Gasoline Usage and Bug Out Routes

gasoline usage

Recently we went on a trip that included travels through Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.  It was great trip and we enjoyed it greatly.  Everyday we posted the blog from whereever we were located.  These trips always give us time to talk and come up with new ideas to share with you such as keeping track of gasoline usage.

For some time we have been keeping track of how many gallons of gasoline it takes to reach different locations.  For instance, I know that with a full tank of gas in my vehicle I need an extra three five-gallon cans of gasoline to reach my daughters house.  This even allows for some detours.

Whenever we travel to a possible bug out location, we keep track of our gasoline usage and then add a little bit extra to allow for problems and detours.   Granted we are traveling under the best of conditions, which may not exist under actual bug out conditions, so take that into consideration.

Because we have several possible places that we could go to in an emergency, we know approximately how many gallons of gasoline it would take to reach each one.  This information lets us know how many five-gallon cans; we need to have on hand.  By actually driving the different routes, we learn a bit about where we may have problems.  It gives us a chance to figure out routes around choke points and other possible obstacles.

Also take weather into consideration; it is best if you drive it at different times of the year.  For instance at my location driving east in the winter can be a real problem, I may have to take an alternate route that requires additional gasoline usage.

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This may sound like a simple thing, but actually driving the routes and knowing the gasoline usage can make the difference between arriving safely or failure.



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3 thoughts on “Gasoline Usage and Bug Out Routes”

  1. If using military jerricans for emergency fuel transport, be sure to carry them outside the vehicle, securely tied down and protected from damage. Older metal military jerricans do are not DOT or OSHA rated and may violate some states “spill proof” container regulations. The Scepter-Canada injection molded plastic, three-handled polyethylene Military Fuel Can (MFC) is the safest jerry can on the market and is the fuel container of choice for US and Canadian forces. I got mine on Amazon.

    DOT-rated safety cans have a flash-arresting screen, a spring-closing lid, and are able to safely relieve internal pressure. “Safety cans,” meeting the OSHA and DOT requirements, are exempt from most states’ spill-proof container regulations.

    Basic safety rules bear repeating:

    Never fill a fuel can while in the trunk of a vehicle or in the back of a pickup because vapors tend to gather at the lowest point of enclosed areas. Gas vapors in the bilge of a boat or bed of a pickup may explode when exposed to a static spark or other ignition source.

    Always place the can on the ground and keep the pump nozzle in contact with the can during the entire filling process to avoid ignition of vapors from static electricity.

    Don’t over-fill. Leave room in the container for thermal expansion of the gas. Vapor volume increases as temperature rises, so leaving adequate head space for that expansion is important. (That’s why OSHA requires gas containers to have vented lids.)

  2. Rather than hanging 5 cans on the outside of my vehicle and worrying about the security of them, I keep them covered under a tarp. (Out of sight, Out of Mind). I’m lucky my truck now has a secondary fuel tank, that adds an extra 300 miles of travel. I will still carry additional fuel, just in case I have to evacuate or travel further than my truck will carry me. I also carry a 25 ft garden hose with a manual pump that I may be able to use if the gas stations are closed or unable to pump.

  3. Newer vehicles, like my Dodge Ram 1500, get great gas mileage. With the various tank sizes all of my vehicles could easily make it to my BOL 2xs on one tank. I do my best to adhear to the always more than half full rule, meaning I always try to fill up before I get below half a tank…that gives me a 250 mile range, which is the distance to my primary BOL. I also try to keep at minimum 2 cans of gas, which in my truck will get me 250 miles and in my crossover will get me 340 miles and in my hybrid will easily get me 400 miles. Granted if its an EMP I am dealling with I might be up a creek, but I figure there are very few vehicles on the road that are really EMP proof these days seeing as they need to be almost 30years old or older. For EMP I have a friend who owns a classic 1950s studabaker and another who owns a VW bus…either that or I am sailing 2/3rds of the way.

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