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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!

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.