IPCS and Defensive shooting skills

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Yesterday I shot in the local IPSC Production division competition. It was fun, got to practice a bit and (allow me to brag a bit) I did end up in first place which is always nice.

I was planning on writing this post before I knew the results though, mostly because I feel that this kind of competition, done right, greatly improves your defensive shooting skills.

A few points I’d like to make:

1)Train as you fight

Practice with the kind of gun you’re likely to carry, which means you’ll most likely compete in Production (meaning common guns with little in the way of mods or custom jobs)

The only customisation my Glock 17 has is Mepro tritium night sight. I did install a ZEV V4 race connector a few weeks ago for 25m precision shooting competition but I got rid of it. It did improve the trigger pull but it also caused a noticeable click before resetting the trigger that was driving me nuts. For IPSC I didn’t see any noticeable improvement anyway and its not allowed as a modification for Production division anyway. For precision shooting at 25 meters the Glock 17 simply isnt the gun for that kind of thing either so there’s not much of a point.

You have to be honest regarding what you are trying to achieve here. If you want to train for defense or if you just want to win competitions, which is your priority. You CAN win with your stock Glock. I did. Other shooters had nicer Sig Sauer x Fives, Tanfoglios. Do these give you an edge for the competition? Maybe, I don’t know. The shooter is the one that matters the most though, and if you are doing it for the training like I ‘m doing, you simply won’t care. Whatever your carry gun is, if permitted in the production division, that’s what you should use. Same goes for holsters, their location, mag carries, even clothes, everything should be as close to what you wear and use on normal basis as possible.

2) Different stages, skills, learning to think

The mindset aspect of how to resolve a stage is also interesting. What sequence is more effective, faster or easier. For example, if you shoot a popper that will bring up another target, then you want to shoot that, shoot another card and only then go back to the new target that popped up so as to save time. Little things like these are mental exercise for your shooting brain. The you get to practice more typical stuff of course like drawing, reloads, shooting with either hand single handed in some cases, going prone, dropping to one knee, shooting around corners. Its fun but you also practice memory muscle that adapts to potential real world scenarios.

3) Fitness

Something else IPSC reveals is how good or bad your fitness level is. Sure, some stages have more running, kneeling or other physical requirements than others, but fit people do move faster and cut time, end up with faster and more accurate reflexes as well in general.

4) Working with stress

It may not seem like much but having a small crowd behind you and someone timing you does add a significant amount of stress, especially for new shooters. This stress serves as practice. If a timer stresses you then you don’t want to know what someone shooting at you will do for your nerves. The more you practice, the better you learn to control your stress. Sport and actual fighting aren’t the same thing, but this is just like a boxer going against someone that trained self-defense moves but was never in an actual fight (even one in a ring) Believe me, the guy that stepped into a ring for a few years always beats the one that never set foot in one.

The more you practice and compete, the better you get at shooting accurately and fast.

5) Meeting like-minded people

And of course there’s meeting people with your same interests. There’s usually a number of LEO and military, but then you just have guys (and women of course) from all walks of life with shooting as a common denominator. Shooters are pretty peculiar people in some cases. I at least have a bit of a problem making friends with people I have little in common so I tend to gravitate towards people that like firearms. This social circle can mean not only friends to shoot and hang out with, but also people you can count on when you need them.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Inferno in London Tower Building: Some survival related thoughts

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Cladding turned tiny fire into hell

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4605360/Cladding-turned-tiny-fire-hell.html

You probably read the news already but in case you didn’t a 24-storey building, Grenfell Tower, turned into an inferno last night. At around 1AM the fire started in the 4th floor and spread all over the building in 15 minutes. This morning, firemen were still struggling to put out the fire. So far there are 12 confirmed dead victims but there are dozens missing still.

According to witnesses, there was a baby dropped from the 10th floor that was caught by someone below and managed to survive. Ropes were made with sheets to climb down, children in flames simply jumping from the building. It must have been a terrible scene to witness.

But then we think of it from the preparedness point of view. I never felt comfortable in high-rise buildings and have avoided them all my life. When in hotels, I try to be as close to the ground floor as possible, which is actually a good habit to incorporate when booking a room.

If I had to live in one, I would get climbing gear and enough rope to rappel down. Oh sure, it sounds silly, that is until you jump out of your window to avoid burning to death. Its not just fires. I know of several cases in Argentina in which people panicked during home invasions in buildings and jumped out of the windows several floors high. What about working in one? Yes, I’d like a way out as well. Fires, earthquakes, even active shooters this is the kind of thing that can save your life in a worst case scenario. Rappelling is simple enough it can be done by people of all ages and the equipment isnt that expensive either unless you want some high end gear.

Of course you have a number of other preparedness related topics involved here.

What have I said a million times about bugging out? Its not a choice, when you have to leave maybe you do it with nothing but your underwear. Many people learned that last night. Have a plan, have a place to go if your home is no longer an option. Have a VIP bag to grab and go if you only have seconds, have a bug out bag if you can carry it.

If you read my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” you know that a small satchel with your very important papers and documents (VIP bag) is important in case you can’t carry an actual BOB because you needs to help yourself or help others evacuated. Well, last night a woman evacuated from one of the higher floors with her six children… by the time she made it outside she only had four kids left. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say sometimes even a backpack impairs your ability and needs to be left behind, so only a small satchel can be taken.

How about having a bug out plan, having prearranged place you know you can go to and have some clothes and supplies already there? Another point I made in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, you don’t need a cabin in the middle of nowhere, sometimes all you need is to crash in your parent’s house or your sister in laws just a few blocks away. In fact being near by makes life easier for kids going back to school, going to work, etc.

