Prepper Book Festival 12: 5-Gallon Bucket Book

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 3, 2019
Prepper Book Festival 12: 5-Gallon Bucket Book

When this newest Prepper Book Festival was launched, I indicated there would be some fun titles along the more serious fiction and non-fiction titles. Couple practicality and usefulness with fun and and we have a real win.  Such is the case with today;s book, 5 Gallon Bucket Book: DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles.

Here in my household, collecting 5 gallon buckets takes second place only to mason jars, and you know how I feel about them!  Give me a few dozen buckets and jars and I can and do store anything.  There is one critical difference between the two, however, and that is I am very clever at scoring pre-owned buckets for free from restaurants and bakeries.

5 Gallon Bucket Book | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I am pleased to introduce you to The 5 Gallon Bucket Book by Chris Peterson.  Want to learn how to make a manual washing machine?  What about a composting toilet or water filtering system to use when SHTF? Detailed directions are in this book. Heck, there is even a DIY for creating a Vermiculture Bin,  Aquaponics System and a Trotline Buoy – all using a five gallon bucket as a starting point.

DIY Manual Washing Machine | 5 Gallon Bucket Book

Each DIY project is beautifully photographed with step by step instructions using common supplies and tools.  Chris also invokes his sense of humor here and there.  For example, when talking about the benefits of a manual washing machine, he says:

“The other benefit is exercise.  So many people pay for a gym when you can get a decent workout just by saving electricity and water.  Even the least fit person in the household will be capable of washing a small load of clothes while burning a tidy sum of calories”.

On the fun side of the ledger, I love the garden fountain and the cable and cord organizer.  Okay, I admit to sometimes walking on the quirky side of life but to me, those projects are fun.

In traditional book festival fashion, Chris is here today to answer my interview questions plus offer up three copies in a book giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below so you can enter to win.

An Interview with Chris Peterson, Author of 5-Gallon Bucket Book

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

It’s an easy-to-read instructional manual on reusing 5-gallon buckets in ingenious, useful and fun ways.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

I started by looking around on the web at Instagram and other sites at what people were doing with 5-gallon buckets. It was amazing. I did some library research on 5-gallon bucket projects in other books, and then came up with a long list that I eventually whittled to the projects that I felt were the most universally useful, interesting, valid and fun.

Then I camped out in a hardware store to figure out how to create achievable versions of those topics.

How long did it take to write?

About three months, including research, writing, and working back and forth with the photographer on details.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?

Everything we throw away can be reused in interesting and intriguing ways. It’s fairly simple to turn trash into treasure, and I think this book proves that.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m a former book editor, and I’ve been a freelance writer for 12 years. I’ve written extensively on do-it-yourself topics like deck building and refitting bathrooms. But I also write cookbooks and do a fair bit of ghostwriting. After living in Brooklyn for 30 years, I recently moved to a small town in southern Oregon—a big culture change, but I’m settling in.

In my free time, I snowboard, root for the Yankees and go hiking. I also cook and bake like a maniac.

As an author in the survival, prepping, self-sufficiency or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

As a Buddhist and environmentalist, I’m concerned about the slim margin of time we have to reverse some of the damage we’ve done to planet and prevent irreversible and very serious changes to cultures, societies and economies around the world. I think reusing waste material is a simple, imaginative way to lessen our impact on the environment.

The goal is to make a better, cleaner, more livable world for the next generation and beyond.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

An emergency kit (and, look, you can use a 5 gallon bucket for one).

No matter where you are, there’s the possibility of an extreme weather event or other type of emergency. Even a long power outage can make things difficult for you if you haven’t got much gas in the car and haven’t shopped in a while.

Basic first aid supplies, batteries, a battery powered radio, dried snack foods and water are easy to set aside and can be vital if your really need them. Once you go through the exercise of making an emergency kit, you can take one step further and make prepper pantry, or even a rudimentary survival shelter.

