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 takealot.com
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 mountainmailorder.co.za
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 mountainmailorder.co.za
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 waterbuggy.co.za