15 Cool Uses for Plastic Buckets
Buckets have been an important part of human history since ancient times. They have helped build everything from sand castles to skyscrapers. They are cheap and easily attainable. It may even be possible to get them for free from restaurants, grocery stores and other places that have an excess supply. When it comes to bucket usage, the possibilities are endless. They are especially useful in survival situations. The following are 15 amazing ideas to take a simple bucket and turn it into a useful tool.
1. Store Water
Water is one of the most important items to have on hand in a long-term survival situation. The recommended amount of water to be stored is one gallon per person per day. One easy way to achieve this without taking up a lot of space is to use five-gallon buckets. These can be filled with water, placed on a pallet and stacked thus keeping storage space to a minimum. With this method of storage, it is important that the buckets be ‘food grade.’ These buckets are designed to not leech chemicals into what is stored in them. Using buckets that are not ‘food grade’ will cause water to become contaminated and unsafe for drinking.
2. Grow a Portable Garden
Along with water, access to food is also essential to survival situations. While things like grain and rice are great to have in a survival stockpile, access to fresh fruits and vegetable is essential to rounding out a healthy diet. Buckets can be used to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and just about anything else that grow outdoors. Simply drill some holes in the bottom for drainage, fill with a few inches of rocks and top off with soil and the garden is ready for sowing. These bucket gardens are also easy to move in case of the need to relocate. Check out this site to learn more. http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/lawn-garden/how-to/a5952/drywall-bucket-flower-pot-garden/
3. Transport Water
In the event that carrying water is necessary, buckets are a great solution. With the aid of a wagon, buckets can be filled with water from a local stream or spring and transported to the destination. They can also be utilized in flooding situations making it possible to bail water out of an area.
4. Keep Supplies Dry
Having a back stock of paper towels, fire starters, toiletries and other essential items does no good if they get wet. Using buckets with lids to store these items is a surefire way to ensure they do not get damaged. Lids keep out not only rain, but also reduce the effects of humidity on paper products.
5. Make a Trash Compactor
Emergency situations disrupt public services that are often taken for granted. One such service is garbage collection. Without consistent removal, piles of trash can accumulate in no time. Not only is this unsanitary, but is also draws in rodents and other pests that carry disease putting residents in danger of contracting illnesses. In a survival situation, this can be deadly. One simple way to keep garbage to a minimum until it can be removed is to make a trash compactor out of buckets. Fill one bucket about halfway full with trash, place a slightly smaller bucket on top and push it use your foot to compact the contents. This method helps to keep the accumulation of garbage to a manageable level.
6. Rain Water Collection
Collecting rainwater can prove to be a valuable source of water. Place buckets at the base of gutters and other places where rain drips for easy collection. This water can be used for sponge bathing and to wash garments. It is also a great source of water for gardening. By using a good filtration system, rain water can also be used for cooking and for hydration.
7. Turn a Bucket into a Backpack
This nifty devise attaches to any five-gallon bucket and turns it into a backpack capable of carrying up to 50 pounds. These packs are made with military grade nylon and can stand up to any kind of environment. Bucket backpacks are useful in carrying everything from water to wood to any other supplies needed. Amazon.com has some great prices on all grades of 5 gallon buckets.
8. Filter Water
Collected rain water can help to supplement stored drinking water, but it must be filtered first. A simple charcoal filter can be made using three buckets and some PVC pipes. This method layers charcoal between sand and gravel to strain contaminants from water. To build a water filter that can supply up to five people, read this article. http://fivegallonideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bucket-filter.pdf
9. Douse Fires
Buckets have been used in fighting fires since Roman times. While it’s not a good idea to try to fight large fires, buckets can be useful in extinguishing small ones. Keep a few around the house or when camping filled with sand or water. This makes them readily available when the need arises to put out flames.
10. Heat Water
A couple of black five-gallon buckets and some sunlight are all that is needed to heat up water. Place one bucket inside the other and fill it 2/3rds full. Then place the lid on top and set it out in the sun. Within a few hours the water will be nice and warm. Use this for bathing or washing clothes. If the water is going to be used for cooking or drinking, be sure that the buckets are ‘food grade’ and the water has been filtered of possible contaminants.
11. Construct a Rocket Stove
Rocket stoves are an easy way to make a portable oven. These stoves run on twigs which cuts down on the need for a stockpile of wood. With just a steel bucket, a couple pieces of vent pipe, a barbeque grate and a tin can you can assemble a rocket stove in about one hour. Learn more at https://archive.org/details/RootSimpleTechnicalBulletinHowToBuildARocketStove
12. Build a Toilet
No matter what situation you may find yourself in, the need for a place to relieve yourself is a must. Keeping excrement contained is a breeze with this technique. Place a garbage bag inside a bucket and pour in some cat litter. This will cut down on the smell and make cleanup easy. Toilet seats that fit over the bucket like a lid are available online.
13. Take a Bucket Shower
With just a few materials and a bucket, you can construct a camp shower with the capability to last up to eight minutes before needing refilled. Find out how here.
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14. Take Care of Chickens
For those raising chickens, buckets are invaluable. Make feeders and watering dishes by drilling holes in the bottom of buckets and placing them in aluminum pans. Fill the bucket with either feed or water and let the chickens loose. You can also make places for the chickens to nest simply by turning the bucket on its side, cutting off 2/3rds of the lid and filling with straw.
15. Launder Clothing
Clean your clothing with just a bucket and a gamma seal lid. Place garments inside with some detergent and hot water and shake. After a few minutes, empty the water and ring out the clothing. Then fill with clean water and shake to rinse. Gamma seal lids are available at Amazon.com