What movie do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

The worst case scenario is The Road, which is what happens when society breaks down under pressure. But I think any old Western movie will give you some idea of what it might be like if things go south quickly. Bad things happen when the food chain is interrupted, or there is a threat to general law and order or basic social agreements like the fact that we all agree these little pieces of paper are worth something of value.

Do you have plans for another book?

Many. I’m currently working on a revision of my book Building with Secondhand Stuff: How to Re-Vamp, Re-Purpose & Re-Use Salvaged and Leftover Building Materials. But then I’m going to be working on a book about renovating and pimping out old campers.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

I hope they take the opportunity of the book to explore reusing not only 5-gallon buckets, but other supposedly “waste” items (I use old milk cartons as plant starter boxes).

It’s really like an interesting game when you hold something over that kitchen garbage can and say, “Wait, I wonder I could make this into…?”

The Giveaway

Chris and his publisher have reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  This giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

One takeaway from Chris’s interview was his suggestion to watch old westerns to learn about life when things go south.  What a great idea and not one I have seen mentioned before.  In thinking about it, a lot is written about survival during the Great Depression but what about pioneers heading west in wagon trains, with only the most rudimentary of supplies?  Like I said, something to think about.

If you are lucky enough to win a copy of the 5 Gallon Bucket Book, you are going to be over the moon anxious to start on some of the projects.  One I want to start right away is painting the outside of some buckets were pickle containers in a previous life.  Of course these painted buckets will not be used for food storage, but they sure will be useful in color coding buckets of biomass, charcoal, tools and other non-consumables.  I can’t wait to get started.

Whether you want to make an upside down tomato planter, nesting box for your hens, or one of the projects mentioned at the beginning, you are going to love this book.  And if you wants some tips for scoring free buckets?  That is covered too.  Just remember to be creative and ask nicely!

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #12: The Best Books to Help You Prepare, Stay Healthy and Be Happy.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  .5 Gallon Bucket Book: DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles

Why just reuse a bucket when you can reinvent it?

Five-gallon buckets are ubiquitous and cheap (indeed, they are often free). But did you know they can also be hacked, hot-rodded, re-engineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, small-scale farmers, and preppers? 5-Gallon Bucket Book contains 60+ ideas that put these humble and hard-working mainstays to work past their prime and keep them out of landfills. Simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects, make sure you will have fun and love the results of your work.

Projects include perfect additions to your yard and garden, tools to care for your animals, useful innovations, handy home helpers, and even family-oriented designs! They range from simple things such as chicken feeders to much more complex projects (small room air conditioner, anyone?).

For anyone who doesn’t already have fifteen of them cluttering up the garage, 5-Gallon Bucket Book also offers advice on where to get cheap and free buckets and how to tell if a bucket is safe to use for food.

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook print version is available.


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96 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 12: 5-Gallon Bucket Book”

  1. This book has so many neat things. I use buckets already, but I am sure I am not doing all I could with them. Always interested in learning new ideas that help organize prepping. Thanks

  2. DYI project I’d like to learn more about would be developing a HAM radio Go Box. Something small, compact yet multi-band, with a portable antenna, and light weight. A box that would be ready to go at a moments notice in the event of a natural disaster depending on your area of the country. And something to use for fun.

  3. We have cats and use the litter buckets. I’ve used them to grow herbs and veggies. I also use one as a garden stool and scoot around on my bucket from plant to plant to weed. I made a storm kit out of one. I keep one for making laundry soap. We had so many of them we gave them to the school custodians. They always have uses for them too. I have gotten ones safe for food from bakeries and use them for food storage.

    • Sounds like a great book to help us cycle an item we all use or have access to. Can’t wait to read it!!

  4. Excellent article.

    The DIY project I would like to learn more about would be on how to build perimeter and entry alarms, both audible and visual.

  5. This looks like a real good addition to the library. I’ve already done the DIY water filter with a bucket, but there’s a lot more here

  6. WOW!! Who knew that the bucket I use for cat litter can do so many great things.
    I can’t wait to check out all the Great Ideas!!

