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Fuel Storage & Collection For Bugging Out

by Grayman

Gasoline shortages aren’t all that uncommon. In fact you’ve probably experienced the task of having to drive to another station to get fuel. The problem is prolonged outages. Climate control policies, economic conditions, cyber-attacks on distribution networks, general civil unrest, and global trade threats warrant additional preparedness steps in regards to fuel.



Having fuel gives you a great advantage following a grid down, apocalyptic, or extended fuel shortage. Missing one day of gas deliveries can cause a week of outages. Be ready.

An emergency crisis could cripple fuel distribution and oil refinery production. It could be caused by a natural disaster, EMP, or economic collapse. Whatever the reason, fuel shortages are nothing new. Localized disturbance at refineries can create a lack of gas at the pumps in surrounding states. Shortage scares and national emergencies cause sudden gas hoarding. In hours after an announcement, gas could be gone and under some circumstances it may be delayed for days or weeks.

The gas in your vehicle tank won’t last long if you need to drive to gather supplies, collect family members, or bugout . Your gas generator may be needed to keep refrigerators and other essentials operating. Having gas will increase your preparedness capabilities and increase your chance of survival.

This guide will provide details on how to collect, store, and stabilize fuel . Having fuel gives you a great advantage following a griddown, apocalyptic, or extended fuel shortage.


A practical part of prepping for a bugout scenario is knowing how to collect, store, and stabilize fuel. Having fuel gives you a great advantage following a griddown, apocalyptic, or extended fuel shortage. Get the Fuel Storage and Collection Guide here.




×Use an airtight container

×Keep in a cool dark area.

×Add 2oz of Stabilizer per 5 gallons to extend life to 10-14 months. (Avoid ethanol and use high octane to add 2-4months storage time.)

×Rotate fuel every year, (ideally every 6mo or 2mo without additives)

×Store 50ft from home or ignition sources.


These amounts are estimated to provide fuel for powering a generator 50% a day and driving 50 miles a day.

×72 Hours (minimum recommended amount): Store 15 gallons.

×1 Month (recommended): Store 60 gallons.

×6 Months (ideal): Store 360 Gallons.


When deciding how much to store for an evacuation drive from home to a bugout location (BOL) or to safety (think wildfire, volcano, flood, or even civil unrest).

First determine the distance to your BOL. Then determine your mileage or MPG. From these two numbers you can use the following equation, 1.5(BOL/MPG) = BOF.

Or use the simplified breakdown of BOL ➗ MPG = MRF | MRF ✖ 1.5 = BOF

So if you vehicle gets 10mpg and your BOL is 100 miles away, you would divide 100 by 10 or BOL ➗ MPG to get your Minimum Required Fuel or MRF. Now multiply that by 1.5 or MRF ✖ 1.5 to get your BugOut Fuel or BOF. In this example you you would need 15 gallons of gasoline. As a prepper you shouldn’t expect to always have a full tank in your car so a smart idea would be to keep your BOF in storage. Ideally, yes, you should always try to keep at least a half a tank of gas in your vehicle but that doesn’t always happen.


The primary concern with storing fuels long-term is two-fold. First, the VOCs will evaporate away, and second, water can get into most fuels sold in America. The fuels are thirsty for it, and will pull water right out of the air. Almost all gasoline sold in America has ethanol in it. As mentioned before, it’s just corn alcohol, and it mixes with water quite readily – like a bourbon and soda. Diesel fuel will also attract water.


Most modern containers are made of plastic, which is a good thing. Gasoline goes in red containers, diesel in yellow containers and kerosene in blue containers. Color coding isn’t necessary, you can always just label the container if you have multiple fuel types.

If your needs require more than gallons, you can use barrels for all different fuels. Mechanic shops and farm supply stores are two places to look for barrels. You can get the standard 55-gallon drums or smaller 30-gallon drums quite readily.

Drums are good, but not without their issues. You want to make sure they’re completely dry before filling them, and then leave them filled and sealed tight until you plan to use the fuel. If you have a partial drum, the air in the drum will introduce water through condensation. If you’re going to store fuel like that, you need to keep that fuel safe, which means away from your home, your garage, and any sources of heat, sparks, or flame. Store at least 50 feet from residential structures.


Hyper-miling is a tactic to reduce the amount of fuel used by a vehicle. This a fuel consumption management technique used during a fuel shortage crisis when traveling by vehicle is critical. It can also be used as a worst case scenario tactic during egress to a BOL, scavenge runs, and scout operations. In short it’s a method to increase your MPG by 20% to 60%.

Keep in mind many of these are for worst case scenario applications when there is a fuel shortage or gasoline is no longer accessible for an extended period of time. However, some can be practiced daily.

🦥Slow Down. Acceleration increases wind resistance & increases RPM, which reduces gas mileage. Lower speeds equal less gas consumption. Idle speed is ideal, use only idle momentum of 2-5mph. Anything under 40mph produces exponentially higher MPG.

⏱Brake Less. Excess braking can reduce gas mileage by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds. Avoid tailgating unknown vehicles, it’s unsafe and leads to more braking. Convoy as a team if you have comms to safely draft.

🚛Lighten the Load and Aerodynamics. All optional weight and wind resistance barriers decrease your car’s gas mileage. Remove unused roof racks, keep sunroof closed, adjust tire pressure, etc.

❄Minimize Air Conditioning. Running the AC can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 25%. Instead, increase airflow by cracking the driver’s window & rear passenger’s window on the opposite side. When driving at high speeds, close windows & use the ventilation fan to reduce aerodynamic drag.

🛠Ongoing Maintenance. You’ll burn less fuel if you keep your engine clean and running well. A dirty air filter can decrease the fuel economy of older cars with carbureted engines.

🔑Avoid Excessive Idling. Turn the engine off if you’re not going anywhere in 30 seconds or more. A modern fuel injected engine consumes only about five seconds worth of fuel to restart.

✋Smart Braking. The idea is to anticipate stops and to decelerate by simply taking your foot off the gas, coasting to a stop rather than speeding toward it.

🗺Alternate Routes. Choose routes that are less traveled & thus allow more flexibility to employ a wider range of hyper-miling techniques than if you were surrounded by other vehicles.

🐰Rabbit Timing. This technique works at traffic lights with sensors. When approaching a “stale” red light, slow down early & let the other traffic around you (“the rabbits”) trip the light’s sensor so you can coast through.

💗Pulse and Glide. First ensure you have a newer model vehicle that utilizes this feature. It works like this: Accelerate to 70 (that’s the pulse), and then coast in neutral with the engine off down to 50 (that’s the glide).

This article was originally written by the Grayman Briefing. Stay in the know, sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness alerts pushed to your phone on emerging threats and preparedness warnings. Click HERE to subscribe to the Grayman Briefing.


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