These are just a few of the thoughts that crossed my mind today as I watched the news.

What we do here is important. Preparedness is important. Of course it makes life easier and better regarding the little things in life, or even some habits that have lifelong repercussions like staying in shape and eating healthy, but it also means that preparing properly makes all the difference in the world when the unexpected happens and your home literally burns to the ground in front of you.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” andBugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

“Dad, it hurts”

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Matan a un nene de 3 años que iba a comprar pizza con su papá: identificaron al asesino

Last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28 year old Martín Bustamante was walking with his 3 year old son Agustin to buy a pizza for dinner. It was 9pm when two scumbags robbed them. After taking their money they started walking away, but one of them turned back one last time and shot the 3 year old that was still holding his dad’s hand in the back. He smiled as he shot the 3 year old, his father would later say.

Agustin only managed to say “dad, it hurts” before dying in his dad’s arms who was rushing him to a hospital. The loot? 15 USd for a pizza and a cheap cellphone. The killers? 14 and 16 years old.

This happened in my neighbourhood where I lived most of my life, in Lomas de Zamora.

This is why I left my country, because you just can’t live like this. Because that could have been my son and once your son is dead then it’s just too damn late to take action.

Now people are pissed, a family has been destroyed. There will be a protest tonight, and people will speak on tv, and those 14 and 16 year old scumbags will walk because the idiotic Argentine laws protected them and the corrupt politicians who are just as bad as they are don’t want to lose any votes from criminals so they wont change anything. And 3 year old Agustin will still be dead.

When we talk about survival and specifically armed self-defense the idea of killing is glorified as a transcendent event. Experts debate about people being able to pull the trigger or not and being able to live with taking another life. Those experts never lived in Lomas de Zamora. How I wish someone had shot those two scumbags. I’m sure the family of Agustin wishes so too. There’s no remorse in killing these beasts because they aren’t even people, they are worse than savage animals. This is why killing one of these bastards isn’t a solemn event but a celebration, a service to society.  One less animal out there to murder, rape and destroy lives.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

I had an interesting day today: Some thoughts on survival & preparedness

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So today started as a typical day for me. Got up and quickly got dressed to take the kids to school. As we are getting in the car my wife waves us good bye… only to have the wind slam the door shut behind her. This wouldn’t be a problem in most houses but we have a security door. Its metal, and the doorknob doesn’t open from the outside even if unlocked. I tried pushing the key with my own from the outside but it didn’t work with the key inserted from the inside.  I tried pushing it with my Leatherman, using the small screwdriver bit as a poking tool. I have done this successfully before with a safe key, the kind common for houses in Argentina. In that situation EDC saved the day, but not today.

Survival lesson #1 of the day was: Make sure your house is hardened against home invaders but make sure you can get in if locked out yourself.  The front door is basically bullet proof, a metal security door with poured concrete structure and masonry brick walls. The back door was also locked. It has a sliding window but also a metal grate door which was locked. It is in moments like these that you start thinking like a criminal trying to break in. If you find that doing so is easy, then you have a security problem. If not, then that’s great, just have a plan in case you get locked out. Fortunately, my wife had just opened the windows and pulled up the shutters from the kid’s rooms in the second floor. The problem would be getting up there…

So now I have to take the kids to school, we’re locked outside and my wife is wearing summer PJ’s, just to make things interesting. You know what’s funnier? Only now while I write this do I remember that I do keep an extra set of clothes for each family member in the car. I mentioned it to my wife just now and she said its too hot anyway for jeans. I’ll see about putting a pair of shorts for each one in there as well. Lesson #2: Keep spare clothes (and other supplies) in your vehicle and make sure they are adequate for the local climate.

We drive the kids to school and hope our neighbour is home when we get back. Turns out he’s not. I do see another neighbour further down the street that is already staring curiously.

Lesson #3: Although I usually prefer not having people nearby, it is true that when you need help its nice to have neighbours you can count on. I also notice that this particular neighbour was paying attention and noticed the suspicious activity in my house. He already knew who we were and no doubt had it been faces he didn’t recognize he would have called the cops.

I wave and head down there. This is a British couple. They don’t speak much Spanish but I’m ok with English. Make that lesson #4. A second language is an extremely valuable tool, for life, for employment, especially for expats, especially if you’re fluent it open a world of options with people that don’t speak your language.

As soon as they see I speak English their entire attitude and body language changes and we start talking. Turns out they’ve been living in Spain for nearly 20 years, left England looking for a better place to raise the kids and haven’t looked back since then. Their kids are all grown up now, one is a professional football player and the other one is a teacher. The woman mentions that people in England used to be more social back when she was young, but that now everyone stays in their homes and keeps to themselves. In contrasts their kids made childhood friends here with which they still keep in touch till this day. It’s nice to see that other people basically reached the same conclusion we did. My nephews had a similar experience living in London and are already looking to move elsewhere.

After talking a bit I mention the problem I have and ask if they have a ladder to get up to the window in the second floor. They do, one of those expandable ones painters use.

Now here I try to be extra careful. These are traditional Mediterranean houses, with high ceilings to keep the house fresh during summer and ceramic patio floors around it. Falling from that height means you get the famous “serious injury or death”. I know of people that have died from falling from their roofs either checking a leak, installing an antenna or God knows what else. Statistically speaking, this is the kind of moment when you don’t want to screw up.

