Prepper Book Festival 12: 5-Gallon Bucket Book

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 24, 2021
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. I agree with Gary: I’d love to have auto-rotating #10 can shelves, but don’t have hundreds of $$$

  2. 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!

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

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