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Ti2 Designs Sentinel “X”


Ti2 Sentinel “X” Personal Survival Cache

Have preparedness gear worth protecting from the elements (water, dust and sand, heat and humidity) that won’t fit into various smaller cache containers? Chances are that the Ti2 Sentinel X will do the trick. Based on the same concepts as the original Ti2 Sentinel – lightweight, watertight, and ultra-durable, these aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum caches feature an internal 2″ diameter and 6″ length, adding versatility and accommodating larger objects, or larger quantities. They also feature redundant o-rings for reliability and element-proofing, a reinforced skeletonized design for strength, and come in two versions: the Sentinel X1 (food-grade) and Sentinel X2 (non-food grade).

The weight of the cache is 14.110 ounces (400 grams).  It will hold 18+ cubic inches of gear or 11 fluid ounces. Both ends of the cache are threaded and removable for easy access.


Sealed with high quality o-rings allow easy access from both ends!

Sealed with high quality o-rings allow easy access from both ends!

Most of us “preppers” are always on the lookout for gear that makes us prepared for life in the outdoors and “off-the-grid”, and we get really excited when we find something of the “all-in-one survival type”. So you can imagine how excited we were to receive and test the new Ti2 Designs’ Sentinel “X”! We really loved their Sentinel line, a hard anodized aluminum container that carries gear and boils water, without missing a beat (


Completely Waterproof for those easily damaged electronics

Completely Waterproof for those easily damaged electronics

The X1 cache comes in handy for a few reasons: first off its waterproof, which makes it great for storing electronics while boating or fishing. It’s perfect for storage of important items and it also acts as a water-boiling device, which can be important if you’re out deep in the bush. It’s designed to sit on a portable stove device or over a small fire. This allows consumers to boil water for drinking without destroying this clever cache.  Boiling water in the Ti2 Designs Sentinel X1

Because of the anodizing, the X1 allows you to always have access to clean H20 when you need it, and the deceptively compact build can hold flashlight, compass, and any other basic survival gear you may need. It also packs tight with openings on both ends to prevent objects inside from getting stuck.


Durable Handle or “Loop” for easy attachment to gear

Durable Handle or “Loop” for easy attachment to gear

Finally, it has a loop on its lid that allows one to easily attach it to a lanyard or a carbineer. This small tool is easy-to-use and has many purposes. Simple, yes, but some of the best gear is, and we can’t see another camping expedition without it. As with the Sentinel line from Ti2 Designs, the Sentinel “X” line is now available on our online store by clicking here! Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Sentinel “X” Personal Survival Cache   Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyHalf-Firestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended!




Personal Survival Cache Tubes

Personal Survival Cache Tubes


Have you ever thought of how to protect valuable bits of you and your family’s lives during and immediately after a disaster? Or how to carry money or valuables for trading or buying those necessary survival supplies in a “SHTF” scenario?

Recent disasters like the tornados in Oklahoma and the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan have reinforced the need for the ability to protect and easily transport important pieces of personal and family information and history. We’ve heard countless stories of people photo-copying medical records, prescriptions, the deed to their homes and land, titles to their vehicles, birth, wedding and death certificates, drivers’ licenses and social security cards, only to either lose them or have them destroyed or “relocated” several miles away by the disaster because they were simply too bulky and cumbersome to carry.

Furthermore, proving your identity and ownership of personal property is vital immediately after a disaster. Residing here in Southern California, we are always susceptible to earthquakes, power outages and raging wildfires and the evacuations that come with them. But when the evacuation orders are lifted, and you’re allowed back into your property (providing you have the “proper identification”) and you can’t prove who you are and where you live, law enforcement generally won’t let you back into restricted areas for fear that you might be a looter.

One of the biggest obstacles involved in preparing for a disaster, before it happens, is where and how to store these important pieces of information, family history and/or survival supplies so they’re easily accessible, easily transportable, yet protected from the elements and those with bad intentions.

As the owner and senior survival advisor here at Custom Survival Solutions, we are always searching out new products that are worthy of inclusion in our custom survival kits for individuals and families as well as our online recommended survival products. Well, this is one of those products.

