If you’re planning a little overland expedition, it’s important to be prepared. You probably have a medical kit in your vehicle, and you might carry along a few extra snacks. But there is one thing that every vehicle owner should have: a gas can.
When you’re venturing beyond the reaches of your typical gas station, it’s important to have an emergency supply of fuel. There is always the possibility of underestimating the distance from point A to point B, and we’d all love the ability to take the scenic route once in a while. In order to do so, you need to be prepared.
A fuel can is your lifeline when that empty light comes on. Additionally, having a little extra petrolium on hand will allow you to top up your lawn mower, weed wacker, generator, or any other gas powered appliance you’ve got on hand.
Perhaps you just want to be prepared for any kind of SHTF situation. You can safely store gas for up to 2 or 3 months without adding stabilizers, by simply keeping it in a well designed storage container and cycling it out regularly.
Top 5 Fuel Cans
In this roundup, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about fuel storage and help you choose the right container for your needs. But first, let’s check out our winners.
No-Spill 2.5 Gallon
For lawn mowers, generators, power tools, and other portable equipment, we recommend the No-Spill 2.5 Gallon. When you’re filling anything with a small tank, spills are much more likely. But this can features a small spout that can fit comfortably in compact filling inlets, and pours a little more slowly.
There is a thumb button that controls airflow, letting you speed up or slow down the pour as the tank gets full. The coolest feature however, is the auto-cutoff when the fuel level reaches the nozzle. This makes is perfect for pouring into dark containers where you can’t see how close you are to overflowing and spilling!
Also check out the wide vertical window along the front (and the back) to instantly see how much fuel is in the container.
There are various sizes available depending on how much gasoline you think you’ll need.
Briggs & Stratton 5 Gallon with Auto Shut-Off
Although we didn’t really love the Briggs & Stratton 85053 5-Gallon it will work just fine for your boat, ATV, motorcycle or other recreational vehicle.
For these applications, you want three things: portability, control, and a high pour speed. The lightweight plastic design makes it easy to carry, and you can control the flow by just twisting the spout. This has significant safety implications, as it reduces the chance of spilling and minimizes the escape of fumes. The large outlet lets you fill your tank quickly so you can get back on the road (or trail!) within minutes.
The Justrite 5 Gallon Galvanized Steel
If you’re heading off-road and want to take some additional fuel with you, you need something that can handle the roughness of a 4×4 trip. The Justrite 7250130 is an excellent choice for Jeep owners and other similar vehicles. It is commonly used in military applications as well. This is because there are many regulations around transporting hazardous liquids. OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Association) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) can hand out hefty fines if fuel isn’t stored correctly, but this can adheres to all of their regulations.
It’s all metal construction keeps contents inside, even in the event of an accident. The flexible no-spill spout can dissipate heat, which prevents the contents from igniting if it makes physical contact with a hot surface. The trigger style valve lets you precisely control the flow, so you don’t have to worry about errant drips damaging your paint.
DuraMax 14 Wheeled Gallon
Restoring a vintage car? Have a vehicle you don’t drive very often? Removing liquid from the tank when it’s not in use helps prevent dirtying the fuel lines. But when it comes time to get your vehicle running again, you don’t want to be zipping around with only an eighth of a tank. This is where the DuraMax Flo n’ Go comes into play. It stores 14 gallons, which is enough to fill the tank of most vehicles. Most of us won’t be able to lift that much fluid, which is why this tank comes with two wheels and a handle affixed. You don’t even have to lift it to fill, and the built in pump will let you transfer the fluid, just as if you were at your local gas station.
Original Vintage NATO Metal Jerry Can
If you’re looking for long-term storage, the best solution is the military-style canisters. The NATO “Jerry” is made entirely from metal, offering a higher level of durability than most option available. Their tall and slim design reduces the surface area of the fuel that makes contact with oxygen. This helps it keep for longer, and makes it easy to stack several cans side-by-side. The build quality is second to one, and it’s easy to stack them in a garage, carry them around, or even step them into the bed of your truck. These military surplus cans are made in either Germany or Australia (depending on which batch is in stock,) so you know that you can rely on them for top-notch durability.
Why It’s Important to Select The Right Gas Can?
Since they perform a pretty basic function, why not just head down to your local gas station and pick up the first Jerry can you see?
The most obvious reason is cost. When you’re walking to the gas station for a jerry can of gas, there is a pretty good chance that your car is sitting on the road somewhere. Gas stations know that this isn’t something you can go without, so they often charge a massive markup on an otherwise inexpensive product.
Additionally, different containers are designed for various applications. Some are for temporary, one-time use. Others are for long term storage, or for your gas-powered tools. We’re going to teach you what to look for, and understand the differences from one type to another.
How to Store Fuel
Planning to store it for a longer time? There are a few important things you need to consider.
The very first thing you do should be to check your municipal and state regulations regarding fuel storage. Gasoline and diesel are both highly flammable, and many jurisdictions have rules about the quantity and manner you store them. Fuel should be kept in a safe space, away from any open flame. You should store sawdust or absorbent towel nearby, so you can clean up any spills immediately.
How Long Can Fuel be Stored?
It could actually go off. There are plenty of additives, and over time they break down and interact with oxygen. If you put it in your vehicle, it may not run until the fuel supply has been cleaned.
Typically, it will last between three to five months when stored. The actual length of time depends on the type of storage device you use.
Portable plastic cans won’t last as long as steel cans designed for storage. If six months isn’t long enough, you can extend the life by adding a fuel stabilizer. In the right environment, it may be able to stay fresh for up to 10 months.