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Rob Raskin’s Favorite 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.

Hear Aron Ralston describe the ordeal in his own words!

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.

This three-part series about Donna Cooper’s ordeal is fascinating!

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!

Bleach : The Prepper’s Best Friend



This is Rob Raskin of Las Vegas, and today I’d like to tell you more about why every survivalist, homesteader, and prepper needs to stock up on bleach. This is one of the most important things you’ll need to keep on-hand because it reduces harmful bacteria and other impurities, and you can use it to purify water, which may save you from a life-or-death situation if there is no clean water around when you need it.

A Word of Warning

Bleach can be a prepper’s best friend, but it doesn’t come without risks. You’ll need to make sure you use bleach in a well-ventilated area. Sodium hypochlorite is a powerful substance that is safe for human consumption if it is diluted, but if it’s used without diluting it first it can be poisonous. It’s important to not use scented or colored bleach or swimming pool chlorine to purify water. Also, don’t forget bleach has an expiration date, so you’ll need to rotate your stock out as necessary.

Water Purification

While there are other methods for purifying water that are preferable, when you are in a pinch, bleach will do the job. It can kill some disease-causing organisms, and you can also filter cloudy water through clean cloths to aid with disinfection. In general, you should add an eighth of a teaspoon, which is roughly eight drops, of bleach to each gallon of water, after which you need to stir it well and let it sit for a half-hour before use. Be sure to check a water-bleach ratio chart before you do this!

Bleach Alternatives

Some alternatives for bleach you can also use are water purification tablets, fluoride water filters, ceramic filters, LifeStraw, the Katadyn water filter, or other similar products. It helps to keep purification tablets in your emergency bag, because you never know when you may need these. Of course, it’s important to store as much water as you can with the hope that you never need to resort to using bleach. I know I keep many barrels at my home and my office! This is Rob Raskin, wishing you happy homesteading and effective survivalism!


Learn from one Prepper’s Survival Mistake!

Get more information about why you should Stop Storing Liquid Bleach:

Are You Making These Common Prepper Mistakes?

Hello! Robert Raskin of Las Vegas back again, and today I’d like to discuss some common mistakes novice preppers make. Let’s face it, unless you were born into a homesteading family, chances are you were new to prepping and survivalism at some point. We all were, but through trial, error, and research, most of us got a lot better at it over time. Today’s blog post is dedicated to those who are new to prepping, and I post it with the hope you will avoid these all-too-common mistakes and save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort.


Have You Taken Inventory of Your Food?

The failure to inventory the food you have stored is a common mistake. Many novice preppers stock a large amount of food when they first get started, but if you don’t take inventory of your stocks regularly, you may forget to replace anything that has expired. If your food expires and disaster strikes, you may find yourself with a lot of food you can’t use.


Have You Bought Gear You Can’t Use?

If you have invested in supplies, equipment, or even weapons, chances are you have spent a significant amount of time researching what to buy, where to buy it, and which tools were the right choice for your situation. What is surprising is that so many people who are new to prepping take the time to buy the right items, and then they don’t spend just as much time learning how to use them. If you have gear that you don’t know how to operate, it’s time to learn.


What mistakes did you make when you were starting out? Share your wisdom with the group by posting your comments to me, Robert Raskin, below.


Learn more about the worst rookie prepper mistakes with this video by YouTuber SNO Multimedia.

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.

Want to learn more about Carl Akeley? Check out this video by YouTube’s The Carpetbagger.

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.

See an interview with Gene Moe here.

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.

Preppers: You Aren’t Prepared Without These Necessary Barter Items

Hello all! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I want to talk to you about what to do when you need to prepare for the inevitable downfall of society. When the SHTF, a barter stockpile is a must. When you’re stockpiling barter items, first consider what people need to use every day and if they’d still be necessary after a long-term disaster. Many of these won’t be readily available after. While some things can be made from common items, which you’ll also want on hand, some while need to be available ready to go. This is part one of a four-part series, so be sure to check back for more!


What Should You Have in Your Barter Kit?


I know you’re thinking this isn’t smart, because you need that ammo and you don’t want someone to use it against you of course, but in one way it could be useful. The exception for ammo falls on shotgun rounds. When you’ve stocked up a good deal of 12-gauge ammo, like 500 or so rounds, you can use smaller shot sizes for barter purposes. Birdshot could kill someone but it’s shallow penetration and short-range makes it one of the least menacing ammo types, making it okay for barter purposes.


Water Filters

Clean drinking water is always in high demand during a crisis and while storing water won’t be a great option, it’s easy to store water filters. Smaller filters are excellent barter items, they are easy to store, have a long shelf-life, and are small and lightweight. You can potentially store over 25 water filters in a small space like a military ammo can.



Even smokers, who you’d think would always be prepared for smoking, are always asking for a light. Once the SHTF and we rely on fire for everything from cooking to light, don’t expect your average person to be any more prepared than they are today–which is to say not at all! Everyone will need matches, lighters, and other fire-starting implements, so the more you have to trade with, the better. You can buy them in bulk for discounts.


Garden Seed

Seed is one of the if the best barter items around. Both non-hybrid seed and hybrid vegetable seed are great. It’s light-weight, inexpensive, and worth more than gold to a survivor. Do some research on what will grow best in your local area. Also, maybe think about starting your own garden and printing out any resource you used to hand out with the seeds. It will make this barter item even more valuable.


