27 uses for a 5-gallon bucket

27 Uses for a Five-Gallon Bucket
Do-it-yourself prepping projects with a five gallon bucket

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 prepper "bucket list"...


















Above, Grant Thompson, of the King of Random, illustrates one of the
most popular things to do with a five gallon bucket. See #4 on our list of
27 uses for a five gallon bucket below with more ideas to enhance your
potty bucket.

  • 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. An orange is not for food storage!

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 and 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.

  • Fishing Bucket Organizer. Right, from Wild River Tackle,
    is a five-gallon bucket organizer that fits most 5 gallon
    buckets. It's a single solution soft tackle bag with an
    integrated flexible neck LED light system that allows you
    to see into the bag or the bucket when natural light gets
    scarce. This is a clip on LED light that can be moved to
    illuminate any area of low light. It also features a zippered
    pocket ready for your aerator to keep your bait lively. The
    rigger has storage areas for two 3500-series trays and
    extra pocket to hold a third reel or fishing line. A fisherman’
    s dream, this organizer features a removable self-
    retracting steel cable lanyard for clippers or small tools. It
    has clear internal pockets to keep maps and fishing license
    dry but visible. The exterior mesh pockets will allow you to
    carry popular tools and easily view contents.

  • Sit-n-fish. Left, from Frabill is the Sit-N-Fish bucket. It's
    the perfect fishing bucket for on the ice or during open
    water season! This bucket is the "real McCoy"! Keep your
    bait inside during both seasons, and sit comfortably on its
    padded seat whenever you're out. 6-gallon outer plastic
    pail; Removable 8-quart insulated foam bait bucket; Keeps
    bait alive and frisky without freeze-up; Comfortable snap
    on / off padded seat lid is included.

#4: Make an emergency toilet.
Pictured right is a port a potty you can actually port... You can
make your own! Here are the lids:














To make 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. Buy in bulk
to save and stockpile:

Be sure to have a bucket lid opener or a Gamma Seal lid.

#7: Build a better mouse trap!
Featured on Doomsday Castle, the concept of a five-gallon
bucket  rat trap at first seemed a little far fetched, but it
worked! Here's a how to build a better mousetrap!



















#8: Have the best seat in the bunker!
Transform a five-gallon bucket into a useful tool for storage and
comfortable seat with a special attachment. Pictured immediate
left is a black seat cover that molds to your body, so your tush
is cushy. Hunters, fishermen, mechanics, and picnickers all
appreciate the best seat in the bunker.

#9: Dump your copper pennies into the bucket.
Sort and stash all your copper pennies. Copper pennies are
worth more than a penny. In fact, the
worth of a copper penny
(1909-1982) is about 2.5 cents (melt value)! Just stashing them
will be an instant savings plan, and you may even find a
valuable penny for collectors. You can always barter copper as
it is not a worthless currency.


#10: Plant a hanging strawberry garden.
Forged from a five-gallon bucket, PVC pipe, some small chain,
and silicon caulking, instructables shows you
how to create a
hanging strawberry garden.

#11: Build a self-watering container for plants.
While www.motherearthliving.com,  features flowers in the self-
watering container made from two five-gallon buckets,
immediate left, you could plant herbs or other food bearing
plants.


#12: Make a Chicken Feeder.
For a simple chicken feeder, drill holes at the bottom of your
bucket, so the contents spill out onto a tray. You can use an
aluminum foil tray or a terra cotta planter. Blessthismessplease
shows how to
make a chicken feeder from a five gallon bucket.






































Visit blessthismessplease.com for more wonderful ideas for the
homestead.

#13: Make and store home-made organic chicken
feed.
There is nothing more satisfying than saving money and
spoiling your girls with healthy feed simultaneously. Make your
own organic chicken feed and store your feed in food-grade
buckets with gamma lids. Ingredients include whole corn,
barley, oat groats, sunflower seeds, lentils, sesame seeds, and
loads of other tasty bits, but you can make your own mix using
all or some of the ingredients!

Flock to this site: Here is the
recipe for an organic chicken feed.

#14: Create a composting bin.
Line a 5-gallon bucket with newspaper and you have the start
of a composting bucket.


#15: Build an inexpensive Chicken nesting box.
RaisingChickens.org shows how they built a cozy and
inexpensive nesting box for a chicken using a five-gallon
bucket. To keep things steady you'll need to screw it into your
location and provide a perch. The Nest Box Bucket Kit by Happy
Hen Treats, also pictured right, is a durable, easy to clean lid
that fits most 5 gallon buckets. (Bucket not included).


























#16: Buy dog or cat food in bulk and save!
Save money on dog and cat food by buying it in bulk and
storing the contents of the heavy bag into a couple of food
grade buckets. Pet food in a food grade bucket will be
impervious to rodents and vermin. Throw in a mesh bag with
oxygen absorbers to preserve the freshness.

