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7 Cost-Effective Uses For Shipping Containers Survivalists Should Know

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Modern metal building made from shipping containers and blue sky background | Cost-Effective Uses For Shipping Containers Survivalists Should Know | Featured

Discover survival uses for shipping containers and how you can use a sea container for more than just a tiny home!

RELATED: Tiny Homes: Take Your Home With You When SHTF

In this article:

  1. Guest House or Spare Room
  2. Underground Shelter
  3. Shipping Container Indoor Garden
  4. Storage Shed
  5. Workshop
  6. Emergency Shelter
  7. Off-Grid Family Home

Innovative Uses for Shipping Containers to Inspire Preppers

1. Guest House or Spare Room

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Using shipping containers is great for people who want to build a tiny home or room on a budget! The tiny home community picked up on this idea and it’s quickly becoming a trend.

I personally love this idea of a home you can build almost anywhere!

My favorite part: shipping containers are modular. This means you can stack them as needed for more space!

For sure every prepper or survivalist imagined getting together with the rest of the family or friends in case of an SHTF scenario. Your mind will rest easy with your family around.

Yeah, they’re family but we all still want some privacy. Just in case these straight-out-of-a-disaster-movie scenarios strike you’re ready to house them.

Provide your family with a comfortable dwelling in the safety of your place. Whether you’re preparing for when SHTF or only want a place for your visiting family, a tiny home from a shipping container is great.

You can build the perfect guest house you want with shipping containers. You can do this for half the cost too, or even less than when constructing from regular building materials.

2. Underground Shelter

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If the shipping container is properly installed it can make a great underground shelter.

Here is a great instructional video on how to build an underground shelter using a shipping container.


You might also want to check this article on how to build your own underground bunker for more survival ideas!

3. Shipping Container Indoor Garden

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With recycled shipping containers, you are looking not only at its potential for living quarters. It will surprise you to know there are more to shipping containers than meets the eye.

Convert shipping containers into indoor gardens! More than anything, food supply is essential if we are to continue as a civilized society come what may.

Shipping containers are ready-made structures with the right space to hold an indoor garden. You only need to add mechanics to control the environment for the plants indoors.

The video below will show you how it is done. I have to say this idea is absolutely revolutionary and I personally can’t wait to get started on my own indoor garden!

RELATED: 25 “Quick Up” Survival Shelters You Can Build With A Tarp

4. Storage Shed


Shipping containers are primarily used in the shipping industry for the transport of cargo. But, they can serve a different purpose in several innovative ways outside the industry, too.

They are repurposed as anything from workshops and even extra storage. A prepper and a survivalist is never without a storage shed.

With all the tools and supplies you have, you need a place to organize your essentials. Losing or misplacing your tools and supplies is a luxury you cannot afford.

A shipping container is a fantastic place which is almost ready-made. You only need to add divisions and compartments to keep the place organized.

5. Workshop

Preppers and survivalists are some of the busiest people around. You will always see as puttering on something whether building a bug out bag or trying on new survival gadgets and tools.

We want a safe place for working on these survival hacks. Most of us have a separate place for storage and a workshop.

I would suggest you do if you are dead serious in prepping. I would suggest you do if you are dead serious in prepping. A workshop and storage in one could mess up your stuff so consider a separate place.

That is where shipping containers come in. They are inexpensive, durable, and repurposing shouldn’t cost you much.

6. Emergency Shelter


Here and the world over, shipping containers play a vital role in temporary housing projects for refugees or displaced families. They are inexpensive, quick and easy to put up, and quite livable with utilities and furnishings installed.

Since it is temporary, nothing could be more perfect for building an emergency shelter where you don’t have to build from scratch. We’ve seen prototypes of container emergency shelter which are by far more decent than shacks made from lightweight materials which are supposedly “easy” to install.

7. Off-Grid Family Home

https://www.instagram.com/p/BfOhu7FBoda/

While a cabin in the woods is the traditional shelter for off-grid living, more and more survivalist are looking at the potential of shipping container homes as an inexpensive off-grid family home. Or at least a part of the home if not the whole structure.

Transport can be a bit of an issue but from there, you are good to go. More and more people living off-grid are finding the idea of a modern structure out in the wilderness.

Looking at shipping container homes plans and design ideas will inspire even the most traditional of us.

This video from Tiny House Listings will also show you how to build a shipping container home:

How to Buy a Used Shipping Container

Here is a great article that’ll tell you everything you need to know on how to buy a shipping container.

It’s very useful information with tips to consider before you buy and try them on the different uses for a shipping container here!

Find out more about the wonderful uses of recycled shipping containers for survival in this video from Mashable Daily:

Using shipping containers is the perfect response to questions of sustainability, practicality, and cost-effectiveness in building modern structures. Whether for everyday survival in the urban jungle or preparing for possible disasters in the future, the role of recycled shipping containers is now more active than ever.

Today, we have food shacks, offices, apartments, pools, and even a shipping container garage. In the area of survival and prepping, explore these possibilities for shipping containers you need to be aware of!

If you have re-invented a shipping container, tell us about your experience! Share your thoughts about shipping container uses for survival in the comments section below!

Up Next: 

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Check out 7 Cost-Effective Uses For Shipping Containers Survivalists Should Know at https://survivallife.com/uses-for-shipping-containers/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 30, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.




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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. DP

    January 18, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Good info, shipping containers are great with lots of uses. I’m always leery about putting them underground though. Personally, I’d want to have a structural engineer sign off on any plans for underground use. If that thing caves in, you’re laying in a tomb.

    • Jeanie

      January 13, 2019 at 1:54 PM

      A agree and having claustrophobia that would not be a good thing.

    • Donald Korndoerfer

      January 14, 2019 at 1:57 PM

      They stack these things fully loaded with cargo onto ocean-going frieghters, 8 to 10 units high, and getting rocked and pounded by the ship cutting through the waves. I seriously doubt that 5 feet of dirt is going to colapse it. I have one of these on my property using it as the strongest shed you could possibly have and let me tell you, it is made of very thick steel! There are also videos on-line showing how to reinforce the roof prior to dumping the dirt on, just to be extra secure and solid.

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  3. Finley Moreira

    August 31, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    I think your suggestion to use a shipping container as a storage shed would be the most practical use for me right now. I feel like I don’t have enough space for tools in my garage, but I anticipate doing some decluttering to make more room. Storing them in a shipping container for the time being would be a huge help for me.

  4. Gerty Gift

    June 12, 2018 at 10:52 AM

    I really liked how you illustrated the many uses of shipping containers. I would have never thought to use it for a guest house, but it make me more confident in the structure and I believe that it would really be more sturdy than most other things. I have been thinking about using one for storage and I will definitely look into it a little bit more.

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  16. Mike

    January 13, 2019 at 11:18 PM

    How about underground living arrangements for the Deep State Swamp creatures. Without air, water, or food. I’ll bet that we all could start a #gofundme that could help President Trump find great use for containers.
    I invite the Google deep state to revoke my email

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