  7. This looks like a very interesting and useful book. I have read about using the buckets for sanitary purposes during emergencies and look forward to reading about other uses.

  8. I’d like to know what you think is the best DIY rain barrel collection system. I’ve seen several, but it’s gets overwhelming sometimes to figure out which will work best.

  9. I’m a wee bit of a glass jar and bucket hoarder, myself. My new favs are ones from the Big Box Store’s bakery that are square. Downside is that gamma seals won’t fit them, of course, but they’re so handy for other things. The book sounds amazing! Hmmmm…..what DIY would I like you to explore more? “Hi, I’m Robin and I’m a DIY slacker.” So, I seriously glean from all you post. You seem to zone in on what’s needed most among most. Good skill!! I do like what Kristine asked, however, about water collection. Thanks for all you do….

  10. I would really love to learn the ins and outs of a durable and reliable rain catch system. I can’t bring myself to water my garden and my plants with drinking water when there are so many people in the world that do not have access to ANY clean water. There are so many resources out there and different ideas. I’d like to find one that is tested and true!

  11. I’ve been thinking about picking up some buckets and this book would give me some ideas on what to use them for.

  12. Great interview. The author sounds like a person who would be interesting to talk with IRL.

    I agree with the request about using buckets to catch rain water. Especially how to fit screen material over the top.

    I would also like to see an upgrade on using buckets as emergency toilets. There is a YouTube video that adds ventilation pipes. And somewhere I saw a video using large barrels. When a barrel is full, they close it up and leave it for a year to compost. They move the seat, lid and vent pipe apparatus to a new barrel.

    I’m bringing these up because I like these ideas but they look too complex for me to build. As for letting waste compost in the bucket, I just realized it would require 52 buckets, one for each week of the year.

    See what I mean? It is very easy to paint myself into a corner with DIY projects.

  13. My parents have always used these in the garden, for stools, table bases, fishing, etc. & I used to think…why can’t they buy something cute! I’m now realizing they’ve always been preppers…????

  14. I would like to know more about caching food/goods so they are not detectable. I know I have to make sure there is NO metal but how to store things underground so it stays viable? What’s the best way of protecting the cache? I know it sounds crazy but have had a sibling talk about using their new metal detector and finding this “weird” cache of stuff (as they called it) when they were out using their metal detector. Not understanding what it was they found, they took the cache to the authorities as there was no names or anything in the cache. I just hope who ever buried it got the things back but I seriously doubt it Oh there were no guns or ammo in the cache. Just “a bunch of weird stuff” in the tote as my sibling said then. Both my brother and I have since told this sibling LEAVE IT ALONE!! if they come across another cache.

    • I second the request for more information on cacheing. I do have a couple ideas, but there must be so many more.

      I plan to bury a very large water tight cooler. They cost about 75 dollars so I have not done it yet.

      Then I plan to store my survival stuff in dry bags inside the cooler. A large dry bag costs close to 40 dollars. At that size they have backpack straps so you can easily carry the bag after digging it up.

      I plan to leave the cooler in the ground and use it as a root cellar at my camp.

      In addition I would like to bury several PVC pipe caches with the most basic stuff.

      Again, I still believe there are better ideas out there that I haven’t considered yet.

      Thanks for the cautionary story about why we should not bury metal!

  15. I have made an off grid washing machine with a five gallon bucket, lid, toilet plunger. Cut hole in top of lid to snuggly fit the handle of the plunger to keep it from sliding all over the place when plunging (like an agitator on a washer). A 2nd bucket is used (and designed the same way with the hole in the lid for the plunger to stabilize when plunging). Wash clothes in bucket ONE then I bought a MOP WRINGER to remove most of water from clothes that can sit on the bucket or another bucket of choice. My hands are too old with arthritis to manually wring the clothes now. Once wrun out in the MOP WRINGER, place in rinse bucket and plunge to remove soapy residue. Repeat either step if necessary…the washing or the rinsing. Use waste water (GRAY WATER) to water plants.

