101 Survival Uses for a Plastic Bucket

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Camping & Survival

A huge part of being successful at surviving during a disaster, zombie apocalypse or any SHTF scenario is to improvise, adapt and overcome. When supplies are limited, it will be imperative for you to think outside the box and think of alternative uses for the gear you have. Simple things like garbage bags become ponchos, shelters and water-catchers.

Many preppers already utilize food-grade plastic buckets for their food supply; however, durable plastic buckets provide a lot more uses than just food storage. The 0.900 mil HDPE-approved resin white has a wire bail handle with plastic grip. It is impact-resistant and is good at keeping out moisture. Paired with a gamma lid, you have an airtight seal for anything you want to store in the bucket. Measuring 11.89 inches in diameter and 14.46 inches tall, the bucket can withstand temperatures from 160 degrees to -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Each bucket only weighs 2.08 pounds without the lid.

Stock up on some sturdy and tough buckets that are perfect for every day use, but come in 101 ways handy for survival.

Bucket Stool

If you’re too short, you may not get that dumpster sandwich!

  1. Food storage
  2. Water storage
  3. Keep caught fish in it
  4. Emergency toilet
  5. Store handguns
  6. Store ammunition
  7. Ferment beer
  8. Distill liquor
  9. Back-up BOB
  10. Store batteries
  11. Water filtration system
  12. Store rice and other grains
  13. Store flour
  14. Use as a planter
  15. Collect rainwater
  16. Resting stool
  17. Trash can
  18. Hold bait
  19. Store sugar
  20. Store potatoes
  21. Use as a cooler
  22. Livestock feeder
  23. Hold pet/livestock food
  24. Wash clothes
  25. Wash dishes
  26. Churn butter
  27. Use it to milk a cow
  28. Store coffee
  29. Gathering

    bucket trap

    Not really sure what you would catch with a coke can. Only one way to find out!

  30. Hold first aid supplies
  31. Coal/charcoal storage
  32. Store wood for fires
  33. Hold sterno or MRE heater fuel
  34. Hold seeds
  35. Fill with sand as an alternative to sand bags
  36. Animal trap
  37. Pull off wire handle and use it as a tool
  38. Hold gear and back-up supplies
  39. Game collector
  40. Flotation device
  41. Weapon
  42. Bury things
  43. Solar still
  44. Bang on it for a distress call or relieve stress
  45. Game feeder
  46. Step stool
  47. Store used oil
  48. Store beans

    bucket guns

    Bucket O’ Fun!

  49. Hold a 72-hour food kit
  50. Make dough
  51. Keep paper products dry
  52. Bear and raccoon-proof storage
  53. Store kindling
  54. Collect clams
  55. Collect spent brass
  56. Hold reloading supplies
  57. Fill with rocks or sand and use as an anchor
  58. Grow potatoes
  59. Solar heater
  60. Lobster or fish trap
  61. Buoy
  62. Water marker
  63. Use the lid to plug a hole
  64. Use multiple lids as wheels
  65. Store/hid barter items
  66. Start a fire inside it in bad weather

    bucket helmet

    Oh now we’re just getting ridiculous

  67. Store salt
  68. Mix concrete
  69.  Store tools
  70. Hold cold-weather and rain gear clothing
  71. Hold matches and other fire-starting tools
  72. Hide valuables
  73. Heat water
  74. Hold sanitation supplies and toiletries
  75. Use for bathing
  76. Cover plants or crops to prevent them from freezing
  77. Keep personal items, like copies of birth certificates and social security cards
  78. Catch minnows for bait or food
  79. Store plastic dining ware and cooking utensils
  80. Store medicines
  81. Store baby’s bug-out kit
  82. Keep ropes and paracord
  83. Use as a helmet
  84. Use the lid as a Frisbee for entertainment
  85. Use the rubber gasket seal from the gamma lid
  86. Fill with sand or dirt and use it as post hole
  87. Fill it up with dirt or sand and use as a weight for exercise

    bucket cow

    Why was this the first thing I though of when coming up with uses for a bucket?

  88. Use as a dumbwaiter
  89. Remove the plastic grip and use as a tool or straw
  90. Bailing out a leaking boat
  91. Use it as a sieve
  92. Catch and keep crawfish
  93. Shovel
  94. Emergency shower if you poke holes in the bottom
  95. Make a compass
  96. Use it a fulcrum
  97. Break it and use the shards for weapons
  98. Water trap
  99. Cistern
  100. Use as a spotlight (with a light inside)
  101. Chicken roost

For an airtight seal to store food, purchase a gamma lid. If you want to use the bucket as an emergency toilet, you will need sanitary bags. As a water filtration system, you will need the ceramic water filtration system.

What uses can you think of? Tell us in the comment section.

To learn more about surviving and prepping, read the following blogs:


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Comments (34)

  • Hank Alvarez


    Ladies and Gentlemen:
    I’d appreciated some advice. Our earthquake prep supplies are packed in the orange five gallon plastic buckets from The Home Depot with tight fitting lids. Every place I looked for them, the so called “food storage quality” white buckets were more than twice as expensive and no one could give me a reasonable answer as to why I should use them. I’m not storing unpackaged food items.

    All my supplies are either canned or prepackaged staples like they came from the store so the only things that aren’t shrink wrapped are our candles and our matches are boxed and wrapped in plastic. You advice please. Hank


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