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How to Heat Water When Camping (Without a Fire)

How to Heat Water When Camping (Without a Fire)

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Going camping is something that so many people look forward to. When you get the chance to go experience the great outdoors, it’s going to allow you to truly appreciate life.

As much as you love nature, you might also still love being able to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee. People take coffee with them on camping trips and hiking expeditions all the time, but you can’t always make a fire in certain places.

You might also want to boil water simply so that you can drink it. If you didn’t bring a lot of water with you on a camping trip, you might need to find water and then purify it by boiling it.

You likely know how much of a problem wildfires are in certain spots, and this might mean that there are restrictions that prevent you from making a proper fire. If you can’t make one, how are you supposed to heat water?

Getting water to boil without building a fire is going to present a challenge, but you do have options available to you. Keep reading to learn about these methods.

The Most Common Reasons People Need to Heat Water While Camping

The most common reason that people need to heat water while camping involves basic survival. You might need to heat up water so that you can boil it so that it will be safe.

Getting water from a nearby lake or river is possible, but you can’t drink it as it is. This would make you very sick, and the water needs to be boiled so that it can be purified.

If you’re trying to rough it as much as possible, boiling your own drinking water might appeal to you. People also need to boil water for cooking purposes, and some people like to boil it so that they can make coffee.

Aside from this, heating water is an essential thing when you want to wash up at night. You could clean yourself up using cold or lukewarm water, but many people wouldn’t find that to be all too pleasant.

Needless to say, hot water is going to be an important part of making your camping trip a success. There are still some other things to consider before you start heating your water, though.

Remember to Look Into Campsite Rules

Remember to look into campsite rules before you go on your camping trip. Depending on what area you’re going to be camping in, it might be possible to simply make a fire if you wish to do so.

Some campsites might have rules against making fires during specific times of the year. This could be because things are particularly dry during drought periods, which can make the risk of starting forest fires higher than normal.

There are other things to consider as well such as whether or not you’re allowed to use cooking stoves or other things that utilize fire. If you take the time to learn the rules, you’ll be able to avoid getting into trouble accidentally.

You might even want to decide which campsite you’ll go to based on the rules. There are many fine places to camp in North America, and you’ll have a lot to consider.

You Could Use Your Car

One thing that many people overlook is that you can use your car to do certain things while camping. Even if you’re trying to rough it a bit during your camping trip, you’re still likely going to be driving to the campsite.

This means that you’re going to have a vehicle nearby that you can utilize in all likelihood. Cars have ports that you can use to run various electrical devices.

You can start your car and then plug something into the auxiliary power outlet of your car. If you’re using an older vehicle, you might even have a cigarette lighter that you can plug things into.

It’s possible to buy a little portable stove that will run on the power that your car puts out. You could use this to boil water and everything will be fine.

If your intention is to boil water to make coffee, you can just purchase a portable coffee maker that you can plug into your car. This will ensure that you get your caffeine in the morning even when you’re camping for the weekend.

This might not make you feel like you’re roughing it, but it’s going to be a practical solution to your problem. If your car is close enough to your campsite, there’s no reason not to do this.

You could even cook food using a portable stove that can plug into your car. It makes it so that you don’t need to build a fire, and it keeps you from breaking any local laws that might be preventing you from starting one.

The Power of the Sun

The power of the sun should never be underestimated, and it could help you to heat water without the need to make a fire. There are solar-powered kettles on the market that can boil water using nothing but sunlight for power.

Having something like this with you on a camping trip will make things a lot easier. You can just get some water and put it in the kettle so that it will boil for you.

The only real downside to using this method is that it isn’t as fast as some people would like it to be. Getting water to boil using a solar-powered kettle will take a few hours in most instances, but it’s reliable.

Most of the good solar-powered kettles will cost a bit of money to purchase as well. They aren’t prohibitively expensive or anything, but you can expect to spend around a hundred bucks on one.

These are becoming very popular because people want to have options at campsites. Being able to heat and boil water using only sunlight is appealing.

It’s good from a survivalist perspective, but you can also use boiling water to make coffee or tea. Overall, this is something that you’re going to want to look into if you want to heat water without a fire at your campsite.

Solar Showers Are a Bit Less Expensive

You can use the same type of technology that is used in solar-powered kettles to heat water with something known as a solar shower. Solar showers are really just bags that heat water enough so that you can wash up with it.

There are many reasons why you would want to heat water at a campsite. You might wish to boil water for drinking, but you might also need to wash yourself up after a long day of camping.

These solar showers can be purchased for around $20 and they work very well to help people take simple showers at campsites. It’s possible to buy solar showers that can hold enough water for people to take multiple showers as well.

The heat-locking material that they use to make these solar showers works surprisingly well even when it isn’t that hot outside. You should be able to heat water so that you don’t have to shower with cold or lukewarm water.