I set the ladder properly and take my time to securely climb and open the window and move the mosquito net aside. I must have looked hilarious crawling up there. But you know, I remembered something we had done in a tactical shooting class, the correct way of climbing walls. It’s funny how all these things come back to you. One guy would position his hands, you’d step on them, grab onto the wall, step on his shoulder, pull yourself up but keeping a low profile against the edge of the wall. Arm, torso and one leg over the wall, the drop one leg over the other side, slide your body end up hanging with your hand on the other side and then drop to the floor. The “spiderman” technique, we called it. Of course it wasn’t the same here because I couldn’t hang with my body weight on the fragile window but I did keep my profile as low as possible, which helped keep my center of gravity low so as to not lose balance and break my neck. My wife was holding the ladder below. She later said the only reason she didn’t burst laugh out loud as she saw my feet hanging there in the window was that she was terrified of me falling.

Lesson #5: Get in Shape and stay in it. I’m not nearly as fit as I would want to be. I’m not nearly as fit as I CAN be if I just stop coming up with excuses and actually get off my ass more. Make no excuses, Self-criticism is your best ally when it comes to health and fitness. Don’t be like those clowns in reality TV shows like “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”. There’s nothing fabulous about being fat. Especially for what concerns us, survival and preparedness, being overweight directly impacts your health which is by far the number one cause of early death. Not only that, it directly impacts your quality of live and it directly impacts of course your physical capabilities. How many miles can you walk if you need to make an effort during an emergency? How well can you fight to protect yourself and your family? Does your physical and fitness level impair what kind of jobs you can get and apply for?  How strong are you when you need that strength to work, move around supplies, wood, food, or like today pull yourself through a second story window? Sure enough I did it, but I could have done it a lot better and there’s no excuse for it at my age and having no health problems of any kind.

Its little events like these that remind us all the time of the areas in which we can and must improve on. If we do notice them and take action not only does our level of preparedness improve, but our general quality of life does so as well.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Must watch show in Fox News: Swamp Watch

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There’s a new program on Fox News called Swamp Watch. I’m surprised they are even running a show like this. Lets see how long it stays on the air.

It will be interesting to see them keep up with who’s who and what kind of people end up in positions of power, and if the swamp is indeed being drained.

Do yourself a favour and watch this clip, its just 4 minutes. I know its politics/economy and folks don’t find it very sexy, but it explains well how politics work, in America and the rest of the world.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Trijicon ACOG

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Fiber, Tritium, what’s not to like?

These puppies cost some money but the clarity of the glass and construction quality is indeed noticeable.

Looking forward to trying it out and see what it can do in the range.

Cheers!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Advice for expats moving to Uruguay (or anywhere else)

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... 13 km de Punta del Este, muy cerca de la largada de GFNY URUGUAY 2016

Casapueblo, Uruguay

Hi Fernando,

I just came upon your blog in my search about Uruguay. Did you and

your family eventually move there? We live in the US and are

considering a move to Uruguay and have no idea where to start. I

wanted to ask you some questions if you are living there or if you

know someone who does.

 

Thanks,

Tiffany

Hello Tiffany. I’m not in Uruguay and not planning to move there any time soon. We never planned to do so really. In fact the last person from Uruguay I talked with already emigrated and is now happily living in Ireland. She left with her family looking for the kind of stability and opportunities Uruguay simply couldn’t provide. Still, Uruguay is the country I have recommended in my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” for those looking to move to South America.

So as to contact people there my suggestion would be to start with the obvious “expats in Uruguay” search and go from there. Participate in forums, get to know people. Keep in mind though that one man’s paradise is another man’s hell.

If you want my opinion, basically what I said in this video is still very much true.

Uruguay can be a great place for you. Or Argentina. Or Colombia. Or Thailand. Or Canada. Or India.

Pobreza en Uruguay bajó levemente el año pasado – El Politico

Also Uruguay

But since you ask me and I’m not a magazine or website editor trying to hook you up with anything here’s some honesty/tough love: While you may be happy in any of those places, there’s some facts you can’t avoid. Canada is simply better as a place to live in than India. Or Colombia. Or Thailand. This is not me expressing an opinion, but a simple observation of pretty conclusive data.  Indicators of quality of life, healthcare, crime, life expectancy, GDP, education, infrastructure, employment, transportation, cost of living, and a long etcetera points in a certain direction. Uruguay is nice. Its relatively peaceful and simple living. Millions live there happily and wouldn’t trade it for anything else… just like millions of people in other countries.

My point is be honest with what you want to find in Uruguay, or anywhere else. This is one of the main points I focus on in “Bugging out and Relocating” when it comes to moving abroad. Expectations. Crime in Uruguay will be much better if you’re from Chicago, but it will be much worse if you come from Maine. Either way you’ll experience a clash of cultures. People all over Latin America are mostly used to getting by with less. Less of everything. Computers, cars, cell phones, many of these will be luxuries for you. Organization and overall bureaucracy is a lot worse, and I know this drives many people from developed countries nuts.

Now, if you want a friendly, family oriented culture you will find it in Uruguay. Family and friends, the importance of relationships between people is stronger and simply more of a priority all over Latin America compared to most of the developed world. Friends hug one another more, people greet each other with a kiss in the cheek, it just seems overall more “touchy” which some people aren’t comfortable with but it’s not meant to be sensual in any way, its just a more expressive culture in the way they interact with one another. For example people in Uruguay don’t doubt a second about sharing mate, where everyone drinks form the same straw. It’s the same in Argentina. An American more worried about personal space and worried about sharing a glass let alone a metal straw is hardly the kind of person that would integrate well in Uruguay. Then again you could focus more on being among expats from your same country, most of which went there with the same ideas and expectations, maybe even more important LEFT your country for the same reason and you just get along great with them, sticking among like-minded people in somewhat of an enclave.

