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”!
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
- 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.
Here is a port a potty you can actually port… Take 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. In addition to sugar, buy in
bulk to save and stockpile:
#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!