Prime hiking season in Alabama runs from August through the end of the year. (It doesn’t start getting uncomfortably cold until January, usually.) That gives you plenty of time to hit the trails and hike to your heart’s content.
Just make sure you take lots of water with you. Staying hydrated is very important when you’re outside and exerting yourself. If you don’t bring water, you’ll quickly wish you had.
As any Boy Scout can attest, there’s no better way to bring water along than a trusty canteen. Sure, you can bring a plastic water bottle, but what’s the fun in that? You need something simple, yet functional, that is rugged enough to endure the wilds (i.e. it won’t shatter or crumple if you drop it on a rock).
Here are some primo canteen options for you to take on your hiking expeditions this season.
Rugged, Iconic, Simple: the Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen
When it comes to hitting the outdoors, you can’t do much better than the tried-and-true implements the military has used for decades, and that includes the Pinty G.I. Army Stainless Steel Canteen.
This canteen is made of stainless steel and doesn’t weigh much, but is virtually indestructible. You can drop it all you want and it will hold up. It also uses a simple, no-frills design – nothing fancy, just something that works.
And with a carrying capacity of a quart, you’ll have enough water for most hikes. Plus, the steel does a good job of keeping your water cool for up to 5 hours.
Stylish, Large-Capacity Water Storage: the Laken Camping and Hiking Canteen
Sometimes, you want a bit of decoration for your canteen. And sometimes, you want to carry a lot of water.
Enter: Laken Camping and Hiking Canteen. This is a pretty nice-looking and well-made canteen that adds a bit of rustic charm to your hiking outfit. It holds 1.5 liters of water, which is 1.58 quarts, or 58% larger than the Pinty G.I. Army canteen.
The Laken also has a “cool” evaporative cooling feature that promises to keep your water colder for longer than other canteens. Just soak the outside fabric in water and it’ll evaporate, cooling the inside.
It’s not as durable as a stainless-steel option, since it’s made of aluminum, but it can carry a lot of cool water and look great while doing it.
The Best Low-Cost Canteen on the Market: the Rothco 3 Piece Canteen Kit
If you were in the military, you are probably very familiar with canteens like the Rothco 3 Piece Canteen Kit. It’s a no-nonsense canteen made of hard plastic in the iconic olive green color all servicemembers know and love, and it’s not much different from what was used decades ago in the field.
For the money – it’s just $12 on Amazon – you can’t get a more durable option. The hard plastic holds up well, and the canteen is a nice size. It holds one quart of water and effectively keeps water cool.
It’s not fancy at all, and it does impart a slight taste to the water, but for a very low amount of money, it gets the job done. Plus, it comes with an aluminum cup that’s useful for a lot of things: drinking, cooking, washing, brushing your teeth, getting water from a stream, etc.
If you want an iconic piece of hiking equipment, the Rothco is a good – and cheap – choice.
What are you using to carry water on your next hike?