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Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category:

How to Forage for Food in the Wild

Hello, this is Robert M Raskin of Las Vegas, and I’d like to help you prepare for any scenario in which you may find yourself in the wilderness or the desert without any food or water, whether you ended up in your location unexpectedly, you were separated from your gear, or you ran out of the rations you believed would last throughout the duration of your outdoor expedition or mission. While you can survive for weeks without food, you’ll need water within a day or two if you want to have the strength to carry on.

Edible Plants

When it comes to eating plants in the wild, it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the plants that are common to your area so you don’t make any tragic mistakes while you are foraging in the wild. Some edible plants that are native to many parts of North America include the amaranth, asparagus, cattails, clover, chicory, dandelions, fireweed, prickly pear, and mustard. I recommend investing in a guide to keep on-hand rather than waiting until you are caught in a situation in which you need to search for food unprepared.


Basic Hunting Skills 101

You don’t have to have animal products to get by, but if you are craving meat it helps to know how to acquire it on your own. Long before firearms were invented, people were hunting their food in the wild with handmade weapons, and there’s no reason you can’t too with a little preparation and practice. You can use a bow and arrow, a spear, or even a trap to catch the wildlife that are native to your area so you can have fresh meat even if you are far away from the nearest grocery store. If there is a lake or river nearby, make sure you have what you need to fish nearby, even if you don’t have a fishing pole.


How to Locate Water

Whether you are in the desert in Nevada, the woods in Montana, or you are lost on a deserted island, you may need to find a source of fresh drinking water. Anyone can find and purify drinking water in the wilderness if they have a few simple supplies, and these include a bottle you can boil and carry water in, a hose you can use to siphon or to draw the water from an underground source, and a fire-starter that you can use to boil. You can dig for water even in dry river beds, and snow and ice are a great way to get clean water, though it still needs to be purified and you should not drink it while it is still ice-cold, or you may risk lowering your own body temperature to dangerous levels.

Your Urban Survival Garden

You don’t have to have acreage in the wild to grow your own survival garden—just tell them Rob Raskin of Las Vegas said so! You can grow food anywhere you happen to be, as long as you have the right equipment and you have taken the time to make sure you are prepared. There are benefits to growing a garden indoors, such as the plants being protected from inclement weather and the ability to transition to a more self-reliant lifestyle even if you are not yet ready to fully make your move off the grid. This is also a fantastic way to grow your own food in an area where the soil isn’t nutrient rich enough to support growth.


Even if you are a novice gardener, this is an incredible option that can help you to supplement your food supply. There are containers made especially for the purpose of indoor gardening, but it is not necessary to invest in these because there are many other containers that you can find inexpensively that will work just as well. In fact, you can use many items you’ll find around your house for free like food containers and common plastic grocery bags. And we all know how easy it is to amass a huge pile of those!


What You’ll Need to Get Started

Your container gardening starter kit should contain:

  • Nutrient-rich soil that is meant for the type of plant you wish to grow
  • An area with sufficient sun exposure
  • Seeds for plants that are suitable for container gardening
  • Adequate time to devote to your garden to make sure it’ll thrive


With a little time, patience, and research, you’ll have your own garden in no time! While it may not produce enough food for you rely on it completely, it’s a great start and a step in the right direction. This is Rob Raskin, wishing you happy homesteading—even if you’re in the middle of the city!

Does Dowsing Work?

Hello, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I’d like to talk to you about a controversial method of finding water in the wild. Whether you know them as Dowsing rods, dowsing sticks, or divining rods, chances are at some point you have heard about this phenomenon, in which a person uses a combination of a y-shaped branch or two L-shaped wires and their own intuition to locate water underground. Historically people have also used these rods to communicate with the dead, and some plumbers have even tried using them to locate pipes and gas lines. While there may not be any solid science around the ancient art of dowsing, there are plenty of people around who can and do use it successfully.


According to the lore, the dowser simply needs to grasp the rode in their hands and slowly walk the land, and when water is detected the dowsing rods will lead the way straight through it, as though by unseen and mysterious forces. There have been studies conducted that debunked the phenomena, but there have also been hundreds of cases of dowsers being able to predict the depth of water sources with incredible accuracy and a high enough success rate that it has to be more than mere coincidence.


Do You Want to Give it a Try?

You can make your own dowsing rods, and you can also buy them on ebay for under $20. There are also dowsing crystals available for just $5 to $15. That’s not a lot to pay to give it a try, and I think I just might! It may be a long-shot, but if it works it’ll certainly be worth the small investment. This is Rob Raskin, wishing you happy homesteading, and I hope to see you back at my blog soon.

