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Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills The Bushcraft & Primitive Wilderness Skills forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to ancient and/or primitive style bushcraft/wilderness skills (e.g. firecraft, foraging, natural material construction, modern/primitive tools, long-term wilderness survival,...).


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  #1  
Old 10-07-2011, 02:27 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Military / Traditional Canteens

If you use a military-style canteen for water carry, rather than another type of bottle or hydration bladder, please share what model/type canteen and why you prefer it over the other options.

Reality
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2011, 07:15 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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I prefer the flask-type water bottles since they are easier to handle and ride closer to the body or pack. In cold weather the pint aviator flasks ride in an inside pocket(s) to avoid freezing. (FWIW: I also prefer flask-type fuel and accessory (soap etc.) bottles.)

I have several of the GI pint plastic flasks - they are cheap, durable and light. I also have two Sigg flasks, one with the neoprene cover, the other with an oval stainless steel cup and recently got a couple of the Chinese made aluminum 22 oz. flasks.

The US Canteen (made in China) stainless steel models are similar in shape but are smaller than the GI canteen. These are well made but fairly expensive and, being steel, are heavy. On the other hand they are darn near bulletproof, and leach nothing, not even if used for acidic fruit juices. The carriers they sell are, IMO, overpriced. Maxpedition, among other makers, produce far better carriers at about the same price (the Thermite is particularly suitable).

The GI canteens have a lot to recommend them. The style predates WWII and will likely never be changed (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). Excellent cups, cup lids, stoves and carriers are readily available and inexpensive. They are somewhat heavy but that also means they are not fragile.

The older metal canteens are available in the auction sites but are sometimes overpriced ($30 for one in good condition is about what they are worth). Stainless steel is better for both canteen and cups. The aluminum cup is a lip-burner if used with hot beverages, uncoated aluminum canteens don't handle fruit juices well. The metal canteens can be used to heat water (or melt ice if they become frozen).

Warning: many of the commercial carriers are not sized to fit the cup. I have two carriers from Blackhawk I modified by splicing in a piece of 1" webbing on each side. Sizing to exclude the cup is not very bright I point I have mentioned to several makers.

A couple of specialty items deserve mention. One is a vacuum bottle the shape and size of the GI canteen (but it will not take the cup). Mine is made by Gott, 14 oz capacity and is the best vacuum bottle I have ever used. As far as I know these are not currently available but they do show up from time to time. A cup cap in included as is a pour-through stopper. I have had coffee stay quite hot after 12 hours at sub-freezing temperatures.

The other is Survival Tabs. These are a chewable fortified dry milk tablet for an emergency food supply. Twelve tablets a day provide minimal nutrition and a bottle contains about a 3-4 week supply. The container is sized to fit a canteen carrier and can be used as a water bottle (a plastic bag for the tablets is included). This is an excellent addition to a Bugout Bag.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2011, 09:47 PM
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Wayback Wayback is offline
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I have a couple of the old 2-quart "squarish" bladders. They have reasonably large openings and can be folded up to save space when empty. At about 5 oz each they are 3 or 4 times heavier than a 2 liter Platypus, but still less than a 1-quart hard Nalgene. In my experience they are very durable, having withstood airdrops on the outside of an ALICE pack. I sometimes use one instead of a Platy when toughness is more important than weight.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:08 AM
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garethw garethw is offline
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Hi there
I use the black NATO 58 Pattern Osprey bottles with a steel Crusader cup. They are tough and fit nicely into the outside pockets of my pack.
I usually carry two, bottles each holding around 1L of water.
cheers
Gareth
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:42 AM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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I still have one 1-quart and two 2-quart style and one 5-quart collapsible.

The 5-quart was and still is very nice as it was the first Platty style and just like the platty it could be used as a pillow,flotation and drinking.

The 2-quart was also better than the 1-quart because you could sqeeze the air out so no sloshing.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2011, 04:32 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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i like the five quart bladders. huge, folds up nice, doubles as a pillow, and a lot of them even come with an extension around the neck that allows you to use a scooping motion to fill them, and a screen in the mouth that cuts down on the crud that makes its way in.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2011, 09:12 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Thanks for all the participation. Keep in mind, the topic of this thread is "military-style canteen" but not bladders and other water bottles and containers (military-style or not).

For those interested, there are other threads on PBF that are specific to other types of water containers:

Water Bottles / Hydration Systems (3 Season)

Water Bottles for Extremely Cold Winter Weather

Reality
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:04 PM
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Wayback Wayback is offline
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I understand your point, but back in my cammie wearing days, the military OD 2-quart bladder I mentioned was called a "canteen." I suspect that is still the case.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:57 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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A restaurant and eating utensils (mess kit) are also called a canteen.

My point, as indicated in my first post, is to share canteens that are not other types of bottles or bladders - it's not whether they can or can't be canteens. I pre-considered the wider use of the term canteen, and that's why I actually mentioned bladders (because of the possibility of them being posted).

Absolutely no harm done. I'm simply clarifying (referring back to my initial post).

Thanks for the input.

Reality
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2011, 01:26 AM
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garethw garethw is offline
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These are the ones I like :

cheers
Gareth
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