Wanted to share something I have added to my “prepare for the coming winter” kit, – Jerry cans. Now fuel for the prepared individual is obviously important. For those preparing for natural rather common disasters like earthquakes or winter storms, having some fuel to power your generators or re-fill your truck is critical. For those of us who have a “get out of dodge” at the 11th hour plan (currently) we also want to carry extra fuel. Eventually you want to have on hand enough fuel to get you where you are going. After you how important it is to have some extra fuel for emergencies and non-emergencies alike the next question is, what type of fuel storage? If you choose portable storage, you want something that is going to keep the gas in the can even if it gets knocked around a bit.
The Jerry cans I choose are 5 gallons, “0.9mm pickled steel” from Deutsche Optik. I store these cans … not for fuel obviously, because the authoritarian socialist State I live in may say I cannot (I have not checked). I would never do anything the Police State says I shouldn’t. Any way, I have them stored outside. However sometimes when I refill them I have to keep them inside the cabin of my truck, as I am visiting places where they would steal the cans. After leaving the Jerry cans in my truck cabin for hours, with windows closed, I assumed I would small a lot of gas. Got in and smelled nothing. I checked to make sure it had not been stolen. I am unsure what these seals are made of, but they appear to work very well.
The way I organized myself is I paint a number 1 – 12 on the can. The number corresponds to the month I purchased the gas. I then simply rotate the gas, when its number comes up. Now I have not always kept to my simple system. I have ended up keeping gas in these cans for over 24 months (not always specific on my annual plan) and poured them into my truck with a mix of new gas, gas stored in this can and had no issues. I think I am supposed to put stabilizer in them or something, but when keeping them for only 1 – 2 years, seems not to be an issue. (Update: Jaris mentions that most likely the reason this is not an issue for truck’s engine is the my engine is large. However small engines like generators are much more susceptible to old gas. He recommends “…ALL of my gas is treated now with Pri-G, just in case and especially if it ends up having to be stored longer. A $25 bottle treats 256 gallons of gas…a small investment, IMHO, to protect smaller engines.” I have purchased PRI Fuel Stabilizer – Gasoline and I will be adding that to my gas in the future.) One “non-emergency” use was recently during a power outage and many people ended up running out of gas getting home. Most people are … not as prepared as many people reading this blog and several people ran out of gas on the highway as the lights failed and the gas pumps stop working. It was easy for me to take two cans and the nozzle and go and find my buddies wife. We also helped out a couple of people on the way. The 5 gallon size makes it pretty easy to handle a full can. The design of these cans are very easy to handle.
I have kept these cans outside, for over two years. They are stored outside as even though I have never smelled gas from them… it doesn’t seem wise to store them inside. I am unsure how gas “seeps” from the cans, but these metal cans, and the gasket and the strange closing mechanism deal (they call it a Bayonet closure) they have going on, really keeps the gas in these cans. You can actually fill them, close them and put them on their side, and no gas leaks from them. It has rained, multiple times (in 24 months) obviously and they sit on a bed of wood chips. There is no sign of rust, no wear, and no water in the can. Again, I am unsure what these gaskets are made of but these cans from my layman’s perspective are solid.
I purchase an extra nozzle every four cans. I am purchasing another four, and will buy another nozzle. That way I have enough nozzles. When I get 12 I will purchase extra gaskets. I do not know how to easily get gas out of these cans and into a generator or car tank, without the nozzle. I assume you can siphon it off, or use a funnel in case of emergency but it is much easier to just buy a couple of extra nozzles now. (Update: Not Telling mentions that there is an internal pour lip on the can. he is right! I didn’t notice it. Thus you can pour gas directly from the can, the lip is small, but it is there. I still recommend the nozzle, it makes it much easier.) Thus I recommend this. Once you have “an adequate” amount, I recommend getting the extra gasket kits. I don‘t know when they will wear out, but when they do, I want more of them. If you are looking for fuel storage, you may want to consider these. They are marked “not for fuel use” so that this man can stay in business and sell to our largest state by population.
These cans are provided by Deutsche Optik (German glass?) and they are the U.S. exclusive distributor of these Jerry Cans, which are actually made in the U.K. and over there they are called Wavian Jerry Cans. There are many knock off of these cans, that are not quality.
From Deutsche Optik website: Furthermore, transport costs the same for an old, rusty one as a brand-new one. But here’s what you get: brand-new, original, Jerry cans made to the highest specs, measuring 468 x 345 x 165 mm, (18.425″ x 13.58″ x 6.496″), weighing in at 4.3 kg (9.46 lbs). They hold 20 liters (5.28 gal) of liquids. Fully paint-coated inside and outside. Have a full, internal breather pipe for splash-proof pouring, and have a safety cap-locking pin. The regular nozzles fit! In addition, we’ll get replacement gaskets at reasonable prices too. So there you have it. I can’t do any better than this! Of course the price has gone up about a ten-spot, but I warrant they’re worth it. Please note that these cans say “Not For Fuel Use” to comply with California regulations. Deutsche Optik is a great place to get Army Navy surplus goods of the World War II type. They have always delivered my product promptly, and I have never even needed to call this company. They sell a lot of authentic good stuff and I am on their permanent mailing list. They have a lot of things a prepper may want, old dentist kits, old style oil lamps, etc. They are really into Navy Army stuff from WW-II. I have several things from Deutsche Optik and I will continue to buy from them.
I called the company and they indicated they have plenty in stock, now. I doubt this review of “what I am doing” is going to cause them to sell out. If you order any from the nice people at Deutsche Optik please let them know you found this review on the Charles Carroll Society. BTW, anyone know why these are called Jerry cans? Weren’t Jerry’s Germans? (Update: Not Telling explained that these are the German fuel cans, which we stole because their design was so much better than the American or British fuel cans. Thus the name Jerry Can, or German fuel cans)