Creativity is something that you either have or you don’t. Some people have the ability to see what an object could be while others can only see what it is. The plain truth is that creativity is not some lofty idea that only a few special people can come up with. Even if you were not born with the creative gene, you can still do creative things. My kids are always making new “inventions” and sharing with me all of the great things that these new machines can do. In all honesty, all they are doing is repurposing an already available object.
And that is what we want to do today. Storage Prepper is all about taking the ordinary objects and making something extraordinary out of them. A 5-gallon bucket is nothing special. There is no real intrinsic value and they offer very little in the realm of beauty. And yet the bucket is one of those things that everyone uses. There are literally hundreds of things that you can use a bucket for. When you add to that the aspect of survival you end up with a tool that can save your life in several different ways. So what are the real, tangible things that you can use a 5-gallon bucket for when it comes to survival?
- Emergency Toilet
Ok, I know that we like to gloss over this aspect of our lives but there is no way around the fact that we all need to use the toilet pretty regularly. The guys are a little easier to please in this area but us ladies need a little more assistance. So lets say that you have a few 5-gallon buckets lying around the house…GREAT! You can actually use a 5-gallon bucket as a toilet. In fact, it is possible to attach a toilet seat to the bucket itself. In an emergency scenario this is a great option for toilet use when you are trying to avoid going outside.
- Flood Help
In my neck of the woods we are not super concerned about flooding. The possibility of citywide flooding is minimal however localized flooding is possible and has occurred within the past 2 years. 5-gallon buckets might seem like a weird tool for a flood but you can actually bail water with a bucket. It is a great tool for scooping water out of a flooded basement. If nothing else, imagine how much easier it would be to help a flooded neighbor if you had a few buckets lying around.
I initially wanted to call this food storage but the truth is that not all buckets are food grade quality. The average 5-gallon bucket that you would find in Lowes or Home Depot is just fine for food storage. In fact we have several of these 5-gallon buckets packed full of rice and beans. Obviously we have used a plastic liner and the liners have been sealed.
Storage itself is a great thing. In a survival situation you might need a place to store your rope or hand tools. A bucket is a great place to store these items because you can keep them dry and out of the water/mud/muck.
A 5-gallon bucket can be used as a clothes washing machine. Obviously this is not the best option but in a SHTF scenario you are going to be willing to make do with what you have. Simply cut a small hole in the lid and slide the lid over a long wooden handle. Once the clothes, water, and soap are placed in the bucket, all you have to do is jostle the wooden handle. Consider it similar to churning butter.
- Water Collection
I am sure that you have read our previous ideas about collecting rainwater. While a 5-gallon bucket isn’t going to offer a huge amount of water, it will still offer you 5 gallons more than you had. Simply set it out under a gutter and allow the rainwater to collect. You can use the water for washing or watering vegetables.
The typical bug-out-bag is a smallish duffle bag or backpack. However a 5-gallon bucket can also be used to store a few items you might need in an emergency. Consider making a 72-84 hour emergency survival kit and placing the contents in a bucket. It will keep the contents dry and you can carry it everywhere you go.
- Fire Prevention/Fighting
My husband is a huge believer in the idea of keeping buckets for fire fighting. Apparently he used them as a kid and it helped save his house. So I would argue that you need buckets for this as well.
- Animal Waste
I know a lot of people are not big on the idea of keeping pets in a survival situation but I have to admit that my fur babies are coming with us. A 5-gallon bucket, with a lid, is a great place to store the animal poop that they are surely going to have. Plus, the bucket lid will keep the smell from coming out and offending your nose.
Not every bucket will make a great cooler but some of them will. Especially if you have a Styrofoam liner that you can place inside the bucket. This will keep ice frozen for several hours and it will keep drinks or food cold for several hours as well.
What are some other creative ways that you could use a bucket during a survival situation?