When the time comes to survive after a long-term disaster strikes, BE PREPARED, BE SAFE, BE SMART. This is part one of a two-part series, so be sure to check back!


Watch this video by Dr. Bones Nurse Amy to learn more about Bartering for Survival

Do you have a plan in place for what kind of trading you’ll do after TEOTWAWKI? Let me, Rob Raskin, know in the comments!

Desert Survival Tips You Don’t Want to Miss!

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.


Want to learn more about desert survival? Check out these videos!

How to survive in the desert alone

How to eat a cactus

Survival Blogs You Should Read TODAY

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.

Bosnian Survivalist

Learn more about Selco.

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.

Survival Cache

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!

Prepping for Pet Owners

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again. Today’s blog is for pet owners, because if you have a dog, cat, or other animal your disaster preparedness efforts will require you to take them into consideration in a survival situation, if you aren’t safe, your pet isn’t either. For many of us, our pets are a part of the family, and for others they are valuable tools and assets. Whether your pet is your lap dog or your hunting assistant, in a SHTF situation it’ll be vulnerable. And, if it isn’t a useful animal, it can also become a burden.

The number-one recommendation I can make for dog owners who are survivalist is to make sure your dog is well-trained. If you want an animal that can and will defend you, you must train it to do so. Don’t assume because your dog barks at strangers that it will be able to protect you. Some other training your dog will need is:

  • Basic commands like sit, stay, and kneel
  • It must know how to stay completely quiet
  • It must be trained to stay with you and not to panic or run
  • It must be trained to haul and carry equipment

Cat owners, the most you can expect your feline friend to protect you from is rodents. However, if you’re in an area where they are a problem and you want extra protection for your food supply, a cat can be a tremendous asset.


How to prep your pet for a disaster:


Your pet will need adequate food and water, and this amount will be determined by the animal’s size, its health, and the weather. Looking for survival storage tips for your pet’s food supply? You’ll find them here:

If you don’t already have a dog but you’re thinking of getting one, you may want to consider which breeds are best suited to survival. Let’s face it, pugs are cute, but you don’t want to have a pug with you when you’re in the wild! The following video may help you decide which breed is best for you:


Don’t Leave Grandpa Behind

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to discuss an issue that will affect many of us in a SHTF situation even though you may not have considered it before, and that’s seniors. Do you have an elderly loved one? If TEOTWAWKI were to happen, of course you would want to do everything you can to care for beloved older family members. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you will be up to the task!

Are you in peak condition?

Now is the time to take stock of your own health, because you can’t take care of someone who is dependent if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure you have the non-expired medicines and other health supplies you’ll need for yourself and your older family member—at least enough to last two months!

Are you going to be mobile?

Do you have batteries for your family member’s wheelchair? Do you have an extra walker? Can your wheelchair handle rough terrain? Do you have enough gas to get to safety (if you are lucky enough that there is still a place that is safe)? And yourself these questions now and not after it’s too late.

Do you know where FEMA and other shelters and services will be in your community?

If not, it’s time to find out, especially if your senior family member(s) has special health needs that require outside assistance. Knowing where these facilities would be ahead of time could mean the difference between life and death for someone who cannot survive the elements.

Are you being realistic about how much time you have?

Don’t wait until it’s too late to leave the area before it becomes a hazard. You don’t want to be the person who burned while they were trying to fight a forest fire with their hose when they could have been safely at a shelter miles away, and neither does your grandmother.

While I don’t need senior survival help myself yet (LOL), I hope you will find this advice helpful. Do you have anything to add to the discussion? Let me know I the comments!


How to Choose Your Survival Team

I’m a big believer in strength in numbers, and in a SHTF situation you may very well be better off being part of a team. Just being a part of a team, however, is not enough, as not all teams are created equally. What is best for one, may spell doom for another. If and when the time comes, how will you know who to let into your group? This is not a decision you want to put off until the last moment. It’s best to start thinking of this TODAY, and the sooner the better!

The first thing you’ll want to do when you are interviewing people about being in your group is to make sure they are on the same page you are. That is to say, make sure they share the same survival goals, they agree who or what you are preparing to survive, and that they plan to bring the same number of people into the group with them. For example, if you are alone, or you are part of a married couple, you might not want to bring in three other guys who each have five children.

It’s also a good idea to have something that functions like congress or senate (when they function, lol!) or an elder tribunal…whatever you want to call it is not important. What is important is that it creates a system of checks and balances so no one person in the group can become powerful at the expense of the others. It’s also helpful to assign each member of the group a tasks they are in charge of.

There are a number of factors you should consider before allowing someone to join your team. Things like group goals, number of family members, and your actual bug-in location will play large roles in deciding who gets admission to the group. Get everybody on the same page, and things will start off a lot smoother.

If you are parents, you might want to bring other parents into your group because you will have the shared priority of keeping your children safe. You can assign your children a task they are to master now so they can become skilled at it today, rather than waiting to teach them to learn in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Want your prepper group to be a success? Make sure you have group members who possess the following skills:

  • Hunting and gathering
  • communications
  • Military training
  • Survival training
  • Medical training

And last but by no means least, you’ll need a strong leader who can coordinate efforts, smooth out difficulties, and bring the group together in even the most difficult circumstances.