Well, they’re here, they’re nice, and they’re expensive. Totally worth it though. Don’t think so? Ask these guys.
TL;DR version: Excellent product, high price, weird ordering process.
Lotsa pics in this post, so I’m throwing in a cut for those with lesser connections.
“The odd-even license plate system has worked well and helped to reduce wait times and lines at the pump,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “With 30 percent of gas stations still closed and a major travel week coming, I am extending the successful odd-even system on gas and diesel fuel purchases to ensure we do not risk going back to the extreme lines we saw prior to the system being implemented.”
Nice. In the name of ‘emergency’, Bloomberg declares gas rationing to be the law of the land. And then, because of a holiday, he continues his edict. Perhaps it would have been to much for him to simply expand his odd-even license plate scheme to use of the public streets.
An excellent example of local government getting high-handed. I wonder if the folks in NYC would be as complacent if they were rationing water, or milk, or food in this manner.
An excellent reason to have your own stockpile of fuel…because even without a disaster you can wind up finding yourself facing these sorts of third-world issues.
How many “only use approved DOT gasoline containers for fuel transport” violations can you find in this picture?
This is why we keep over 50 gallons of treated gasoline in storage. I can either a) stay in my warm house with my hot food and consumer electronics giving me the latest news or I can b) stand in line in the snow like a Third World refugee or extra in a Mad Max movie.
Skip the plastic crap and go with metal. This guy is a straight shooter and I buy from him. Fill ‘em up, treat ‘em (PRI Fuel Stabilizer- For Gasoline 32oz), put ‘em away someplace safe and save yourself the trouble of being like the folks in this photo.
And, yes, I’m a snob….I want the Nato/Euro metal cans over the plastic cans. When life has hit the point where gasoline is so precious you’ll stand in line in sub-freezing weather to get it then life has hit the point where its worth the extra expense to preserve/protect that gasoline by using the best containers you can find.
Some people, it seems, never learn. If you live an area that is prone to evacuations, wouldnt it make sense to stash enough gasoline on hand to get outta town without having to stop for fuel? Heck, you could even stage fuel at points along your proposed evacuation routes. But, some folks don’t ever seem to learn.
I’m not sure how I feel about price gouging. I’m against .gov telling anyone what price they can or cannot sell a product at. If .gov could jump on a station owner for raising prices on the argument that the public has no choice about the purchasing, then couldn’t ‘gov also force the station owner to keep the station open if he decided to just close shop entirely for the emergency?
This sort of thing is why we keep stored (and stabilized) fuel on hand. To my way of thinking, MPG x gallons stored / 2 = effective range. So, if we have 60 gallons on hand, and the truck gets 15 mpg, thats 900 miles, right? Wrong. I figure a 50% penalty ‘just in case’ for things like detours, backtracking, stop-n-go, idling in traffic, etc, etc. So, to my way of thinking, that’s really a 450-mile range.
Truly, I am amazed that people who would live in a region where an evacuation due to hurricane is likely would not have supplies and fuel in place for this sort of thing.
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.
So the great Missoula Gun Show came and went. I played it pretty cheaply, all things considered. And while I bought a few small goodies for myself I did manage to keep from buying the really big tickets I wanted. I love going to gun shows and it’s always a pleasure to just wander the aisles..
Someone sent me this link about some of the new portable woodburner stoves on the market these days. I’d heard about the Solo stove and have been curious to try one….but, this other stove, Firebox, seems like a real gem, other than it’s weight. Usually when Im just out for the day, I take a little Esbit stove. But for being out in the boonies a bit longer it would be nice to be able to just burn the abundant twigs and other burnable detritus that litters the woods. What’s the difference between these and just building a fire on its own? Generally, these things are designed to create drafts that create hotter burning, more efficient fires. Hey, I’m all about less work at less expense. I went ahead and added the Firebox to my Amazon Wish List and at some point I’ll pick one up and put it through its places.
Rotated some stored gas today. Fuel from, according to the tag, 2010. About two years of storage. The fuel was treated with a generous dose of PRI Fuel Stabilizer which I’ve found to be an excellent product. Usually, I’ll wait until the gas tank in the truck is down to around 1/4 or less, dump in one five-gallon can of fuel and then fill the rest of the tank with fresh gas. Seems to work so far. Someday, having a stockpile of fuel is going to be very, very important. Heck, even in the not so recent past (Katrina) it’s proven itself to be pretty important. Now that the feds have, essentially, wiped out the scourge of eay-to-use gas cans from the US it’s harder than ever to find a good gas can. Spend the money and buy the ‘Euro’/NATO-style cans…you can find them at many offroad accessory websites. They are far, far better cans than anything Blitz ever out out and I like ‘em better than the plastic cans.
Birthday tomorrow. Another gift came in the other day and I need to do a write-up on it. Its one of these (Freeplay FreeCharge 12V ) and I’m quite eager to experiment with it.
