Choosing The Right Long Term Fuel For Survival

By on September 20, 2014

There are a number of potential scenarios that one can envision pertaining to the loss of the power and fuel that drives modern society. The loss of electricity, gas and regular supplies of petroleum would not only see the nation grind to a halt, but could also present serious difficulties in allowing for the preparation (and freezable storage) of food, as well as keeping people warm, and it can seriously handicap human’s ability to move anywhere speedily. Before long, citizens would be huddled in the dark, eating what cold food they could find – a situation that can only be prevented by preparing a variety of fuels, and understanding how they work. Here’s a selection of the obvious, and not so obvious fuels that can keep you going if times get bad.



If you haven’t done so already, buy a diesel powered vehicle. Not only is it cheaper, more efficient and stores up to three times as much as standard gasoline (with proper treatment up to ten years!), but most generators run off diesel fuel too. Standardization and dual use is never a bad thing when being prepared, making it easy to manage and store.




Depending on circumstances and environment, wood should be the most commonly used fuel. In an ideal situation (typically rural), wood is plentiful, and provided it is dried, logged and stored well, it should provide all cooking and heating needs – even better in homes or cabins with a log burner or wood fired stove. Just be sure not to rely on firelighters – follow the lead of our distant ancestors and learn to light a fire from scratch.




The casual outdoorsman’s best friend: propane canisters are portable and can last decades if kept cool and dry. For long term survival, it’s a poor option, and prominence should be placed on wood and other natural sources as much as possible, but in an emergency it can be a lifesaver – just don’t be lazy and waste it.




Nobody said survival smells nice; should you find yourself in a situation with a herd of livestock, be they cows, horses, sheep or whatever, it’s a good idea to recycle their waste. Of course this should already be in use as a natural fertilizer for crops and herbs, but when dried out it’s a free form of combustible heat thanks to all the natural methane it contains.




It’s not always practical to switch to a diesel fueled vehicle last minute, so if you’re stuck with gasoline there are a few things you should know. In its current form, gasoline does not store well – six months is the typical limit before it degrades and loses potency. With stabilizers this can extend to eighteen to twenty-four months, but gasoline must be stored in a cool, dark place to have any chance of lasting that long.




The practice of distilling alcohol for personal consumption has been around for centuries and, with a little effort, building a still requires only a modest investment in copper tubing and canisters. Once up and running the alcohol can be used for many purposes, including a natural disinfectant and, in particular, as a highly combustible fuel. Care must be taken with storage (cool, dark, and away from flames!) but it’s a great option for helping start wooden or coal fires quickly.


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