This depends on your fuel source. Generally, if you’re buying fuel from a high-turnover outlet the fuel will be clean, but often people using our tanks are sourcing fuel from less reliable places.


Steel fuel drums or jerries are prone to rust, and will quickly become water-contaminated simply through sweating in the sun. Plastic drums are the better option in many cases, but even these should be flushed regularly. Many outback and country fuel stations have old storage tanks, which can also fall victim to rust and water contamination, something we’ve experienced ourselves many times.

For these reasons, we recommend using in-line fuel filters.

These come in a number of forms. The cheap, clear plastic ones are good because you can see at a glance if they’re dirty. These can be back-flushed when required, but you can never get them completely clean – if they become contaminated they’re cheap enough to discard and replace.


There are several alloy-cased filters available. You can’t do a visual check with them, but they can be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned on the side of the trail, and are extremely robust, so they have advantages.


Either way you go, securely clamp the fuel lines to the filters, and remember that you do need a filter for both lines if your tank has two taps!