16 Incredible Ways to Use 5-Gallon Buckets For Survival

When it comes to home supplies that double as great survival tools the 5-gallon bucket is one of the best alternatives around…which is why I’m writing on the ways to Use 5-Gallon Buckets For Survival.


These simple and affordable buckets are seemingly a dime a dozen. And while many of us use them in or around the home for various purposes unrelated to survival, the truth is I haven’t seen too many other simple tools available from the hardware store that serve so many distinct survival purposes.

Discover 16 Incredible Ways to Use 5-Gallon Buckets For Survival

1 – Use them to make toilets:

In a crisis situation it’s going to be incredibly important to maintain Use 5 Gallon Buckets For Survivalproper sanitation. One of the quickest ways for sanitary conditions to go ballistic is by using the toilet indiscriminately in areas where disease and germs can breed.

A 5-gallon bucket toilet is an easy way to keep human waste centralized so it doesn’t cause your survival area to grow septic.

Using little more than a pool noodle, a trash bag, (and possibly a lid) you can have a self-contained toilet that’ll allow you to use the restroom with a decent amount of privacy and without fearing about a septic situation in your survival area.

2 – Use it to make a composting toilet:

This is a great way to not only isolate human waste, it’ll actually help you turn that human waste into something you’ll be able to use to generate human compost for agriculture.

Remember, you’re going to be generating a fair amount of waste in a survival situation. If you plan on bugging in for the duration of a survival situation then using your waste to help further the chances of your survival is a wonderful idea.

Good news is you don’t need much to get a 5-gallon bucket compost toilet going.

Check out this video showing you how it’s done.

3 – Use them to grow miniature survival gardens:

Speaking of putting waste inside of a 5-gallon bucket you can also put animal based compost in a bucket and then grow a miniature survival garden.

Essentially you’re using the bucket as an extra large flower pot. The benefit to gallon buckets is unlike flower pots they come equipped with handles allowing for easy transport, and, they’re much lighter and stronger than most other flower pots.

They can be used for most kinds of shallow rooted, smaller profile plants and are especially helpful for plants that require movement in and out of the sun.

 4 – Use them to make hanging tomato gardens:

Some plants (like tomatoes) thrive in hanging gardens. Because they’re made out of rugged high density plastic the 5-gallon bucket is a superior choice for growing tomatoes from extended positions.

Check out this video showing you how this is done.


5 – Use them to make aquaponics systems:

Building off the idea you can use 5-gaScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 8.35.39 AMllon buckets for gardens you can also use them to make aquaponics systems.

Because they’re made out of plastic they’re capable of accepting the basic elements required for an aquaponics systems.

The buckets will hold fish, hold the piping needed to move water through, and will also provide plenty of room for the kinds of plants best suited for aquaponics systems.

6 – Use them for survival kit storage:

This is a really handy use for a 5-gallon bucket.

Because they have a lid and a handle and quite a bit of storage the 5-gallon bucket survival kit will be quite useful for anyone who’s building a survival kit (and who wants to protect it).

Essentially anything that fits inside of a 5-gallon bucket is good to go for a 5-gallon bucket survival kit. I recommend keeping items sensitive to heat, moisture, and sunlight inside for safe keeping as the hard plastic shell will be quite effective at keeping them adequately protected.

In regards to what not to keep in a 5-gallon survival bucket I can only think of a few things.

First off, don’t keep guns in them. You want to make sure firearms are accessible, but safely stored…so a gun safe is a much better place than a 5-gallon bucket.

Secondly I would recommend not keeping any valuables in there. Sensitive documents, medicines, etc. You want to keep those somewhere safe as well.

And lastly I’d recommend keeping items you need with any sort of regularity at the top so you can get to them whenever you need.

7 – Use them for deer feeders: 

Let me be clear, if you’re going to use a 5-gallon bucket as a deer feeder now, then you’ll want to do that just to be nice to the deer. Meaning don’t use a 5-gallon bucket system to bait deer so you can shoot them.

That all changes in a survival situation of course and I think the 5-gallon bucket deer feeder is a great way to help lead to some serious hunting success.

The set up is quite simple and requires nothing more than: 1- 3″ PVC drain clean-out tee, 2- 3″ PVC 45 degree elbows, 1- 5-gallon bucket and lid, 2- 1 1/4″ outdoor-grade screws.

Hang it from a tree that’s near deer paths and you’ve got yourself a deer feeder and a way to guarantee venison is available to you in a survival situation.

8 – Turn them into backpacks:

This is a pretty cool use for a 5-gallon bucket I stumbled upon a few years ago. It just requires a needle, thread along with some fabric and foam.

Then you’ve got this amazing contraption.
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9 – Use them to grow a worm farm:

Worms are incredibly beneficial in survival situations.

Yes, you can use them for fishing…more importantly you can use them to make worm compost, which is great for survival gardens.

Worms are wonderful at taking compostable bio-material and turning it into dirt you can use to grow healthy plants.

Here’s a video showing you how this is done.

10 – Use them for a home air conditioning system:

I wrote a similar post about this using a cooler and a fan, turns out the same thing can be done with a 5-gallon bucket.

It’s a relatively simple DIY project.

All it takes is the following supplies:

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Styrofoam inner bucket (minnow bucket)
  • 1 1/4-inch PVC, about 12 inches
  • 1 5/8-inch hole saw
  • 7-inch portable fan
  • Utility knife
  • Gallon jug of water, frozen

11 – Use them to make a swamp cooler:

This is a similar use as mentioned above. This time, instead of using a frozen gallon jug you’ll be using a swamp cooler pad to generate a flow of cooler air.


12 – Use them to heat water:

The power of the sun is undeniably great. The good news is sunlight doesn’t need to go to waste.

You can use a 5-gallon bucket and the power of the sun to heat water for camping/home use.

One of the ways you can accomplish this is by taking a 5-gallon bucket, painting both the bucket and its lid black, fill it to the brim and then leave it out in the sun. If you’re inclined to do a bit more work you can even insulate the bucket to help trap that hot water in the bucket for use later on when the sun isn’t around.

13 – Use them to feed chickens:

Chickens are an incredible animal to have on the homestead in a survival situation.

And while chickens don’t require much attention from you, the caretaker, if you want to minimize how much time you’re spending with the birds then you can build this simple bird feeder.

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14 – Use them for emergency light:

This is a trick that’s going to work out really well with a lighter colored 5-gallon bucket.

Simply place a light (candle, or flashlight) inside of the bucket and place the lid on it and you’ve got a room illuminating lantern.

A note of caution: If you use a candle make sure to either drill a hole in the lid of the bucket or not place a lid on there at all. ALSO line the bottom of the bucket with sand or dirt so if the bucket tips over then the candle won’t cause the bucket to catch on fire.

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15 – Use them to make stools:

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This is both great in terms of survival as well as for normal everyday use.

The design of the 5-gallon bucket allows for it to withstand some serious weight. And that means you can use them for seating. You can honestly just use it with the lid on it, but if you want to make a little project out of it then you can make them quite comfortable.

16 – Use them to wash clothes:

If you’re ever without electricity (which very well might happen in an emergency) you can use a 5-gallon bucket system to help out with the task of washing your clothes.

How does this wok exactly?

Take a look:

Use 5-Gallon Buckets For Survival With Our Pre-made Survival Kits

You can see just how effective 5-gallon buckets are for survival.

That’s why we carry a pre-made survival kit that features a 5-gallon bucket, a toilet seat, and tons of survival gear that’ll help you out in a crisis.

Click here to see how you Use 5-Gallon Buckets For Survival with our pre-made kit.

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