Essential First Aid for Survivalists

When it comes to first-aid, the needs of anyone who lives in the wild go far beyond the scope of your average sporting goods store kit. In the event that the worst should happen and someone has become sick or injured, you may be many miles away from the nearest ER or Urgent Care facility, so you may need to take matters into your own hands. The time to put together your first-aid kit is before you need it, and not after it’s too late. I’m Rob Raskin, and I’d like you to take a look at this list and make sure you have everything you need to make sure you and your loved ones are protected.


Your Basic First-Aid Kit

One absolute must-have for anyone who lives off the grid is a basic first-aid kit. Your kit should have:

  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins
  • A needle and thread
  • EMT shears
  • Duct tape
  • Antimicrobial wipes
  • A headlamp
  • A 20cc irrigation syringe
  • Aloe vera
  • Candles
  • Cotton balls
  • Cold packs
  • Matches
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer
  • Iodine and tincture of benzoin
  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Butterfly strips
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Emergency contact numbers


It is also extremely helpful to have a first-aid book on-hand so you can refer to it in an emergency.


Snake Bite

One common injury you may come across as a homesteader or survivalist is snake bites. Snakes are more afraid of us than we are of them, and if you venture too close to one, it will defend itself, and that is why it is imperative to know what to do before you find yourself in this time-sensitive situation. The first thing you’ll need to do is move out of striking range as quickly as possible, and then look for distinguishing marks that signal that the snake is venomous. If the snake is venomous, you’ll want to splint the part that is bitten, if possible, as this will slow the spread of toxins to the area, and then go to a hospital ASAP.


Flesh Wounds

Anytime the flesh is broken, it opens up the potential for infection, which can quickly become a dangerous or even deadly situation. The first thing you’ll need to do in the case of a flesh wound is manually remove any dirt or debris, and then you’ll need to locate clean water to wash the injury. If you are not near a source of clean water, you can boil and then cool water before you clean the injury to try to disinfect it. Last but not least, dress the wound and apply any antiseptic ointment you have on-hand.


It’s important to familiarize yourself with the wildlife in the area and to learn to recognize potential dangers in any situation, because preventing injuries in the first place is far more effective than treating them yourself. This is Rob Raskin, hoping you stay safe.

Your Guide to Prepping with Bleach

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!

How to Survive an Active Shooter

One problem Second Amendment activists face is people who give us all a bad name by using their weapons—whether acquired legally or illegally—to settle personal scores in public. This is Rob Raskin, and after the events of this week I thought I’d take a moment to tell you what to do if a gunman is on the loose and you don’t happen to have your own firearm available at the time. The main objective of these people is to take out as many as possible, and that makes you a soft target if you aren’t prepared.


The Basic Facts

While these incidents are rare, when it does happen they tend to target very public venues, like theaters, schools, airports, and malls, and one of the most frequent targets is also offices. Basic vigilance goes a long way in this case, so you should always be aware of your surroundings whenever you are out in public. Keep your eyes open anywhere vulnerabilities exist, and know where the exits are whenever you are in a public space, because it’s going to take more than the security available in these locations to stop a shooter who is willing to end his own life.


A Few Strategies

Your basic options in this situation will boil down to these choices: run, hide, barricade yourself into an enclosed space, or fight back. Running is the best option, and fighting back should only be a last resort. To hide or to barricade yourself means that you are trapped, but that is preferable to being exposed and caught in the crosshairs. If you opt to hide, try not to restrict your movement, silence your phone, block doors with heavy furniture when possible, and turn off any other source of noise such as televisions. Remain quiet, and do not draw attention to yourself.


Don’t Leave Home Without It

Remember—not all shooters are lone gunmen, and they may in fact be part of an organized effort with more than one gunman present. The obvious solution here is to not forget to have your legally registered weapon on you at all times, because you never know when the worst might happen. This is Rob Raskin, telling you to stay safe, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t forget your target practice at your local firing range. You never know when you’re going to need to be able to act quickly in an emergency, when your life and the lives of others may depend on your actions, your reactions, and your quick thinking.


Click here to learn more about how you can donate to charitable organizations to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

How to Tell When a Tsunami is Coming

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I’d like to talk about something that is very important if you are anywhere near the ocean—tsunamis! We’ve all seen the devastation left in the wake of tsunamis in other parts of the world on the news, and it is a true testament to the power of nature. Although a tsunami may only rise to a crest that is a few feet high, this is deceiving because the bulk of the tsunami is still lurking beneath the surface. This can make it difficult to know when one is upon you until it is too late. Learn the warning signs and be prepared!


Four Warning Signs

  • The earth is shaking – Tsunamis can be caused by earthquakes, so if you are near the shore and you feel an earthquake, it’s time to head to higher ground.
  • Sea level fluctuations- Before a tsunami hits you may observe a rapid rise or fall in the sea level. If the water quickly recedes or rises, again, it’s time to head to higher grounds.
  • An unusually large wave – If you see a wave that seems too big to be normal, it’s time to run, because when a tsunami hits the first wave will not be the largest!
  • A loud roar from the ocean – You can also detect a tsunami based on a roaring sound from offshore. If you hear something that sounds like a jet or a train coming from the ocean—run!