Introducing the Sentinel line of Titanium Caches from Ti2 Designs.

The Ti2 Sentinel line of Titanium Caches will help you keep those items in one location and protected from disasters and the elements whenever you need them. Machined from ultra-strong, lightweight and corrosion-resistant grade 2 titanium, ergonomically designed and corrosion resistant, the Sentinel is available in a variety of sizes to fit all your small supplies, be it pills, spare keys, a USB drive, money, gold/silver coins or even a cigar. The large slot on the top cap will allow you to secure it to your person and/or gear if and when you decide that it’s time to bug out through the use of any number of items (s-biners, carabiners, laynards, etc.).

According to the designer and owner of Ti2 Designs, Mike Bond, “The Sentinel line of Titanium Caches has been tested at an ocean depth of 1800 feet and kept its contents dry. Because titanium is very inert and corrosion resistant, it is also the ultimate safe storage for water transport and cache burial in all climates and geography”. Bond also states that, “The Sentinel is a ‘first in market’ design with its dual removable ends. This allows for easy cleaning and the ability to ‘push through’ lodged items”.

It’s available in 3 diameters and 8 different variations so you just have to decide which one fits you and the information and supplies that are import to you and your family.

Product Dimensions: (The model number correlates to the inch diameter of the outside and is the fractional numerator with denominator of 8, i.e. S4 = 4/8″ or 1/2″…)

  • S4S
    • Outside 0.5″ x 2.75″
    • Internal 0.37″ x 1″
  • S4L
    • Outside 0.5″ x 4.75″
    • Internal 0.37″ x 3″
  • S6S
    • Outside 0.75″ x 3.63″
    • Internal 0.62″ x 1″
  • S6M
    • Outside 0.75″ x 5.63″
    • Internal 0.62″ x 3″
  • S6L
    • Outside 0.75″ x 8.63″
    • Internal 0.62″ x 6″
  • S8S
    • Outside 1.0″ x 4.75″
    • Internal 0.87″ x 1.38″
  • S8M
    • Outside 1.0″ x 6.38″
    • Internal 0.87″ x 3″
  • S8L
    • Outside 1.0″ x 10.63″
    • Internal 0.87″ x 7.25″

Uses based on model

  • S4S
    • Pill Fob
    • Emergency Contact Info
    • Spare Key / Key Fob
  • S4L
    • Match Container
    • Money Cache (2 bills rolled)
  • S6S
    • Spare Key / Key Fob
    • Emergency Contact Info
    • Pill Fob
    • Money Cache (3 bills folded in thirds and rolled)
  • S6M
    • Money Cache (10 bills rolled)
    • Basic Survival / 1st Aid Kit
  • S6L
    • Emergency Pen Case
    • Money Cache (20 bills rolled)
  • S8M
    • Money Cache (20 bills rolled)
    • USB Drive
    • Spare Key(s) / Key Fob
  • S8L
    • Basic Survival / 1st Aid Kit
    • Money Cache (40 bills rolled)


We tested the Sentinel S8L.


We packed the S8L with the following items:

  • 25 Ibuprofen pills in a vacuum sealed bag
  • 10 regular wooden matches w/ strike plate
  • 10 $20 bills (rolled up)
  • 1 USB flash drive
  • 1 Emergency Contact list written on plain paper with ink

We then took the S8 and threw it into our backyard pool and let it sit at the bottom (depth of 6 feet) for 3 days. We then retrieved it and immediately buried it under a Pygmy Palm tree directly next to a sprinkler head to ensure that it continued to be exposed to both the moisture and the soil for the next 3 days. Once we retrieved it from under the tree, we took it and opened it up and found that not one of the matches were soaked nor did the USB drive become compromised. Even the plain piece of paper, Ibuprofen and the $200 bucks were not wet.


If you’re looking for something that’s worthy enough to be included as a “must own” in your survival preparedness kits, strong enough to survive a disaster on its own, while also helping you and your family survive, recover, and continue on after a disaster, then look no further than the Sentinel line of Titanium Caches by Ti2 Designs. This unique and survival worthy line of dry storage caches will be available at our online survival store the end of next week (6/30)! Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Sentinel S8 Titanium Cache   Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyHalf-Firestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended!