  16. I make homemade laundry detergent& store in a five gallon bucket.
    Liquid Laundry Detergent

    1 Bar Soap (Fels Naptha or Castile soap) Found in Laundry Detergent Aisle at Grocery or Walmart etc.
    1 cup Washing Soda
    1 cup Borax
    Hot Water
    Measuring Cup
    Cheese Grater
    5 Gallon Bucket
    Big Metal Cooking Pot
    Long Wooden Spoon
    Optional: 35-40 drops of essential oil (tea tree, lavender etc…) I chose tea tree oil.

    Grate your soap with a cheese grater. This is probably the most work you will do in the entire process. But afterwards your cheese grater will be really clean!
    Bring big pot of water (about half full) to a boil, and then slowly stir in your grated soap.
    Once the soap is melted, reduce heat and slowly add in the Washing Soda while stirring with the wooden spoon. At this point a small reaction will occur, and your mixture will try to bubble over a little in your pot. This is where the wooden spoon comes in handy. Lay the wooden spoon across your pot, and then your mixture won’t boil over and make a mess.

    Add in your Borax to the pot while stirring. Once everything is blended and melted, remove from heat.
    Fill your five gallon bucket half-way with hot water. Add your soap mixture from the pot to your bucket of water.
    At this point you can add in your optional essential oil, and stir the mixture really well with your wooden spoon.
    Once everything is well-blended, fill the bucket the rest of the way with water and then put the lid on. Allow to cool and sit overnight.
    After sitting overnight, your mixture will become a gel-like goop, and that means it’s ready to use! At this point you can transfer some of the soap to clean and empty smaller bottles (old laundry detergent bottles or milk jugs), so that it’s easy to use every day. Shake/stir the mixture before using in your washing machine. Use one cup or less of “gel-like goop” per load.

  17. DIY solar over that works well. Ve made a couple, they basically warm items, but wouldn’t actually cook my food.

  18. I also use HOMER BUCKETS (HOME DEPOT) or LOWES BUCKETS that have the gamma seal as they are a lot thicker plastic than the throw away food grade buckets you get from bakeries, fast food joints etc. I use mylar bags and O2 absorbers before sealing, then seal the bucket with a rubber mallet. On the bucket I write the date, the items stored and cooking instructions (in case I’m not the one cooking). In my prep storage area of 5 gallon buckets I also keep a lid opener for 5 gallon buckets tied to a paracord in the area to always have a way to open the buckets without destroying them. They can be reused in years to come when you have more preps to store. I also get the zip lock 5 gallon mylar bags (from Amazon) to be able to reseal the bag to prevent infestation of bugs, vermine etc. Extra supplies of Mylar Bags of all sizes and 02 absorbers are kept in 5 gallon buckets in the food storage area for easy retrieval when needed to store more preps. You can purchase a WOMANS STRAIGHT IRON at a thrift store or yard sale (or new at the Dollar Store) to seal your Mylar Bags. WORKS PERFECT and a FRACTION of the cost of the sealers sold on Amazon. Can use as long as there is power or you have access to solar or generator power…after than, I will use my old cast iron IRONS to heat on a camp fire to seal my bags.

  19. I use 5 gallon buckets to store COMFORT FOODS and it is marked on the bucket as such. This is vacuumed sealed candies, snacks (that I purchase after a Holiday like Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween) to get 75-90% off the regular prices. I open the bags and make individual bags of goodies with the vacuum sealer and fill with the GOODIES OF MY FAMILIES CHOICE.

