Water Bottle Bag Survival Kit

One issue with a lot of bushcraft and survival kits is, they neglect the water element (And shelter.) of survival.

Most kits can easy hold a few fire lighting tools and cutting devices, but water is harder to carry because it can be heavy and bulky.  This is where the water bottle bag survival kit or canteen pouch shines. Especially as water is an essential element.

survival-kit-bushcraft-canteen pouch

If your bottle bag or canteen pouch has extra pockets, (Or if you can add pouches.), it can help serve to hold other elements as well.

The survival kit might include extra items that help you with:

  1. Shelter.
  2. Water.
  3. Fire.
  4. Food.
  5. Navigation.
  6. Signaling.

Another big advantage of the water bag survival kit is you can put a metal nesting cup that can help boil water in. Such as an army cups canteen “D” cup, or a stainless steel nesting cup.

The nesting cup takes up little room. It is also another container to put items or food in, or to cook with it.

A big strength of the kit is that if you do get separated from your main gear or pack, you still have water with you. Hopefully you have some fire-lighting gear and other items that will get you buy in a wilderness emergency in it as well.

bushcraft-canteen-bottle pouch-survival kit


Water bag survival kit options.

Here are a few ideas below of what gear you might put in the canteen pouch and water carry bag.

(A fixed blade knife might be put on the belt, or strapped on the water carry bag.).

Remember to have backups and layer your survival gear as covered in these articles. – Survival kit options and layered survival kit.

bushcraft-survival-kit-pathfinder water bottle
Above image: TBS Fatboy ferro rod, Pathfinder 64 oz. stainless steel water bottle and nesting cup, bottle bag, Silver Ranger compass, jute twine, matches, candle, cotton balls & petroleum jelly, SOL thermal space blanket, Bic lighter.


Above picture: Cordage, Condor Bushlore knife on belt, water bottle, canteen cup, canteen pouch, Fox40 Sonic Blast whistle, orange bandana, Olight i3E EOS flashlight, UST Pathfinder Glo compass, Bic lighter, ferrocerium rod.


Bushcraft kit pathfinder bottle bag
Above pic: Pathfinder 32 oz. stainless steel bottle and nesting cup, Pathfinder water bottle bag, army can opener, mini saw, Fox40 Sharx whistle, Mora Heavy Duty Companion MG knife, cordage, FireSteel ferro rod, cotton balls & petroleum jelly, Bic lighter.


Above picture: Water bottle, canteen cup, canteen pouch, Bic lighter, Fire Strip, orange bandana, Mora Garberg knife (To go on belt.) Note. – This canteen pouch has only one small additional pocket on it, so it is very limited in what it can carry. The bandana fits between the cups canteen and the kidney water bottle. (This also stops it rattling.)


pathfinder-survival-kit-water bag
Above image: Pathfinder water bottle bag, SOL thermal space blanket, Nalgene water bottle, Pathfinder 25 oz. nesting cup, cordage, headlamp, Walker Swiss Army Knife,  Magnesium fire starter block, Bic lighter, mosquito head net.


pathfinder-survival-kit-water bag
Above pic: Cordage, small compass, Opinel Carbon No. 6 pocket knife, Bic lighter, ferro rod, water transportation bags, micro torch, Tasmanian Tiger belt, cups canteen, Pathfinder canteen pouch, kidney water bottle.


survival-bushcraft-kit-bottle bag
Above picture: Match safe, Byrd Cara Cara 2 pocket knife, yellow bandana, ferro rod, water bottle and nesting cup, cordage, frennel lens, water bottle bag, fixed blade knife.


Above image: Signal mirror, cargo tape (Squashed down so it fits flatter.), Mora Garberg knife, flashlight, compass, UCO matches, Exotac FireSleeve, army canteen and pouch, cordage.

Other gear that could be included are items like a multi-tool or Leatherman tool, water purification tablets, etc. If there is enough room, a first aid kit or small water purification filter might fit.


Canteen pouch options, where to buy.

Cheap Amazon or eBay water bottle pouches might do the trick, but be wary of the quality of some of these.

Alternatively canteen pouch brands like Maxpedition, Tasmania Tiger, Condor, or Pathfinder are quality brands that should last.

A complete kit like the TBS water bottle survival kit is also another option.

Camping stores and army surplus stores might turn up with some choices for some bags.


Water bottle bag tips.

If you do swap packs and equipment often, the bottle bag kit can easily be put in another back pack, or a stand-alone kit by itself.

bushcraft-backpack-survival kit
Attach the bottle bag to the side of the pack if it has MOLLE webbing (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment.) This gives you easy access to your survival kit and is there for emergencies. (Although arguably it is better with on you, rather than the back pack.)

If your water carry bag pouch has MOLLE straps, you can also attach an extra pouch too it as well. This is handy for holding some additional items.

bushcraft-survival-pathfinder bottle carrier

If a smaller water bottle is used, the Pathfinder bottle bag, can fit a round tin, such as a flint and steel kit.

Shawn Kelly form the YouTube channel, Corporals Corner has a good idea to put a bandana in the strap cover. This gives the strap more padding and also is a place to store the bandana neatly.

Below – Orange bandana placed in the shoulder padding strap.


A hatchet or tomahawk can be carried with the M.O.L.L.E. straps crossed over the back of the water bottle bag.



The shelter element.

A quality Mylar space blanket and some cordage might be able to fit in the pouch for the cover element. (Avoid the cheap budget space blankets as they rip easy. They can be used for signaling though.)

If you have a small water bottle, you might be able to put a small tarp or a silnylon tarp around the bottle or at the top of the pouch.

water-bottle-bag-grabber-space blanket
Above picture. You can even strap a rolled up tarp to it. Such as a Pathfinder Survival blanket, or Grabber All Weather Space blanket to it.


The negatives of the kit.

Because of the weight of water and volume, this can be a drawback. However, because water is a necessity you might be carrying it in another way, such as in a pack.

In hotter areas the amount of water carried will not be enough and will have to be re-supplied or extra water carried in a pack. But it is a good way of least ensuring you have some water on you.

Another disadvantage is that the cover element, such as a decent tarp or extra clothing may not fit.

Because of the size limitations, carrying a first aid kit in it can also be limited.


Summary – Water bottle bag survival kit.

water-bottle-kit-grabber-space blanket

The water bottle bag survival kit has a lot of benefits. It can eliminate the traditional survival kit problems and issues of not having water on you. Or no metal cup to help collect and boil water in it.

With additional pockets the kit can carry fire-lighting and other essential gear.

Pair the canteen pouch, or bottle bag with a decent fixed blade knife and a good cover element and you have the base for a simple, but good bushcraft and survival kit.




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