Our first write up has vaporized…Had intended to simply re-post but since we have still continued to test we thought we would just add to the content. There is already tons of info, pictures, and tips posted on our podcast, throughout this blog, our facebook page, and our videos.
Fuel and water are two of the most precious commodities for any adventure. I have had water canisters fail on me (see the write up on the Big Bend bike expedition in 2003) and the desert areas we explore require additional fuel to make it from one spot to the next.
We have tried both metal and plastic fuel and water canisters and have had mixed results. Earlier this year I came across the consumer grade canisters carried by Bass Pro Shops and ordered three for the Jeep. Highly impressed, we reached out to Scepter to provide us with the military grade cans for the Idaho Overland Expedition and our other adventures.
Scepter is based in Canada and it is great having a North American company provide gear instead of products coming out of China. This stuff is highly durable and if you have reservations about plastic versus metal, I can assure you- the plastic is light years ahead of the metal competitor.
When you buy the metal can, it comes pre-packaged with issues. Metal rust, the seems on the metal cans split under pressure or impact, and if you are buying new- you are buying China. Sure you can find one in a surplus store that either is on its way to a rusting issue, or for no charge you can get it with rust already installed.
Not only did we use the Scepters on the 5 day expedition across Idaho, where we traveled over 650 miles of dirt in all kinds of conditions, we continued to test the usability and durability including explorations into the Brunea Desert (5 days), our Idaho Mine tours, and the Owyhee County Historical Society trips…each of these either we were required to refuel using the Scepters or had someone else hat ran out of fuel.
Just as it sounds. We wanted to know if these came off the back of a rig, would they survive. We tested with them full, half full, and quarter full. We were not only looking for seam breakage, but wanted to know if the cap would blow. Standing on the bumper of the Jeep we hefted the first canister up and let it go. I was actually worried we would break something but the canisters held up great. In addition they have been pulled on and off the Jeep dozens of times, bounced in the back of pick-up trucks, and jostled around with no issues.
At first I was going to rate the ease of use as low, but then realized it was operator error. New laws require that the spouts be designed so they don’t leak fuel or vapors. It took some time, but I got the knack of refueling. Something to keep in mind is that if the refueling point on your vehicle is difficult to get to with a spout, you need to take a long funnel with you. An easy way to test this prior to going out is to fill only the bottom third of your fuel can and then try to pour it in your tank while you are at home. If its difficult, then take the fuel. Something else to consider (and THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY ADVENTURE IQ OR THE MANUFACTURER) is the filler nozzle on the consumer grade water can fits the fuel can. Honestly, we just use the long funnel and the nozzle already in place.
Our trips into the Brunea Desert literally takes us to places that are 50-75 miles from the nearest pavement…not the nearest gas station…those are even further away. On those hot trips where we need extra water, we would strap four of the H2O containers behind the drivers seat and all of our fuel was placed on the racks on the swing gate. Because the cans are non-vented- they will balloon up. We had days where temps were well above 100 degrees and not once did we suffer a seam rip or have a cap leak.
Gas cans were not so much the issue- more to test the water canisters. In the past few weeks we have ventured up into the cold and the water in the cans is freezing. I have had plastic cans that will begin to lose shape and begin to split. The Scepters have retained their shape as well integrity. Keeping the cans inside the rig does prevent them from freezing and we recommend that you transfer water from the canisters to your hysration pack (as recommended in an earlier podcast)
This is not an issue- but more awareness. If you have both fuel and water cans, they are not inter-changable in the racks. Because the new fuel cans have to be tip resistant, that do not fit into a standard NATO rack/holster. We had to modify our rack to hold the fuel cans. So there are a couple of ways to solve this.
- Use a Scepter Fuel can and a Scepter Consumer Grade can
- Have a separate rack for each on the back (as we discussed in footage of the Idaho Overland Expedition)
- Place Scepter Fuel can(s) on external rack and strap Scepter (NATO) canisters inside (as we are doing now)
For us- the trade-offs are a no-brainer to have high quality canisters holding our stuff.
Something to point out- you definitely want locks on your Scepters- they apparently are high demand. We were teaching some classes over in Oregon and decided to do some exploration. We had decided to use the diesel canisters since at that point they had been immune to our testing We were using them to carry a fire starting concoction we had been experimenting with for the survival courses. Apparently, bright yellow is a popular cover and our cans were lifted from the Jeep. Perhaps karma will shine down on the poor souls when they poor our highly flammable-yet controllable substance into their tank.
Impressed. We have had Scepters on our rigs since we received them this summer and there has been absolutely no perceived fading. I have even done side by side comparisons.
The “what just fell” drop test.
Now this is one that was not planned…
Cruising down Mud Flat Road at 45 mph and the rear rack for the water can fails. I look out the window and see one of test cans about 3/4 full bouncing and skidding behind me trying to keep up. Scratched…yes. Minor dent….yes. Still in use with zero defects…yes.
So if you can’t tell, I love these canisters and we will continue to use them.
To see our other postings where we show off the Scepters
We have also put tons of info on our podcast, our facebook page, and in our blog.
You can also order Scepter Fuel canisters from:
Tech Supply & Services