Do It Yourself

Three Inexpensive But Essential Storage Tools



In one of my past jobs, I worked in a warehouse that created and shipped dozens of different products. I even got the chance to help develop several of these.

It was a fun job while it lasted, but there were a few very specific tools that I used on a daily basis that I could not have done my job without.

These three inexpensive tools increased my efficiency and saved my hands from a lot of unneeded wear and tear.

These tools can serve an even bigger purpose from anyone living a self reliant lifestyle.

These are so simple and yet I never see anyone talk about them.

These tools are:

Bucket Opener:

So many people stock their items in 5 gallon buckets, and I know just how hard it can be to open one of them after they have sat for a while.  I have cut and blistered every one of my fingers trying to pry one open with my bare hands. Now before you resort to  using a screwdriver to pry the lid open, you could save yourself some time, effort, and a perfectly good bucket ( odds are you will damage the bucket or the lid when you try to open it) and use one of these simple tools that are actually made specifically for opening a pail.

Bung Wrench:

Many people store their water in 55 gallon drums, and in order to properly open or close a drum you need a bung wrench.  Now I won't lie, I have used a pair of pliers, vice grips, and even a hammer and chisel to open one of these, but its not worth it.  These tools are designed to open multiple sizes and shapes of bung nuts and are a necessity to keep on hand.

32-oz. Rubber Mallet:

You need to be able to open your pails to get to your item, but the most important thing is to make sure that you can properly close and seal it. If you can't get a proper seal on your storage items you might as well just store them out in the open. having a rubber mallet on hand will allow you to hammer away at your pails to make sure that they are completely closed without causing the damage that a regular metal hammer would.

These three tools may be simple and cheap, but they are an absolute necessity for all of your food storage supplies. Save yoruself the time and effort, make sure that you have them before you need them.

Ive put them together on one list on amazon, you can check it out here:
3 Essential Survival Tools

But be sure to check around locally, you may be able to find a better deal!

Can you think of any other “common sense” tools that most people overlook?

Check out these related articles to know more:

Food Storage Solutions: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals

The Groundfridge: Changing the Face of Food Storage

17 Clever Food Storage Tricks


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  1. Jim

    March 21, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    You can save money by going to a big box home improvement store and buying the bucket opener ( I paid $1.75 for mine) and the rubber mallet (have had one for years). You will save money on S&H and the price might be cheaper.

    • Don Meece

      March 24, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Gamma seals work better on the buckets, screw on lid with a gasket make it water proof.

      • Hipockets

        September 3, 2013 at 5:23 AM

        How do you get the lid on???I bought several and tried on all sizes of buckets,only one sealed,the rest I gave up on,they wont screw down and seal’ ANy suggestions????

  2. jdub

    March 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Check into “Gamma” lids or seals, they fit 5-gallon buckets. The whole mechanism snaps tightly onto the bucket, then the lid unscrews easily for access. They have a water-tight sealing surface. The bucket portion takes a lot of force to snap onto the bucket but using a rubber mallet makes it easy. (I got mine from Sportsman’s Guide; they come in three different colors — white, black, and orange.)

    • Hipockets

      September 3, 2013 at 5:24 AM

      Also where I bought mine’ Tried a rubber mallet,2 strong men and nothing worked to get the lid on and seal’ Did I get a defective batch?????

  3. Leonard M. Urban

    March 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I don’t know that it will protect you from Norovirus, but a friend who traveled into Mexico many times during the 1960’s swears by Acidophilus capsules, advising that you take them for several days before leaving the US, and continue throughout the trip and for about a week after you return. He says that he drank the local water, ate the the local food and NEVER contracted “Montezuma’s Revenge”. Might be worth stockpiling these for the future. Just a thought…

    • Hipockets

      September 3, 2013 at 5:29 AM

      My daughter has lived in Mexico for 30 yrs,I’ve had Montezumas revenge the 1st few times I went there. Her Dr. gave me pills to take that prevent it’Never had it since’ DO NOT DRINK THE WATER whatever you do,and watch where you eat’ THey don’t have refrigeration,or preserveitives in their food,it’s all left out in the open and is dangerous. Better off to eat at the more spendy resturants,McDonalds,Nice resorts etc. Never got it doing this’The pill was an antibiotiv (Cheap’)

  4. Terry

    March 22, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Don’t forget to buy extra can openers to put with your spare food. We all know these things wear out too, so buy several extra can openers. The alternative is usually opening the cans with a knife, and odds are you going to slice your hand open eventually. Now you have to worry about infections and still doing all your survival needs.

  5. Michael

    March 26, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Items I have found that help with storage organization are:
    duct tape
    clear packing tape

    I use clear packing tape at work to create short-term reusable personnel tags that can be written on with Sharpies and will hold writing under light-duty conditions. The ink can be wiped off with a rag wetted with thinner (rubbing alcohol may work just as well – we have paint thinner, so that’s what I use). At home, for more long-term labeling, I apply a strip of duct tape to a large opaque container (bucket, rough-tote, etc), use the Sharpie to list the contents, then cover the duct tape with clear packing tape. If I change the contents of the box, I can easily remove and replace the label.

  6. Doug

    March 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I’m thinking that a 4lb. hammer & screwdriver or chisel will also help. “If it doesn’t work hit it with a bigger hammer”.

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