cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


882 Liquid Storage
A Water Kit

Kelty soft sided cooler

Through years of car camping, we have tried many solutions for water storage. We have tried cheap plastic 5 gallon containers that never seal shut. The collapsible jugs start leaking as soon as they are filled and continue until no water is left in the containers. We have also tried expensive containers, but they fare no better than the inexpensive ones. With a little use, the water in the expensive containers also finds a way to escape the containing walls.

The leaking water is especially a problem while transporting water in a vehicle. We almost always carry some water with us, and if we know we are stopping at an unimproved campsite, then we fill up at a source for water before reaching the site. Then as soon as the car starts jostling, the water starts sloshing and everything remotely close to the water containers is wet. As a solution, we have given up trying to keep the water containers from leaking - instead, we have tried to keep the leaking water from spreading. Using a soft sided Kelty cooler we capture the sloshes. The cooler has become the storage container for our water kit. We store our water bags, hydration systems, water filters, a water basin, collapsible bucket and the kitchen cleaning kit in the bag. It helps keep all of the wet things in just one place and hopefully traps any escaping water.

A few wet notes ...

Our bag is not waterproof, but it still catches and contains most of the leakage.

We only use soft sided water bags. Our favorite is the 70 ounce Platypus. The bags are strong and the lids do not leak. We carry several of the bags.

We use soft sided water containers because they pack better. A hard sided jug or cooler probably would not leak, but when empty they still take up space.

A shoulder strap makes carrying the water kit back from the water filling station easier.

We also store anything else that is wet in the kit.

Naturally, the cooler may also be used as an ice cooler or a picnic basket.

Kelty doesn't seem to make the soft sided cooler any longer, however Mountainsmith still does. It looks very similar to the Kelty model that we use. We have used several of the Mountainsmith storage containers and have been very pleased. Our good friend, Laura, who is the queen of organization, uses the Mountainsmith Cubes to store a mini van load of gear in their Mini Cooper!!!

Happy Liquid Storage trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: