uses for buckets

A Preppers Guide To 15 Uses For Buckets

What do you do when a disaster strikes and the stores are closed? You have to have a plan B, and that’s where buckets come in. Buckets can be used for so many things, from storing food and water to using them as toilets. In this blog post, we will discuss 15 different uses for buckets that will help you get through any emergency!


What Are 5 Gallon Buckets?

A 5 gallon bucket is a fascinating tool that has a variety of uses. 5 gallon Buckets are often used to store water, food, or other supplies. But in a pinch, they can also be used as toilets, seats, or even beds.

In addition, a few buckets can be used as a seat or a step stool. With so many uses, it’s no wonder that a 5 gallon bucket is such a popular choice for so many people.

Whether you’re looking for a way to transport water or you need an extra seat for your next camping trip, a bucket is always a good choice.

15 Brilliant Uses For Buckets

1. Emergency Toilets

water filter gallon buckets

Buckets are often thought of as simple tools, but they can actually be quite versatile. In addition to being used for tasks like carrying water or transporting dirt. But one of the uses for buckets is emergency toilets. This can be useful if there is a power outage or if the plumbing is not working.

To use a bucket as a toilet seat, simply line it with a trash bag and place it in a location that is away from the main living area. When you need to use the toilet, simply lift the seat and do your business.

Be sure to empty the bucket regularly and dispose of the waste properly. With a little planning, buckets can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation.

Materials Needed To Make Bucket Emergency Toilet

  • 5 gallon bucket with lid, empty (90 mil thickness will support weight better)
  • 10 or 13 Gallon garbage bags
  • Several grocery store trash bags made of plastic
  • Large trash can with a lid that fits well

off grid lid

  • Absorption medium (biodegradable material to soak up liquid waste): Sawdust, pine chips, peat moss, torn-up newspaper, dried used coffee grounds, and cat litter are all good choices.
  • Insulating a pool noodle or a pipe (For a pool noodle, use a utility knife to cut a slit all the way down one side. Pipe insulation already has a cut in it.)
  • Toilet paper

How To Put Together A Portable Toilet

  • Place 10 gallon trash bag in the 5 gallon bucket.
  • Put a small handful of absorbing medium in the bottom.
  • Add a plastic grocery bag in the bucket and fold it over the rim.
  • Slide a pool noodle or pipe insulation over the rim.
  • Add a small amount of absorbing medium to the bag.
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How To Use The Bucket Portable Toilet

To use a portable toilet, tie the small plastic bag shut after each use and put it in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket. When the bucket toilet is full, empty everything into a big trash can with a lid. Clean the 5-gallon bucket, then do it again.

As the bucket fills up, it will get heavier. If you need to make it lighter, empty it before it’s full.

If you want to make an emergency toilet to use in the future, put all the parts in the bucket and put the lid back on. Write “E.R.S.” on the outside of the bucket and put it somewhere out of the way until it’s needed. This is also a great way to make a toilet for camping.

2. Used To Wash Clothes

toilet plunger metal bail

Other uses for buckets are for washing clothes. If your clothes get dirty and there’s no laundry machine available, you can wash them in a bucket. Just fill the bucket with water and add some soap. Then, agitate the clothes until they’re clean.

Simply fill the bucket with water and add your clothes. For best results, use a detergent designed for hand-washing. Then, agitate the clothes in the water to remove any dirt or stains.

Once the clothes have been washed, rinse them in clean water and then wring them out by hand. Finally, hang the clothes to dry or put them in the dryer on a low setting. With a little bit of effort, you can easily use a bucket to get your laundry clean.

3. Emergency Kit

If you’ve ever been to a construction site, you’ve probably seen workers carrying around buckets. But did you know that buckets can also be useful in emergency situations? Here are just a few ways that you can use a bucket as part of your emergency kit:

other materials creative uses

Collecting Rainwater:

If you find yourself in a situation where there is no clean drinking water available, you can use a bucket to collect rainwater. Just be sure to boil the water before drinking it.

Carrying Supplies:

A bucket can be used to carry supplies like food, water, and blankets. This is especially helpful if you need to evacuate an area quickly.

Making A Fire:

If you have some dry wooden box and a lighter, you can use other bucket to make a fire. Just put the wood in the metal buckets and light it on fire. The metal will help reflect the heat and keep the fire going

Use it As A Food Grade Buckets

gallon buckets water filter

To store your emergency food supply. Dry food such as beans, rice, and pasta can be stored in buckets for long-term uses.

You can buy grains in 50-pound paper sacks, which you can then fill your own buckets with. But don’t leave the food in the bags, even though I’ve read that it will be fine for about a year.

I’ve seen a lot of food go to waste because it was left in bags in someone’s basement and not in proper food storage, where moisture, bugs, and rodents could easily get to it. It’s just as important to keep your food safe and edible as it is to get it.

Using food-grade Foil Bucket Liners (Mylar bags) is the best way to line plastic buckets. Using oxygen absorbers will get rid of the air and make it last longer. Do not use bucket that was used as painting containers as it has residues of heavy metals

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Types Of Food That Can Be Placed Inside A Food Grade Buckets:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Pasta

Oats, cereal, and other breakfast items can also be stored in buckets, but they won’t last as long. If you plan on eating them within a year, you’ll be fine. But if you want them to last longer, you should vacuum seal them first.

4. Heat Water

small space emergency items

A bucket can also be used to provide hot water in a pinch. For this purpose, it is much better to have two buckets, one inside the other.

The outer bucket is filled with cold water from a faucet or hose, while the inner bucket is placed inside it. A candle is then lit and placed under the inner bucket, which begins to heat up the water.

Steps To Warm Water

  • Put black five gallon buckets inside the other, fill it 2/3 with water, put the lid on, and put it in direct sunlight.
  • After an hour or two, factors such as temperature outside, you’ll have a bucket of nice, hot water.
  • It might even be too warm, where in particular you can add some cold water. This is why I don’t recommend filling it all the way.
  • Don’t drink or cook with this water unless the buckets are safe for food.

5. House Of Ice

old fashioned rocket stoves

Fill five gallon buckets with water and put the lids on tightly. Put the buckets in the room you want to be an ice house. How many buckets you need will depend on how big your makeshift ice house is. It’s best to put buckets in as much of the room as possible while still leaving room to store food.

A good place to put an ice house is in a basement room, a root cellar, or a metal or concrete storage building. Around and on top of each of it, put sawdust or straw. The buckets can be stacked in tight rows on top of each other.

After the water freezes and the room cools down, you can put non-shelf-stable food and drinks on top of the buckets, or you can build rows of wood shelves and put a row of buckets under each row of food to keep the food from going bad.

Putting foam panels on the walls to insulate them will help keep the building cool in the summer. If you live in a warm place like Florida, you’ll need thick insulation, and even then, it’s not likely that the water will stay frozen in the late spring and summer.

6. Make A Cache For Survival Situation.

5 gallon bucket

You can make a surprisingly good survival kit out of a bucket, which you can carry with you, store at home, or bury as a sustenance cache in your backyard or somewhere else.

Survival Supplies You Can Put Inside

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Radio that runs on batteries or is turned by hand, and a NOAA Weather A radio with an alarm tone
  • Flashlight
  • duct tape
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Sheets of plastic and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Wet rags, trash bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Torque or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Chargers and a spare battery for a cell phone

7. Use For Growing Plants

gallon buckets

You can use buckets as planters for all sorts of plants, from flowers to vegetables. Just make sure that you drill a few holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage. You can also add a layer of rocks or gravel to the bottom of the bucket to help with drainage.

If you’re using a plastic bucket, you can also cut out holes in the sides of the bucket for planting vines or other creeping plants.

And if you want to get really creative, you can even paint your buckets to add a bit of personality to your garden.

Just be sure to use a non-toxic paint if you’re going to be growing food in them.

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Pros Of Using It In Planting

You can use every little bit of light from the sun around your house to grow food in buckets. It would be hard to put a raised bed on your back patio, but it would be easy to put two to four buckets with plants in the same space. This would give you the same amount of food as a raised bed.

Gives The Origins Among Most Vegetable

The common and cheap five gallon bucket gives the origins among most vegetable patch leafy greens and dwarf fruit trees plenty of room to grow. Some plants only need six inches of garden soil to grow well, despite needing up to 24 inches for their roots.

Can Be Used To Grow Various Plants

Even if you’re growing in buckets, you can still use companion planting to help each crop grow and protect it from bugs that eat it.

Five Gallon Buckets Can Be Carried Around.

During a long-term disaster, if you can move the buckets inside during bad weather or take them with you when you bug out, your own food grade source won’t be destroyed and your family won’t go hungry.

Can Move The Buckets Inside Or Into A Greenhouse

It might not seem like a suburban backyard or a small acreage is enough space to grow an orchard, but it is. If you grow dwarf fruit trees in 5-gallon buckets, you can grow crops that don’t come from your area because you can move the buckets inside or into a greenhouse.

Get The Same Amount Of Fruit As From A Small Orchard.

You can grow enough dwarf fruit trees on a typical backyard deck to get the same amount of fruit as from a small orchard. Putting sheets or a roll of plastic over your container garden is a quick and easy way to protect it from frost.

Pull Out Weeds Much Less Often

With a 5-gallon bucket garden, you have to pull out weeds much less often than with a traditional ground plot or raised bed. Put the buckets on a bench or stool so you don’t have to bend over and over to pull weeds. This will make weeding even easier.


The only real problem with trying to grow in buckets or other containers is that you have to water them. The container can easily get too full of water or too dry.

It is important to drill enough holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon buckets, but you will still need to check the soil often to see if it is wet or dry.

To check the soil in a container for growing food, stick your finger down to the second knuckle. If the soil is wet at this level, you don’t need to water.

8. Collect And Transport Rainwater

uses for buckets

You can use buckets to collect rainwater for all sorts of purposes, from watering your plants, car washes to flushing your toilet.

Just set the buckets out in the rain and let them fill up. Be sure to put a lid on the buckets so that leaves and other debris don’t get into the water.

You can also use a downspout diverter to direct rainwater from your gutters or drainage holes into a good bucket. This is a great way to water your plants without using any municipal water.

And if you live in an area with hard water, collecting rainwater and using it to water your plants can help prevent mineral buildup on your soil.

A good bucket can also be used to transport fresh water if you need to bug out and can’t carry all the water you need with you. You can also use it to get water from a nearby running water area.

Just be sure to use a water filter before you use it for drinking, as it may contain harmful bacteria.

9. Store Dry Supplies

A bucket can also be used to store dry supplies, such as flour, sugar, rice, or beans.

Just be sure to put the bucket in a cool, dark place to keep the food from going bad.

You can also use buckets to store other supplies, such as first-aid kits, cleaning supplies, clean clothes or tools.

Be sure to label the buckets so you know what’s inside them.

This is a great way to organize your supplies and make sure you have everything you need in an emergency.

10. Keep Animals Out

If you have chickens or other small animals, you can use a bucket to keep them out of your garden. Just turn the bucket upside down and place it over the plants. The animals will be able to get to the food, but they won’t be able to dig up your plants.

You can also use buckets to keep larger animals, such as deer, from eating your garden. Just place the bucket around the perimeter of your garden and water it. The deer will be able to see the water and won’t want to jump into your garden.

11. Make A Compost Tea

bucket backpack

A bucket can also be used to make a compost bin. Just drill some holes in the bottom of the bucket and place food scraps and other organic matter. Be sure to turn the compost tea regularly so that it breaks down evenly.

When the compost is finished, you can use it on your plants or in your garden. This

is a great way to fertilize your plants without using any chemicals.

Steps In Creating A Composter Using A Bucket

Drill holes in the bottom of the bucket.

– Fill the bucket with food scraps and other organic matter.

– Turn the compost regularly.

– Use the finished compost on your plants or in your garden.

12. Make A Solar Oven

A solar oven is a great way to cook food without using any electricity or gas. You can make a solar oven out of a black bucket and some aluminum foil.

Just line the inside of the bucket with foil and place it in the sun. The heat from the sun will reflect off of the foil and cook your food.

You can also use a bucket to make a solar oven. Just place the food you want to cook inside the bucket and set it in the sun. The sun will heat up the food and cook it without using any electricity.

This is a great way to cook food in an emergency situation or when you are camping.

Steps In Creating Solar Oven

  • Find a black bucket or paint one black
  • Place the bucket in sunlight
  • Put the food you want to cook inside the bucket
  • Cover the bucket with a clear lid

13. Used It As An Ammo Storage

off grid plastic bucket

There are a lot of uses for buckets. They can be used for carrying water, transporting dirt, or even as a chair. But did you know that buckets can also be used for storing ammo?

With a few simple modifications, a bucket can make an excellent storage container for your ammunition.

Here’s How To Do It:

First, find a bucket that is large enough to fit all of the ammo you want to store. This may mean going to a hardware store or looking online for a specific type of bucket.

Next, drill a series of small holes in the bottom of the bucket. This will allow any water that gets in to drain out, preventing your ammo from getting wet.

Finally, line the inside of the bucket with a layer of fabric or foam. This will help keep your ammo from rattling around and becoming damaged.

