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Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category:

Hydroponics for Survival

Hello again, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here to talk about growing plants indoors. In any emergency situation, the ability to survive without relying on the outside economy can make all the difference between whether or not you survive or fail. Any event can disrupt modern supply chains, and depending on what caused the emergency, it may not be safe to go outside. A biological, chemical or radiological attack can contaminate a wide area for years and could isolate you from much of the outside world. Learning how to grow plants indoors is a vital skill that can give you a leg up against the competition and could make the difference between your success and failure.

Using Pots

One of the easiest ways to grow plants indoors is to use some pots. There’s really no limit to how many you can have inside your home aside from the space you have available. You can use a few large pots, some trellises for plants with runners, or tall racks with long pots. These can make the most out of the space you have if you plan on intensively farming indoors. You will want to make sure that you can get enough light for your plants. In addition, you will need to keep them well-watered, which can introduce molding problems if you are not careful, due to increased humidity.

Building a Greenhouse

If you are set on launching a bigger indoor growing operation, you’ll want to invest in a separate greenhouse. Building one can be a relatively simple matter of finding a bit of land you can set aside and deciding on what kind of greenhouse you would like. There are several different varieties that you can choose from. You can find a relatively simple, disposal one at many home hardware stores or gardening stores. However, if you want to create a more elaborate construction, you’ll need to build a wood or PVC frame, find a ventilation system to filter out contaminants, obtain a power supply, and also install an irrigation system. While a disposable greenhouse can cost $100 or less, a more elaborate one can easily cost somewhere in the five figures.

Deciding on the best ways to grow food before a crisis hits can help you better survive one with the right tools. Starting ahead of time is the best way to prepare yourself for any crisis that may occur.


Learn more about hydroponic survival food prep.


Make space for hydroponics in your shelter.

Dowsing Works, Try It Yourself!

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.


One thing that most people will agree on with regard to dowsing is if you need to find water, it can’t hurt to try it. What do you have to lose? If you’re a skeptic give it a try and let me know in the comments whether or not it worked.


Want to Try Dowsing?

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.


How to locate underground water sources with dowsing.

Learn how to make and use your own dowsing rods.

Mylar for Survival with Rob Raskin

If you want to survive TEOTWAWKI, one of your best bets is to stock up on 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!


One reviewer’s take on whether or not Mylar will stand up to the winter cold.


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!


Watch this video to learn how to make an oven using Mylar!


Store rice for 30 years using Mylar!


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

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!