Water is required for just about everything from drinking to washing to cooking. The problem with water is that you cannot always find a ready, inexpensive source of potable water everywhere you travel. Potable water can be had for free in most of the National Park campgrounds we’ve been at, but the Provincial ones tend only to have wash water. We are not above drinking right out of many mountain streams, but even here you must exercise caution to the source, have water purification tabs, or, some other form of water filtration. We readily use any non-potable water available for washing plates or bodies, including that from streams and lakes.
In our first season with the boogie van for a long weekend with hiking we carried 1x 5gal/20l water can with two smaller 1gal/4l containers plus our hydration packs full. By the end of the long weekend with rationing, we were dry. Sometimes, it just wasn’t quite enough. It would not be sufficient over a long weekend if there were more than just the two of us given each adult can drink around 6l of water per day. We carry a minimum of 3l in our hydration packs when we hike.
Presently we carry 2x 20l water cans like the one pictured below, these can be bought at many sporting goods stores for under $20. I like this specific type of water container as it has a tap built into the screw-on lid, and they sit nice on a table. The downside is that they can leak a bit out of the air vent. In addition I put in a collapsible 2.5gal water container for our kitchen sink, which also has a tap on the lid. The water cans fit underneath the bed at the back of the boogie van, the collapsible container is inside the van tucked beside the foot of the bed. We still fill up our hydration packs from home before we leave and carry the smaller 4l jug. In total we leave home with 49l of water in our various containers and 6l in our combined hydration for 55l total.