“Free” Fuel Bottles

energy bottles

by Wyzyrd – Editor-at-Large

This is based on a few articles mentioning the possibility, mostly on UK-based bushcraft sites, not my original idea. I just tested it out to see if it worked. It did, very well.

In my vehicle, and house, and previous BOB, I always carried 91% isopropyl “rubbing” alcohol in red stainless steel screwtop bottles. Labelled, because I’m paranoid, red because I don’t want to confuse them with water containers. (BTW, I highly-recommend some bottles of 91% (you can get 72% and 50%, as well, but why pay for water?) isopropyl as a general purpose prep item. Disinfectant, solvent, indoor/outdoor fuel, fire-starter, charcoal lighter that doesn’t stink. It’s maybe a bit less useful than moonshine, but legal and a LOT cheaper)

In my ‘next-generation’ BOB, I’m trying to cut down on weight and volume, bigtime, so I 5 hr. energylooked at smaller alternatives to a 1 liter stainless container.

If you use, or know someone who uses “5 Hour Energy” drinks, you have a source of very good quality free containers. These are very solid food grade PETE (symbol 1) 1oz screw-top containers with surprisingly tight-fitting caps. I did ‘in-store testing’ with other brands, and the conatiners were all a lot more flexible and thinner, so I would stick with ‘5 Hour”.

Test 1: The containers work well with Krylon Fusion brand spray paint for plastics. I want red fuel containers to prevent mistakes. Passed.

Test 2: Filled one with Ronson-brand lighter fluid. 2 weeks with no softening of the plastic. Passed.

Test 3: Put the full container on its side overnight. No leakage. Passed.

Test 4: Left container in my car in full sun all day. It got warm, but no leakage, no observable smell from out-gassing. Passed.


1) The stuff tastes pretty bad. It does seem to work, though. Could be a useful BOB prep in itself.

2) Not cheap for a container. (around $3 here). Maybe someone you know uses the stuff? If you’re near a factory (around here anyway) a box by the door and a “Help! Drop your empty Energy Drink bottles and caps HERE!” sign by the door could get you a lot of free ones.

3) Not see-through, so not usable for other fluids/lotions etc. if you are flying.

Basically, it’s a very good small, tough bottle for carrying fuel (I have not been tempted to try gasoline) or other liquids in a pack/kit, when you don’t need or want to carry a lot of it. Something to keep in mind :)

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