Went to Helena yesterday. Its about 150 miles in each direction and I figured that since I was having to make the trip this would be a good opportunity to use up and rotate some stored gasoline. Of course, once you use up the stored gasoline you need to replace it, yes?
Im sure you already know it, but I’ll go into it here….the procedure for filling fuel cans has changed in the last decade. Seems that folks were filling up gas cans in the bed of their trucks and, disastrously, bursting into flames. What was the problem? Well it seems that there was a couple things. First, the cans need to be grounded and sitting them in the back of a pickup truck on a plastic/polymer bed liner wasn’t doing the trick. The approved and recommended method now is to set the container on the ground and fill it as it sits on the ground. Also, the nozzle is supposed to be in contact with the mouth of the container to prevent a static electricity issue. At least, that’s as I read it. I suppose it makes sense…you’ve got a metal fuel can, static builds up as the fuel flows through the nozzle, the nozzle touches the edge of the can, a spark and –presto- instant Bad Day.
So, nowadays I pull the fuel can from the truck, place it on the concrete, make sure the nozzle stays in contact with the inside of the mouth of the can and fill ‘er up.
Of course, since this is fuel for long-term it gets treated with preservative. A few years ago the girlfriend gifted me with a large jug of PRI-G and Ive been using it exclusively for treating our fuel. Sta-Bil is good stuff, but PRI-G seems to be a little better. I usually try to mix the stored fuel with fresh fuel. Half a tank of fresh fuel, half a tank of stored fuel…that sort of thing. Ive never noticed any difference in vehicle performance between stored gas and fresh gas. (For the record, I usually try not to let gas go more than a year but sometimes a can or two can be as much as two years old.)
The drive to Helena was nice and, other than one oncoming vehicle drifting into my lane and causing me to do some awesome reflex moves, uneventful. It’s awfully pretty country along the way and its easy to get lost daydreaming about a nice place to live out in the hills there.
The gas cans, by the way, are the NATO/Euro-style metal cans. Century Arms had them on sale for about $12 each a few years ago. Since shipping was free on orders of over $500 I ordered a pile of these things, sold a bunch, and kept a dozen for my own use. They’ve worked out very well and I find them superior to the Blitz cans. Ive never found a fuel can, Blitz or Euro, that really seemed to pour well from a nozzle. I paracord an automotive funnel to each fuel can and I find it to be a much more convenient and handier way to fill the tank. Once consideration is that you need to either keep the funnel in a protective container or you need to wipe it out before you use it so you don’t wash dust, dirt and grime into the tank along with the gas…sure, that’s what a fuel filter for by why tempt fate?
There are plenty of plastic fuel cans on the market, but I have not yet found one that I like. I’ve found them to leak, vent fumes, and generally be more trouble than they are worth. I don’t have any experience with the military fuel cans (MFC) but I have heard mixed things…essentially, if you are going to go with a plastic can theyre the one to go with. Maybe they really are that good, but I’ll stick to the metal cans I have now.
For day-to-day use I leave one can in the back of the truck. I use a bicycle cable lock to keep it from walking away. By the by, when it comes to locking up essential gear I almost always prefer a combination lock over a keyed lock. It is far easier to carry a few numbers around in my head than it is to hope that I’ll always have the correct key on hand in a crisis.