Make a Collapsible 2QT Canteen





Introduction: Make a Collapsible 2QT Canteen

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
This collapsible canteen is made from six mill polyethylene plastic sheeting (painter’s plastic available at home improvement stores), #215 O-rings, and a water bottle. Fusing the plastic is done with a Food Saver vacuum. It is surprisingly strong. I can stand on it without it bursting (160 lbs). The larger pouch holds 2 quarts of water.

For safety info on polyethylene click here

Step 1: Get Your Guide Out.

Inside the Food Saver there is a small tray for catching fluids during the sealing process. This tray is a good guide to lay out your sealing area. As long as your pieces fit within this tray you'll know it will seal when you close the machine. I used scissors to cut out squares from the polyethylene sheeting. Since the sheeting comes folded over, cutting once gave me four squares of plastic.

Step 2: Stretch the Sheeting.

Take two of the plastic sheets and hold them together with your hands on each side of the center. Force the sheeting down over a cylindrical object. The cylinder must be smaller than the opening of the water bottle. I'm using the handle to a musubi press but you could use a felt marker which has a similar shape. Once the plastic is stretched about half an inch, cut the very top disc of plastic out.

Step 3: Cut the Bottle

This part is very simple. Take a pair of scissors and carefully cut the bottle open near the cap. See the pictures. Keep cutting until you have about an inch of bottle left, measuring from the threads.

Step 4: Trim the Spout

This next part will trim the bottle to the proper length. Place 2 O-rings around the neck under the collar. Invert the remaining plastic towards the o-rings. Use the heel of your hand against your counter to further invert the plastic. Once the plastic is contacting the O-rings you can score a line with Razor blade. Stack two pennies and place the razor on top. Rotate the spout around the edge of the blade to score a line. You don't have to cut all the way through. This is just a reference mark. Next, un-invert the plastic skirt and trim it following the score line. Remove the O-rings.

Step 5: Install the O-rings

Force the plastic over the spout. It should be snug all the way up to the threads. Slip to O-rings over the spout making sure they are underneath the plastic collar. This will be a tight fit. On the underside invert the plastic around the bottom O-ring.

Step 6: Fuse the Edges

Food Savers have been around for a lot of years. If you're not familiar with one basically, it is a machine that removes air from a plastic bag so you can store food longer. For this project we don't have to remove any air were just using the sealing element.

Line up the sheets on top of the sealing element, close the lid, and press seal. You should now have a clean fused line. If you have any trouble getting any part to fuse you can always flip the pouch over and seal it again. Use a damp cloth to cool the seam before pulling the plastic away. 

Step 7: Trim and Test

To finish it off use a straight edge and razor. Cut the excess off at the edges of the seams. Also trim the excess plastic from the spout.

I tested this by standing on it. Even a single ply pouch withstood my weight, 160 lbs. 

Thanks for reading.

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    32 Discussions

    You could probably use an impulse sealer like this instead of the vac sealer. These run around $20.

    16, 7:56 AM.jpg

    I have to admit that I enjoy wine in a box. When empty the liner can be recycled as a water carrier complete with tap. I use them on my sea-kayaking expeditions where I have to carry 4 or 5 days water supply, I can usually find top ups in that time.

    Some are a little tricky to extract the tap but I'll put together an instructable showing how. It will be my first.

    Oops, cwsner, got there first.

    I just used the good ol' Foodsaver roll itself. Not 6-mil thickness but one "clearer" advantage of using this vs the more opaque stuff is being able to more effectively harness the sun's UV rays to disinfect water from a suspect source like they do all over the world. Good idea as an addition to a small survival kit.

    Fantastic instructible. I was immediately intrigued. U got my vote.

    1 reply

    Мне кажется, что с запасом питьевой воды, да еще в условиях дефицита воды в лагере, лучше не фантазировать. Не надо выставлять питьевую воду на солнце, мы Можем Получить болезнетворный инкубатор ВМЕСТО обеззараживания . Если бы солнечный свет обеззараживал воду, то вся вода на земле была бы стерильной. Лучше всего заранее использовать безопасную воду, например кипяченую, её можно заморозить и получится прекрасный холодильник на раскаленном пляже.

    Очень полезно использовать пакеты с питьевой водой в качестве аккумулятора холода. В замороженом виде большие пакеты с водой долго сохранят в свежем виде мясо, рыбу, овощи и другие продукты. 1.5 литровая бутылка воды в простейшей термосе-сумке остается в виде льда 2 и даже 3 дня. Если вода растяла её можно пить или употреблять для приготовления пищи.

    Простая питьевая вода значительно лучше любых хмических аккумуляторов холода. :-)

    I learned an easier way to do this. Buy wine in the box. It utilizes a plastic bag with pour spout already made. plus you get to drink some wine to get your canteen. Great ible by the way for those that don't drink.

    1 reply

    Touche cwesner.

    Though it is a very good idea to have them around or packed in a hiking bag, or for those prepers to keep in the bug out bags for collected water storage.

    thank you for this ible

    Nice! Going to make some smaller pouches like this (maybe 10 - 12 ounces each)that will fit into the back pockets of my bicycle jersey. Then I can carry around extra electrolyte drinks, amino fuel, and banana smoothies in collapsible (re-useable) bags without the bulk of bottles, camelback, or backpack on my 80+ mile bike rides. Good Job!!

    This is a very nice instructable! It's very clear to follow, and very useful as well! I think I need to make myself one of these :)

    Yet another good reason for me to invest in a vacuum sealer. Awesome instructable!

    As always...totally impressed! I just used a bag and spout from a wine box. I keep it folded in my camping bag. BUT you sir, have once again taken it to the indestructible instructable level. Thank you for the tutorial!

    They have similar but smaller bags inside the cardboard coffee boxes, like at dunkin donuts and starbucks....They have a wide mouth (milk bottle cap) sized opening too. Nice job!


    Great job, I partcularly like the way you attach the spot, very creative. I share the worry about food grade, plastic manufacture involves nasty chemicals. I'll definitely try this with the adequate material. Thanks for sharing.

    Wouldn't it be difficult to try to refill a wine cooler bladder? great instructable. did you seal across the corner in one picture?

    Why not use the foodsaver roll of freezer storage material. The only reason I can think of is the single ply thickness. Anybody got an idea?

    Step 1. get yourself a box of wine Step 2. drink it, Step 3 pull bladder from box.

    Step 4 use as collapsible canteen.

    my new instructable, no pics neccessary as once u drink th wine u will be able to visualize this.

    Awesome! Have you considered/tried using the food sealer bags/rolls for this purpose?

    Drop sheets from China or anywhere else are loaded with leaching petrochemicals which you can't detect other than taste. You can seriously poison yourself using non-food grade plastics for storage for any length of time. I'm not making this stuff up.

    These chemicals can close your windpipe if sensitive. I have been to emergency 3 times almost choking to death. Trust me.

    Otherwise a very good idea