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Best Survival Movies

Hello everyone! Robert Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I thought I’d write about something fun—survival movies. There are so many classic survival movies that it’s hard to know where to begin. From War of the Worlds to zombies, survival is a topic Hollywood never grows tired of because all of the essential elements of what makes movies great are present: action, excitement, and suspense. I can’t name all of the great survival films here, but these two are a couple of my favorites.

 

Alive

This story is unbelievable because it is true, and it is truly a miracle that anyone survived when this Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crashed in the Andes mountains. The story is well-known because the survivors ended up having to resort to cannibalism to stay alive, but if you look beyond the shock value you will see that this story involved much more. After being stranded in frozen terrain for two months, 16 of these man managed to survive a situation of us many of us can’t imagine—and hopefully won’t ever have to!

 

Red Dawn

This movie was a big deal in the eighties when the Cold War had everyone wondering if nuclear attack was on the horizon, and any patriot has had a moment when they watched it for inspiration. What can a group of eight teens do against invaders from a foreign army? High school trained these teen heroes well for guerilla warfare, and it turned out they could accomplish a lot more damage than anyone suspected. This movie is a testament to what can be done when a group of patriots are willing to do anything to protect the country they love.

 

What are your favorite survival movies? Let me, Robert Raskin, know in the comments.

DIY Greenhouse Tips

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to talk about how you can build your own greenhouse. These structures are crucial in many areas because they extend the growing season, and they can improve your yields of the fresh vegetables and fruits that you depend on for survival when you are off-grid. Greenhouses protect plants from extreme temperatures and pests, and you may be surprised by how inexpensively and easily you can build your own.

 

What Type of Greenhouse is Right for Me?

When it comes to greenhouses, you are only limited by your imagination, and many varieties are possible, including solar, A-frame, hoop houses, lean-tos, and even those you can make out of old windows. Any of these are excellent choices for year-round growing. You can find many different websites online that offer everything from free build-your-own greenhouse instructions to kits that come ready to assemble. Believe it or not, you can create a self-sustaining ecosystem in your greenhouse, and these biodomes are perfect for you if you want to speed up the growing process.

 

The types of crops you can grow in your greenhouse will depend on your location, the size and type of the structure, and the growing season, so you’ll need to do some research and trial and error to determine what works best for you. What kind of greenhouse experience do you have? If you have any tips you’d like to share, please post them in the comments section below.

 

Until next time, this is Rob Raskin, wishing you happy homesteading!

Survival Stories: The Sea

Hello all! Rob Raskin here again, and today I’d like to tell you about some incredible stories of survival at sea. When we think of the most difficult places to survive on earth, the ocean may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the truth is there aren’t many harsher environments. We’ve all read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, right? Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink. Danger lurks just under the surface in the form of sharks and other predators, and at any time a storm can sweep in, not to mention the fact that there is no shelter, no food, and drinking sea water can kill you. Read the following stories, and if you have any comments let me know!

 

Deborah Kiley

When experienced crew member Deborah Kiley agreed to join the crew of the Trashman, she never imagined she would be one of only two people on board who would return from the voyage alive. During their trip from Maryland to Florida, Kiley and another crewmate learned they were the only two experienced sailors on board. Worse, they quickly learned the ship’s captain was afraid of the water. When the boat reached North Carolina, a storm hit, and the waves were powerful enough to rip holes in the boat. Little did they know, this would not be anywhere near the worst that would happen. One by one three of the five people aboard went insane from drinking sea water, jumping overboard to meet their bloody demise via the sharks that had been attracted by blood in the water from another passenger who ended up succumbing to blood poisoning. Days later, Kiley and the other survivor were rescued.