BioLite Camp Stove

BioLite Camp Stove

Biolite Camp Stove

When a natural disaster hits, you best be ready. That means stocking food, water and other necessities.  However, there probably isn’t much you can do about the power grid.  Sure, solar kits are great (we personally use and have several of the Goal Zero line of solar emergency power kits here), but as any “preppers” worth their weight in salt will tell you, redundancy, redundancy, redundancy.
The BioLite Campstove is a brilliant solution that solves a whole host of problems.  It’s great not just for emergency scenarios, but for those that like to camp.  At first glance it looks like your garden variety biomass portable stove.  And don’t get us wrong, it is.  But instead of using a petroleum or alcohol based fuel source, it works with twigs, pine cones, pellets and other biomass, such as pine needles or leaves.  And while you cook your dinner, or boil off that bacteria laden water, you can also power up your phone, GPS or handheld communications device or just about any 5V gadget thanks to the built-in USB plug.  You see, the BioLite is able to convert thermal energy into electricity, and while it will take a good amount of twigs to fully charge your iPhone, it’s certainly is a great option for those emergency situations that we all plan for. The whole system packs down into a somewhat portable 8 ¼ x 5″ shape  and weighs 2 lbs.

Out of the box

It’s a great looking unit, made from stainless steel and a few trusty pop-rivets, while the power and fan unit is housed in a tough orange heat-resistant plastic. The stove weighs a little more than 2 lbs and is the size of a Nalgene water bottle. The firebox is surrounded by mesh to keep arms, hands, and loose clothing from getting burnt. After seeing numerous sparks and embers land on the orange plastic and not leave any burn marks, I’m fairly confident it’s heat resistant. The three fold-out legs do a great job keeping the stove stable especially with a pot on top and they keep the heat away from whatever surface the stove is on.

Ironically for a USB charging stove, it needs to be charged (via USB) before use. This provides the initial charge for the internal battery which runs the fan and assists with lighting the stove. Biolite suggests it should only need to be recharged if the stove hasn’t been used for 6 months as the thermoelectric unit will recharge the battery during normal use. A double ended USB cable, some wax-based fire-starters and a bag are all included with the stove, so you’re pretty much all set to go after a quick hunt for firewood. There’s a power switch for the fan which also toggles between the low and high setting, there’s a USB port behind a rubber cover and a couple of operation lights indicating when there’s enough power to charge. It’s all very simple to setup and use.

In Use

We’ve been trying our stove out for a week now, using small twigs and wood I’ve gathered from the local area. It’s spring here in So Cal, so things are still pretty green (which should be great for testing), so the first collection of wood wasn’t as dry as I had hoped it would be. Initial results weren’t great and the stove did go out on occasion, which were accompanied by large plumes of fan-forced smoke. After doing some heavier searching for some dry wood we got much, much better results. The fire burnt for much longer and was a lot hotter, and we could burn sticks up to 1″ in diameter. Small sticks do work well but they burn very quickly and you may want to use larger pieces of wood especially while you’re cooking and/or boiling water. This is the only flaw that we could see of the Biolite Stove, it really needs dry wood to work at its best or the use of some fire-starter to help keep the fire burning thus drying out damp wood.

Initially, the other drawback was that the Biolite does makes a little bit of noise. Namely a high-pitched, but not very loud whine from the fan. The best comparison I can make is that it sounds like a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner being run in another  room. It’s not overwhelmingly or annoyingly loud but it’s ever-present and after a while I stopped noticing. You can’t turn the fan off while the stove is running as it will switch back on automatically to keep the electronics cool.

The whole point of the Biolite Stove is its ability to turn heat from the fire into power for USB charging, so I probably should mention it. I managed to charge the battery on my Droid® Bionic from 50% to 75% in just about an hour or so. Not fantastic but I don’t think that’s the point of the stove. It will however, get you out of a tight spot or if you need some quick power to check your location via your cell phone’s GPS. Because of its design, you’ll have to keep the fire running hot in order to charge with the stove otherwise there isn’t enough power.

