There seems to be a lot of confusion in the preparedness community over the reasoning for storing your long-term food storage items in buckets. This is an important topic that I want to try to touch on to clear up some confusion about.
Vaccuum seal storage bags protect your food from oxygen when used properly, and mylar bags protect your food from both oxygen and light, but they do nothing to protect your food from other dangers.
Rodents are a huge danger that we face when trying to protect our food storage. Neither vacuum sealed bags nor mylar bags offer any protection whatsoever against rodants. This is one of the biggest reasons that we tell everyone to store their vacuum sealed or mylar bagged foods inside of plastic buckets. Rodants can actually chew through plastic buckets and storage bins, but it is more difficult for them to, and if you are using other methods to protect against them, like traps ornatural repellants, your food supply should remain rodent-damage free.
What we are in essence doing is creating multiple layers to work together to protect our food supplies.
Plastic buckets come in many different sizes and colors. The most common size for long-term food storage is the 5 gallon bucket, yet any size can be used. Perhaps you have an area under your stairs where a 5 gallon bucket would be too tall to fit, well then, why not use a shorter 3 gallon bucket for that location instead? There is no rule that only a 5 gallon bucket can be used.
Many people say that the buckets are used to protect the food from light. Yes, this is true, however, everyone uses the wrong buckets for this so they are not receiving the light-blocking ptrotections that the buckets could be providing.
Most people insist on using bright white buckets for their food storage. While this does look good, and gives a "clean" and bright appearance to your food storage area, white buckets do not block very much light at all. If you were wanting to block light from reaching your foods you would instead use black plastic buckets as I do with my food storage like the one shown below.