My advice is be honest with yourself. The expectations you have and what you are likely to encounter there. There’s a tremendous difference between the developed and developing world. Everything sounds fantastic until you realize that other than some honourable exceptions pretty much everything is more expensive in Uruguay than in USA.

Once you are certain you want to give it a go, don’t make any permanent decision. Give it a year. Don’t sell your home in USA, rent it out and rent in Uruguay. The first year is usually the “honeymoon” period where everything looks great. The second and third year will be more down to earth but a year minimum is the time you should give it before making any permanent decisions you may later regret.

Best of luck and as the Irish saying goes, May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Food Rationing: Only one pack of sugar per family permitted

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I was going through some of my old photos, found this one from back in Argentina when there was shortage and rationing of certain staples in stores.

1 kg of sugar per family group. 1 unit.  And it cost almost the equivalent of 2 USD back in the day. For a country in which the average person was making well under 500 USD that was insane.

It’s amazing how close we came to ending up like Venezuela, in a country that produces food to feed ten time its own population.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Food Rationing: Only one pack of sugar per family permitted

I was going through some of my old photos, found this one from back in Argentina when there was shortage and rationing of certain staples in stores.

1 kg of sugar per family group. 1 unit.  And it cost almost the equivalent of 2 USD back in the day. For a country in which the average person was making well under 500 USD that was insane.

It’s amazing how close we came to ending up like Venezuela, in a country that produces food to feed ten time its own population.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Choosing the right Red Dot/ Holo sight for you and why the answer is Aimpont

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So I found myself in that position. A new gun that needs a glass. In this case it’s a Colt M4, 14.5 inch barrel. Sure enough, I’m looking at a gun that is intended for short to medium range, so not a big magnified scope but instead a red dot sight or holographic sight.

If you’re like me, you want quality but you hope there’s something good out there that doesn’t break the bank. Here’s the thought process I went through and how I ended up with an Aimpoint Micro in spite of having initially discarded it.

Eotech.

The military uses them, so they must be good. Circle and Dot? Sounds good. A big circle for quick shots close up and that 2MOA dot for more pinpoint accuracy at longer ranges. Perfect.

Well… no. Turns out the US military is currently suing Eotech because they have lied about their specs. They wouldn’t keep their zero and also had problems with their water resistance. While many people do still trust them, to pay that much money for a product when the company is being sued by its main client didn’t make much sense to me.

So a red dot it is.

Holosun, Vortex, Primary Arms…

Knowing that Aimpoint was crème de la crème but not wanting to spend that much money, these are the brands I started to look into. Most of the reviews were very good, lots of happy customers. Vortex are rugged and have good specs, Holosun have neat features, auto on/off, models that have motion detector to turn on, Solar powered sights. Vortex has the Spark AR which seemed ideal, using common AAA under the optic.

After taking a good long look at these brands, watching youtube reviews, reading articles and such I came to the obvious conclusion: These are nice “budget” red dots made in China. Some are better than others, have slightly better reviews or better durability, or better features, better runtime, but at the end of the day… budget light made in China.
What does this mean? Well, it means less quality, less durability. The battery won’t last as long, or the design and built quality isn’t as good. Even more important nearly all of them suffered sudden death at one point, even after one or two shots in some cases. Switches would break or fail, the red dot, was more of a line, the auto on feature would stop working, the zero would be impossible to keep. With every one of them there was always something. And here is where you come to the obvious conclusion I mentioned above, which is that if you want extreme reliability and durability in spite of the intrinsically fragile, state of the art tech, you need to buy the crème de la crème. You need that “Made in Sweden” quality. If you want to be sure that sight will still be on and bright 3 or 4 years from now when someone breaks into your house, if you don’t want your sight to die, move 5 feet to the left or become so dim its impossible to see in the middle of that gun fight you wished you never saw in your life, then go for it. Save up those extra couple hundred bucks, save money here and there and get yourself the Aimpoint. An Aimpont Micro T2 may be worth 600 bucks, but a broken Holosun or Vortex is worth 0.00 USD.  Even worse, it may cost your life, and that’s a damn high price to pay.

Ok.. which Aimpoint?

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic $449

So you made up your mind and are spending the big bucks. What about Triijcon red dot? Tirjicon is still rather new to the red dot game, and Aimpoint is still king of the hill. If you want something like an ACOG then sure, Trijicon is what you go for, but for red dot sights Aimpoint is still the best most proven brand.

Aimpoint Micro T-2 2 MOA Sight with Standard Mount

Aimpoint Micro T-2 2 MOA Sight with Standard Mount $715.99

Aimpoint options are basically Pro,  micro T2 and H2. The Pro is clearly bigger, almost twice the weight but very durable. The micros are almost half the weight, much more compact and yet very durable. This is why you seem them so often being used by guys running nice guns. The H2 and T2 are very similar, look the exact same, but the T2 is night vision compatible and has better water and temperature resistance specs. My advice is to go for the T2 or Pro if you don’t care about the extra weight and size, but if you don’t care about the night vision, the H2 is still tough as nails and wont let you down. Any of the three would make a great purchase if one sale, so maybe just buy the one your see priced best if you don’t care about night vision compatibility.

As the saying goes folks, Buy once, Cry once. Words to live by.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Coligny Riots: More trouble in South Africa

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South African riot police officers run to disperse protesters in Coligny

“They are throwing rocks at the house and are coming through the walls – please hurry,” the panicked voice of a woman, speaking Afrikaans, shouts into a two way radio.

Minutes later her home was in flames after being hit by petrol bombs.

