Water is needed to can, to clean and often to cook. You will need to have access to water in your outdoor canning spot. It doesn't have to be fancy. I have had the luxury of a sink in my garage at previous locations, but I find a hose is even MORE handy than a sink. I can pitch water in a designated dumping spot so the drain part of your sink is the earth! The faucet part is a very portable hose for me! DH fashioned me this snazzy clip so it would be handy, kept clean and out of the way when I didn't need it. (YES!)
Here are some pros and cons I have noticed with canning outdoors.
I work in the shade of a maple tree and the house in the Summer. In the spring, I work on the front porch which is covered and gives protection for the rain. Also in the fall, the front porch is nice because I have no leave blowing up there and in the winter it puts me close to my wood cook-stove in the front room, for added fire (and warmth if needed) and I get the Southern sun. I have also used a portable open tall sided tent awning to can under too. That works nicely. In our previous home in PA, my garage was my canning spot. It had a sink and was situated on the NorthEast side - which was very nice.
I am a "water snob" and must use filtered water for my "food water" so I use my Berkey for that. It adds quite a bit to my work load, because I usually have to start filtering and gathering my clean water ahead in pots of coolers. :-) This is a new element to my canning since we moved here on the farm, I used to have purified water "on tap" at our last house. That was VERY NICE, but required electricity, and we are working our way off of that so we decided not repeat that here. To me it's worth it since I am still on city water here and want to reduce our dependency on electricity. (We are in the process of setting up the well we dug last year, so hopefully our city water days are coming to an end...but I wills till test my well water and filter it if needed.)
There is something very earthy and natural and beautiful about canning outdoors. I truly do love it!
UPDATE: We have decided to move our Summer Canning Operation to the front porch, and I think that is where we will operate for the season. We (the kids and I prefer) its function there, and it's cover. I had to wrestle with this, because I like my porch to be "pretty" and aesthetics have been traded for function here. :-) Since we plan on doing so much canning in the season - it is likely going to be set up for several months. The set up and tear down adds so much time to the project. So this is where function and the practical needs of my family will win over aesthetics in my book. :-) Here are some pictures of our relocated spot: