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Why You Need BPA-Free Drinking Vessels For Your Bug-Out Bag

Jeremiah Johnson
November 16th, 2018
Ready Nutrition
Comments (28)
Read by 2,684 people
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This article was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s

Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster

This article stresses the importance of finding drinking vessels that will not leach chemicals out of their very walls and poison you. Yeah! Sounds problematic, doesn’t it? Well, it is. BPAs (Bisphenol-A, a chemical used in plastics for the past 60 years). BPAs are found in both epoxy (used in food cans and even in dentistry), and in polycarbonate plastics. The latter is used in vessels that hold drinks and food. Studies have shown that BPAs affect the brain and other systems of the body. The FDA said the levels of BPA within the plastics are safe.

No. Safe is when there are no levels of such things in your food.

Fortunately, you have solutions at hand in the form of glass drinking bottles and steel bottles. I have mentioned this in the past, but there are a few things to consider here also to make your “finds” truly effective. Let’s cover them.

  1. If it’s glass, make sure it’s wide-mouthed and/or freeze-resistant: The problem is in the wintertime. If that glass vessel should freeze, having it wide-mouthed, and not filling it up all the way are the solutions. Leave about ¼ or more “headspace” to provide for expansion with a freeze, if it should occur.  Suggestions here are for wide-mouth Mason jars (one-quart or larger). You can find them in stores that sell canning supplies, and also order them online. Glass also gives you another advantage: a glass jar with water inside and left in the sun will heat up almost akin to a “solar oven,” and for those old enough to remember Don Meredith and his “Sun-Tea” ads for Lipton…yes, it works. Put your tea bags inside and leave it out. The sun will do the rest.
  2. Steel: Yes, to paraphrase “Rage Against the Machine,” a “fistful of steel” will knock out those BPAs. I will give you my own preference right here:  WWII issue canteens. Here’s a photo of one by itself, and also how it appears in its carrying cover:

These guys are made of steel, and their lids have a cork liner…if it’s gone, you can easily replace it.

No leaching of the plastic, and no aluminum or aluminum blends. In the wintertime, fill them up to about 2/3 capacity, and they’ll take the freeze. Even better: you can place them on the coals of a fire and your ice will then thaw out. Look for these guys in your local military surplus stores, or you can order them and the carrying covers online at Amazon.

Just pay attention, because in ‘45 Uncle Sam started making them out of aluminum. It will be stamped on the bottom (the date), and it’ll take a magnet if it’s steel and not aluminum.

Another “plus” is the fact that you can hook these guys up to your vest or military gear. You may have to attach Alice clips in order to do it, but that’s no large feat.

Both glass and steel bottles are easier to clean and prevent “detritus” from remaining or forming a film, as is wont to do on surfaces that are made of plastic. Both stand up to heat better than plastic and will not catch on fire…another “plus” to file away. As they do not break down as readily, you don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching with the passage of time. I recommend both to you. It is trickier with glass to protect it from being broken, but why not use some of these insulated bottle-carriers you see on the market for plastic bottles?

If the glass bottle should break, the carrier will contain the glass for a short time and perhaps prevent cuts. In addition to this, the Mason jar (if used) can stand up to the heat. You can make up some stew in a pot, and use the Mason jar to eat a nice bowl of soup. Then it’ll clean up just fine and can go back to being used as a drinking vessel. You’re only limited by your imagination, but as the winter approaches, keep in mind: your need to drink does not decrease. Arm yourself with these tools and try them out until they become second nature and a part of your daily routine.  JJ out!

About the Author

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her website at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

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Author: Jeremiah Johnson
Views: Read by 2,684 people
Date: November 16th, 2018

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.


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  1. Beaumont says:

    Even if you have no realistic expectations of changing sexes like a fish, or becoming a gay frog, named Alex Jones, BPA is still not durable, over time.

  2. reper sleepr says:

    I use the Kleen Kanteen single wall stainless bottles. They can be suspended over a fire and water boiled. I nest my sporks inside them and keep them in a Condor bottle pouch. The condor also has a side pouch for other items. The Kleen Kanteen nests down inside the condor pouch in a stainless GSI cup that has graduations on the outside of the cup. The condor pouch is either belt adaptable or Molle. All my GOOD packs have these set ups. BTW, You can go on line and buy a stainless spring that holds a single wall Kleen Kanteen over a fire to boil water. They can be found on Dave Canterbury’s site. They work well.

  3. Justice says:

    I know I’m being a ****, but if I’m using my bug-out bag the last thing I’m going to be worried about is my water storage poisoning me by leaching chemicals into my drinking water.

    It’s kind of like people criticizing me for stocking up on Spam because it’s not healthy (even though it’s the reduced sodium spam, LOL). But I understand that after 10 years of prepper articles we are down to discussing things in incredible minutia.

    • Beaumont says:

      In my hot climate, I was able to tear a 1 year old bottle, by hand.

      And, it starts to taste funny, inside an unopened bottle.

      This makes me think of the ‘get-home’ bag, in the trunk of peoples’ cars.

    • reper sleepr says:

      Justice, I still grab plastic water bottles out of the garage fridge when I’m thirsty. LOL.

      • Genius says:

        I have a bunch of plastic military canteens for bugout. BUT I also have a portable filter and I will filter it BEFORE I drink it. I don’t use metal canteens because they freeze and break. The water reserve at plan B is stored in an underground plastic tank and we filter it before drinking and cooking. No more plastic taste!

    • laura ann says:

      Justice: I read prepper newsletters in the ’80’s someone passed on to me. The articles were mainly about food storage, famine and natural disasters. These authors and some of the preppers I knew then, are now in the cemetery and none of these predictions has happened since.

  4. Willothawisp says:

    I don’t think you’re understanding: the article is off Tess Pennington’s site…and this was there first…different audience.

    And who’s criticizing you for Spam? It has everything that Alpo has, and more!

  5. I avoid plastic and aluminum.

    I can taste it and it tastes disgusting to me.

    Plastic that is kept cool is OK. Once it heats up, yuk.


  6. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    I have some old European military canteens that really serve the purpose. Got them at, which has all kinds of military surplus and survival gear. My water filters are all Sawyers which have never given me any trouble. I filter the water first before putting it into the canteens and get good tasting water. Plastic containers just don’t cut it for me.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      BTW, the canteens I mentioned are metal. has the best selection of military surplus and survival gear I’ve ever found anywhere and the prices are reasonable.

  7. blinky says:

    Ohhhhhh, yeah. In a life and death situation I’m really worried about BPA-free. (sarc)

  8. wormdirt says:

    If something so serious happens that you have to resort to your ‘found on road dead’ bag, then BPA will be the LEAST of your worries.

  9. Chris says:

    Keep in mind, BPA-free plastics still leach into the water, they just haven’t been proven toxic yet. They’re probably just as toxic.


    Best water on the planet, and comes in BPA-free bottles! I have a ton of them.

    Ed in Phoenix

    #MAGAveteran on Twitter

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