The attack on the Rietvlei maize farm, on the outskirts of the remote South African town of Coligny, came just half an hour after two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of a 16-year-old black teenager.

Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutte, 34, are accused of throwing Mathlomola Mosweu off a speeding pick up truck on April 20 after catching him picking sunflowers.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Mathlomola’s death, but the facts of the case have mattered little in Coligny, where the case has inflamed long simmering racial tensions.

Riots and fears of race war as South African farmers bailed over black teen’s death

WEB_PHOTO_Coligny_Protests_260417: The chaotic scene of the violent protests which left two homes reduced to ashes on April 25, 2017 in Coligny, North West.

I’ve always been very interested in the situation in South Africa, especially from the Afrikaners white farmers perspective.

It gets rather little attention from the main stream media but having actually met with some Afrikaners I believe their struggle is just packed full of valuable survival information. What do you do in a worst case scenario, in a country ravaged by crime, corruption and even the government itself turned against you? Under constant attack and kicked out of their land, Afrikaner farmers have mastered the art of defensive homesteading, showing us how to harden and defend an isolated residence but ultimately showing how such a strategy is doomed to fail eventually. Many of them have quit and moved to more secured communities in the city. Many others have left the country entirely. Unfortunately, thousands have died as well, while a few still remain, struggling to keep their way of life.

In this recent incident, two farmers are being accused of brutally killing a teenage boy in Coligny outside Lichtenburg. This death sparked a mass violent protest in the small maize-growing town. In a space of a day, three houses and three trucks were torched.

The link explains in more detail how events unfold and how it quickly escalated to rioting, looting and houses being torched.

http://m.news24.com/news24/Columnists/GuestColumn/the-shape-of-things-to-come-20170509

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

When White Rice becomes a Luxury

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The Dias family welcomed us to their home, as Jennifer ate their first rice in a week.

Are you getting complacent with your preparedness? Not putting aside as much food as you used to?

Then you need to watch this short clip, its just one minute and ten seconds people, but it says so much more than I can in this post.

Venezuela: Where supplies are few and pain is everywhere

Check this video as well. The guy at 3:02, literally showing how many new holes he has made to his belt.

Yes, Venezuela again. A country destroyed by corruption, communism and downright stupidity. How on Earth do you turn a tropical, fertile, oil rich country into a hellhole where everyone in it is starving?

Food is key. So is knowing your politics, knowing when to escape these death traps in time.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Cold Steel Bowie Machete, still a great bargain survival knife

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Hi Fernando,

I am a subscriber of your channel on youtube. And have seen many of your videos.

I have a question about two knives.

The Cold Steel Bowie machete, and the Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow.

It reminds me a bit of the native American Beavertail dagger, or a Roman Pugio, although the tip doesn’t seem to be as accute as that of the Bowie machete.

Which of the two is best for self defense, house defense. Combat.

I really like to hear your opinion on this.

Hope to hear from you.

High regards,

Renato

.

Hi Renato, the Shanghai Shadow is a 7 inch dagger, the bowie machete is a big 12 inch machete blade.

Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow Knife with Secure-Ex Sheath $28.09

The Shanghai Shadow would be better as a carry knife for self-protection, mostly because it comes with a Secure-Ex Sheath and you can actually carry it somewhat concealed or at least on the belt while the Bowie machete simply isnt the kind of knife you are likely to have on your person all the time. That’s pretty much where the advantage of the Shanghai Shadow ends though.

Cold Steel 97BWM12S Bowie Machete with Sheath

Cold Steel 97BWM12S Bowie Machete with Sheath $24.96

 The Bowie machete is a bigger knife, with a lot more reach and power behind its swing.  A dagger stabs. A machete is like a sword, it chops body parts off. The tip of the Bowie is also a lot more narrow, so even in tight corridors bringing that tip down means anyone rushing at you get impaled. The two Bowie machetes I own required a bit of sharpening, but once that was taken care of they were wicked sharp. Like big scalpels. The handle of the Bowie is much better than the one in the Shanghai Shadow, a lot more comfortable for longer work sessions.
It comes down to that. The Shanghai Shadow dagger is more handy to carry, but for home defense the Bowie is the better option.

It’s also the better survival knife in general. For the price, the Cold Steel Bowie Machete remains a favourite of mine, one of the best deals in a survival knife. You can chop, cut, pierce, 1055 holds an edge well enough and takes one very quickly. It has a bit less carbon than 1095, but in exchange its tough as nails and not as brittle. While the blade is rather thin, just 2.8mm thick, there’s just a lot of it giving it enough rigidity. Even for some wood chopping and batoning this is a knife that can handle the task.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Buenos Aires more expensive than New York, London and Paris

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Anonymous Anonymous said…

 

Hey Derrick, I’m a North American who’s been living in Buenos Aires for 5 years now, and I’ve stayed for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I won’t lie, the last year has been rough with insane inflation, but even now, I have a nice apartment to myself in Capital and get by on a fraction of $5000 USD/month (no offense Fernando, don’t mean to contradict you — also, I’m pretty frugal). My burn rate is about $1500/month, and I live quite comfortably. I’d say go for it. Good luck getting your residency though — they hate us yanquis in Migrations! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a mail at jeroextran (at) hotmail (dot) com. Best of luck! Chris

 

Oh don’t worry. If I was single, lived in a small place, sure. The thing is, Argentina is expensive, especially Buenos Aires.

If you find an affordable place to live, go frugal as you say then sure. But if you need a bigger place for a family, if you want maybe a house in a safe, upper class neighbourhood, rather than an apartment, you want to have a car, have good medical care and send your kids to a good school (which therefore needs to be private, 500 to 1000 USD each for a good one) then the price is very different.

