For one very big reason, blue barrels are popular with preppers and homesteaders: they are one of the most effective means for storing water and other liquids. However, almost all preppers and homesteaders use blue barrels to store water.

That’s fine, but we’ll soon see that these same blue barrels can also serve a number of other important uses beyond storing water. Blue barrels have many uses you may not have considered:

Food StorageBlue Barrel Uses You Never Thought Of

Make sure that the barrel is safe to use for food storage, especially if you have a cellar in your home. Cut a hole in the barrel and then fill it up with potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

By placing the barrel downstairs in your root cellar, you will be able to enjoy your homegrown fruits and vegetables during the off-season. Learn how to build your own root cellar for cheap, ensuring a long shelf life for all your supplies and homegrown produce.

Water Trough For Animals

Turn the two now cut-in-half barrels upside down so the open side is facing up and fill them with water. You can use this as a watering trough for chickens, rabbits, goats, or pigs.

Planter or Raised Garden Bed

If you cut the barrel in half, you can fill it with soil and plant vegetable seeds or medicinal herbs. By attaching the barrel half to wooden poles or legs, you can create a table-like structure that can be used as a raised garden bed.

Rainwater HarvestingBlue Barrel Uses You Never Thought Of

Blue barrels can be used for a variety of purposes beyond simply storing water. Install pipes between your gutters on your roof and your rainwater barrels to create a rainwater harvesting system.

As a result, rainwater collected by your rainwater catchment system will travel down into the barrels. Keeping the gutters clean will ensure that the collected water is also clean.

Tree Swing

Make a large hole in the blue barrel to make a seat, and then add padding around sharp or rough edges. Drill holes in the barrel end and attach hooks into those holes, then attach a paracord or rope to the hooks.

Make a makeshift tree swing by attaching the hooks to the strong branches of a tree! This might not be a practical survival tool, but it is still fun.

Hay Feeder

You can also fill a blue barrel with hay (or other feed) instead of water from the above example. The only thing you’ll need is one barrel, and you can use one half for water and the other for hay.

CompostingBlue Barrel Uses You Never Thought Of

You can recycle kitchen and yard waste by turning a blue barrel into a compost bin. Toss in compostable materials and turn the barrel regularly after drilling holes for airflow. By trapping heat, the closed design speeds up composting.

Boost your garden’s soil health naturally by using nutrient-rich compost instead of chemical fertilizers.

Heat Up Your Greenhouse

A blue barrel can be used to provide warmth and heat to a greenhouse. By storing your blue barrels under the sun, the water that collects in them will warm up, which will slowly release heat inside your greenhouse, helping to keep it warm.

Composting Toilet

By using a blue barrel, you can create a self-contained composting toilet that promotes waste reduction, as well as providing a hygienic and odor-free alternative to traditional plumbing. Compost can also be used as a fertilizer that is rich in nutrients.

Build a Dog or Cat House

Make sure that one of the barrel’s sides is completely open and then fill it with blankets, hay, or other comforting bedding materials. Just secure the barrel to the ground so it won’t move, and your outdoor pets can sleep and live in it.

Create A Grey Water SystemBlue Barrel Uses You Never Thought Of

The term gray water refers to water used for purposes other than drinking, such as wastewater from sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Many homesteaders waste their grey water by disposing of it. Instead, you should repurpose this grey water if at all possible.

Specifically, grey water can be used to flush the toilet and water plants. It is also very good for fruit trees as it is more nutrient-dense than clean water, so you can store it in blue barrels before distributing it to the plants.

Floating Dock

The barrels should be completely sealed off with no holes. If you build a DIY dock from wood, you can attach it to the barrels. Slide the dock over the water, and secure it to the shore. The barrels will ensure that the boards stay floating, making the dock functional.

You may want to start stockpiling blue barrels if you haven’t already. If you don’t want to pay full price for new barrels, look for blue barrels at yard sales or on Craigslist. However, if you decide to purchase old blue barrels, make sure they are in good condition without holes or other wear and tear.

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