Things To Consider When Doing This:

  • The size of the bucket should be based on the amount of ammo you want to store
  • The number of holes to drill in the bottom
  • What to use to line the inside of the bucket

14. Use It As A Tool Grade Buckets

tractor supply bucket list

Tools can be stored in buckets just like ammo. This is especially useful if you have a lot of small tools that you need to keep organized.

Simply find a bucket that is large enough to fit all of your tools, and then drill a series of small holes in the bottom for drainage.

Next, line the inside of the bucket with foam or fabric to protect your tools from damage. You can also add dividers to the bucket so that each type of tool has its own space.

15. Water Rain In A Bucket ( Navy Shower)

comfortable seat only problem

Preppers can use buckets as water storage. But apart from that they can also save water by taking a bucket shower, which is also called a “navy shower.” The military uses this short shower as a simple system. It involves getting wet, turning off the shower, making soap, turning on the shower again, and quickly rinsing.

With this system, you won’t waste precious water when taking a shower. This means that if everything goes well, you should only need a bucket of water.

With the YPS possible outdoor camping shower, you can turn a bucket or sink full of water into an instant shower stream.

It comes with a showerhead that has a simple flow rate that is gentle enough for babies, older people, and pets to use. It comes with a suction cup that can be used to stick the shower head to any flat surface.

With its S-shaped hook, the shower is safe to hang from the ceiling. It has a USB battery that can be charged by a laptop, desktop computer, or car adapter. If it is fully charged, it can be used for 50 to 60 minutes.


  • 7 feet of pipe with a diameter of 20 mm (PVC pipe)
  • Drill
  • 34-inch, 5/8-inch, 9/64-inch, and 3/32-inch drill bits.
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • Hot glue gun (a caulk gun would probably work better)
  • 1 500ml bottle
  • Bicycle Pump
  • Water
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  • Multipurpose bucket can be used around the house, in the kitchen, laundry room, or garage; You can also take it outside to the beach, camping, fishing, or BBQ
  • Bucket locks in place when in use; Watertight design easily holds liquid and cleaning supplies; Collapses back down with ease

One bucket with a lid that doesn’t let air in (you can test this by filling the bucket with water, putting the lid on, and turning it on its side). (The lid is not airtight if any water leaks out.)

Steps In Making A Bucket Shower

Make Holes In The Pipe.

Start by making 9 holes solely on a single side of a pipe with the 9/64-inch drill bit. Make sure the drill bit runs all the way through the PVC to make another hole on the other side.

You should have 9 openings on one edge and 9 holes on the other side when you’re done. Next, drill seven gaps on the other edge of the pipe with the same drill bit. Only dig a hole via one side of the tube this time.

Attach The Pipe To The Bucket.

Lock the lid on the bucket that is empty. Using the 3/4-inch drill bit, make a hole about 3 inches from the edge of the lid. Once this is done, push the end of the pipe with 16 holes into the hole until it touches the bottom of the bucket.

other animals large dogs

Seal The Hole.

Use the hot glue (or caulk) to close the hole. Make sure nothing is missing. The seal will have to hold a lot of pressure, so the glue or caulk should be about 1 cm thick.

Attach The Pump To The Bucket.

Use the 5/8-inch drill bit to make a hole 3 inches from the first tunnel, still 3 inches from the edge of the bucket. Put the end of something like the bike pump into the tunnel and seal it the same manner you encased the pipe. Make sure to keep stress on the portion you are mod podge so it doesn’t pop out of the hole as you seal it.

Get The 500ml Bottle Ready And Hook It Up To The Pipe.

Use the 3/32-inch drill bit to make several holes in the bottle’s lid (I made 11 holes). The more holes you make in your shower-in-a-bucket, the less water pressure it will have. Also, make a hole in the bottom of the 500 ml bottle with the 3/4-inch drill bit (make sure it is empty). Put the end of the PVC pipe that isn’t in the bucket into the hole you made in the bottle and seal it the same way you did before.

Wrap The Tape Around The Bottle.

Cover the bottle with tape to make it look better (make it look better). I used silver tape, but you can use any color you like.

Give It A Shot

Fill the bucket with water, place the lid on securely, stand under the 500ml bottle, and start pumping the bike pump. Now you have your very own shower-in-a-bucket, enjoy!


Buckets can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding water to carrying supplies. If you’re looking for a versatile tool and a sturdy long term food storage container, the bucket should be your go-to option.

In this preppers guide, we’ve outlined 15 different ways you can use buckets to make your life easier. Have we missed one of your favorite uses? Let us know in the comments!