Another weekend, another five-gallon fuel swap. I dunno how you rotate your fuel, but here’s how we do it around here. All fuel is in the ‘Euro/NATO’-style cans. The fuel is treated with stabilizer. The cans are tagged with the date of storage. The cans are then stored in a safe outdoor location. After more than a year, the fuel is rotated into the vehicle’s regular fill ups. Head to the gas station, put one can of gas in the rig, top off with fresh gas from the pump. The empty can is then refilled at the gas station and fuel stabilizer is added. Back to base, and the can is tagged, dated, and stored.
‘Euro/NATO’-style cans – Ive used the plastic cans, I’ve used the metal Blitz cans, and I’ve uses the NATO-style cans. (I haven’t used the Scepter plastic cans but I’m really leaning away from plastic fuel containers.) In my experience, the NATO cans are the best choice. I dont bother using a spout with them, I paracord a $2 gas funnel to each can. The NATO cans get painted every so often if theres signs of rust or chips in the paint. The cans seal up tight, are easy to handle, and used to be fairly inexpensive. Seems like the source these days is off-road/expedition specialty websites. The cans aren’t cheap, but whats it worth to you to have gasoline in a crisis?
Stabilizer – Two names top the chart: Stabil and PRI-G. I went with PRI-G after reading some reviews and first-hand reports. I have stored gas with the PRI-G stabilizer for almost two years and when that gas was finally used I noticed no change in vehicle performance. Stabil is easier to find, but for my money I’ll make the extra effort and get the PRI -G. Buy the big jug that treats 512 gallons. Why? Sometimes this stuff can be hard to find (like after their facility in La. got wiped out in Hurricane Katrina, so have enough on hand that you dont need to buy any for a few years.
Date tagging – Here’s the post about it. TL;DR? I cut a square from an empty pop can, scrive the date on it, and paracord it to the gas can. Since the tag is metal, and the date is carved into the metal, there is no problem with the date tag disintegrating or becoming illegible due to weather and sun.
If you don’t store extra fuel and don’t know how to go about it, this might be useful to you. It may not be the best way, but it’s how we do it around here and it seems to have worked pretty well so far. So: buy the good quality cans, fill with fuel, treat with stabilizer, date the cans, store them out of the weather (in a corner of your yard in a ‘doghouse’ structure would work great, and rotate with fresh gas when you fill your vehicle.)
As I said, I haven’t been as diligent as I should about gas rotation and the gas in storage was around two years old….but treated and stored properly it appears to perform just fine. When we need to outrun the zombies, or buy gas at 3AM when all the stations are closed, we’ll have that extremely valuable resource available to us.
And, before I forget, I want to repost something I think is extremely important about fuel rotation in a non-crisis:
The trick to this whole process is that you dont fill the truck from the cans until you are at the gas station. Why? Because if you fill it up at home you’ll be tempted to take the empty cans and throw them in the corner and say “Ah, I’ll fill them up next time” and then the world comes to an end and you’re starting your apocalypse three five-gallon drums short. So…fill the truck at the pump using the cans and then refill the cans at the pump. At least, for someone with my lack of self-discipline I find that to be the method that works best.
Seriously, man….there should never be an empty gas can in your world.