Choosing the Best Camping Water Container

One of the most important pieces of your camping equipment checklist is your water container.  Fresh water is essential and you'll need a water storage container camping on a busy family campsite or out in the wilds away from mains water. Choosing the best portable water container for your camping holiday depends on your style of camping, and the size of your party.  If you're off in the campervan or mobile home you'll need a different carrier than if you're carrying all your gear and planning on filtering water from a stream.

There are a few different types of water carriers to choose from dependant on your camping style.

Plastic Water Bottle for Camping

Re-using a plastic bottle from mineral water or squash has a lot of environmental benefits, turning a single-use plastic bottle into a multi-use water container and is definitely a wallet-friendly option too!  If you're solo camping, camping near a water supply and don't need to use a lot of water between refills, re-purposing a plastic drinks bottle can be just fine.

However, if you're going further away from your water source there can be a couple of issues - unless you take along a larger bottle which takes up more space, you're not going to be able to store much water.  Another pitfall is that single-use bottles are designed as such, and whiolst they can be re-used, over time, or if squashed they can crease, perforate or even split which is not ideal if you're relying on it for all your water needs.

At a pinch a plastic bottle of this type can be fine but for regular use, something designed for the purpose is by far the better option.

Collapsible Water Carrier

If you're travelling light, whether backpacking, cycle or motorcycle camping, or simply pushed for space in a smaller car, a water carrier that folds up or rolls away is a perfect solution.  When not filled with water it takes up very little space - so it's easy to store with the rest of your camping equipment when you return home too!  Not everyone has the space for a huge jerry can either at home or on the road.

If you're camping completely off-grid a roll-up water container is ideal and takes up less space than a water jug - and it only expands to the volume of water that you pour in it, so if you filter half a litre of water from a natural stream, the container will only expand by that much, meaning that you're never wasting space and weight by carrying empty space.

Dispensing water is easier with less waste and spillage if you choose a collapsible water container with tap - the tap takes up a small amount of space but means that it's easy to pour the right amount of water without spilling - essential if your water source is a mile or more away from your camping spot!

Jerry Can Camping Water Carrier

The most popular type of camping water carrier for tent camping, the jerry can style plastic water carrier can be seen on campsites all over. Simple in style and design, these water containers are rigid and feature a moulded carry handle to make the water carrier portable and easy to carry across the campsite.

The basic design features a large screw-cap for filling at the campsite water point, and with some of the larger size containers holding 20 litres or more you can store plenty of fresh water for drinking and washing, at your tent. This type of water container often features a secondary, smaller screw cap that covers a vent hole.  Unscrewing both caps as you pour water from the spout of the container allows air to move into the space vacated by the water, reducing the "glugging" effect.

You can also choose a jerrican type camping water container with tap to make dispensing easier, perfect for filling a kettle or pouring a glass of water without sloshing and spilling.  Sometimes the tap may be built into the screw cap or other times it may be at the bottom of the carrier.  If the cap is at the bottom, you will want to store the water carrier on a raised surface off the ground to prevent dirt getting onto the spout of the tap.

Whilst a tap on a water carrier is convenient it can get knocked so where space is limited or there may be boisterous children, some people prefer the basic screw-cap carriers, with no protruding tap to get damaged. Sometimes simplicity can be the best solution.

Roll Along Caravan Water Barrel

Especially suited to caravans, motorhomes and camper vans with water pumps and internal plumbing, the Aquaroll and Waterhog style roll-along water carrier is like a camping water carrier on wheels - the large water carrier rolls along on rubber tyres making carrying a large volume and heavy weight of water easy and, as these water containers can have a capacity of 40 litres or over 50 litres, hold a plentiful supply of fresh water for a large family camping trip.

Caravan and Campervan use of these water barrel containers is often by means of a submersible pump connected to the caravan or motorhome's water inlet, providing fresh water on demand to the caravan taps in the kitchen and washroom.  Even on fully serviced pitches with a mains water supply, the Aquaroll carrier or similar is ideal as many campervan systems are designed to operate at a lower pressure than mains water supply.  Accessories are available to allow the mains water to top up the water container automatically when it drops below a certain level, ensuring that you have a constant supply for the duration of your stay, whilst feeding water from the lower pressure submersible pump, looking after the seals and internal pumps, taps and plumbing and preventing over-pressure.

This type of caravan water carrier isn't exclusive to mobile homes however. You can purchase an Aquaroll stand to hold the 40 litre water container and add a screw cap with tap, allowing use of such a large water carrier for camping in a family tent, whilst enjoying the benefits of not having to make repeated regular trips to reful a smaller water carrier - this makes the roll carrier ideal for using with a large family tent

Camping Water Tank Cleaning

Whichever water carrier you choose, its important to keep it clean especially when storing it. Making sure that it is as dry and empty as possible helps to prevent bacteria building up in stale water, especially in corners or hidden inside taps etc.

With some of the smallest roll-up water carriers, storing it in a freezer is a good way of keeping the container sanitised, preventing any mould growth.

For larger water carriers, treating with Puriclean is ideal, as this both cleans and sterilises, making sure any biofilms are removed. This is especially the case for campervans and caravans, where you may be treating both your water carrier and the internal pipes.

The last thing you want is to spoil your holiday feeling ill, or even just "off" tasting water from a carrier that is not completely clean and sterile.  You can purchase Puriclean in our camping accessories store online or in our camping shops.