Are all stainless steel water bottles safe to heat water in?

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John McDouall Stuart
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Has anyone ever heard of a SS water bottle having something about it which means it's bad to heat water in?
Such as some kind of lining, or low quality stainless steel?


I like being able to heat up water, etc. in my SS water bottle.
Sometimes I don't bother taking my camp cup (for day walks anyway) if I have an SS water bottle or two with me.
Often I'll take 2 SS water bottles figuring that by the time I want a cuppa one will be half empty, and I can use that one for heating water in, while still having a bottle of nice cool water to drink on the walk home.
Seems like a better option than a single SS water bottle and a camp cup (at least sometimes).

But not too long ago after realising I had forgotten my camp cup (this time I had intended to take it with me) I set up a fire and put my SS water bottle on it (with some logs positioned to hold it).
I pulled it out of the fire (multi tool helped there), threw a teabag in, let it brew and cool a little bit then drank it. (Cheap gardening gloves came in handy to hold the hot bottle.)

Soon after I started to feel a bit ill. Not severe, just a bit headachy and slightly dizzy.
I wondered if it was the SS water bottle, and whether it had some contaminants or a lining or something. It was a cheap $10 one from woollies and this was the first time I'd heated water in it.

Maybe it was some of the firewood that was already stacked on the fire that I was burning. There could have been something in it which is a bit toxic and the smoke got into the brew or I inhaled it.
There is also a chance I was just dehydrated from the walk beforehand.

I had been using that water bottle just for water for quite some time (but never heated it), so I can't imagine it was just a bit of chemical residue on it left over from manufacturing. It had been washed with dish soap a bunch of times.

I'm considering heating up water in my new SS water bottles (2 from the reject shop for $10) then pouring it out. Then repeat a couple of times.
That way if there is anything leaching, hopefully most of it will be gone.

In theory it should be completely safe. But maybe it's not pure stainless steel or something?

Any ideas?
 

elof_alv

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You're best of boiling the water in bottles at home first a few times, without drinking the water. That should rid the inside of any residues, the process from making to the shop shelf is not that short an things can get in.
 

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John McDouall Stuart
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You're best of boiling the water in bottles at home first a few times, without drinking the water. That should rid the inside of any residues, the process from making to the shop shelf is not that short an things can get in.
Yeah I think that's a good idea. I need to do that with my latest bottles.

I'm just curious to know if anyone can identify/articulate what it might be that's problematic.
Considering I've been drinking out of the bottles (without heating them) for a while without problems.... I presume it's not just residue, but either contaminants in the SS itself or some kind of lining that I'm unaware of.

It would be good if we could figure out what the issue is so that people are aware of it.
Last time I got the headache, etc. I was heading home. I'd hate to experience that when I'm somewhat stuck in the bush (ie. a long walk from anywhere).
 

Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
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was it only the one time you had the reaction with consuming the hot water from that SS bottle, if so you could be a guinea pig and try it again maybe.

i cant see how there would be a reaction if the bottles are well used and washed....unless they are not really SS

you could have had a reaction from the smoke emitted from the fire or could be just normal dehydration...Dizziness or light headedness and headache is dehydration signs

Mozz
 

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John McDouall Stuart
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was it only the one time you had the reaction with consuming the hot water from that SS bottle
Good question. Yeah it's the only time I recall that problem.
However I've typically used my camp cup or billy to heat water in, so I haven't heated water in a SS water bottle many times.

if so you could be a guinea pig and try it again maybe.
As hesitant as I am, my curiosity tends to get the better of me.
I think I should try it again at home and see what happens. Although I have different water bottles now, if it happens again it'll be very significant in terms of learning.

I'm wondering whether I should forgo the pre-seasoning of the water bottles (by heating water in it without drinking it, a few times)... simply to test this out.
At least once, then if it happens again I should try to properly season the bottles (ie. heat water in them without drinking it) then test it again. Will be interesting to see if it still happens after that.

I wasn't that sick, so it's possibly worth it just to collect data (ie. possibly comprehend what was happening).

There is a good chance it was just dehydration.... but it did seem like drinking that tea made it worse. With dehydration it should have helped in theory.
Maybe though I didn't have enough salt in my system, which could result in me being unable to absorb the water, even though I was drinking it.

Actually if there wasn't enough salt in my system then drinking more liquids could have made it worse. Diluting the remaining salts in the system can lead to the body not functioning properly (especially the liver).
I've heard of a few cases of people dying from drinking too much water. I get the impression that it was largely due to the body lacking salts (and other electrolytes) and that can potentially cause liver failure.



Hmmm... I think I need to take one for the team and repeat the experiment.
It'll only be a day or so feeling crappy if it happens again. To me it seems possibly worth it in order to comprehend what happened.
 
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Howling Dingo

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Some are double wall bottles so not good on the fire..
 

GTVi

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Some cheap SS bottles have a clear enamel coating on the outside that would probably give you a head ache if inhaled. After a couple of uses on the fire should be ok in the future.
 

elof_alv

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I'd still say it's safer to pre-treat them at home before actual use in emergency. Emergency might just happen, so better be prepped for it.

Some cheap SS bottles have a clear enamel coating on the outside that would probably give you a head ache if inhaled. After a couple of uses on the fire should be ok in the future.
It is often the case, often the enamels are coloured as well.
And the cheap bottles would be manufactured in a less than desirable safety environment... That, and they're not really meant for hot liquids as they're aimed at 'general population', and they don't boil water in their bottles...
 

AussiePreppers

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I try to not put mine directly on super hot parts of the fire like huge amounts of bright red coals. I usually nestle it in the edge somewhere. Get a bit of black up the side but personally I don't think heating metals to high temps is all that good for them and the hotter you heat it the more chance something could come out.
 

Lazy J

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Agree with the points made here. I bought the nalgene ss bottles as it specifically states that it can be used to boil water. Better off paying a bit more and getting a quality ss bottle you know will work safely.
 

oncedisturbed

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Very true, make sure it's designed for it to play it safe. Some of the Kleen Kanteens can also be used to boil water as are the Pathfinder sets.
Most SS bottles are not suitable for boiling only to be used with cold / tap water etc due to the interior coating and also cheap SS has been know to cause upsets as it's not good grade materials being used and will calcify very quickly inside which can also cause issues


https://m.facebook.com/southernleathersolutions/
 

oncedisturbed

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My SS bottles are Cheeki Canteen brands which I've gone back and checked the manufacturer's specs and revealed they're not lined on the inside so should be fine for boiling if needs be, good part is they're a lot cheaper than many other brands out there and normally come with 2 caps. 1 being the standard screw cap and the other being a screw cap sports lid with flap / cap closure.
The 420ml and 450ml ti cups fit just right nesting with the bottles as well


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TomFR

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+1 on going with a trusted high quality manufacture. I'd be hesitant to boil water in a SS bottle that may have some other material mixed in. I know that SS bialetti espresso machines have quite a bit of aluminum in them, which can be leached into the coffee.
 

Kiwisailor

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To make it easier to recover from fire and attach to pack etc.

Get some s/s fishing leader wire.
Put on alloy crimp. Fashion a figure 8 around neck of Bootle and crimp ends together with pliers.

Presto, cheap and cheerful for lifting.
 
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