If you ever need to re­mind your­self how sa­cred wa­ter is, spend some time in the wilder­ness where you have to find it and clean it your­self. Here are some good stor­age op­tions for hik­ing and camp­ing, and fil­tra­tion sys­tems to get rid of the bugs.


You can’t sur­vive with­out wa­ter. These bot­tles, con­tain­ers and pu­rifi­ca­tion prod­ucts will keep you hy­drated in the wilder­ness.

1 Cogh­lan’s Bota Bag

A bota bag is a tra­di­tional Span­ish re­cep­ta­cle used to carry liq­uid, and the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind all modern wa­ter bags. Whereas the orig­i­nal ones were made from leather and lined with a goat blad­der, this modern ver­sion (thank­fully) has a plas­tic lin­ing and an easy pour­ing noz­zle. Here’s an­other thing: A bota car­ries wine just as well as wa­ter… This bag might not be your best hy­dra­tion op­tion for the Ot­ter Trail but it works a treat for sun­down­ers on top of a kop­pie. R198 at

2 GSI 1 ℓ In­fin­ity DukJug

A good wa­ter bot­tle is non-ne­go­tiable when you’re hik­ing. You don’t want some­thing that will crack if you drop it or per­ish in the sun. This bot­tle is made from the right stuff – re­cy­clable, BPA-free plas­tic – and it has two clever fea­tures to set it apart: The lid has a bulge on one side that acts as a lever, mak­ing it easy

to un­screw if the bot­tle is frozen or if you’re wear­ing gloves, and the sil­i­cone grip pulls back to re­veal a re­cessed area that can ac­com­mo­date up to 2 m of duct tape – great in an emer­gency if you need to patch your tent, strap your boot, fix your back­pack… R225 at moun­tain­

3 K-Way 3 ℓ Reser­voir

If you have a pack that can ac­com­mo­date a hy­dra­tion sys­tem, a blad­der is the most ef­fi­cient way to carry your drink­ing wa­ter. This blad­der might fea­ture Cape Union Mart’s in-house brand­ing, but it’s ac­tu­ally made by Source – an Is­raeli com­pany that spe­cialises in such prod­ucts. Three litres is a nice size: You needn’t fill it to the brim if you’re just go­ing bird­watch­ing at your lo­cal na­ture re­serve, but at least you have the op­tion to if you’re plan­ning a longer walk. The blad­der has a wide mouth that seals with a slid­ing clip, which makes it easy to fill, and the hose is de­tach­able if you need to replace it one day. R450 at Cape Union Mart

4 MSR Dromedary 4 ℓ Bag

This beefy bag is like a wa­ter blad­der on steroids. It’s made from ul­tra-durable 1 000-de­nier can­vas (thicker than the stuff used to make your back­pack), which is lam­i­nated on the in­side with a BPA-free lin­ing. The three-in-one cap al­lows you to fill, drink and pour with ease, and you can hang it from a branch or a boul­der us­ing the built-in cord. Buy the hose sys­tem (sold separately) if you want to use it as a con­ven­tional blad­der; there’s even a shower at­tach­ment (also sold separately) for a no-non­sense rinse in the bush. The bag also comes in 10 ℓ and 6 ℓ sizes. R770 (4 ℓ) at moun­tain­

5 Water­buggy

Capeto­nian Matthew Pfaff be­gan im­port­ing these 25 ℓ wa­ter con­tain­ers on wheels to help peo­ple deal with the city’s wa­ter restric­tions and to pre­pare for a po­ten­tial Day Zero. The buggy has al­ready proved to be a hit at the var­i­ous springs around town, mak­ing it so much eas­ier to lug wa­ter back to your car, but it’s also a use­ful camp­ing gad­get es­pe­cially if you have to fetch wa­ter from a dis­tant tap. It’s about the size of a wheelie suit­case that you’d pack for a busi­ness trip and like that suit­case, it also has a fold-away han­dle along with other grab points for lift­ing. You can stand it up­right or lie it flat de­pend­ing on how it fits best in your boot and it has a wide noz­zle for easy fill­ing, plus a tap for easy pour­ing. Time to re­con­sider that jer­rycan… R650 at water­

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