A backpacking bucket can be an extremely versatile addition to your water system in an outdoor survival scenario. Many people might think that a collapsible bucket is an extra nicety and not worth the weight, but for a few ounces folded up to the size of a deck of cards you add a lot of capabilities that you just can’t get with water bottles. Here are 7 great uses for a Backpacking Bucket:
1. Save your Bottles
Your Bug Out Bag may only have a few water bottles. If you use your water bottle before and after filtering obviously some of the non-filtered water will be in your bottle. It might only take a drop of water with bacteria to make you sick. Why take the risk? Save your bottles for drinking water only. (Carry Collapsible Water Bottles for backup or a Nalgene water bottle)
2. Filter Water
Instead of sticking your water filter straight into a lake, pond, or puddle just use your collapsible backpacking bucket to dip water off the top without stirring up mud or silt. You can let the water settle back at camp and run only the cleanest possible water through your filter to save wear. (Further protect your filtration system with coffee filters)
3. Collect Water
Stick it under the edge of a tent, tarp, or any other water runoff and collect water over time. Obviously this is going to much easier with the wide mouth of the bucket than a small water bottle, and it won’t tie up one of your clean water bottles.
The same principle as filtering your water, how clean will you really feel bathing out of a pond or puddle? Fill up your collapsible bucket, let the water settle, and bathe at camp. Maybe even dump in some hot water to the mix and make your clean up especially nice. This would be great for winter.
Fill your backpacking bucket with clean top water from your source and add soap. In a pond or stream if you use soap it is going to wash away pretty quickly, but not in your bucket. Again, adding hot water only makes things better.
Doing dishes in your camp out of a bucket is going to be a lot nicer than having to bend over a stream or pond the whole time. Once again: hot water possibilities.
Having some extra water around in case your fire gets out of hand is always a good idea. You can’t just go wasting important drinking water on burning brush.
Get Heavy Duty
Some collapsible buckets have plastic rings around the top and bottom, they are usually cheaper but will not collapse as small because the rim isn’t supposed to bend. Spend a few extra bucks and get a sturdy one (think heavy duty dry bag) that doesn’t require rings and will fold up small.