Bug Out Bag Water – Staying Hydrated on the Move

Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon and 1 kilogram per liter. Anyone familiar with backpacking can tell you that this is not very forgiving when you need to carry water on the go. Bug out bag water is not just a weight concern, but also a packing problem. A gallon of water takes up 231 cubic inches- which is a huge displacement compared to your survival gear! Below, we will take a look at the best ways to include water in your bug out bag, and techniques to stay hydrated when you are on the move.

Storing Water in Your Bug Out Bag

Water is not the best way to utilize your limited bug out bag space (or weight). Still, water is a requirement for survival and you should have a limited amount stored for mobility. There are several options when it comes to keeping water on the go. One crossover from Every Day Carry (EDC) is the personal water bottle.

Collapsible Bug Out Bag Water Bottles

There are many types of water bottles that you can include in your bug out bag. Collapsible and stainless are at the top of the list. Collapsible bottles are great because they can greatly reduce the space required to store the empty container. Two stand-outs include the Nomader personal water bottle and Coghlan’s Collapsible Water Container. The last one is less of a bottle and more of a container, but the functionality in your bug out bag is the same. It is a better choice if you are not planning on being too mobile, since it can hold up to 5 gallons.

Stainless Bug Out Bag Water Bottles

Stainless bottles may have more weight and take up more space when empty, but they give you the option to purify your water by boiling it. If you don’t have another method of purification or need a back up method, stainless bottles are the way to go.

Purifying and Filtering on the Go

Besides boiling water in a stainless bottle, you can also prepare by having water filters or purification tabs in your bug out bag. These options give you a way to have clean water without worrying about heat or fire. Filters are extremely lightweight these days, and there are a few designed specifically for bug out bags or backpacks. The best options for filtering are:

Both filters will do the trick. The Lifestraw is more widely available, but the Sawyer can be a little cheaper and is more versatile. Check your local store or online to compare pricing when you are looking for one. The purification tablets are usually have some compound of iodine as an active ingredient. There are several different brands and types, so the one that packs the tightest is the one we suggest: Potable Aqua Tabs.

Prepacked Water

Water is sold everywhere. Bottled water come is various sizes and is a huge commodity when it comes to disasters. Companies like Budweiser even stop beer production to create canned water for communities impacted by disasters. A few bottles of water may not go far, but it is better than nothing. One of the most efficient ways to carry water is in pouches- but they do not offer a reusable container for refilling. I keep water pouches in my bug out bag as a no-maintenance way to sustain my family during the initial stages of an emergency. They are easy to get a hold of online: DATREX Emergency Water Pouches.

The Final Word

In your bug out bag, water or ways to purify it should be a necessity. Water is a basic human need, and so it has to be planned for when you are creating and maintaining your bug out bag. If you are packing water and not just containers and filters- you need to be aware of the impact the space and weight will both have. Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

Bug Out Bag Water – Staying Hydrated on the Move

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer by day, but a prepper 24/7. I am an Air Force veteran that developed emergency and disaster plans as an emergency manager and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters worldwide. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

5 thoughts on “Bug Out Bag Water – Staying Hydrated on the Move

  • For filtration on the go you should also consider the Berkey Sport bottles. It’s a plastic bottle the size of a sports water bottle but it has a small sized Black Berkey element in it for filtration, so you can fill up at any water source and be drinking safe water on the go. I have these in each of my GHBs and at my office desk – my desk Berkey Sport bottle is useful when the town decides to flush the hydrants and crud appears in the tap water (about twice a year around here.)

  • I’ve heard good things about Berkey but never tried a filtering sport bottle. I’ve seen that Lifestraw makes a sport bottle too-
    but it looks to be about the same specs at a higher cost. Those ‘town flushes’ are a great time to try out filtration equipment.

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  • Itreally a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.


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