Water and refreshments

Water storage

Maintaining a good supply of water at your campsite saves on multiple trips to the tap or water source, and is essential for remote area camping where access to reliable drinking water is unpredictable.

Water buckets
Large hard shell water containers and buckets are very bulky for transportation and are generally not suitable for us given our limited space, but there are a number of collapsible buckets available that would do the job.
BucketBucket and lid

We recently used the collapsible bucket in the photo above. The one we used in this photo does change the taste of the water and so we wouldn't recommend it for drinking water. Other options include a silicone collapsible bucket, and also a folding bucket suitable for hikers. See examples of your options in our buying guide under the sundry kitchen and laundry items heading at the end of the list.

We use a plastic bowl to ladle the water out so everyone can easily help themselves, and we cover it with a plastic plate to keep it free of any air born contaminants. As opposed to an enclosed water container, a collapsible bucket is easy to clean, fill and carry around when full. It also pops down really well for transport, and as you will see in our camping uses for a bucket article, comes in handy for other purposes around the campsite .

Water dispensers

As with buckets, your typical hard shell water dispensers are very bulky and not suitable for us given our limited car space.

A cheaper alternative, especially if you are concerned about using your bucket for drinking water, is instead to use water bottles or reuse soft drink bottles. You will be able to more easily find spaces in the car for smaller bottles rather than one large one.

A more convenient but expensive option is to use a collapsible water container, but whichever one you choose, make sure it is reported to be food safe and taste free. We have used two different ones in the past that made no reference to food safety and definately were NOT taste free. The ones we used also looked to be compact when folded when we purchased them, but once used were difficult to fold back down again to the same size.

Hiking stores also have a number of flat shaped water taps in different sizes of up to 10 litres, which look very promising. See an example in our buying guide.

Water carriers

With the limited capacity of our car to carry bulky and heavy items, transporting large volumes of water required for remote area travelling and touring can be problematic for us. With limited car space, hard shell water containers are difficult to transport.

Water bladders are, however, easier to transport and come in different shapes and sizes to fit the space available, such as the rear seat foot well area (space permitting) or in the spare tyre compartment (if you can externally fit the spare tyre(s) to the car). If space permits, water bladders should be professionally fitted for safety reasons, and you will need to ensure that the payload of your car is sufficient to carry the additional weight.

Cool drinks / refreshments

And what about the cool drinks and refreshments I here you say. Well, you will be aware that our esky / fridge won't have a huge amount of space for storing liquid refreshments, and you most likely will have limited car space (and possibly weight capacity) to accommodate a second hard shell cooler just for the drinks.

Fortunately for us, eskys and fridges operate most efficiently when full (see our article on tips for managing your icebox / fridge), which means that, as long as you leave some space for the cold air to circulate around your food, any available space can be taken up by drinks and other cool refreshments.

If your fridge is over loaded, you should limit your drinks to those you expect to consume within the next 24 hours. Replenishing the non-alcoholic drinks before you go to bed and the alcoholic drinks in the morning, or at least several hours before you plan to consume them, will help to give you the right cold drinks when you need them.

If you are planning a "big night", one of the spare kitchenware containers could also be filled with ice and used as a drinks tub.