How to Get Water while Camping Off Grid (Here’s how!)

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One of the most frequently asked questions while we are out of the city enjoying holidays or camping off-grid is how to get water while camping off grid?

When camping off the grid, you can get water from gas or water stations; they will charge up to $10 to fill up 40 gallons of potable water. In addition, Campendium is an excellent place to plan your next camping without any water shortage.

Read on to find out how to get water while camping off grid. You might also enjoy reading: Wet Camping And Dry Camping: What Are The Differences?

How to Get Water while Camping Off Grid
How to Get Water while Camping Off Grid (Here’s how!) –

How Do You Supply Water Off The Grid?

This is truly a problem that arises when you plan to live an off-grid life. People often face hindrances while arranging an adequate amount of water when they are off the grid.

Here are some sources through which you can source water while enjoying the outdoors.

1- Well-water

Wells are a popular source of off-grid water. One of the most significant disadvantages of wells is their cost. And, wells’ costs depend on their length; the more profound the well, the higher the cost.

The good news is that wells are an excellent water source for an off-the-grid lifestyle, and they require very little maintenance.

Everyone is aware of getting water from wells, and you can also use it during an off-grid situation. Freshwater can be obtained from wells.

It is also an ancient way of getting water still used in rural areas. However, what you can do to ensure that the water is safe for drinking is to use a screen filter to avoid unwanted or dirty particles. 

  • Manual well pumps: Manual well pumps are one of the oldest methods used for off-grid water. Do you remember watching an old Western movie? You might have noticed the rhythmic sounds of a metal well pump while drawing water up.

Manual well pumps are generally inexpensive and useful at drawing up water from shallow wells. And if you want to go entirely off the grid, manual well pumps are a good option.

To get water out of your well, you will need a pump. You can try old school with a manual water pump or a solar-powered one.

  • Solar or Electric Well Pumps: In contrast to manual well pumps, solar or electric well pumps can provide you with substantial water flow regardless of the depth of the wells. There are three main factors to keep in mind when choosing solar or electric well pumps, including:
    • the diameter of your well shaft
    • the water flow rate, in other words, how much capacity you need (measured in gallons per minute/GPM)
    • the power requirements

2- Rainwater

Another way of finding water while camping is via rainfalls. The good news is that rainwater is a clean and natural water source.

But you need a rain catchment system which is a system that allows you to collect rainwater as it falls passively. Most off-gridders use their roof as the central collecting point and then funnel the water from their gutters into plastic rainwater storage barrels.

A good rain catchment system can help you divert water from your roof to a storage system. You just need to figure out how much you need.

Keep in mind that water collected from roofs can be contaminated, so before using any water collected from rain, ensure you properly filter it.

3- Natural Springs Are an Excellent Way to Get Water While Living Off the Grid.

Natural springs are one of the best ways to get water while camping. Think of natural wells flowing through nature.

Getting water from springs is free; you need a way to divert the water into storage. However, natural springs are generally rare in hot or dry years and sometimes secluded.

Another issue with getting water from springs is that environmental factors typically affect them.

3- You Can Get Water While Camping Via Natural Rivers, Streams, and Ponds.

This source of water is also quite an effective and easy way to arrange water for use. But the disadvantage here is that most countries, including the United States, don’t allow people to use naturally formed water.

To determine if you can use naturally present water, check your city or state’s Appropriative Water Rights.

Keep in mind that it is not yet legal to get water from rivers, seas, and ponds while living off the grid.

4- You Can Get Water While Living Off the Grid By Buying And Storage Water

Another option through which you can solve your problem is that you can purchase water before going off-grid and store it in your car or wherever you are going to stay. Buying water is not an ideal option for an off-grid lifestyle.

But it is also not as easy as it seems because you cannot store a huge amount of water as it will be difficult to carry.

See also: Boondocking And Dry Camping: Which One Is Better?

How Do You Get Water at a Campsite?

Try camp where there’s greenery and plants because the view will be soul-wrenching but also because water lakes or any source of water will be available there due to the existence of plants.

Also, while camping, try to place your camp near waterfalls or somewhere near constantly flowing water is available. Standing water can be harmful because of the mixture of so many impurities and hazards.

After getting water for use, its purification procedure is essential, and water can be purified through boiling. Moreover, water purification tablets can also be used for this purpose, as impure water can cause several diseases.

Where Do You Get Water When Boondocking?

Boondocking can be difficult for some people for various reasons, such as being too crowded, expensive, or far from the natural environment.

However, if you are planning to boondock, water access is the problem that most people face. Here are some of the spots where you can access water when boondocking:

1- Public Parks and Buildings

In some public buildings, you can get water, and while boondocking in public parks, most of the time, waterfalls and water taps are available, which are clearly for public use. You’ll not get fined for using them.

Generally, RV Parks will allow you to fill up your tanks for a fee of about $3 to $10 for 40 gallons (about 152 liters).

A water bandit is a tool to collect water, so you must keep it with you while boondocking. Furthermore, public places, libraries, and gas stations can also provide water after charging an amount.

Parks with camping will usually have water fill around the ranger’s station or sometimes in the camping loop. National Parks are well known for having complicated unthreaded faucets; ensure you are prepared and have a water bandit in your equipment.

Other public buildings, including libraries or fire stations, are good places to look for water while camping. Fire stations have water.

2- Gas Station and Truck Stops

While having a hose bibb, you can conveniently take and fill water in your tank. A hose bibb is necessary so that you can fill up your water tankers.

First, you must invest in a decent hose and choose a sufficiently long hose plenty long because you will not always be close to the water source.

Ensure you choose a hose that is not too bulky and heavy because it will take up a lot of room and is hard to carry.

Check out a lightweight, flexible, and durable hose on Amazon. It is excellent for campers.

And you can easily find these hose bibbs from malls or local shops nearby. 

3- Water Retrieval Gear (four-way water key)

This is a tool used to unlock or open the hose bibb. So we can’t underestimate its importance while collecting adequate water for use.

You’ll easily get water through using a hose bibb, but without the four-way water key, it would be quite impossible.

How Can I Camp Without Running Water?

Undoubtedly, camping is a great adventure and an enjoyable activity to do. Having its fun side, there are also some challenges that one can face if enough water supply is not available. Water shortage can become problematic while camping.

But in this situation, we should use our creative side of mind to make sources to arrange water. Here are some techniques through which you can run your camp without enough availability of water without causing panic.

  • You can clean your plates and utensils, which are to be used while camping, with baking soda, alkaline, and wood ash. These are the techniques through which you can get your utensils clean without the use of water.
  • Those objects which are useful for camping can be cleaned with a spray bottle of vinegar.
  • Taking a bath is a must-do for all of us, and without a shadow of a doubt taking a bath is good for our health, but in this case, if you don’t have water, you can get yourself purified by taking a solar bath and by using baby wipes to clean your body.
  • Moreover, you can take baths in lakes, river streams, and ponds.

See also: Must Know RV Boondocking Tips For Beginners.

Final Thoughts

Here are the easiest ways to get water while camping off grid:

  • Generally, when you notice a sudden drop in temperatures, it can often mean there is a nearby water source.
  • Vegetation requires water to thrive; therefore, look for trees and growth. 


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the person behind Off The Grid Planet. Off The Grid Planet is about off-grid living, homesteading, and self-sufficiency: learning self-reliance, sustainable homes, gardening, survival, preparedness, and renewable energy and inspire you to live a simple life. I do my best to bring you the most correct, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on these topics.

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