The secret to emergency Gas storage is....Rotate, Rotate, Rotate. Every six months. Use it or lose it.
I put that there for those with short attention spans that might get distracted by shiny things and wander off.(Photos at the bottom) Pleas excuse the words SHTF, Roadwarrior and emergency in the title. That's just there to trigger some peoples Pavlovian responses. I could have gotten more wordy and added Tactical, Survival, TEOTWAWKI,...Or Bug Out....but Im just not feeling my usual over the top brattiness today. Its hot. Too hot to work outside.
Seems counter intuitive to talk about gas storage in the middle of a Super El Nino....Right after a Polar Express, Triple R (ridiculously resilient ridge) Snowpocalypse winter...wile the west burns, California turns into the next dust bowl...and The US sets itself up for world war III to maintain hegemony over other countries resources...perhaps those Pavlov shock words are too mild. Anthropomorphic, Our own damned fault, We all might die, Climate Chaos. Fun Fun Fun.
A few of you here might know me as C5 or cernunnos5. I call these C5s F5s. Food Storage, Food Production, Firewood, FUEL Storage and Friends.
I recently did a small upgrade of my fuel storage, changing out some of my older plastic gas cans with new steel ones. Very Pricy. 60$ per can. Three times as much as the gas in them. I'll change out a couple more each year and set aside the old ones incase I have one of those freak out moments of " Oh My Goddess! Fill everything and Fill it now!" In the mean time, I try to keep about 200 liters. Its too awkward to keep an rotate any more. Gas has a very limited shelf life. About a year. Maybe two but the further along you go, it breaks down into a form of varnish that will gum up your carbonator. If you have old gas powered engines or generators that just aren't working, chances are its because of old gas and you need tear apart and clean the carbonator.
Fuels storage is pretty simple but its just one more awkward chore I do every 6 months, rotating it into the vehicles. This came up recently on another network while talking about some people evacuating there homes in the face of forest fires in western Canada. Context. Power is out at the gas station...and bank machine...and we gotta go! One persons response was, "I know all about the importance of rotating food storage but I had never thought about rotating gas".
Fuel stabiliser can extend your gas storage but the most its going to do is double it. I keep some on hand but don't use it unless I decide I will have to stretch my gas storage until its gone for good...mainly for use in the chainsaw. Remember C5s F5s. Firewood. No firewood, we die here in Canada (40c below beats a gun every time)...and I am not looking forward to the day I have to do it with an ax and bowsaw. I want a buffer...so I can fully concentrate on the more important tasks that will be demanding all my attention.
So Simple Storage. The first thing I do with the plastic gas cans is take the spout out. Gas expands and contracts with temperature changes. When its expanding, it pushes gas up the spout past the cap, onto the floor and creates a fire hazard. Gas mixes with air and becomes a bomb. Gas is heavier than air and will sink into low spots. Do not store your gas in a basement. It should be in a well ventilated shed so gas fumes can escape, preferably in the shade to prevent gas expanding in the cans.
Now as soon as you take the spout out....there is a gap in the lid and wont seal properly...so I cut a washer out of a tire tube to fill the space (Picture below). Easy Peazy.
I hope this demystifies gas storage.
A few other additions. Gas without ethanol has a far longer shelf life. Its harder to find and much more expensive.
Diesel has more than double the shelf life, but you may wish to use additives that prevent mold growth.
But don't forget...ROTATE ROTATE ROTATE. Use it or lose it.
Ill probably have more insights into effective fuel usage in an emergency and my own plans in an emergency that may sound counter intuitive...
...But I am all typed out for now
Gotta wonder though, why gas? As you noted, diesel keeps better. It also stores safer, and goes farther per gallon.
I've left diesel vehicles sitting for many months at a time with no conditioner without any fuel filter problems on resuming use; obviously not ideal, but so far so good. It was pretty interesting to see the growth of algae or mold or in a half-litre I left in a rubbermaid tote for use as a cleaner, though. Next time I'll use conditioner.
If you can't practically get the item in a diesel powered version, it's getting to the point that lithium-ion electric might do the job; weed-whackers, chainsaws, outboard motors, etc. Granted, pretty steep price
premium in some cases...
If you want to be extra weird there's always propane!
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
posted 5 years ago
I hear you on the diesel. It gives you some flexibility like running on salvaged fuel sources...but...its not the only tool in the tool shed. It wont solve the chainsaw problem, nor my motorcycle. If supplies are low a motorcycle will use about half of a small car. You can even use it on the galloping goose trail, down your way if you get stuck. I notice you are from Victoria, an old stomping ground of mine. Its much warmer there. Diesels will have much more problems starting in the deep cold without a plug in.
Similar problem with battery powered tools. They just wont do the job of bucking up trees. I would absolutely love an electric Stihls chainsaw to run off my solar bank....but I would still have to use a gas one in the woods to down them and cut them to movable size before the final electric chop up at home. It might save less than half the gas.
Propane. Similar problems. Plenty of vehicle propane out west but not out east. If electricity goes, the pumps don't work...and that means you cant even refill from your own spare tanks. Maybe with an illegal cheater hose...but that wasn't really designed as anything but a problem solver to get an empty vehicle back to a filling station.
Propane is a very good idea for emergency generators though. If you have an emergency generator that has no other purpose than to sit unused for long periods, propane generators don't gum up being stored and tanks of propane are very stable to store...and I deeply regret I didn't get one. LOL. All this comes from experience. From not being able to find vehicle propane on a cross country trip...to a brand new backup generator out in the shipping container...with three year old gas in...that I have to repair now but have been pretending doesn't exist. LOL
posted 5 years ago
One more thing. This was posted by another very experience person over on another network. Im cutting and pasting it just to confirm that its just not my opinion.
" Amen C5. I keep 25L in the generator, my vehicles practically never see their tanks less than 1/2 full (I'm optimistic today!) and I have about 150L stored in different sized cans. I buy ethanol-free and add stabil to my larger cans as the small ones are used regularly for gas powered tools. Even with that, I still rotate about every 6 months. The biggest inconvenience is to siphon the generator, otherwise, this prep takes maybe 45 mins of my time, including the trip to the only ethanol-free gas station in the area. Living in suburbia with storage limited to a (nice) shed, I think that this is about as much as I want stored before I can get into trouble." HCP