#17: Set up an off-grid hand washing station (camp
sink).
Transform your bucket into an outdoor sink for washing hands.
Ideal for after the hunt. With hands-free operation, and a built-
in soap holder, the Advanced Hand Wash System by Tye Works,
uses a foot operated pump to provide water to a copper spigot
easily slipped over the rim of most buckets. A brass and
stainless steel inlet strainer helps keep the water flowing.


#18: Assemble an Earthquake Survival kit.
An earthquake survival kit holds the essentials to help you get
through a couple of days without food and water. You can grab
it and go, but it Suggestions for your earthquake survival kit:
  1. Datrex food bars (non-thirst provoking);
  2. Dust masks (Niosh approved respirators).
  3. Emergency shut off valve for the gas lines.
  4. Emergency crank and solar radio;
  5. First aid kit;'
  6. Flashlights, glow sticks, emergency candles;
  7. Firestarters and waterproof matches;
  8. Mylar survival blankets;
  9. Toiletries, sanitation bags, and a toilet lid.
  10. Work gloves and a utility knife
  11. Water purification tablets and water pouches;
  12. Use a gamma seal lid for easy retrieval of your wares.


#19: Stash your pandemic supplies.
Gather up the necessities for your family:
  1. Steramine tablets, bleach, lysol, antibacterial soaps,  
    sanitizers and antiseptics,
  2. Niosh masks, goggles, Tyvec suits, gloves, bouffant caps
  3. Anti-diarrheals, and disposable thermometers.
  4. Toilet paper, tissues, emesis bags, adult diapers, and
    biohazard bags.
  5. Probiotic supplements, Vitamin D, Thieves Oil, and
    Elderberry Extract.
  6. Duct tape and plastic drop cloth sheeting.
  7. Portable radio

#20: Marinate large quantities of meat.
After the hunt, you may find yourself marinating large
quantities of meat and there's no better way than in five gallon
bucket. You'll find five-gallon bucket liners to keep your buckets
clean. No need to wash out your buckets after marinading, and
brining your meat - just throw the liner away! These liners are
strong enough to hold boiling water!

#21: Grow potatoes or plant tomatoes.

  • Grow potatoes: You can grow potatoes in the ground, but
    it's much easier to harvest them from a bucket. Get
    started with a five-gallon bucket, two inches of compost,
    good soil and some seed potatoes.


  • Grow tomatoes: Why grow tomatoes in a five-gallon
    bucket? Because you can grow tomatoes whether there's a
    draught or extra rainy weather! Just move your plant to the
    sunshine and water it to take advantage of the best
    weather conditions for your plant.

#22: Brew Beer or Make Soda.
A slightly modified food grade bucket becomes the perfect
container for brewing your own beer or making soda pop! Left,
the Soda Making Equipment Kit includes everything you need to
make and bottle your own homemade sodas. Can use empty
two liter soda bottles, or 500ml P.E.T. bottles, as glass bottles
run the risk of exploding under pressure. Soda Making
Equipment Kit Includes: A 6.5 gallon bottling bucket A 24"
stirring spoon 4 feet of tubing A bottle filler And complete
instructions

#23: Make an Air Conditioner (Swamp Cooler).
Keep cooler in summer with a swamp cooler you make yourself.

#24. Pan for gold.
Have fun prospecting! Pictured right is a gold sifter that fits on
a five-gallon bucket helps sift rocks and roots from the dirt to
ultimately help you find gold in "them thar hills." It's a quality
sifter that will last you a lifetime.

#25: Set up a water filtration system.
If you can't afford a Big Berkey Water filter, or if you simply
enjoy do-it-yourself prepper projects, then it pays to stock up
on food grade buckets to create a water filtration system.
(Remember, to use only food-grade buckets as any other kind
will leach unnecessary chemicals into your water supply making
your entire filtration scheme and efforts absolutely worthless.)
Pictured right are just the tools you need to get the job done.

  • Rocks, charcoal and sand filtration system: You can also
    make your own water filtration system with rocks, charcoal,
    and sand, (Be sure to use your own home-made charcoal,
    rather than a charcoal briquette which has chemicals
    added.)

#26: Protect your plants from vermin.
Protect your food from rabbits and insects (you'll have to have
other methods for the gophers.

Here is the
five-gallon bucket plant protector tutorial which is
well worth a minute and half of your time.

#27: Build a bike panniers.
Bugout by bike with buckets in this do-it-yourself project of
bike panniers. It will cost you less than $20. See the picture at
the bottom of the page. Using two square buckets, jere's the
tutorial for making bike panniers.



















What's on your bucket list?
Clever preppers, homesteaders and survivalists will find dozens
of emergency preparedness uses for a five-gallon bucket. They
are useful indeed. Be sure to use only white food grade buckets
for your food, water, animal feed, and planting purposes.
Reserve black, orange or green buckets for  compositing,
sanitation, chemicals and the like.

Happy endings...
There's no limit to the prepper things possible with a five-
gallon bucket. Open a five gallon bucket and open a world of
possibilities.

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This article on
how to use a five or six gallon bucket was archived at waybackmachine.org on 10/28/2015.
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