While there are modern warning systems that have been developed, unfortunately there are none at this time that are fast enough. If you experience any of the above signs, stay away from river valleys that may run from the ocean, and get as far away, and as high up, as you possibly can. A tsunami can last for hours, so it is crucial to avoid the beach until you have gotten an official all-clear.


Have you ever escaped a natural disaster? Tell me, Rob Raskin, your personal survival story in the comments!

Your Air Travel Survival Kit

Hello all, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to talk about preparing for survival while traveling by air. Most people don’t think of survivalism when they are flying the friendly skies, but the truth is there have been plenty of cases in which planes crashed, leaving the survivors to try to brave the elements and to find food, water, and shelter, often while they are injured. Between hijackers and the potential for a TEOTWAWKI situation taking place while we are in the air, there are plenty of reasons you should make sure you have a carry-on survival kit with you, but how do you get it past TSA? There are a number of essentials that are approved for carry-on luggage, but the rules change often. While the following list is approved right now, be sure to check the latest rules and regulations before you head to the airport.


Airline-Safe Survival Gear

  • First aid kit – There are many flight-friendly items you can bring in your first aid kit, like bandages, OTC medications, and antibiotic ointments.
  • Disposable lighters – You can only take a small disposable lighter on the plane, but that’s all you’ll need to start a fire for warmth, cooking, or to use as a signal.
  • Water bottle – You can bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up before boarding the plane.
  • Water purification tablets – There’s no reason to risk drinking contaminated water when you have these in your survival kit.
  • Compass – In a crash situation you most likely will not know where you are, but having a compass is a good start.
  • Mylar blanket – You’ll be glad you brought this if you end up needing warmth or shelter.
  • Extra socks – Don’t risk a long trek back to civilization without making sure you have a pair of clean, dry socks.


What do you bring in your in-flight survival kit? Let me, Rob Raskin, know in the comments.

How to Survive an Earthquake

If a big quake like the one that just hit Mexico were to hit where you live, would you know what to do? This is Robert Raskin of Las Vegas, and today I’d like to talk to you about how you can survive an earthquake. If you live in California you may already be prepared, but the truth is earthquakes can strike in unexpected places.


Here are just a few tips you can use to stay safe:

Stay Calm

I know, easier said than done when you are in an earthquake, but remaining calm is essential if you want to be able to assess your position. This could be the key to your survival.


Don’t Take the Stairs

The staircase is the last place you want to be in an earthquake, and you really don’t want to be under them if the building collapses. If you can avoid the area around the staircase, it is best to do so at all costs.


Avoid Windows

Your windows are another place you want to stay away from—after all, the dangers of flying, broken glass cannot be understated!


Take Cover Under Something Sturdy

We all learned this in drills in elementary school, but the advice still rings true today. If there is a sturdy desk or table nearby, you can take shelter underneath it, but it’s important to avoid the area under the bed or tables and desks that are not sturdy enough to bear much weight.


Keep a Portable Radio

A portable radio can let you know where evacuation centers, necessary supplies, and other emergency services are, and it can also allow you to receive important messages from local authorities.


This is just a starter list, of course, and there are many other ways you can protect yourself. Do a little research and figure out a plan that would work for your property now, because you can’t google earthquake safety when you’re in the middle of one! This is Robert Raskin, signing-off now, and I hope you’ll come back soon to see what I’m posting about next.

Best Guns for Survivalism

Hello all! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to talk about the best guns for survival. Not all survival situations are the same, so there is no one-size-fits all solution when you are trying to choose the best firearms. Different guns are better for different situations, because let’s face it—sometimes you need to hit a target that is closer, sometimes it will be much farther away, and sometimes it might be a much bigger target than you were planning on, like when a grizzly shows up at your homestead!


You might need a gun for…

  • Small game (whether to eat, to protect yourself against small but venomous creatures, or to keep pests away from your garden)
  • Big game (to eat and to defend yourself against attack)
  • Intruders and other human threats


Some of My Favorites

  • .44 Magnum
  • .22 LR
  • 9mm Luger
  • .45 ACP
  • 12ga Mossberg 500
  • Mosin M91-30
  • Romanian SKS
  • Remington 700
  • AR-15
  • Mossberg 500


This is by no means a complete list. You’ll need to do research and maybe try a few at the firing range or in the wild to see which ones you prefer and which work best for your situation, but this is a good place to at least start considering the possibilities. What is your favorite gun for survival? Let me, Rob Raskin, know in the comments below.