Some Observations

For and in survival situations, it’s a great product that puts out just the right amount of fire! When the water’s done boiling, the cooking’s done, and the coffee is made, I still found myself not wanting to put the stove out as it was nice to just sit in front of it. Plus the stove actually keeps you warm (sitting outside during cooking for 30 kept me quite comfortable, even with the temperature dropping into the 50’s. My advice, make sure you have MORE than enough dried tinder and wood than you think you’ll need, trust me on this.

Biolite vs. Solo Stove

I timed the Biolite against my other biomass stove, the Solo Stove and the Biolite Stove could boil 1 liter of water in about 6 to7 minutes compared to the Solo Stove boiling it in 8-10 minutes. The Biolite Stove could be up and running and ready to heat water in 2.5 minutes (vs. 4 minutes with the Solo Stove) so they’re both great for a quick cup of coffee or tea. Once the ashes were tipped out and fully extinguished the Biolite Stove was cool to touch within 4 to 5 minutes courtesy of its fan.

You can pick the stove up while it’s running by grabbing the orange power unit, so theoretically you could start the stove outside and bring it inside a tent when it’s up and running and burning cleanly (you wouldn’t want to bring it in when it’s smoking as the it’ll smoke you right back outside ). The fan-forced fire does mean there is almost no smoke, but there is still the slight smell of wood burning – duh. For both the Biolite and the Solo Stove, you’ll also need some covered cookware to keep out any ash, and expect the base and sides of your cookware might turn black from the heat.

Although you won’t need to carry fuel with either the Biolite or Solo Stove, you’ll still need something like a small folding saw or knife to split sticks. Fire-lighters were very handy as well. I managed to start the stove with semi-dry leaves, small sticks, and lighter, but if you have some tinder or fire-starter, you’ll be up and running and ready to cook with a lot less smoke in your face.

Just because you can now charge your phone with your camping stove, doesn’t mean you should. Aren’t you camping to get away from everything? In my experience, for the Biolite Stove to fully recharge a phone you will probably need to keep it running for 3-4 hours, but you’ll still need to switch it off and empty out the ash periodically, which means restarting the fire again. I think its more useful to use it with a little Goal Zero USB LED light as a light supply for the campsite.


The Biolite Stove is a phenominal device and the Biolite people have got so much right with their first product. The Biolite allows you a lot more flexibility in a survival scenario and frees you from the dependency of batteries should you decide to carry technology. We would still recommend that you also include in your preps a solar emergency kit like the Goal Zero Sherpa 50 kit. Our one recommendation to the folks over at Biolite would be that somehow they could include either a built-in LED light, or if they would include a USB LED light to assist with cooking at night or in a power loss scenario, but suspect it may compromise the charging ability.

Again, because the stove needs dry wood to burn properly, I’d say it’s useless above the tree-line,in the desert (for obvious reasons) or in a rainforest unless you packed in your fuel. Other than that, there’s probably not a place you couldn’t use the Biolite. The stove isn’t for everyone, but for survivalists and “off the grid” camping and hiking folks, it’s the perfect stove to use when you want to “get away from it all”. Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Biolite Camping Stove         Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyHalf-Firestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended!



Mono Vault 130s Gun Burial System

Mono Vault 130s Gun Burial System

Mono Vault 130s Gun Burial System

It’s pretty much generally accepted that preparing to survive is good.  However, the length that most will go to adequately ensure their survival varies from person to person.  On the one hand, you have people that see the need to prepare for disaster, yet they invest very little time or money in “just-in-case” measures.  They’re so confident that the experience they got from the 6 months they spent in the Boy Scouts years ago will “all” come back to them when they need it.

Then there are those who consider themselves “extreme survivalists” – the “wannabees”, if you will.  They “wannabee” thrown into the middle of a “Red Dawn” style invasion, a zombie apocalypse, or any other chaotic event that would allow them to finally get to tie all those different knots, treat a sucking chest wound, make a head shot, and finally eat that Chili Mac freeze dried meal. Because so much of their life has been spent preparing for doomsday.