Groceries, food, toiletries and electronics in Buenos Aires are significantly more expensive than New York, London and Paris.

Buenos Aires un 8% más caro que Nueva York, un 24% más que en París, un 63% más que en Londres y un 68% más que en Madrid.

I buy Argentine products in Spain, made in Argentina, such as yerba matte and cookies, that are sold cheaper in Spain than in Argentina where they are made. Makes no sense? Of course it doesn’t. Its not just the terrible inflation, but also the speculation. The same company that is happy enough selling abroad at 10 knows it can get away with charging 15 locally and they do so. Why? Simple. The European Union bargains a good price and gets it, while locally in Argentina no one protects the consumer and they get robbed, plain and simple. There’s no explanation, no logic for most products available to be cheaper in Spain than in Argentina which not only is the country in which its is made, it happens to be at the other end of the world.

Oh, and don’t worry about Migrations. Its not that they hate you, all public sector workers in Argentina hate life in general and are awful at their job. Its not personal.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Relocating: Moving to Argentina 2017?

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Message:

Hey Fernando, I’m sure you get a lot of these so here’s another one… expat moving to Argentina haha more specifically Buenos Aires.

I’m 28 years old now and my travels to Argentina began in May 2014. I was down on life, bored and wasn’t living at all. All I did was work, wake up and work. The weekend would come by, I would relax and Monday the routine started all over again.

Being kind of young I was so I don’t know… depressed perhaps with my way of living. I live near NYC by the way. As you get older, people you knew you don’t ever see again and the close friends you have you may still talk to but rarely get to see. Everyone has their responsibilities now and I also realized another thing… the american dream.

Buying a home. $350,000 minimum where I live and then work until my 50s until the debt is paid off and keep working. It sounds more like an american nightmare to me. Paying to live where I’m not happy and being in over a quarter million of debt.

Me being the loner that I once was I would spend alot of my time online just chatting with people on cam sites. I found one where alot of Argentinians would go on and I would cam

with them and exchange facebooks and whatsapp. Eventually my facebook got filled with Argentinian girls that I would speak to. My spanish was horrible at the time by the way, even though I am from spanish decent I was more gringo than anything else. I told myself, wouldn’t it be cool to meet these people in person? I mean like we’ve been chatting for almost a year now and I know a couple of people in different locations so why not travel? All these ideas were popping up in my head and I couldn’t get rid of them.

The whole idea just seemed crazy but crazy good. Meeting people I never met before in person, going to a country I never been to before and not have travelled anywhere out of country in over 10 years… maybe I had to be crazy.

But the adrenaline rush kicked in and I said Derrick… go for it. What do I have to lose? I wasn’t having fun over here regardless so why not try something different? I knew once I confirmed that flight payment there was no turning back and I sure enough went through with it and booked my flight for May 2014. May came, the flight took off, landed the next day on Friday and from Ezeiza I went straight to Laferrere where my first friend was haha Now was I shocked? No. I obviously saw that it was a poor community but I thought this was what it was when I first arrived. I did not know Laferrere was considered “poor” or “dangerous” I just went to go see my friend in a country I never been to before, so I humbled myself and accepted the fact that I won’t see what I am used to seeing here in New York and thought Laferrere was normal.

To cut that the trip short let’s just say I had one of the most wonderful experiences of my life that impacted me forever. I cried, I laughed, I drank and I actually for after a long time started to feel like I was alive and I never met people that were so humble. I would walk down the street and randomn people would say hello to me as they pass me by. They are so family oriented and do live what we consider in the north “poor” but they were so rich in life and didn’t just work and go home to sleep. There was so much culture. I said to myself I was going to come back and I kept that promise.

Fast forward and it is now Janurary 2015, the flight took off and this time you would think I would prepare myself a little bit better…

I didn’t. I came again and was looking for an apartment the day I landed which I was then at Pablo Nogues, Malvinas. My friends father was able to find me a place at his friends house, where I stayed for the week and on this trip I had an allergic reaction to something that gave me rashes all around my thighs, legs and arms. I winded up going to the Malvinas Hospital in Pablo Nogues, where I was treated free of charge, and I was even interviewed and shown on the TV for my treatment ! First Norte Americano treated at Malvinas Argentinta Hospital. It was more of a propaganda for the then running for Mayor Jesus Cariglino but it was still a wow experience. I was aired on national Argentine TV!!! haha

I’ve been really grateful to cross paths with some of the most humble people on my journeys. Let’s fast forward to now Janurary 2016, did I prepare myself this time? I sure did with a whole quinta all to myself en Santa Maria de Los Olivos, Pablo Nogues. It was a huge home, bigger than anything around here where I live. 2 floors, 5 bathrooms, 4 bedroom. In-ground pool outside and it was just wow. I spoiled myself. I loved the home but the the gated community life wasn’t for me. Everyone who visited had to check in with the guard, there were no surprises, people would get lost trying to find the home within the gated community and even myself got lost many times. It would literally take 5 minutes of driving to get to the home once you were in. I felt far away from everybody. I couldn’t just get out of the house and be outside, I would take my bike and travel out the country and around Pablo Nogues.I even met new friends on this trip en La Plata with my bike. Again it was a great experience and I wanted more.

Fast forward now to February 2017 and this time I rented myself a Toyota Corolla, which over here in the states is like an economical poor man’s car. I had to pay 1200 USD to rent the damn thing for 10 days. I didn’t like the car at all but the other ones they had to offer were weird looking and they wanted 4000 USD for the BMW serie 3 which is ridiculous.