 

Poon Lim

Chinese sailor Poon Lim holds a world record no one wants—he managed to stay alive on a life raft longer than anyone else in history! The sailor was headed from South Africa to New York during World War II, when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Poon was the sole survivor, and he was able to stay afloat on a small wooden raft, where luckily there were supplies like water and flares. After the supplies ran low, Poon needed to do something for sustenance, so he fashioned a makeshift fishing pole and managed to catch a shark. How smart is that, figuring out a way to make a shark his meal instead of the other way around? It was 133 days before he was rescued, and incredibly, he had only lost 20 pounds when he was discovered and he was still able to walk, despite the fact he was close to death.

 

Must-Have Disinfectants for Survivalism and Homesteading

Hello everyone! Robert Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I’d like to talk about the many different kinds of unconventional and all-natural disinfectants that are available to survivalists and homesteaders. You never know when you might need to disinfect a surface, a utensil, or a wound or infection, so it’s best to be prepared and have some sort of disinfectant agent on-hand.

 

Here are some of the disinfectants that are available to you:

  • Manuka honey, especially non-pasteurized—you can count on this anti-infection remedy to promote healthy healing. In fact, humans have been relying on its healing properties for centuries, and possibly even longer.

 

  • Epsom salt soaks—Magnesium sulfate is not technically a disinfectant, but it can be used to dehydrate an area, to draw out infection, and to treat skin irritations and conditions.

 

 

  • Dakins Solution—This is an old stand-by that is easy to use if you have household bleach on hand. To make this solution, use between 0.25% and 0.5% bleach mixed with sterilized water. This treatment is really effective for flushing debris from wounds

 

  • Aloe Vera—If you’ve ever had a sunburn, chances are you are already familiar with this plant’s curative properties, but did you know it is also a natural disinfectant and antiseptic agent? This is a great plant to have around, and you can also use it as an antifungal and an antiviral.

 

 

  • Silver—Many people don’t know that millennia ago people dropped silver coins in water to prevent the growth of bacteria. If you have invested in precious metals, you may want to keep this one in mind!

 

Visit me, Robert Raskin, here again at CATS2010 next time, and if you have any more ideas for natural disinfectants, please leave them in the comments!

How Far Would You Go to Survive an Animal Attack?

Hello all, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and I’m back with more incredible tales of survival for you. Co-existing with wildlife is a part of survivalism and homesteading, and anytime you are in undeveloped country you run the risk of coming in contact with a potentially deadly predator. It’s important to have a firearm and ammo on you whenever you are out in the wild, because if you aren’t able to defend yourself you won’t be able to protect yourself against a predator attack. These men found themselves without the necessary defenses, but luckily for them they had nerves and fists of steel so they lived to tell the tale!

Carl Akeley

Conservationist and biologist Carl Akeley was also a taxidermist, and a leopard exacted its revenge by attacking him when he was on an African expedition. The deadly predator lunged at Akeley, who discovered too late he had run out of ammo. In a split-second decision that would ultimately save his life, Akeley forced his fist down the beast’s throat, slowly suffocating him to death. His arm could not have been in great shape after that, but it was better off than the leopard’s throat, and that’s the important thing.

Gene Moe

When Alaskan hunter Gene Moe was attacked by a grizzly bear that weighed 750 pounds, he couldn’t reach his rifle, which left him with one weapon left to defend himself: a Model 110 Buck knife. This weapon was no match for the bear, which bit off a piece of Moe’s arm, his ear, and a chunk of his leg. As the bear charged Moe one final time, Moe threw a punch that was so solid that when it landed under the bear’s eye, the bear dropped dead. Moe’s arm was also paralyzed in the process, but it’s better than being a bear’s lunch.

 

What would you do if a wild animal attacked you and you didn’t have a loaded gun handy? Let me know in the comments! This is Rob Raskin, hoping you’ll visit the CATS2010 blog again soon.

Best Uses for Mylar Sheets

Hello everyone, Robert Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to talk about some uses for Mylar sheets, which I mentioned in a recent blog. These “space blankets” are so versatile that I thought they deserved their own post! There are so many benefits to Mylar, because this material won’t crack if you store it in a small space, so you can fit several of them into your survival bag. These blankets are waterproof, they don’t biodegrade, and they are ideal for helping you to stay warm because they can hold in your body heat. If you get under one with another person or even your dog, even better!

