Camping & Survival

Three Ways for Storing Gasoline

Fuel storage in the back of a pickup truck

Regardless of whether you need gasoline for your car or truck, diesel to power your generator or even propane to cook with, the fact is, if you are prepping for the unexpected you need to keep a supply of fuel on hand. Storing fuel is an important part of your survival plan. Storing your supply safely and in a way that maintains the quality of the fuel is equally as important. It is important to note that storing any type of fuel can be dangerous and if stored improperly looses stability over time rendering it useless.

Here are three fuel storage tips.

Fuel storage in the back of a pickup truck
Storing fuel is an important part of your survival plan.

Fuel Storage Tip 1

Due to the dangers associated with fuel such as fire, combustibility and toxic fumes, never store fuel in your home or garage attached to your home. Instead, store your gas in a well-ventilated building a safe distance from your living area. Ideally, your storage area will also be out of direct sunlight. In addition, if the storage area has any power source, double check wiring to avoid dangers of unwanted sparks. Also, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your storage area.

Fuel Storage Tip 2

Store fuel reserves only in proper containers specifically designed and rated for long-term storage of specific types of fuels. All containers should be airtight, watertight, light resistant and made of the proper materials, which do not corrode or deteriorate when filled with fuel.

Fuel Storage Tip 3

Clearly identify the contents of each container. For example, store diesel in yellow containers, gas in red ones and kerosene in blue containers. Place a label on each container easily identifying the contents and the date it was stored.

Determine the frequency at which you will be using your fuel supply. If your stash sits for any length of time, you may want to consider adding a stabilizer additive to your fuel supply. There are many on the market for a variety of different fuel types. In closing, it is important to realize fuel, like many other items, should be monitored and rotated to achieve optional use.

How do you store your fuel and gas? Share your tips and suggestions in the comment section.


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Comments (30)

  1. The absolute best way to store fuel imo, is to get the right fuel from the beginning. Get non-ethanol and save yourself some headache. It cost more, true…but if gana runs out, you’d gladly pay $10+ a gallon. So in the grand scheme of things$3-$5 a gallon isn’t terrible.

  2. This is some really good information about how to store fuel safely. I liked that you talked about getting good airtight containers. That is a good thing to know because my father just got a diesel truck, and he wants to keep some extra fuel in it.

    1. @ Ivy Baker.

      If your Father lives in Colder Climate Area or Areas where Temperature Fluctuate Greatly, consider Howes Lubricator Diesel Treat, Diesel Conditioner and Anti-Gel. Costs vary, but at Walmart it costs ~$9.83/Quart, the Anti-Gel component in the additive will prevent the Diesel Fuel from Congealing in Cold Weather…

  3. @ FYI: Deep Fryer Filters.

    If your using a Large Wide Mouth Conical Funnel. Go to a Restaurant Supply Company in your area, and buy a Case of Deep Fryer Filters. There large enough to fit inside a Large Wide Mouth Conical Funnel. It most certainly work the Gasoline, but Diesel might be too Viscous. Cheesecloth will probably work better with Diesel or No. 2 Fuel Oil…

  4. @ FYI.

    Glass 5 & 6-gallon Carboy’s can be used too. With a storage containment life of nearly 1-Million Years, it’s the Perfect Storage Vessel for just about any liquid. With the exception of “Gasious” forms of fuels…

  5. Plan on at least $1,500 dollars MINIMUM if you are buying you own underground 500 gallon LP tank. That includes digging the hole, buying the tank, rigging and filling up with fuel. Most contractors/ LP dealers WILL NOT do business with you until you stand ready for the whole enchilada. Without fuel the tank can float out of the ground! So dont plan on doing it one step at the time FYI

  6. I have propane. Certainly not as a primary supply. I have it for back up ginnys and for heat and cooking indoors. It doesnt go bad, correct but it is way too damn finite in an emergency. When your big tank runs out in a couple of weeks, all those little tanks at the stores are long gone and you are SOL. I dont rely on this but I think, especially if there is an EMP event, there are going to be more useless autos sitting around with plenty of gas for you to siphon and use and nobody cares. In my estimation, and in my advice to many people you need, wood and an appliance even if it is home made. Diesel for ginnys and if you also have a t
    50 mpg VW TDI, all the better. Keep it in a large Faraday cage if trouble is on the horizon. You can make one out of 1/2″ styrofoam covered with aluminum foil..a standard building product, assembled with duct tape. It stores flat piece on piece or against the wall. Clear Kero for cooking, lighting, and or heating(Last resort) and appliances for each purpose. Solar with batteries which can also store excess power to keep your ginny hours down to minutes per day..with an inverter of course. If you can pick up an LP generator for redundancy that is great. It can sit, along with whatever LP you may have for months or years, just in case. PLEASE REMEMBER TO HAVE PLENTY OF OIL AND FILTERS for your mechanical power producers and engines. None of this is that complicated or expensive. If you dont want to spend the money for automatic switchgear, just have manual plug ins that you can alternate as you deem necessary. Dont let your diesel run out of fuel ever. Can be very very difficult to restart if you dont know how. Lets just say, for the sake of argument, there is no really good way to store gasoline and diesel and work from there ok?

    1. @ Larry.

      It’s difficult to explain, Propane Gas ITSELF is fairly stable, but temperature sensitive. But it’s a Corrosive Gas, a Steel Tank above ground has a lifespan in 70F temperature of between 18 to 20-years with Propane Gas inside. If you bury the tank, you can increase the lifespan of the Steel Tank to ~30-years. But, all Hydrocarbon based Fuels will go bad over time. Propane Gas starts to bad at ~ minus 20F, the exact rate I’m not sure of. Propane Tanks range from Cheap to VERY EXPENSIVE. Saltwater and Sea Air can excellerate the Corrosion Process…


  8. Well that was pretty useless. How about giving us some actual information. For instance, how long can we store gasoline in a typical off-the-shelf red canister from Oreilly Autoparts? Is a metal can better than a plastic one? Can diesel be stored longer than gasoline? How about kerosene? What does this “stabilizer” stuff do to the expiration period? You basically told us nothing.

    1. @ Dave.

      Generally, the Colder the Better. Gasoline Plastic or Gasoline Metal Containers, are basically no difference, with the exception of Weight. Typically, at 70F untreated Gasoline or Diesel will remain stable for about 12-months. Above 70F gasoline and diesel will start to break down or go-bad, exponentially 50% per year (example 100% 1st year, 50% 2nd year, 25% 3rd year, 12.5% 4th year, 6.25% 5th year, etc.). All fuels will go bad eventually, even using a Stabilizer. Recommended Stabilizers: STA-BIL and PRI-G for Gasoline and PRI-D for Diesel. Propane will also go bad after a period of time through “Thermal Expansions/Contractions”…

    2. @ Dave

      I forgot to mention, but can also Freeze Fuel for Long Term Storage:
      Diesel @ ~ -10F
      Diesel #2 @ ~ -18F
      Gasoline @ ~ -58F
      JP-1 @ ~ -40F
      JP-1A @ ~ -53
      Propane will start to liquefy @ ~ -120F…

  9. The moisture in the fuel is a breeding ground for a critter which is what destroys the fuel. You can probably research it. Filters will not totally eliminate it. That is why I built a moisture filter on my tank. It takes all the moisture out as the fuel is pumped into the tank and as air comes in the tank to replace the space where the fuel was. Hope this makes sense.

  10. It would be a good idea to have a large filtering funnel made for filtering the fuel you have with your stash. Old gas should be filtered even if it is clean.

    Also rotate your supply. Put 5ga in the truck then refill the can at next fill up.Each can once a year. Make it part of your week.

    1. @ OLD&GRUMPY.

      This may sound strange or “off-the-wall”, but have you considered using a Conical Coffee or Air Filter in your Funnel as a Straining Media. When I was in the Army, we used them at guard against Bad Aviation Fuel…

  11. There a company called Chemex Modular of Texas which offers Modular Mini Refineries to make Gasoline and Oil Based Fuels using Zeolite. A catalyst used in breaking down Common Water into basic Hydrocarbons in Fuel Production. The US. Navy, in experimenting with the Substance to be used on Naval Ships of Long-Ranges and for making Jet Fuels…

