Metal Canteens: Why Stainless Steel Bottles are Perfect for Survival

When it comes to survival gear, water bottles are often the most overlooked and undervalued survival tools you can have. While most people opt for the cheapest or quickest thing they can find, your water bottle shouldn’t be a last minute thought or something you skimp on.

The last thing you want in a survival situation is some crappy bottle being the cause of your downfall. The type of bottle you select is extremely important, and its value should not be overlooked.

Stainless Steel Water Bottles with a Hiking Backpack

Why a Stainless Steel Water Bottle is probably the Best Survival Container you can carry:

When it comes to water bottles, there are thousands of different design options, materials, and production styles to choose from. But in my opinion, one type of bottle really outperforms them all: The Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

One of the most important and versatile pieces of survival gear you can carry is a good stainless steel, single-wall water bottle. These bottles are not only a lot stronger than most traditional water bottles, but they give you the added benefit of being able to boil water to make it safe to drink.

Klean Kanteen boiling water in a fire

I can’t understate the importance of being able to store and sanitize water during a survival situation.

In a survival situation, your number one priority is usually finding fresh water. Depending on your situation, you’ll probably need to find water within the first 24 hours. Having a good metal canteen is essential to your survival.

  • They’re Dual Purpose! A good stainless steel canteen not only gives you the ability to store water, but it also doubles as a cooking vessel to boil and sanitize water.
  • They’re stronger than plastic bottles. The last thing you want to worry about is a leaking plastic bottle. In my opinion, stainless steel bottles are a much better option.
  • They’re Safer. They don’t leach dangerous chemicals into your water like plastic bottles.
  • They Taste Better. In my opinion, water stored in my Stainless Steel Klean Kanteen tastes far better than any of the plastic bottles I’ve tried.
  • Water is the key to survival. Without water, you die. You need the ability to store, carry and purify water; a metal canteen can do all three of these things.

Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles for Survival

There are a number of different options, but not all bottles are created equal. Here are my favorite.

The Nalgene Guyot Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Nalgene Guyot Water Bottle

The Nalgene Guyot is one of the most popular Stainless Steel Water bottles on the market and definitely lives up to its reputation. It’s built out of rock-solid stainless steel to the same dimensions and thickness as the plastic Nalgene versions.

It has the standard Nalgene thread pattern and 63 mm opening, which make the bottle compatible with most outdoor water filters.

The Klean Kanteen Classic

Klean Kanteen over a Fire

I’m a little bias, as I’ve been using Klean Kanteens for years; but in my opinion, these are quite simply the best bottles on the market. They are made out of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, contain no plastic liners, and come in a variety of different sizes. I carry one in every one of my hiking and bugout bags.

One side note: They recently started making bright color versions of this bottle. Do not buy the color versions; you want the plain stainless steel version if you plan on being able to use it over a fire.

Check out our full review on the Klean Kanteen.

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

The Hydro Flask

While you can’t place them directly over a fire, I wanted to add this stainless steel Thermos to the list because it’s probably one of the best ones I’ve found. They’re made out of 18/8 Stainless Steel and come with a lifetime warranty.

I love these Hydro Flasks, and I take one with me on almost every outdoor adventure. When it’s hot out, it’s nice to have something that can keep you water ice cold. I use them in the 110+ degree heat of the Southwest desert and have never had a problem keeping my beverages cold throughout the entire day. I also use them to cook food in, here’s how I do it.

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  1. This canteen has a personal water purifier capable of quickly turning up to 350 liters (92.46 gallons). I have one myself and have drank out of the lake with this filter. Great product.

  2. I love my Klean Kanteen’s. I have multiples:
    2 – 27 oz narrow mouth
    1 – 27 oz wide mouth
    2 – 40 oz narrow mouth
    1 – 40 oz wide mouth
    1 – 64 oz wide mouth

    I have had the narrow mouth bottles since they first came out at the local gear store, and when the wide mouth bottles came out, they fit the screw bottom of a popular water filter, the wider opening also accommodates the Steri-pen…
    The company’s customer service has been outstanding on two instances I had to call to get replacement ‘o’-rings… IMHO you cannot go wrong with a Klean Kanteen!

  3. I’m looking for a good stainless canteen, but I’d prefer the separate cooking vessel that hold the typical style canteen (one inside the other). If you have to bug out from your camp in a hurry, you can’t wait for your canteen to cool down before snatching it, but you can leave a stainless cup on the fire if needed. I’m just looking at it from a survival standpoint.

    • Please let us know if you find one. Everything I have seen is “Made in China” and the quality (such as inside seams) is not up to par with what you would expect to need in a survival situation IMHO.

  4. The Older GI ISSUE Stainless Steel Canteen and Canteen Cup work great, along with the Insulating Cover that attaches to your Belt…There are European Military Surplus Canteen available at affordable prices as well…

  5. I have a bunch of Stanless and plastic Water bottles. Use to have the old western and teadrop style canteens when I was younger. Never had a backpack canteen and would like one for day trips. If were talking worse case scenario, real Survival situations, what is the best on person canteen? I understand anything that can hold Water if you have water will be utilized but a canteen that is a couple days worth if rationed and is not to heavy since H2o is heavy enough but also which I think is important is a canteen that is a easy carry and not going to bang up against or get caught on something that could give your location away? Cheers!

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