Have you ever found a piece of gear that makes you smile as soon as you touch it? I’ve been casting around for the perfect canteen/cup/pot stove combination and wasn’t really satisfied with any of the sets I came up with. Then the other day I was watching a Dave Canterbury video and saw him pull a steel bottle and cup out of a bag. Much the same as a military canteen and canteen cup, but the whole thing was made from stainless steel. I watched the video of him using the kit and decided to give it a try.
I went online to his pathfinder website and ordered the water bottle, cup, and the bag. Confirmation was virtually instantaneous and the kit arrived a few days later in perfect condition.
One thing I like about the bag is that it has storage space in the side pocket where you can put in matches, a firesteel, small knife, coffee packets, or what have you. I put a small flashlight, multi-tool, button compass, and firesteel in mine and put a strap on it from a tree climbing stand. Voila! Instant survival kit I can wear over my shoulder.
First – about the water bottle kit:
It’s sturdy, but not too heavy and it has a wide mouth. In the picture below I have a standard military canteen next to the bottle to give it perspective. The bottle nests into the cup nicely and the whole thing sits tightly in the canteen bag, much the same as a canteen, canteen cup and canteen pouch. Notice how shiny and new it looks! Not for long.
The cup has a set of handles that when gripped properly are sturdy and doesn’t feel like it’s going to scissor out of my hand.
There’s a small lip in the bag that ensures the cup won’t fall out accidentally. Indeed, you have to work a little at getting it out of the bag. (See picture below.)
Below is a picture of my Camillus knife and the water bottle kit strapped together using the strap from my tree stand.
I didn’t buy this just to have a pretty water bottle. I wanted a good way to heat water with both containers able to take heat. Obviously a plastic canteen wouldn’t be able to do this, but with this set up I’m able to heat water right in the bottle and pour it into the cup or vice versa with no fuss. I used the small multi-tool to handle the bottle as it gets hot.
In one of Dave’s videos he shows a technique where he surrounds the water bottle with wood and lights it. Within minutes he had a good roiling boil, so I thought I’d try the same technique. See the photos below.
There’s another video here on a cool alternative way to heat water and a good explanation of the kit.
Within five minutes of lighting the fire I had a good boil going. Like I mentioned earlier I used the multi-tool to pour the water into the cup and had myself a nice cup of hot coffee.
Below you can see some of the contents of the mini-survival kit. Awhile back I asked what you would take into the woods if you only had three pieces of gear to take. I said a knife, a firesteel, and a poncho. Some of you came back and said a steel pot. After thinking about it I’m almost ready to lean in that direction and if I had my choice it would be this little set up right here.
As you can see below the bottle isn’t quite as pretty as it was, but that’s the beauty of a piece of equipment you know you’ll be using. This water bottle kit has found a permanent spot in my bug-out bag and I’d recommend it to anybody looking for the same functionality I was.