 

Sleeping and Shelter

You can protect yourself from damp ground by sleeping on a Mylar sheet, and you can put one over you to keep in the heat. You can also use them to create makeshift shelters if you don’t have any other materials available. You can also use them to create a layer of insulation over any shelter you’ve created. Just make sure you’ve packed duct tape!

 

Cooking and Fire

You can use a Mylar sheet to start a fire, thanks to the reflective materials, and you can also wrap food in one to heat it up like an oven. These blankets can be used to reflect heat from an oven or a fire, and you can even use them as a fishing lure or to protect the vegetables in your garden from predators and the elements. Is there anything you can’t do with a Mylar sheet? It sure doesn’t seem like it!

 

Check back with me, Robert Raskin, next time, because you never know when disaster may strike, so it’s best to be prepared!

Desert Survival Tips

Many of the world’s harshest environments are located in the desert, where water is scarce and the heat and cold can reach temperatures that would make many people steer clear. If you are thinking of camping or going off-grid in a desert area, you’ll want to read these tips first, because trust me, Rob Raskin, when I tell you it is not the place you want to be caught unprepared! I do live in Las Vegas, after all. These are just a starting point for your research, of course, and if you’re planning on braving the desert, the more research the better.

 

Travel by Night

If you are planning to cross the desert, it is highly advisable to stay in a shelter during the day, because it’s easy to overheat. Staying in even a minimalist shelter created from a Mylar sheet is better than nothing, as long as you build it at night so you don’t trap the heat inside. If you are lucky, you may find a cave or other rock structure you can take shelter in as well, just make sure you’re alone in there first and there aren’t any rattlesnakes or other dangerous animals already taking up residence. By only traveling at night, you will lower your risk of heat exhaustion and save your body three quarts of water per day, and you will be able to travel faster as well.

 

Don’t Forget Your Survival Kit

If your survival kit is well-planned, you will be able to fit everything you need for basic desert survival into a pack that is small enough for you to carry. Some basics you will want to make sure you have are a knife, plenty of water, a compass, and a Mylar sheet. Of course it is optimal to bring more than just this in a larger pack, but this is the kit you want to have on your person at all times, even if you are planning to travel a short distance and you are leaving larger items like tents in the car for the time being.  FYI – it is recommended that each person in your group carry at least one liter of water per day per person at minimum. The smartest thing to do is to take as much as you can carry.

 

To learn more basic survival tips, check my blog again soon, because I’m always posting something new. This is Rob Raskin, and I hope to see you next time.

Survival Stories – Antarctic

Hello all, Robert Raskin here again, and today I am happy to report that I am in Las Vegas and not in the Antarctic. This is some of the least user-friendly terrain in the world, but still many brave men and women have explored the region, and around the turn-of-the-century many of these groups represented the first humans to ever set foot on the land in certain areas. Read the following harrowing tales or survival and ask yourself whether or not you’d risk everything to venture into uncharted territory.

 

Ernest Shackleton

In 1914 explorer Ernest Shackleton and a group of 28 men decided to brave the harsh climate of the South Pole so they could cross the 1,800-mile continent, but they never made it to land. Shackleton had visited the area previously, but this time his group suffered the misfortune of having their ship trapped in the ice, eventually causing the ship to break apart. For fourteen days the group floated in their lifeboats until they reached an island, pausing occasionally to eat some of their own dogs. Despite the fact that they ended up 1,000 miles from their starting point, none of the men perished.

 

Douglas Mawson

In 1914 Australian scientist Douglas Mawson, who was still in his twenties at the time, planned to lead an expedition in which he would lead a team across the Antarctic coast, which was primarily formed of high ice cliffs and had an average wind speed of 80 mph. The group was comprised of several young men and a team of dogs, and they encountered several disasters along the way. One man and six dogs fell hundreds of feet to their deaths when a crevasse was camouflaged by snow. Like Shackleton’s team, this one also relied on eating their own dogs to stave-off imminent death, but it was not enough and some members of the team experienced weeks of starvation, pain, exposure to the elements, and eventually, delirium. Another man died before Mawson and the survivors eventually were able to return.

