Most people would agree that it is good to have some spare fuel stored for the off chance that you might need it in an emergency. Extra fuel can be used to power generators and refill your car. Your extra fuel for your vehicle might be needed to keep your car running to power an inverter charging system. It could also be used to get you out of dodge if some event required you to bug out to a safer location. Fuel as we have seen most recently with the shortages after Hurricane Sandy is one prepper supply that you don’t want to be without.
But storing fuel just like storing food requires some efforts to keep the fuel fresh. As fuel ages it loses some of its combustion ability. Actually it isn’t age so much as it is evaporation in most cases so we are told to add agents like Sta-bil to our fuel to keep it in prime condition if you are facing the prospect of long term fuel storage. Well sealed containers also contribute a good deal to keeping your fuel fresh. I have personally stored fuel for over a year without any stabilizer and it works just fine for me, but if it hadn’t I would have been able to drive to the store and purchase additional fuel. What if the stores aren’t selling fuel anymore? What if you have no money to purchase any other fuel?
I recommend keeping a supply on hand just for emergencies like power outages caused by winter storms and even grid-down catastrophes. Having your own supply of fuel will give you an advantage over others who are stuck in line waiting to fill their gas cans up. How much do you need to store? It depends on what you are using it for, but I would say 20 gallons is a minimum. That should give you a whole tank of gas. Will this get you where you need to go? Maybe not, but it will get you a lot closer and it helps to have additional fuel in any disruption event. If you don’t use it, you could help someone else out.
Storing fuel is pretty simple. You could just buy several 5 gallon fuel containers, fill them up add Sta-bil and forget about it for a while at least. You do run the risk of something happening that you aren’t aware of and it would be pretty horrible to think you had plenty of fuel only to find out it was sludge that couldn’t even work in your generator so I wanted to share a really simple gas storage rotation plan with you that is easy to maintain and makes sure you always have fuel that is no older than 6 months. Just like you want to rotate your food storage, it is a good idea to rotate your gas storage too.
To start you need something to store your fuel in. I purchased several of the newer model fuel containers from Walmart. Each holds 5 gallons so with 6 containers I have 30 gallons of fuel stored in my shed whenever I need it. I didn’t want to have to tote all of these to the gas station every 6 months or so when I wanted to freshen up my supply so I numbered each container 1-6. You could do the same thing with 12 containers and that would correspond to each month of the year. I didn’t have that much storage space so I only used 6.
The way this works is at the end of every month, I wait until my tank is about half full and then I empty one of the gas cans into my car’s tank. Because these are the newer model of gas can they have a very ridiculous nozzle on them that is suppose to prevent any fuel from spilling (thank you EPA!) while you are pouring. This doesn’t prevent any spillage and it makes pouring a nightmare. To get around this hassle you can purchase something like the EZ Pour replacement kit and follow the instructions in the video below or just do what I did. I bought a nice funnel and I just take the whole nozzle off the gas can and pour away. There still isn’t a vent but it works fine and makes filling up the car much easier.
I also have a can reserved for the lawn mower or any yard machines and I top this off at the same time. When I am done I have an empty gas can that I will then go and fill up when I top off my tank. Every month I have a fresh 5 gallon container of fuel and the numbers help me keep track of what month I am on. At the end of 6 months, my entire supply has been rotated and I just start all over. With this system I make sure I never have fuel that is too stale.
How do you rotate your fuel storage?