Personally, I’m right there in between, but I just picked up a new product that can fit into any survival plan, no matter how serious you are about surviving through a disaster; the Mono Vault Dry Storage system.

The Mono Vault is simply, a dry storage container, and all Mono Vault models, from the pistol-accommodating 107s kit, all the way up to the stout 248s kit, can be carried by hand or slung over the shoulder for easy transportation.  That said the similarities between the Mono Vault and ordinary portable gun storage pretty much end there.

For one, they can hold a ridiculous amount of firepower.  The 248s kit for instance, is a whopping 12.25” in diameter and 45” deep.  That’s large enough to easily store a few of those soon to be illegal AR’s and AK’s and a thousand rounds.

Let’s say for a minute that you have a handful of various AR’s that you want to safely hide away, just in case DiFI (Dianne Feinstein) gets her AWB passed through the state Congress and they come to “try” take them away from you.  One huge perk that the Mono Vault offers is that they’re designed ideally for caching pretty much anything, including various weapons and ammunition underground for years at a time.  Their heavy duty, ¼ inch thick polyethylene shell is strong enough to support the weight of a large tractor, and its patented design comes complete with a super heavy duty Burial Shield. It’s a gasket seal built to keep out water and moisture in virtually any condition.  These things are basically time capsules on steroids.

The Mono Vault 248s kit is about 45” deep and over 12” in diameter – here’s what I was able to pack into it using the features included in the kit (all weapons, ammo, magazines and cash were inside either the included ZCORR and/or Zerust Anti-Corrosion zipper bags):

  • Mossberg 930 SPX 8-Shot 12 gauge shotgun
  • Bushmaster AR-15 rifle (with Red Dot removed)
  • Beretta 8040 .40 S&W handgun
  • 6 magazines
  • Over 1000 rounds of various ammunition
  • 2 hunting knives
  • $1000 cash in various denominations

The 248s Tactical Kit comes with everything you’ll need:

  • 248s MonoVault, black vault
  • Desiccant, 450g moisture absorbing pack
  • Humidity Indicator, 10-60% vault humidity level
  • Zerust Bag, 6″ x 8″, 4-mil, zipper pocket guns, parts
  • Zerust Bag, 9″ x 12″, 4-mil, zipper full size hand guns
  • Zerust Bag, 12″ x 18″, 4-mil, zipper large hand guns
  • Zerust Bag, 10″ x 24″, 4-mil, plain guns, ammo, gear
  • Protecht NoRust bag, 9″ x 52″ scoped rifle
  • Protecht NoRust bag, 12″ x 52″ tactical rifle
  • Z-Corr Pistol Bag, 11″ x 15″ handgun
  • Z-Corr Tactical Bag, 14″ x 49″ rifle

I should let you all know that for grab n’ go survival, the model 248s might not be for everyone – especially the way mine is packed.  I’m a former Marine infantryman and a little less than 6’2” and 260 lbs., and though I could comfortably wear it on a 5 mile hike through the canyon, it might be a bit tiresome for someone without the training and experience I’ve been fortunate to gain over the years. If you’re smaller than me and you plan to pick up a Mono Vault for “bugging out”, I would recommend the 130s kit.  They have the same diameter as the larger kits but they’re about 20” shorter and easier to carry.  The 130s has storage deep enough to accommodate an AR with separated lowers and uppers, and it’s a lot easier to manage if you plan to carry it for any significant distance.

Needless to say, the Mono Vault line of products are about the best dry storage system for weapons I’ve ever come across in the almost 25 years of working with and around guns of all types. Especially now, with all the gun restriction and AWB talk going around not just California, and New York, but on a national level as well, it might be time to pick one up for yourself……..just in case.

Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Mono Vault line of Gun Burial Systems Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyHalf-Firestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended!

Prepare. Respond. Survive and Thrive.



Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure KitGoal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit

Have you ever been out camping and realized that your phone/iPhone/iPad is about to die? Wouldn’t life be simpler if you had an idiot-proof way to guarantee that you’d always be able to charge batteries, phones, and anything else?