 

The moral of these stories is that dogs are man’s best friend, and it’s best not to visit the Antarctic without them! But in all seriousness, it is really amazing what man can survive when he really puts his mind to it, isn’t it? This is Robert Raskin, hoping you’ll check back soon.

Survival Stories – US Edition

Hello everyone, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and this time around I thought it would be fun to talk about a some of the survival stories I’ve been reading about lately. Have you ever done an online search for stories of people who have survived on their own in the wild or other dangerous circumstances and lived to tell about it? It really makes you wonder how far you would go to survive if you had to. Today I want to focus on people who have survived life-threatening ordeals here in the United States. Read these stories and let me know what you think of what these brave people did in the comments. These people are so inspirational, I might just make this an ongoing series!

 

Aron Ralston

When 27-year-old mountaineer Aron Ralston decided to spend a day hiking and biking is southeast Utah’s Blue John Canyon, he never imagined he’d return five days later and without his arm. Despite the fact the experienced outdoorsman was an avid climber, he broke one of the cardinal rules of going out into the wild—he did not tell anyone where he was going. When he slipped into a narrow canyon his right arm became pinned under an 800-pound boulder. Ralston’s wife was pregnant at the time, and he said he was visited by the specter of a child who he believed to be his unborn son, and that gave him the strength to amputate his own arm with a blunt pocket knife. Today Ralston is a father, thanks to his bravery and nerves of steel, and after much rehabilitation he has returned to his active outdoor lifestyle.

 

Donna Cooper

Then 62-year-old retiree Donna Cooper decided to visit remote Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley, she ended up lost in the desert with her two teen daughters, who were dependent on her for survival. The trio ended up driving a distance of over 300 miles when they ran out of gas. Cooper and her daughters were forced to rely on cacti for sustenance, and they were lucky to find an abandoned trailer with a hose that still had some hot—yet drinkable—water in it. The women attempted to sleep on the porch, but they were forced to douse themselves with water every 15 minutes due to the scorching desert heat. They hooked a CB radio up to a car battery, but there was only static. It would be three days before they were found by rescuers, alive and only suffering from mild injuries.

 

What would you do if you were in a life or death situation like the ones faced by these incredible individuals? This is Rob Raskin, hoping you’ll visit the site again soon. Until next time!

Survivalist Blogs You Should Read Right Now

Hello everyone, Rob Raskin here again, and today I’d like to share a couple of my favorite survivalist blogs with you. There are many incredible resources online that are filled with valuable information, and in a SHTF situation, the more we all band together to share tips and strategies for survival, the better! If you have been looking for more information so you can further your knowledge on survival and homesteading topics, check out the following blogs today.

 

A True Survivor

Selco has done much more than prepare for survival, because he is a Bosnian man who survived the collapse of Bosnia in 1992, so he actually survived a TEOTWAWKI situation and lived to pass on his advice. This web page contains questions and answers with Selco about what fighting for your survival is really like, and it is fascinating and loaded with things you may have not considered before. It is well worth the read: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/a-survival-q-a-living-through-shtf-in-the-middle-of-a-war-zone_10252011

 

 

The Survival Cache is so much more than a simple survival gear review website. This group of hardcore preppers, former Navy SEALs, Marines, and scientists have experience that goes far beyond what many of us have ever had to face—so far. They write prepper and survival articles that are must-reads for anyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge of these topics, because these men know their stuff: http://survivalcache.com/

 

This is Rob Raskin, signing off until next time, but look forward to more blog posts and reviews in the near future. I still have many other blogs to share with you, and of course check the blog here at CATS2010 for my own perspective on prepper topics. See you again soon!