Episode 405 S15-10
Post Collapse Vehicle Travel
Virgis Ch 10
As Cole heads west in a post-apocalyptic landscape, we take a look at the realities of vehicle travel in a post-apocalyptic landscape.
Whether you are road-tripping now or in a post-collapse scenario, knowing the miles per gallon (MPG) of the vehicle you are traveling in is essential. If traveling in a caravan, you need to know the lowest MPG vehicle in the group. Knowing the MPG lets you research gas stops and pick the preferred exits.
Before going on a road trip, take a piece of paper and start some notes. Use Google Maps and recon location by using the satellite view. Read reviews. Is it well-lit? Are the fueling stations and parking lots set up so you can maneuver them with your vehicle and trailer if towing? The GasBuddy app can help direct you to the most affordable gas stations and provide gas rebates. The Next Exit app can help you pick exits when you are on the move without waiting to see what the sign says. Write down the directions and stops. If you are out of cell service, you still have your directions.
Recall past trips and take notes on good stops and stops to avoid. Refueling around a half tank is always best but never below a quarter tank. If you have to detour or get stuck in stop-and-go traffic, sticking to this pattern of fuel supply will ensure you have fuel, just in case.
It’s nice to carry extra fuel by increasing your current tank to a larger one, adding an auxiliary tank, and/or carrying extra fuel cans (the cans must be outside the cab). Use fuel conditioners for the season (diesel) and long-term storage. Use quality fuel by only buying from reputable, busy stations so they have fresh fuel because of high turnover.
Traveling in a post-collapse situation is a challenge we have never faced. Vehicles and GPS services have gotten us used to traveling long distances in a short time. However, without those modern conveniences traveling a very short distance will equate to a significant journey on foot. Suppose you are separated from your loved ones. In that case, small distances can become insurmountable, and you may never see them again without explicit instructions.
Gasoline won’t last as long as you think. Many factors deplete the octane level and eventually can render it unusable. Evaporation can leave you with a thick slurry that won’t burn in an engine. Oxidation will reduce the octane and overall quality. Additives like Ethanol suck water from the air and can render your supply useless. Other additives decompose and spoil the gasoline. Sedimentation also affects your fuel supply. Proper storage can extend life, but time is ticking no matter how it is stored.
When storing gasoline, make sure you are aware of fire safety implications. For example, plastic cans create oxidation and build up a static charge which can start fires. Buried metal tanks are always the best way to store gasoline if you want it to last. Sunlight deteriorates gas, and the temperature is also a significant factor. In Celsius, 30 degrees is the maximum storage temperature, fifteen degrees is optimal, and 10 degrees is minimal. The tank should be airtight, and gas should fill at least 95% of the tank to reduce exposure to oxygen.
In a car, gasoline will last about six months. A Jerry Can keeps gas for about a year. An aluminum drum with a quality rubber seal will last about two years. An unburied tank will last about three years, and a buried tank will last about five years. The temperature and air tightness will both affect the lifespan. Keep this in mind in a post-collapse scenario. After a few years, without access to a new source, the only source of viable gasoline will be buried tanks. You will know it’s bad because the color will be dark and smell spoiled.
Remember that once society collapses, you won’t be able to stop at all the rest stops you once enjoyed. You will have to carry more. However, red gasoline tanks strapped to your vehicle are a beacon for scavengers. They also create a target if someone were firing at your vehicle. Extra or bigger tanks are just as much an explosion threat as the red tank strapped to your vehicle. Extra shielding and camouflage are highly recommended.
The Changing Earth Series
Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity is hidden from the public; Chingo-to is well known to the online prepper community as the go-to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for an unforeseen life challenge.