This kit has everything you need for a life on the road. Whether you’re backpacking, camping, or just want to make sure you have what you need if things go wrong!

The kit is 100% self-contained in a small, rugged package. All zipped up the dimensions are: 6”x8”x3” and most importantly it weighs LESS THAN a POUND!!! It’s both SMALLER and LIGHTER than an iPad!!! But it’s what’s inside that matter! This is the ultimate field charging kit.

You unzip it to expose two Nomad 7 solar panels. These panels are smaller and more powerful than any comparable panels anywhere on the market! These solar panels are connected to a recharger/battery pack that you can plug your power-hungry phone or device directly into.

The recharger/battery pack comes complete with 4 AA rechargeable batteries. These batteries are rechargeable by the Goal Zero Guide 10 PLUS kit!!! This means that while you are direct-charging your technology, you can remove these batteries to power whatever other electronic devices that use AA batteries. The Guide 10 Plus battery pack fully recharges in less than 8 hours!

The battery recharger/battery pack also has a built in LED flashlight. You can use your recharger to look in your pack, your trailer, or the bombed out hulk of building you are sheltering in! This is ultimate “Survival Accessory” and the ONLY one we offer in our custom survival packs and solutions! You can’t get a better field solar charger than the Guide 10 PLUS Adventure Kit!

Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Plus Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyHalf-Firestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended! Click here to view all of our Goal Zero products.


Solo Stove

Solo Stove

Solo Stove Review

First off I’ll let you know I have a few camping and backpacking stoves, the one thing in common between them, they all need some kind of packed in fuel. Either white gas, IsoButane, Alcohol, etc, etc. Many times I’ve run out and ended up carrying a useless stove for miles.

Communication from Solo Stove is superb. My stove arrived about 3 days after ordering. When I first opened it, I was slightly puzzled….. “How does this thing work? I thought, “Where do you put the fuel?”

After reading the instructions, I went out back and grabbed a few small sticks from the firewood pile, and split them into small, twig sized pieces.

I took a piece of newspaper, folded, crumpled it up and lit it on fire.

I put it into the fire chamber of the Solo Stove then added a few small pieces of the “kindling” on top. They caught fire right away and stayed lit.

So I placed a kettle full of cold tap water on top and started the timer.

  • After 3 ½ minutes the water started to show the small bubbles that come before a full boil.
  • After 5 minutes, the bubbles were bigger and the water was hot enough to make a nice cup of coffee. Not quite hot enough to reconstitute and cook freeze dried food, but close.
  • Only a minute later (6 ½ minutes total), I had a nice continuous boil.

The thing that completely amazed me the most was even after maintaining the boil for 3 minutes longer, there was still enough of the original fuel left to boil another pot of water.

This thing is incredible! The amount of twigs you could gather from just sitting on the ground would be enough to boil water in any climate short of the top of Everest. I use a windscreen with all of my fuel stoves, but my guess is that with this type of setup, the fire chamber is designed to act as its own wind screen.

The stove uses a unique “gasification” and “secondary combustion” process that allows the stove to achieve a highly efficient and more complete burn. This means you’ll use less biomass to achieve a boil. It also means less smoke. It’s very efficient, and very hot.

Now for the construction. The stove has no seams. The body and cooking ring of the Solo stove is comprised of only 12 pieces compared to the 18 of other similar stoves like the Bushbuddy. By eliminating excess seams and welds, the construction of the Solo Stove is much stronger. Both use 304 stainless steel and nichrome for the inner firebox grate. The Solo Stove has two moving parts, the stove, and the pot holder.

This stove is a MUST have for any survivalist, “prepper and/or backpacking enthusiast that wants to cut down on weight. While not as quick and convenient as say a Jetboil, it;s not too far behind. What Solo Stove lacks in time to boil it far makes up for it in being eco-friendly.

Our survival product review staff here at Custom Survival Solutions gives the Solo Stove Firestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-OnlyFirestick-Only out of 5….. highly recommended!