The East and Midwest are cooling off a bit after highs topped 100 again over the weekend. It’s been a hot early summer; there’s a potential shortage coming up. Not water, not power — gasoline containers. Blitz USA is the biggest maker of portable gas cans, and it’s filing for Chapter 11. The Oklahoma-based company says it can no longer bear the costs of product liability.
Blitz made gas cans that were, in my opinion, of mediocre efficacy. However, they were cheap, widely available, and came in various sizes….I have a bunch of 1-gallon and 2-gallon containers in case I need to trade off some small amounts of fuel.
If you wanna grab a few before they shut the doors, you might wanna get going on that. It’ll be interesting to see whats left in the market since Scepter sorta dropped outta that market. For the record, my favorites are the ‘euro’-style cans. (I am told that the Scepter water cans these days are the same as the fuel cans, just marked differently. Probably different gaskets or something.)
The article zays Blitz is filing Chapter 11, but it also says they’re closing their doors. I suppose it’s possible that Blitz will go Chapter 11, reorganize, and come back as Blitz USA or some similar rebranding….but it’s also possible they’ll file for Chapter 11, get liquidated, and be consigned to the dustbin of history. So…play it safe, and buy whatever youre lacking at the moment.
Edited to add: Explosion of lawsuits against gas can maker
I’m unclear….what does a reasonable person expect is going to happen when you pour a flammable liquid, from a container full of flammable liquid, onto a campfire? This is why we can’t have nice things.
Fuel rotation today. It’s like an annual holiday where you smell like gasoline and have $50 less in your pocket.
I keep a dozen NATO-style fuel cans filled with stabilized gas. Just in case. In a worst case scenario, I multiply (gallons*mpg)/2 to come up with the minimum range we can get out of here and go somewhere else if we have to. Why the conservative 50% cut in mileage? Because everyone else is going to be thinking the same thing and there’s going to be detours, idle time, and other problems that turn what would otherwise be a straight line from Point A to Point B to something resembling the Jews wandering the desert for 40 years.
So…truck has about a third of a tank so I pull two cans of the oldest gas and dump ‘em in the truck. I have the spout attachment for the cans but i’ve never been satisfied with them. I went to WallyWorld, found some automotive funnels for $2 each and paracorded one to each gas can. Just works better for me. After the cans are empty I dose ‘em with some PRI-G and fill ‘em up at the local station. The gas I put in the truck today was a lovely vintage from June 2010. heady, with just a hint of refinery, it went down smooth and had a vapory finish. I haven’t had any problems using treated gas that was a year or two old but to play it safe I usually ‘cut it’ 50/50 with new gas….meaning I put old gas in the tank and then top off with fresh.
You look at any disaster and while we like to think guns and ammo are the new currency the evidence shows that the thing people will really want in a big way is fuel. You cant get outta Dodge if you don’t have gas in your Dodge, y’know? Fuel represents a chance to get the frak outta wherever you are. After that, it’s also what runs your generators to keep your little island of civilization afloat. And if you are running something that is critical like a pump to keep your house dry, there is virtually no price you aren’t willing to pay. So…it’s a good idea to have some fuel set back.
Fifty bucks lighter in my pocket today but I feel better knowing we’ve got more fuel rotated and there if we need it.
Gas rotation day, today. Took three of the jerry cans and dumped ‘em in the truck, refilled them, added some PRI-G and put them back in storage. 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 it at 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.
Although ammo and freezedrieds get all the spotlight time, anyone who has ever been through a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or similar disaster will tell you that the real commodity that traded like cigarettes in a prison was gasoline. When the pumps are dry or inoperative the man with the can has the world by the ‘nads.
Although its most obvious use is in a vehicle, there are plenty of thirsty generators and other devices out there after (or during) a disaster that need a steady supply of go-juice. I remember watching the coverage of Katrina and one of the things that caught my eye is that everyone had those red plastic fuel cans tied to the handlebars of their four wheelers, piled in the back of their johnboats, or hanging from the rails of their front porches as they searched for fuel. There were also stories, unsubstantiated (which I guess makes them rumours, really) of course, about ‘the authorities’ confiscating drums of fuel for their own use from citizenry that passed through the checkpoints.
One of my favorite stories out of Katrina was about the small regional power company that had to think ‘outside the box’ in the aftermath of the disaster. They had fleets of bucket trucks that needed to get out there and start restoring service but where to get fuel for those trucks? Gotta admire this sort of thinking – one of the managers called up the fuel refinery/tank farm guys and said “We’ll get your electricity up and running right away if you give us fuel for our trucks.” The fuel guys got electricity to restart their operations and the power guys had fuel for their fleet. In a crisis, if you have fuel you have pretty good bargaining power.
And, of course, its nice have the extended range available to your vehicle that a few 5-gallon cans in the back afford. Some day when you want to leave in a major hurry youre going to want distance and a lot of it…when everyone else sputters to a halt after one tank of gas you can refill and keep going.