney design” that lets you fuel the fire with extra sticks, barks, and so on to keep it going.


  • These kettles are very cool (not to mention durable).
  • It’s an effective way to boil water relatively quickly, without electricity.


  • You have to (know how to) make a mini fire.
  • Expect it to take longer than electrical kettles.

3. Use a Car Kettle

Going on a camping trip and planning to take your car/truck onto the site?

Well, you can boil water camping with a special ‘car kettle’. These handy contraptions plug into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter, leveraging those 12V to function.

It might take longer than a standard kettle to boil. But it’ll still be much quicker than other more rudimentary options on this list.

As an alternative, you could buy an inverter that transforms those measly 12 volts into 110 (or more). With one of these gizmos in your vehicle, you could use a standard electric camp kettle and boil your water far faster as a result.


  • Another quick, easy, and convenient way to boil water when camping.
  • No fires required!
  • You can make coffee at a moment’s notice.


  • You need a vehicle!
  • There’s the potential to drain your car/truck battery.


Camping stoves are one of the most popular ways to sort out your camping boil water.

4. Use a Camping Stove

Camping stoves are the go-to camping boil water method for many outdoor enthusiasts, myself included. However, this is a catch-all term and camping stoves come in an array of shapes and styles.

You can find micro stoves that fold up to tiny sizes, which are ideal for lightweight backpackers with limited room in their packs. But you can also purchase self-contained, two-burner camping stoves the size of a briefcase.

It’s up to you to pick one that’s best-suited to your camping requirements!

To boil water, you’d connect the stove to the gas supply, turn the gas on, use a lighter or match to light it, and then place your pot of water on top. Depending on how much water you’re boiling, it could take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes to hit a rolling boil.

Speed things up by boiling smaller quantities and keeping a lid on the pot.

This is by no means the quickest way to boil water when you’re camping! But stoves are versatile, easy to use, and don’t require access to electricity. With a lighter and propane gas supply, you’re good to go.

Oh, and an added benefit is that you can cook dinner on them- something that can’t be said for the kettles I’ve talked about so far.

As for downsides, camping stoves aren’t the most convenient way to boil water camping.

For one thing, it’s a package deal; you can’t actually boil water without a pot. Then there’s the whole rigmarole of setting it up, which can seem like a hassle when all you want is a cup of coffee! Then, of course, there’s always the risk of running out of gas.


  • No electricity’s required.
  • You can cook dinner too!
  • Range of styles and types means you can pick the perfect one for your needs.


  • Water can take longer to boil than a kettle.
  • You need more stuff, like a pot, lighter, and propane gas canister.


Anybody scratching their head and wondering how to boil water while camping should get a Jetboil system to make light work of the task.

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5. Use a Jetboil System (Best Way to Boil Water While Camping)

Jetboils are like camping stoves on steroids.

Referred to as a ‘personal cooking system’, they’re compact, lightweight, convenient, highly effective, and ideal for any adventure. Pack a canister of propane gas and your Jetboil and you’re good to go (AKA there’s no extra pots or lighter required).

Buy one of these gizmos and you’ll have an all-in-one device (pot, stove, and ignitor switch) that’s purpose-built for heating things up fast and fuel-efficiently.

As far as boiling water goes, expect a rolling boil in under 2 minutes, which is probably quicker than your kettle at home! Simply connect the Jetboil (with your water inside it) to the gas, turn on the gas, and then use the ignitor switch to light it up.

You’ll hear it roar as it sets to work.

To top it off, you have different Jetboils models to choose from, helping you find one that’s well-suited to your camping requirements.

Top Tip:

Camping somewhere at altitude? Take a Jetboil. The cold air and high winds up there will make it harder for bog-standard stoves to function effectively. You’ll spend forever and day waiting for water to hit boiling point…unless you pack the super-powerful Jetboil system.


  • Super-fast and convenient.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • No fires, extra pots, or lighters required.
  • Ideal when camping at altitude (or when you need a caffeine hit, ASAP).


  • The container might be too small if you’re boiling water for more than just yourself.
  • They’re not cheap!


Building a campfire is a classic way to boil water camping.

6. Use a Campfire

What happens if you’ve got no camping stove, no power supply, no car/electric kettle, and no fancy Jetboil system?

Make a campfire!

Whether you have an actual kettle that’s designed for this purpose or just a basic metal pot, this is a sure-fire way (that pun wasn’t intended, I promise) to boil water camping.

Get the fire going, place your pot (filled with water) into the flames, and wait until it starts boiling. This may not be the fastest method on this list, and it definitely isn’t the most convenient, but it’s a classic, reliable, and effective way to get the job done!

Top Tip:

If you have a metal water bottle, then you can (fill it up with water and) put that straight on the fire instead! That way, you don’t even need a pot.


  • Ideal when you’re short on supplies.
  • You enjoy a nice campfire while sipping your morning brew.


  • It takes time!
  • Far less convenient than other options.

7. Bucket Heaters (Best for Large Quantities)

Last but not least, you could use a device called a bucket heater.

The clue’s in the name for this one! You literally use them to heat a big bucket of water to boiling point. They do come in two main styles, though:

A wand-like contraption and an insulated device that wraps around the bucket like a corset.

As for the ‘wands’, they look a bit like old-school microphones that you submerge. You put it in a bucket of water, set the temperature, turn it on, and then wait as it heats up the water. A stainless steel guard stops it from burning the bucket’s sides.

The bucket heaters with a wrap design are similar, except you place them around the bucket of water instead of inside it.

These devices are awesome for heating up larger quantities (5 gallons worth!) of water. But, and it’s a big but, there are problems as well:

First, you need a reliable supply of electricity to use them. Without a power socket or a generator, you’re out of luck!

Second, they’ll struggle to ever heat water to boiling point…meaning they’re great for washing dishes and having showers, but no good for making coffee.


  • They’re ideal for heating large quantities of water.


  • They need a power supply.
  • They can’t actually boil your water!

Remember These Effective Ways to Boil Water Camping

The lack of creature comforts when you’re camping is a mixed blessing.

On one hand, you get back to the basics, delight in the little things, and reconnect with nature. The whole experience is food for the soul. On the other hand, you miss the ease and convenience we so often take for granted in our everyday lives!

Case and point? Boiling water.

With no kitchen or kettle to call upon, trying to boil water camping can seem like a mission.

And that’s bad news when you’re desperate for a coffee in the morning!

With any luck, though, the suggestions on how to boil water while camping in this post have shed some light on the task. Keep them in mind, put them into practice, and you’ll be boiling water (and sipping coffee) in no time.