So I stuck with the Corolla and had rented an apartment I had found on Mercado Libre in San Isidro, Buenos Aires. I had come across this town on my last travel and it was a beautiful city. Everything was paved, great for bike riding, people were out enjoying the sunshine and it was a nice community. So I wanted to try here for my next vacation which I did. I came to the conclusion that this is where I want to be in my life.

Being 28 years old I finally said, I found home. This is where I want to grow, be stable and one day have a family. I found my happiness and an amazing culture. I found Damas Gratis too haha I loved all my trips to this beautiful country. I didn’t arrive as a tourist per say.

Every one of my trips I was out in the barrios, Laferrere, Jose C Paz, Pilar, Gonzalez Catan, Pablo Nogues, La Plata. I actually never been to the capital until my third trip out. I didn’t care for the big buildings and nice things. The people I met had plenty to offer in their barrios and I loved it all. I never even had a hamburger with fried egg on it until I came to Argentina. It was the best thing ever! I now make it over here lol I’m telling you Argentina is awesome.

Yes the government may be corrupt, in bad shape and the economy may be suffering a bit but it is not as bad as over here. At least people in Argentina are free. They have more liberty than we do here in the United States. I actually hate this government. I hate how we cause wars all over the world. I hate how we have to be the global police for anything that happens outside of this country. I hate how we have so many regulations, laws and rules and police for all this security that is over more than enough.

Oh and I hate how we have only 7 official holidays over here and I myself only have 1 week vacation for a large company that I have been with for three years. We work ourselves to death over here. Other people may say well that’s how it is, well no. Not for me. Argentina is where I’m going. I’m tired of the wars and rumors of wars, tired of all these movement groups, tired of the goverment lies and the attack on the people, tired of this gender identity issue they are raising in the schools. My child does not have to decide weather he is a girl or a boy, he/she will be born what he/she was born as. I don’t understand why these schools have to have gender identity classes. This whole country I just find evil.

Overall I find that Argentinian people know how to live. They help one another, are family oriented people and like to live more than work. I’m going to be moving to Buenos Aires soon within a few months and will be transfering my money with Bitcoin.

I’m working long hours and as much as I can to reach a goal of 100,000 USD but I may not reach it in time which is before the winter. That’s another thing I hate about being where I live. I hate the snow. I don’t like it at all. I even hate looking at it lol

Cold weather is not for me. The hotter the better. I don’t think moving to Argentina is a bad idea as I saw in your video,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7wx5sUNBo0

It’s not for everybody of course but if you like the simple lifestyle and are a humble person than you can live here. I don’t need much. I should be able to find work as an air conditioning/refrigeration technician and that’s how I will live. Its been 4 years now since you made that video about relocating to Argentina. What are your thoughts now Fernando?

I’ve been looking for a place to rent and have been searching around Tigre, San Fernan, Lopez, even San Miguel isn’t too bad.

I’m not sure where your 5000USD figure a month comes from but what I’ve found on Mercado Libre I can pay around 600 dollars a month for rent, and probably less if I can get the locals to help me out. I’m not looking to live like a king but just looking to live.

Hope I didn’t take too much of your time with reading! God Bless!

Take care of yourself out there.

-Derrick

.

Hello Derrick, thanks for your email and for sharing your story.

You know, a few years ago I would have told you you’re crazy, get psychological help and don’t move to Argentina by any means.

Today, a few years older and a bit wiser, I will say to you that if you found home and you feel Argentina is the place for you then follow that dream because life is too short to do otherwise.

People in Argentina are friendly and as you notice family oriented. We like having friends over, we enjoy talking for hours among friends and family. There’s no lunch or dinner schedule. A friend drops by one afternoon and he stays drinking mate the entire afternoon. By the time you realize its night time he stays over for dinner and crashes in the couch. I wont lie to you, I do miss that, I miss the passion people have over there which isn’t as common elsewhere. My neighbour in Ireland, when I moved there I was chatting with him and he didn’t know the name of the woman living next to him that had been living there for at least 30 years. I told him “oh, so you moved here recently too?”. “No” he said, “I’ve been living here for 20 years”. 20 years and he didn’t know the name of the woman living next door. I later found that’s rather common.

But as much as I miss my country it still is what it is and the reason why I left, crime and insecurity, are very much an issue and even worse than before I left, which was pretty bad already. For me, the risk of one day getting my wife or children hurt was just too much. Even just living with that tension all the time, it was driving me nuts.

You seem to not bothered much by that and usually I’d say being chill is best, but in Argentina the danger is very real. Too real. Statistically you’ll be a victim of a violent crime in a couple years in Argentina.

Laferrere is a TOUGH place. Even for Argentine standards. I can imagine the shock coming from USA. That doesn’t mean you cant find fantastic people there. On the contrary, its usually people that have very little the ones that appreciate others things, make great friends. But especially in places like those security is a matter of daily survival.

5000USD is at the very least what I would need to have the same lifestyle I have in Europe in Argentina. A nice house, good schools, which in Argentina means private schools for two kids, and good medical care such as Swiss Medical which was the one I had (and recommend). Security wise if I had to go back to Argentina I’d move to a “country”, a gated community for security purposes. I don’t like being locked up either but theres a reason why there are so many of those gated communities in the first place. Many of these are things you don’t need as a single guy, but with a family they are an issue.

The one very important thing that HAS changed in Argentina is the politics. Mauricio Macri is now president and with a bit of luck the populist communist scum wont come back any time soon. It will take a lot of time though until Macri sorts the country.