If you’re going to be camping for a few days, you’re going to want to clean yourself up. When you’re not interested in jumping in a nearby river to cleanse yourself, it’s going to be very handy to have a solar shower that you can use.

Try Using a Flameless Ration Heater

This idea is going to be quite outside the box, but it is something that you could do to heat water without fire. Flameless ration heaters can reach high temperatures and should be capable of boiling water for you.

Some people become familiar with these heaters while serving in the military. People use them to heat up rations that are referred to as MREs.

These heaters heat the rations by causing a chemical reaction to occur. When you place water in the bag, this chemical reaction will cause things to heat up.

It’s a very useful thing that people in the military have been using for a long time. If you can get yourself some of these, you could use them to heat water while on your camping trip.

This might not be the most practical way to go about doing things, but it will work in a pinch. If you happen to have some, don’t hesitate to give this a shot.

Buy a Camping Stove

One of the simplest things to do will be to just buy a camping stove that you can use to heat water. Camping stoves are pretty common and people bring them to campsites all the time.

Depending on the rules at the campsite, you may or may not be allowed to use something that has a flame out in the open. If there are rules that prohibit making fires, you might need to get permission to use one.

This usually isn’t the case, though, and most normal campsites will allow you to both make fires and use camping stoves. This is only a concern in areas that are having issues with wildfires, but you do always need to be careful to avoid starting wildfires by doing things properly.

A standard camping stove will use propane, biofuel, or alcohol to operate. It should be able to help you heat up water efficiently, and you can even cook full meals on these little stoves if you’re so inclined.

People who are passionate about camping will want to consider buying a high-quality camping stove. These really do have the potential to make your camping experience that much better.

It’s also just easy to be able to heat up water whenever you feel like it. Even if you do have the option of being able to make a fire at your campsite, it’s simpler to cook using a camping stove.

Making a fire can be somewhat laborious, and sometimes it’ll be a challenge to keep the fire going depending on the conditions. A camping stove is going to get you consistent results each time you use it.

Add that to the fact that you can buy a decent one at a very affordable price, and you can understand why getting one is a good idea. Look into your options if you’d like to be able to heat water at a campsite without building a fire.

Weight Can Be an Issue with Camping Stoves

Weight can be an issue with camping stoves sometimes, and this is especially true if you’re going to be hiking to your camping spot. You don’t want to have to carry a very heavy one with you if you’re hiking.

This is going to make certain types less practical than you would like. Knowing this, it’s important to take the time to find one that will work for your situation.

There are many different types of camping stoves on the market to suit different needs. Some are designed to be very robust, but they’re going to be heavier.

You can get smaller ones that are still capable of heating water and helping you to cook food. In fact, some camping stoves will weigh no more than a can of beans.

That might sound too good to be true, but it’s actually really easy to get one that won’t break your back while you’re hiking. Super portable options are designed to use materials efficiently, and they don’t require a ton of fuel either.

These simple designs won’t be big and you won’t be using them to cook five-course dinners while camping, but they’ll get the job done for boiling water. If you’re not hiking, you can use a more standard camping stove without it being a real issue.

Some Campsites Might Have Electrical Outlets

There are campsites out there that have electrical outlets for people to use. If you’re camping at a well-known campsite, they might have outlets set up at specific spots.

When this is the case, it’ll be easy to bring various appliances with you that you can use to heat water up. Technically, you could heat water up using a small microwave if you happen to bring one.

It all depends on whether or not the campsite that you’re using has electrical outlets. These are common at some popular campsites, but not every campsite is going to have electricity.

If you’re camping in a spot that offers a more traditional camping experience, you might need to rough it without power. Some people prefer to be able to camp at places that offer modern conveniences, but it’s up to you to decide which one you’d like to go for.

RV Camping

RV camping is going to be substantially different than camping in a tent out in the woods. You can drive your RV to the woods, but you aren’t going to have to worry so much about how to heat water.

Some RV campers are going to have full showers that you can use to get clean at night. It’s like staying in a tiny apartment, and the vibe is completely different than staying in a tent.

This type of camping can still be a ton of fun, but you won’t have the same issues that you would when tent camping. If you need to heat water for something, you’ll likely be able to just use a stove in the RV itself.

If you’re looking for a more convenient and accessible type of camping, renting or buying an RV might be the right choice for you. This is a popular thing to do and many people like to travel to various campsites throughout North America in their campers.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of different ways that you can heat water without a fire while camping. Some of them are incredibly simple such as using electrical outlets or camping in an RV.

Others are a bit more involved such as using solar-powered kettles, solar showers, and flameless ration heaters. You have a lot of options to consider, and it’s good to know that you can find success in multiple ways.

Whether you’re trying to boil drinking water or if you’re just heating water so that you can shower, it’s important to do things right. Ensure that you have the tools that you need before you set off on your camping trip.

Camping will be fun when you’ve prepared things ahead of time. Just do your best to follow local campsite rules and enjoy yourself while you’re spending time in the great outdoors.


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