  20. I have made chicken SELF WATERING BUCKETS with 5 gallon buckets. They are filled via eave trough’s from my roof or the chicken coop, that goes into 55 gallon drums elevated so gravity feed can be used. The 55 gallon drums have PVC pipe running to the 5 gallon buckets with a FLOAT to prevent over filling. From the 5 gallon bucket there is adapters placed (holes drilled near bottom of bucket for adapter) to attach a length of PVC pipe with installed CHICKEN WATERING NIPPLES (found on Amazon). This length of PVC pipe is close to the ground so the chickens can PECK to drink water which keeps the water CLEAN as anyone with chickens knows they love to stand in their waterer’s and poop, which needs cleaning or disease will follow. A couple of drops of chlorox in the summer time keeps the 5 gallon buckets free from mold/mildew. I always try to place in a shaded area to keep the water cool. I’m designing a rabbit watering system using the same technique but with RABBIT WATERING NIPPLES and tubing. These self waterers are essential on a farm as cleaning and filling the old plastic waterers is very time consuming when time is needed for other chores on the farm. (Instructions for Chicken Self Watering Systems can also be found on the internet by Googling…several different version available.

  21. This comment is in reference to using a BLACK plastic 55 gallon drum as a hot water heater. Use your eave troughs to keep it full or a water hose as long as we have water available. Place just below your eave trough and in direct sun to heat the water during the day. Run a piece of PVC pipe from the 55 gallon drum to a shower area (an old shower or area with bricks/blocks for floor). Have a shut off valve to turn the water on/off or you can get fancy with a faucet but I found using gravity feed there isn’t enough pressure to utilize the faucet effectively. SAVE SAVE SAVE HOT WATER by turning on water from 55 gallon drum, wet down & TURN THE WATER OFF! Soap up, wash hair etc., then turn water back on for a quick rinse. Please be considerate to the next user of the solar heated shower by making sure there is always water in the drum. I was the unfortunate user that ran out of water after I got all soaped down and NO ONE AROUND to assist me. We had an old shower stall with a seat which is where I had to stay until someone came to my rescue as I slipped and slidded all over the place trying to walk around with soap in my eyes and body completely soaped down. NOT A VERY HAPPY CAMPER but I SURVIVED! LOL!

  22. I already use 5-gallon buckets for a few things but would like to learn how to use them to make a water filtering system.

  23. I would like to see more DIY projects that focus on medicine. I grow all homeopathic herbs and flowering plants to eat, what is the best way to preserve them? Drying then canning for freshness? Also foraging would be helpful.

  24. I would like to know about how to stucco or flagstone a house or some other covering that would protect it. I’m open to suggestions. I live in AZ and the sun destroys wood. I need some other covering.

  25. Gosh, I have so many DIY projects I want to learn about….rigs all so cumbersome and kinda now, I think it’s my rainwater collection that needs tweaking. We get a lot of rain in the area, but it comes in waves. So although we are a temperate rainforest, I have to occaisionally water my garden. So far, it i

  26. This book on 5 gallon buckets is a very useful topic and I am sure there are many worthwhile projects in it that I will tackle when timne permits.

  27. I second this request too, on composting human waste.

    There is a lot of conflicting information out there. It seems to either be too simple to work or too complicated to implement.

    I don’t care about composting it into usable fertilizer. I am interested in getting rid of the waste by composting so that it can no longer spread disease.

    I’m interested in this topic as a permanent or homesteading off grid solution.

    Even though I have no choice about paying the town water/sewer bill I want to implement this for a month for practice. My husband is utterly horrified.

    There is no doubt that the more skills that are practiced the better. Someone mentioned a bucket clothes washer, and someone else mentioned making a really big batch of homemade laundry soap.

    • Here is a third vote for this topic. This is my last remaining major issue to resolve.

  28. I agree with Dave about a Ham Radio go-box. Also how do you have a go-box like that that also should be secured in a Faraday cage in case of EMP. Have you thought about investigating a DIY greenhouse for herbs and plant starts?

  29. I’d like to see good and reasonable ways to build a water filter, because water is going to be the number one problem and a lot of people are going to need to know how to filter and purify water. Thanks!

