Why not to bring a red metal water bottle to Scout events.

Why not to bring a red metal water bottle to Scout events.

It is a new Scouting year and many parents are going shopping for new gear for their Scout.  A standard piece of equipment that we ask all Scouts to have is a water bottle.  Metal water bottles are very popular because they tend to hold up to the abuse that youth put them through.  In a pinch most can also be used in the field to boil water to clean it for drinking if required.  There are a lot of different styles and colour options to choose from.  One colour that we ask you not to buy for your Scout and that we do not want to see at our meetings or events is Red.

It’s not personal, we have nothing against red especially as proud Canadians but we avoid this colour when it comes to water bottles for safety reasons.

It so happens that the camping industry decided that red metal bottles are what we store white gas, and other camp fuel in.  These bottles look almost identical to a red water bottle except for what’s inside.  Camp fuel is both poisonous and flammable.  We would not want a Scout mistaking it for their water and drinking some, or thinking it’s water and throwing it onto a fire to “put it out” by accident.  Either situation could result in serious harm.

  Even if your water bottle has a different “lid” we still do not want to see any red metal water bottles with the Scouts at any of our events as we want to make sure that our Scouts view red metal bottles by default as fuel and not something to drink.  

To illustrate my point.  The first picture below is a normal everyday red water bottle

And this is an MSR Fuel Bottle


As you can see they are very similar and could easily be mistaken.  So if you are on the hunt for a new water bottle please avoid the colour red,.  If you have a red water bottle please do not send it with your Scout to our events and please get them another bottle with a different colour.