If the tablets are stuck together, crumbled, or have a
color other than steel gray, do not use them. When
treating water in your canteen with iodine tablets, fill the
canteen with the cleanest, clearest water available. Add
one iodine tablet to a 1-quart canteen of clear water; add
two tablets when the water is cloudy. Double these
amounts for a 2-quart canteen. Place the cap on the
canteen loosely; wait 5 minutes; then shake the canteen
well, allowing leakage to rinse the threads around the
neck of the canteen. Tighten the cap and wait an
additional 20 minutes before using the water for any
To purify water in a 1-quart canteen with calcium
Figure 10-57.--Immersion heaters for mess kit washing setup.
hypochlorite ampules, fill the canteen with the cleanest,
clearest water available, leaving an air space of an inch
In the field you must care for your own mess kit.
or more below the neck of the canteen. Take your
Proper washing is important; otherwise, food particles
canteen cup and fill it half full of water. Add the calcium
remain and become breeding places for disease germs.
hypochlorite from one ampule, and stir the water with a
The galley maintenance personnel usually set up
clean stick until the powder has dissolved. Fill the cap
four corrugated cans or other similar containers, placed
of a plastic canteen half full of the solution from the
canteen cup and add it to the water in the canteen, then
in a row, for washing your mess kit. The first can is used
place the cap on the canteen and shake it thoroughly.
to scrape the food particles from your mess kit into. The
second contains hot water with soap or detergent, and
NOTE: If you have a l-quart aluminum canteen,
the third and fourth cans contain clear water which is
add at least 3 capfuls of the solution to the canteen, as
kept boiling throughout the washing period (fig. 10-57).
its cap is much smaller than the one on the plastic
Along-handled brush is furnished so you can wash your
Loosen the cap slightly and invert the canteen,
letting the treated water leak onto the threads around the
To clean your mess kit properly, follow the steps
neck of the canteen. Tighten the cap on the canteen and
wait at least 30 minutes before using the water for any
1. Scrape the food particles from your mess kit into
the scrap can.
You could save the remaining solution to use later
2. Wash your mess kit in the first container of hot
if additional treated water may be needed, or you can
soapy water, using the long-handled brush.
3. Rinse your mess kit in the second can of boiling
When you do not have disinfecting compounds,
water by dipping it up and down several times.
boiling the water is another method for killing
disease-producing organisms; however, it has several
4. Disinfect your mess kit by immersing it in the
disadvantages: (1) fuel is needed, (2) it takes along time
third container of boiling water for several seconds.
to bring the water to a boil, and then allowing it to cool,
5. Shake your mess kit to remove excess water and
and (3) there is no guaranteed protection against
recontamination. Water must beheld at a rolling boil for
allow it to dry in the air; then close it to keep out dust
at least 15 to 20 seconds to make it safe for drinking.
Hand-washing devices that are easy to operate are
If your mess kit becomes soiled or contaminated
usually provided at appropriate places in the bivouac
between meals, it should be washed again before use.
area: outside the latrine enclosures, near the mess area,
When desirable to preheat utensils before a meal, a
and at other locations as needed. A soakage pit is
corrugated can with clear boiling water is placed near
provided under each device to prevent water from
the start of the serving line. It is important that such
collecting. The water containers for these devices are
water be maintained at a rolling boil throughout the meal
usually checked by a Utilitiesman to ensure the
containers and the surrounding area are kept clean.