What Are Camping Buckets Used For

Whether it’s food, binoculars, books, outdoor games, shoes, or toilet paper, there’s always something to store for every camper who goes camping.

Most often, you tend to find such items need to be dry and safe. But unfortunately, while camping manufacturers are busing coming up with easy-to-carry and multi-purpose devices, they often lack when it matters most.

Home improvement stores often have the answer right under your nose, and until you are enlightened, you may not be aware of the multifunction abilities of 5-gallon buckets. You may ask, what is a camping bucket, and in our guide, you can see from many camp bucket ideas these are whatever you want them to be on your campsite.

You can make a bucket into a stool seating for sitting around the campfire or when out fishing. Just adding a padded bucket lid seat. Besides this, your bucket camping chair can still serve as storage or even light up instead of using a flashlight.

Every camper should have a few of these. They are simple to use, affordable to purchase, and are 100% waterproof. In our guide, you can learn more about using your 5-gallon bucket around the picnic table or fire pit or even keeping your toilet paper dry.

Uses Camping Buckets

By the end, you’ll see no 5-gallon bucket goes to waste, and you can get the kids to help you make a 5-gallon bucket night light for your next camping trip. (Learn How To Store Camping Chairs)

What Are Camping Buckets Used For?

Campers have found many uses for these buckets when in the great outdoors. Here are some of the many uses and top camping bucket ideas you can find.

Collecting Campfire Firewood

The ones that involve hauling stuff around are probably the most obvious of our camping bucket list suggestions.

Before the campfire fun begins, collecting firewood with the kids is usually a wonderful little micro-adventure.

A 5-gallon bucket is ideal for collecting medium-sized sticks and twigs for kindling, as well as dry leaves. Then, when you’ve removed all the fire’s fuel, check the bottom for creepy crawlies to show your kids.

Hauling Luggage

The camping bucket is excellent for carrying many gear items on a family outing, from bats and balls to sun cream and fishing nets.

The camping bucket is a quick and convenient way to take tools from your car to your tent. You can use them to take stuff to the beach and keep sand out or haul them across the campsite if you need to get rid of waste in the trash bins.

The simplest of camping bucket ideas can make life much more manageable since these buckets double for other uses at your destination.

Carrying Fish to Camp

Fishing is a popular camping pastime, and if you need to carry your fishing gear and bait, you need a seat to sit on, and you need something to keep your catch in. A camping bucket is ideal for all these uses. (Read Do I Need To Ground My Generator When Camping)

Keep Your Gear Dry

A bucket serves the same purpose as dry bags to keep belongings out of the water and dry when the weather turns bad.

You can also use them to store wet clothes and stop damp and sweaty odors in your tent or campsite.

Protect Food From Critters and Scavengers

The smell of food attracts many animals. Foxes, raccoons, and, depending on location, bears. You may have a camping cooler to keep perishables cool, yet for all your other stuff, a bucket with a lid makes the perfect storage solution to keep animals and flies away.

Fill it with food, put the lid on, and hang it from a tree branch out of bright light.

Camping bucket to hold water

Hold Water For Dousing Campfire

After using your bucket for firewood, you’ll need water by your campfire in case of emergencies. You can quickly administer first-aid treatment, or once the fire is over, you can douse the embers to make sure the fire is out.

Meanwhile, you can use the water-filled bucket to sit on the stool and watch the flames.

Wash Basin

A camping bucket can be used as a washbasin. Warm water on your fire and use it for washing hands.

With some ingenuity, you could also, you can also use a bucket of warm water for laundry or heat water for a shower, although you may need to stick holes in your bucket.

A Bucket Chair

This is the most straightforward of camping bucket ideas. Relax, eat or chat and your bucket quickly doubles as a camping chair.

An Emergency Toilet

A toilet seat is another option for using your camping bucket as a seat.

  1. Fill your bucket using a 10-gallon garbage bag.
  2. Add some absorption media like sawdust or pine chips.
  3. To get away from sharp edges on your seat, fold a grocery store bag over the rim and slip some pipe insulation around the edge. (or use small polystyrene noodle if you prefer)
  4. Fill the smaller plastic bag with more of your absorption material, and after each visit, drop the filled plastic bag into the bottom of the bucket.
  5. Repeat until the bucket is full.
  6. Dispose of the contents responsibly, and keep the lid on when not in use.

Camping Light Buckets

What Are Light Buckets?

The bucket transforms into a large lantern at night, perfect for illuminating your campsite’s entrance. Alternatively, you can use it to cast a soft glow around your campfire.

What You Need

  • White 5-gallon Bucket with Lid
  • Black Permanent Vinyl
  • Flashlight or Puck Light
  • Light Grip Mat
  • Transfer Paper
  • Weeding Tools
  • Spatula Tool (optional)

You can download any designs you wish to make and add them to the design space. It is here you can get the kids to come up with ideas or find one from the many listed. (Learn How To Survive Camping)


  1. Upload the cut file to Cricut Design Space after downloading it. Resize the design to fit the bucket’s front.
  2. Select “attach” in the lower right once you highlight the design elements in the right toolbar.
  3. Connect your PC to the cutting machine by selecting the “make” button toward the upper right corner.
  4. Make sure you use the blade for vinyl material.
  5. Place the vinyl face-up using a light grip mat. The vinyl backing sheet must touch the mat.
  6. Place the mat in the machine and start the Cricut Design Space to start cutting.
  7. Remove the mat after you’ve finished cutting.
  8. Peel extra vinyl off the design.
  9. Remove the design from the mat and set it vinyl-side-up on a hard surface.
  10. With the “sticky side” down, cover the design with a layer of transfer paper.
  11. To stick the transfer paper to the vinyl pattern, rub it hard with a spatula or your fingernails.
  12. Peel the transfer paper away from the vinyl.
  13. Decide where to place your design on the 5-gallon bucket. To keep the bucket steady, place it on its side between your feet.
  14. When you’ve decided where you want the vinyl to go, evenly press the design onto your bucket.
  15. Work out any small bubbles with the spatula tool and smooth the design around the bucket’s curve.
  16. After the vinyl decal design has been applied to your white 5-gallon bucket light, start pulling away from the transfer paper.

How to Add Lights To Your Bucket Light

When it’s dark outside on the campsite, turn on a flashlight, place it inside the bucket, and then put the lid back on for some fun.

Instead of a flashlight, you can use puck lights. In addition, you can use LED lights that change color using a battery-operated remote for an even more intense effect.

Kids think it is really fun to have their custom light show inside a 5-gallon bucket at night.

What Are Camping Buckets Used For