  30. Has anyone else ever noticed how many 5 gallon buckets you see laying along the side of highways? I used to say that when I retired I would ride along and pick them up. If I ever get around to actually doing that, this book would give me a lot of help to using all that “loot”. Right at this moment, I have peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers growing in 5 gallon buckets at my house and my son’s house.

  31. A DIY project I’d like you to address? Hmmm . . . ya got me on that! But I’m interested in seeing this book!

  32. What an awesome sounding book. Would love to see the many projects. DIY skills are always needed in every situation.

  33. You can’t move 10 feet without finding a 5 gal. bucket on our place. We use them for all kinds of things. Would be nice to see some different ideas on using them, would love this book.

  34. Would love the book. Not sure about a DIY project. Have the ideas in my right now but can not come up the words to express them.

  35. This is a book I need! My children,(,39, 37,35 ), need to understand, I’m noticed the only one who does this. That being frugal, and reusing things, is the right way of doing it. My grandchildren are quickly to throw things away. Maybe this will bring it home to them.

  36. I’m with Gaye, you can never have too many canning jars or 5 gallon buckets! One of the DIY projects I would like to learn more about would be solar power. I have a small greenhouse and having a way to heat and cool it off grid would be fantastic.

  37. Sounds like a great book to have Buckets are easier to store since they are stackable than jars. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  38. I used to wash things too delicate for the washing machine in tubs but have gone to the 5 gallon bucket since it’s faster and I can get more done at a time. I’d like a better system of washing with just my plunger, which is OK for now. In a small apartment I can only store a few of these buckets, but they are handy.

  39. Another great article, I as many others want more info on water filtration, I would really be interested in heavy metal removial, in a grid down world.
    Thanks again for the great article.

  40. We use buckets for lots of things around here. Plastic with liner for garbage. For hand washing. With lids for storage of many items. The handles make them easy to lift and move around.

    • I use 5 gallon buckets for planting my tomatoes & pepper plants in. They get deeper root systems that way, drain the excess water out better & very little weeding to do. 🙂 If I had the money to fill my entire garden with 5 gallon buckets filled with potting soil I would…they’re also great for mellons, cukes, etc. Only thing they probably wouldn’t be so great for are grain crops like corn, sorghum, etc.

  41. We’re getting ready to move to 36 acres in the middle of nowhere…I’m interested in learning about raised bed gardening, food preservation and storage, water collection and storage, and solar power. I know there’s a ton to learn.

  42. My wife thinks the next thing we should learn to do is how to keep a bee hive. I told her I already know how to keep a bee hive, about a mile away.

  43. When I was a kid in the 70s we had no indoor plumbing & an iffy well (later no well, thanks to my older brother breaking it). In the summers we would catch rain off the roof for bathing & we’d take milk cans to the neighbor’s house & fill up at their well for drinking. I know how awesome rainwater is for my hair, as well as my plants & it’s fine for the animals to drink…but probably not safe for human consumption these days without using something like a Berkey filter. I guess I’d love to learn more about catchment & filtration systems for rain water. We have 3 huge metal roofed structures that we could catch literally hundreds of gallons off of.

  44. Do-it-yourself hydroponic system. Maybe one that can be set up in the garage.

    Also, as far as 5-gallon buckets, our local walmart started selling buckets in the paint department that are now labeled food grade for about $2.60 each. They tell me they sell the regular lids also but never have any when I go in there. However, I discovered about a month ago that the home depot right across the street sells gamma lids.

  45. Using buckets for sanitation purposes. I’m in an densely packed urban area with a growing population and infrastructure that hasn’t been updated since the 70s. Hurricane season is here and I’m afraid the next big hurricane to hit will mean no electricity and no water.

    • Sarah, do you have a balcony? Do you have a way to store a lot of sawdust? Can you purchase a large stack of buckets with lids?

      I lived in an apartment in DC with plumbing so old they had to shut off water to the entire building just to fix something in one apartment. We have finally moved to the country, but I spent a lot of time thinking about your question while I lived in the city.

