The End of Good NATO Gas Cans?

One of the most viewed pages on my site is One Man’s Quest for Gas Cans that Don’t Suck. I wrote that after Hurricane Sandy and it’s been shared widely around the Internet on hobby forums ranging from off-roading to disaster preparedness along with mainstream social media such as Reddit and Facebook. Why? Because 10 years later most gas cans STILL suck thanks to ridiculous laws written by pencil-neck legislators who don’t have a clue what they’re legislating. But today’s scribblings are not about stupid laws. Today I’m here to write about war, Covid, and the possible death of the NATO gas can. Today I received an email from Jerry Shulman, owner of CampingMaxx. If you’re not aware, CampingMaxx is where I bought my NATO gas cans all those years ago as mentioned in the linked article above. Jerry has sent me emails from time to time to let me know of updates to NATO gas can in case I wanted to let me followers know. I’m not sure that I’ve got what the world considers to be followers, but this email seemed like it was worth disseminating.

For the record CampingMaxx is not a sponsor because I do not accept sponsors. Neither CampingMaxx nor Jerry have compensated me in any way, nor do I expect them to. I am merely mentioning them because of their exemplary customer service, and to report on an email that Jerry sent me. Here is the email received Friday, August 19th, 2022 at 12:34pm:

Dear GAD;
I think you should make your followers aware of the production issues.
  1. The steel came from Ukraine.  This steel plant was bombed into scrap.
  2. The factory in Latvia lost the majority of their workers to Covid and the new people do not know what they are doing or how to make the fuel cans.
  3. The majority of cans shipped in the past few months have defects and many leak.
  4. Amazon claims to be selling the authentic cans but they send thin-steel cans or cans from other Countries.
  5. The factory in Latvia has a crisis shipping the cans – several claimed reasons including blaming Russia for closing the border.
I have several thousand cans in our warehouse.  About half have defects and are being culled.  Production is being shifted to India, which has no experience with the mandated quality standards, including the quality of the actual steel being used.
When our current inventory is sold out, there will be no more.
Jerry Shulman
Minor formatting changes by me.

To be completely transparent, I could not verify any of the numbered items in Jerry’s email, but I’m also not an industry insider and it’s not like Googling “Latvian gas can factory Covid” yields any useful results.

Additionally, it’s entirely possible that a new factory could pop up with a new source for steel, but given the instability in that part of the world, I’d imagine it would need to be elsewhere.

Finally, it’s entirely possible that new Indian-made NATO cans turn out better than the old ones.

If you’ve been on the fence about buying a real Jerry Can, it may be time to do so. Yes, prices have gone up, and yes, CampingMaxx charges more than if you were to buy them direct from Wavian (but includes free shipping as of this writing), but I can tell you that I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve bought from CampingMaxx (all NATO gas cans) and every email and/or support conversation I’ve had with them has been excellent which makes me think that they take quality seriously.

Is this the end of the NATO gas can? Who can say. All I know is that when the time comes for walking miles in search of gas with four cans on a pole over your shoulder Mad Max style, I’ll be glad that I’ve already got them!


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