Boil Water In Five Minutes

Get potable water in five minutes with these quick instructions.

| December 2017

  • Boiled water can be used to drink, wash up, and more.
    Photo by Unsplash/Derek Story
  • “Bushcraft First Aid” by Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt provides first-aid and survival tips necessary for any outdoorsperson.
    Cover courtesy Adams Media

Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care waterby Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt (Adams Media, 2017) prepares readers for the outdoors with first-aid and survival tips. In this section, the authors share how to boil water in five minutes.

After you have set up a shelter and started a fire, the next step to surviving in the wild is to boil water as quickly as possible so you have potable water to treat injuries and rewarm and feed the victim. You don’t have much time here. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to boil water quickly if you know what you’re doing. Fill a container with water (stainless steel bottle or canteen). Take off the lid and use the stove base or a couple of green sticks (wood that has been recently cut and hasn’t dried out, making it less likely to burn) to raise the container about 2 inches off the ground.

Doing this will permit air to pass under the container and help it to super heat. Prop sticks over the container, imitating a teepee, and surround the container with more kindling. This will also help heat the water quickly.

Once the water has boiled, allow it to cool. Hanging it from a toggle will help speed this process.



In all, building a shelter, building a fire, boiling water shouldn’t take you more than fifteen minutes; with some practice you can probably get it down to seven or eight. Spend the time mastering these skills. They can save a life in the wilderness.

More From Bushcraft First Aid:

Five Minute Shelter
Five Minute Fire

Excerpted from Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care by Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt. Used by permission of the publisher, Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.






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