I like things that can be used for multiply purposes and a 55-gallon barrel is a good example. Both plastic and metal ones have their uses, some of which overlap. Now these are by no means all the possible uses, I am sure everyone of you can think up at least one more.
- Gasoline Storage, 55 gallon barrels make great storage containers for gasoline, but you do need to rotate the gas regularly Bulk Storage of Gasoline and Diesel The downside to them is the weight, they are hard to move in an emergency.
- Water Storage I have used the plastic ones for water storage for many years with no problem.
- Cache, they can make good caches in which to bury or hide food and other preps.
- Food, I have used 55 gallon barrels both metal and plastic to store various grains.
- Faraday Cage, metal 55-gallon barrels can make an excellent Faraday cage, as long as you make sure you have good metal to metal contact at the lid.
- Cold Storage here is a link to a post showing a technique that was used in older times. KEEP FOOD COOL IN SUMMER
- Smoker you can make all different types of smokers out of 55 gallon barrels. Here is a link to a simple one. Building a simple barrel smoker
- Rain Collector See yesterdays post
- Grill cut in half they can make nice barbeque grills
- Stove you can use them to make an inexpensive wood store.
- Compost Tumbler they can make a nice tumbler to turn your compost.
- Water Troughs cut in half they can make good watering or feed troughs for feeding animals.
- Barricades filled with sand or rocks they can be used to block access to an area.
- Charcoal Retort, a simple retort system for making charcoal can be made from a couple of barrels.
As you can see, there are many uses for 55-gallon barrels. Anytime you get a chance to pick one up cheap I recommend you do it. Howard