  12. It is a mystery to me why today’s fuel goes bad so quickly. I bought a 1933 Chrysler coupe in the fifties, as a kid. We cranked it up and drove it home. It had been sitting since 1934 when the young man who bought it new was killed in a non combat related accident in the military. How could the battery still have been charged? How could the fuel have still been good? I do not know the answer to these questions.
    My diesel tank is 500 gallons. It does get cycled somewhat by my VW TDI. But not that much. It could last six years if that is all it is used for. I have best understood the deterioration of diesel fuel is in the moisture which enters the tank as you draw fuel out. So My tank is fitted with a container of moisture removal substance which changes color when saturated with moisture. Its simple to make using a see through container of any type. When the fuel is being withdrawn the plug in the system to the moisture remover is opened allowing air to go though the moisture remover. If it gets saturated, just heat it up in the oven till the original color comes back and you are ready to go again.
    Gasoline, I only store small amounts. If there were a significant EMP event there would be stalled, abandoned cars everywhere with tanks full of gas, Carry a siphon hose and a fuel can. Kero I do not add anything. Using moisture filters like I use on my diesel…the common, store bought ones, when putting fuel in or taking it out is all I will do with kero because it may be used for cooking, for lamps or other uses that I will not want any kind of additives in. And who doesnt love the Coleman kero lamps? Im afraid the younger generation has missed out on those completely. Cannot be beat, no way.

    1. One of the posters mentioned that higher temps seem to affect the fuel more than cooler temps. That is because the microorganisms which enter the storage tanks in the moisture that comes into the tanks in the air which comes into the tanks to fill the space where the fuel came out will grow much faster in warm weather. Again, this, as I understand it,, is what deteriorates the fuel. NOT the moisture itself as it can be removed but these tiny bugs that breed in the moisture in the fuel. I do add the preservative to my diesel tank but as I stated earlier, you really need to rotate and use your gasoline stores. Kero can even be used by some for heating so dont put any chemical additives in.

  13. propane is the answer for generator, cooking. I have 600 gallons, rent 6 tanks for 175 per year. Propane never goes bad.

    1. @ Larry.

      Have you considered the Honda FREEWatt Micro-CHP1.OK2 system, which produces 3.26-Kilowatts of Heat and 1.2-Kilowatts of Electrical Power…

  14. Best I can do is use 6 5gal NATO cans I got from CTD. Numbered them 1-7, 2-8, 3-9, etc. keep them in shop shed under trees back of the lot. Cycle them by each month pour one can into pickup and refill, adding stabilizer. So no can older than 6 months storage

  15. I’ve been able to locate 55 gallon metal drums that are sealed with a screw in cap, are lined on the inside specifically for fuel storage, because they initially contain racing fuel.

    I store them under camo cover about 300 ft from my house hidden in brush and trees from view.

    I use fuel stabilizer as well.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get somewhere around 600-800 gallons for 3 generators.

    Also have 130 lbs of propane tanks for cooking.

    Hope this works.

    1. On these 55 gallon barrels I’m getting… I’m getting them for $10 a barrel and am storing them on wooden pallets.

      I am putting 53 gals of gas in them, so this will allow for some expansion during the summer.

      I live on 4 acres of land and they are in the brush shaded area so usually even during the summer it’s about 20 degrees cooler in the shade.

      I’m using stabilizer from Northern Tool which per bottle will do 258 gals of gas for $24 a bottle, lasts for 2 years as well and works with ethanol based gasoline.

      I label the fuel as I fill the barrels from 5 gal gas cans… Fill 5 cans at a time X 2=50 gals +3 gallons per barrel.

      I’m surrounded by 45 & 15 acres of woods, so no one should find my gasoline.
      Have a plastic siphon pump hose that screws into the
      barrels to pump the gas back out into 5 gal jugs for use, so I can tell how much in and how much out. That I keep somewhere else.

      Eventually I’ll build a wood 3 sided roof and sides and cover with heavy duty wire and door with locking key or padlock to keep anyone out of.

      The propane tanks I get from Lowe’s in 40 lb tanks and strap on cheap hand carts to move around.

      I get those filled locally at a propane place so I know I’m getting a full fill rather than getting 20lb tanks from home centers which usually are filled to 75% capacity.

      Have one BBQ grill and 2 duel burner camping grills of which one is also an oven so I can bake breads or cook roasts in.

      I have 150 lbs of propane stored presently and that will give me about 2500 hours of cooking time.

      Also have 200 lbs of charcoal for grills as well.

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