      This is what I planned. Get the buckets, Regular lids, and a toilet seat with lid made for buckets. Amazon sells it. Backdoor Survival has a link. Also purchase as much sawdust as you can store. Pet stores sell it but there must be a cheaper place.

      Use a bucket as a toilet with the seat and lid during an emergency. Layer sawdust over the contents after each use.

      When a bucket is full, put the lid on tight and store it on the balcony. If no balcony, maybe you have a closet you could empty to store the buckets until the emergency is over. Just move the seat to the next bucket.

      The bucket and sawdust arrangement is standard protocol for homemade composting toilets. Normally the buckets would be emptied into a compost bin in the back yard.

      I wanted to get a couple large plastic garbage cans to keep on the balcony and empty the buckets in.

      My husband filpped his lid, pun intended, and squashed all my great ideas.

      However, we did have actual plumbing emergencies on occasion and had to drain the toilet, line with trash bag, go, and then tie up and quadruple bag in grocery bags, then immediately go put in the dumpster. But with rioting or other bad things possible during an emergency, running outside for anything may not be a good idea. Plus, there might not be garbage pickup during an emergency.

      The one thing my husband agreed to was filling all his 2 liter soda bottles with water. We had them stashed in every possible place.

  46. Whenever me and my wife go to our favorite Japanese restaurant , I always see if they have any buckets around back. The ones with soy sauce are my favorites. The ones with other things attracts the bears…there is a line of buckets through the woods right now that need to rescued .

  47. WOW! All of the uses for our bucket are awesome!! Some I never thought of!!
    I guess that why this book will be so useful. Even if the S does not HTF—
    And we don’t experience a natural disaster, our buckets help to develop self sufficiency and save $$ and resources.
    If the government institutes Cap and Trade, our electric bills will go through the roof– I see a small bucket washer and umbrella clothes to line in my future!!! So excited to get a Copy!!!

    • I too am really impressed by readers bucket ideas. Especially container gardening. I think I can set that up without having to bend over to care for the plants.

      One person mentioned cat litter buckets. I have those. I use one to scoop the used cat litter into, and when it is full we dump it in a hole out back. It’s just clay and cat poop, right? I assume it’s better for the environment than scooping into grocery bags and then it ends up in a landfill where it will never decompose due to plastic.

      So I can use cat litter buckets for container gardens.

      In addition, sometimes I buy cat litter in large jugs with lids. They are NOT water tight and NOT foodsafe. However I wash them out and store water for non-drinking.

      The water would be fine for washing clothes, or bathing. Frequent hand washing is important when you can’t count on medical help.

      These cat litter jugs are NOT stackable. And they cannot be stored on their side. I store them upright behind furniture.

      They are not an ideal solution. I would much prefer waterbricks but these jugs come with the cat litter and I don’t want them in a landfill. Maybe I could take them to recycling but I would rather reuse them. Who can afford waterbricks?

  48. I need to learn how to build a rotating food storage can supply shelf. The prebuilt ones are ridiculously overpriced.

  49. this would be a good book to have, because there are so many things that you can use a bucket for, but I only know of two or three things.

  50. We just moved to a hot and humid climate. I’d like to learn how to be comfortable/function well without air conditioning.

  51. I would like information on how to can with out a stove.
    also, what is this I hear a little about square foot gardening??

  52. I would like information on a DIY Rainwater Collection System using the gutter system on the house.

  53. Wow, so many great comments and suggestions. I have repurposed 5 gal buckets both for nesting boxes and waterers for my chickens too. I guess I would add my vote to growing, using and storing herbs for teas and tinctures. Something that I am interested in, but get overwhelmed thinking about where to start—how to plan the herb garden, what to grow, what to do with it when it is grown, how to store and keep it organized…Oh, and using it too!

  54. I agree with Gary: I’d love to have auto-rotating #10 can shelves, but don’t have hundreds of $$$

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