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milk crate and 5 gallon bucket

Two common everyday products that provide tons of benefits for indoor and outdoor activities…

(The Bonus Tip listed below is a must see)

You may already own these simple but innovative objects. They are probably sitting in your garage or basement, doing nothing but taking up space. They are capable of storing and transporting many house hold items and are indispensable for camping trips.

I believe every homeowner and camper should own at least one of these.


Listed below are tips on “how” to use these products along with a few benefits they provide.


1.   TRANSPORT/STORE WOOD I use the buckets to round up kindling wood for my campfires and also to carry logs into the house for the wood stove. You will be surprised at how much 2 buckets can store. Also, using the 2 buckets at one time balances the weight for easier hauling and supports my back too!

2.   CARRY/STORE WATER Use for dousing your campfire after use. I’ve also kept a full bucket of water handy to cool off our hot forks after we’ve toasted marshmallows or hotdogs. It’s always a good idea to have extra water on hand.

3.   STORE FOOD/MISC. GOODS   Use to store your pet food (some buckets are available with a sealable lid).

4.   A TOILET   Line the bucket with a plastic bag filled kitty litter and you now have a portable, emergency toilet! Great for camping.

5.   A quick SEAT   Turn the bucket upside down and with a chair cushion on top you now have an instant seat, perfect for kids sitting around the campfire.

6.   WASH CLOTHES   With a little water and some laundry detergent, you can clean clothing in an emergency (or camping) situation. After washing, by filling the bucket with clean water, you can now rinse the clothes too.

7.   PLANT/GROW FOOD   A bucket is perfect for growing herbs, your favorite veggies or even flowers. Grow on your back porch, the deck or just about anywhere.

8.   HARVEST RAINWATER   Water, a necessity for life. Power outage preventing your ability to pump water? Does your garden need water because of a drought? Using a bucket, harvest water from your rainspouts or by simply leaving the bucket(s) outside to collect the falling rain.

9.   TOOL STORAGE/TRANSPORTING   I keep a bucket in my workroom specifically for garden tools that are too awkward for hanging. It fits perfectly in the corner of the room, holding my loppers, hand saws and clippers. I can then easily carry all those tools outside when doing yard work.

10. TRASH CAN   A “portable” trash can. I use while camping and at home. I have one in my basement that I can also very easily carry outside for other uses. With a plastic bag for a liner, it’s always easy cleanup.

BONUS TIP   Air conditioning outside? Check this out…

Two days before I posted this article, I attended a local food festival and one of the vendors was using this gadget (a fan/mister) to cool himself while under his hot tent. The circulating fan sits on top of the 5 gallon bucket and sprays a “mist” of water to help keep cool. He told me that when things really get hot and humid, he fills the bucket with ice and uses the fan for moving only the cold air…portable air conditioning!

Just one more use for a 5-gallon bucket!


1.  BIKE BASKET   With a few bungee cords, secure a crate on the front or rear of a bike allowing storage for groceries, carrying tools or even an extra seat for your pet Rover. No shame here…my friends laughed at me when they saw the milk crate attached to my bike but their attitude changed when I returned with groceries and some adult beverages packed inside!

2.  SPARE SEAT Place a chair cushion on it and voila’, a comfy seat for kids…anywhere

3.  STORAGE at home, in the car, or outdoors at the campsite. They make great shelves as they stack well.

4.  A PRODUCE BIN Let your fruits and veggies “breathe” by storing them in the crate.

5.  CAR TRUNK ORGANIZER Keep flashlights, tools and rain gear organized. Store your dirty shoes and boots too.

6.  FILE ORGANIZER Most file folders fit perfectly onto the sides of the crate. Easy to store/stack in a closet or out of the way place.

7.   ALBUM STORAGE Protect your precious vinyl collection by keeping them safe in the hard crates.

8.   SHELVING   Perfect for storing anything like books, clothes, tools and more. Stack in a closet, your basement or workroom. Since the crates are “see thru”, you have a visual of all items stored, unlike cardboard boxes that need to be labeled and are not strong enough for stacking.

9.    STEPSTOOL   Need to reach for something in an out-of-the-way place?

10.  WATER STORAGE    The crates are perfect for transporting gallon water jugs for camping trips as well as storing water at home. The hard plastic of the crates protects the containers and makes it easy for carrying and stacking.

There you have it! Twenty ways to be of help around your house, or outdoors while camping. Be creative, and with an open mind you will discover even more ways these 2 simple products can make your everyday life easier. Have anything to share? I would love to hear from you. CONTACT ME HERE.

If you haven’t already, download my free book – “The Ultimate Outdoors and Camping Checklist”. It contains tons of tips and suggestions similar to the ones I’ve listed above. Get it HERE. It’s FREE.



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