One of the basic rules of prepping is using the common items all around you in new, creative ways. Buckets are always useful out in the garden or for home-improvement projects, but there could be countless uses you’ve never even thought of before that could become priceless once you know them! Try out some of the prepper bucket ideas to see what works for you.
Prepping with 5-gallon buckets
Texans may have their five-gallon hats, but the rest of us preppers have our five-gallon buckets! Grab some of those buckets, because there are dozens of do-it-
yourself projects you could be starting. Consider this your bucket list!
IMPORTANT: For prepping, please select food grade buckets for most of these projects. Many projects listed here are for storing or processing food and water for consumption. Beware that if you don’t use a BPA-free food grade bucket, the toxins will leach into your water and food, even if your food or water is packaged neatly in individual mylar pouches.
Food grade buckets are intentionally white so the colors don’t stain the contents and leach toxins into your food, but it’s important to note that not all white buckets are food grade. You may like to choose a colored bucket for such things as sanitation or bio-hazzard.
The first step in any new prepping project has to be watching out for safety. Don’t use hazardous materials for anything that will house or interact with food or water. When in doubt about chemicals and safety, get online and do your research. Taking the time to learn what’s safe and what’s not is always worth it in the long run to keep yourself and your loved ones protected from potential harm.
Dozens of Do-it-yourself Prepper Projects with Buckets
Here’s our bucket list of dozens of projects you can do yourself if you have a food-grade 5-gallon or 6-gallon bucket:
#1: Assemble an off-grid laundry station.
Include a Rapidwasher mobile washer agitator, which is much better than a plunger because it has slots for the water. Also it uses minimal water and less soap
(because of the agitation motion). Fill your bucket with your favorite laundry soap, borax, baking soda, and stain remover, along with a clothesline, clothespins, and
rubber gloves. Right, Prepare My Life has assembled everything for you in a kit with a gamma seal lid.
#2: Fuel up at Costco with Charcoal.
This is an easy do-it-yourself prepper project: charcoal storage. Preppers must stock a variety of fuel and charcoal is ready to go! The problem is that the bags are messy and are not moisture proof. At Costco, you’ll find Kingston Charcoal: it’s around $20 for two huge bags. Grab them, then stash your charcoal treasure into a couple five- or six-gallon buckets. Having charcoal in a bucket provides the added security of a weather tight capsule.
- Why hoard charcoal? Charcoal is highly combustible and paired with a lighter is an easy source of fuel. Charcoal has an indefinite shelf life when the product is stored in a cool, dry place. Use charcoal after you exhaust your supplies of propane, kerosene and other liquid fuels.
- Is commercial charcoal good for composting? No! Kingston Charcoal and other briquettes won’t aid in the breakdown of organic matter, because they contain other ingredients to make them light faster. You’ll need to dump your commercial charcoal in an area separate from your composting.
#3: Tackle this one: create a bucket for your fishing gear.
Go fishing for tackle supplies and make a tackle bucket. Pictured right is a tackle organizer. There are organizers for inside and outside of your bucket. Complete your tackle bucket with a comfortable seat lid. Makes a great gift.
This concept could work for many different activities. You could fill a bucket with gardening tools, cover the lid, and create a gardening workstation.
#4: Make an emergency toilet.
Here is a port a potty you can actually port… Take a five-gallon bucket (use a colored bucket, so you don’t mix it up with your food grade buckets) and line your
bucket with appropriate bags, chemicals or Borax to keep down the stench, and of course, toilet paper and a plastic toilet seat lid and you have a grid-down
emergency solution! This portable potty is also an ideal solution for camping, hunting, and having an adventure in your RV.
#5: Use your noodle and stockpile the macaroni!
Preppers don’t often think of storing macaroni in food grade buckets, but it will keep you from eating your emergency stash on an everyday basis. You can fit 25-lbs or more of elbow noodles in a six-gallon bucket. Next time it goes on sale, use your noodle and stock up on versatile elbow macaroni or your favorite pasta. Remove the pasta from the plastic bags and insert them into mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to enhance their shelf life. Include the boiling instructions on the inside of lid of the bucket.
To make retrieval easier, get a gamma seal lid. Be sure to use a food-grade bucket or the plastics will leach into your macaroni or other pasta. Be sure also to store your macaroni inside your home, and not in a basement or attic, which has heat fluctuations. Be sure to store enough water to boil your noodles!
#6: Sugar up your food storage!
Sugar lasts indefinitely and is another easy prep for a food grade bucket. Sugar doesn’t need. Head to Costco for pure cane sugar, preferably organic, which has a hint of brown color. Get a gamma lid for easy retrieval of your food storage. Don’t stop your food storage projects with sugar or macaroni. In addition to sugar, buy in bulk to save and stockpile:
- whole wheat
- bulk cereals and granola
Read more — Prepping with 5-gallon buckets
Have you discovered any unique uses for 5- or 6-gallon buckets? Do any of these ideas sound like something you want to try?