Best of luck in Argentina, I wish you the best!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

My EDC Fail (and pocket carry update)

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Two things you eventually learn about EDC:

1)It does you no good unless you do indeed carry it every day. The day you don’t will be the day you need it. Be honest and keep your expectations real. Better to have a few tools in your pockets that you do indeed carry rather than some massive bag full of stuff that always ends up staying left behind.

2) 3 is 2, 2 is 1 and one is none. Backups work. The day a tool breaks, is forgotten, left behind or lost is the day you will be glad to have a backup. This is especially true of primary tools such knives and flashlights.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

 

Politically correct guns for survival?

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Hello Fernando,

I’ve stumble across your “Surviving in Argentina blog during it’s economic collapse.  I found it refreshing to here what you had to say compared to other survival and prepping sites. I live the United States and I feel that an economic collapse is our biggest threat.  Living in the midwest, my next realistic big threat would be tornadoes and flooding where I’d have to vacate my home.

Due to our past political climate where our 2nd amendment rights were serious under assault resulting everything being in short supply and prices marked up for last eight years.  As such I had bought my future firearms with future gun legislature in mind thinking our future gun control being along the lines of Australia.  While nothing happened on national level, individual states have passed restrictive guns laws, “high capacity” magazine bans for pistols, and “assault weapon bans” prohibiting AR-15’s and such.

Should those of us in living in the United States try to take future gun legislature into account when purchasing our firearms?  Because while a Glock 17 or 19 with it’s high capacity and light weight is great, it will become illegal in several states where the majority of us live.

Thank you for your feedback and help!

Regards,

Leo

.

Hello Leo,

I would actually think the other way around, get what I need before it gets banned or restricted. Although Trump isn’t likely to lobby against Gun Rights, the risk is in what each State or even each city may end up enforcing. Some US States have pretty draconian gun laws.

Get your Glocks, ARs, Aks and anything you want now. In the past, restrictions didn’t affect certain weapons or magazines you already owned ( “high-capacity” magazines).

There’s no harm in having other guns as well. I don’t know all State laws but I’m pretty sure a Mossberg 500 with an 18 inch barrel is legal in most places and is still a pretty solid home defense weapon that can be had for a couple hundred bucks when bought used. No reason not to have one.

But no, I most definitely wouldn’t limit my firepower and defensive capabilities simply because they in theory may, one day, get banned at some point.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Just spent Six days without Power: 12 things I learned

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So one of those once in a lifetime mess-ups left us without power for almost a week. One guy messed up and didn’t present the paperwork he was supposed to, the power company did its thing, then fixing it all with a weekend in between was even more time. At the end of the day we were left without power until the mess was sorted out.

I’ve been without power for a few days before. In fact in Argentina power would go down almost every day for a few hours some years ago, especially during summer. I’ve been a day or two without power more times than I can remember and even longer too. Can’t remember if I ever did six full days though.

Anyway, not the end of the world but it is an experience in which you get to see what works, what doesn’t, learn a thing or two or just refresh or remember some of them, so here it goes:

1)Not having power sucks. I gets boring after a day or two. I like watching a movie with the wife after the kids go to sleep. We missed that, of course no internet, tablets and wifi for the phones. Not having rooms as well illuminated is pretty depressing too, especially after a few days. At first the kids run around with flashlights having fun, after the 3rd day they cant stop asking when is the power coming back. We have board games, card games but we didn’t get to use them because we were still pretty busy. It’s a good idea to have them and put them to use though.

Tip: Try finding other things to do, and most of all, if you can, get of the house as much as you can. It really helps fight the gloomy blackout feeling.

2)Preparedness helps. It makes a very big difference if you know what to do. If the blackout lasts for a few hours then just waiting it out with a flashlight will do, but for several days you actually need a game plan, a strategy to get by. How are you going to heat your home, how are you going to heat water, cook food, illuminate the house, keep the fridge going, get work done. All of these need to be addressed and if you haven’t prepared ahead of time and know what to do then everything gets a lot more complicated.

3)Flashlights. Lots of flashlights. I have a ton of them. I buy them, I get them for free to review. They all came in handy. A small Fenix that my oldest son keeps was his personal light to get around when going to bed. My wife kept the Lumintop Copper Prince (best looking flashlight we own!) she keeps as her own. I made good use of the Thrunite TN12s that I have.

Those 1000 lumen lights come in very handy. Using them in candle mode, standing on the tail and pointing towards the ceiling, in their medium modes of 300 or so they would run for a few hours illuminating the room quite well, especially for showering and preparing dinner they were extremely handy.

4)Headlamps. Oh how I love those things. The ability to have both hands available for use while directing light with your head is priceless. If I could only have a light, it would be a headlamp. During those days I picked the head band of my Zebralight H52W and kept it in my pocket as my EDC, using the head strap when getting things done inside the house. Get yourself a good headlamp. The cheapo ones are ok but a nicer one is a valuable asset during extended blackouts.

5)Cat 32 stoves. You remember that post some time ago about making stoves with small tuna and cat food cans? The first day without power I used one to boil some water for breakfast. It worked beautifully.

After that I went for the butane camping stove and left that in the kitchen. If you don’t have one of these yet, just go and buy one. Not the mini  backpacking one but the cheap, large one used of camping. Its far more stable and convenient for blackouts. The one I have is just like this one, the Coleman Butane Stove. Bottles of gas are 2 bucks although its not hard to find them for one dollar when on sale. Stock up. I used a canister every two or three days. This was cooking lunch and dinner, heating water throughout the day for coffee, tea and mate. Stock up and keep a couple weeks worth of gas. It’s cheap enough, extremely handy for these kind of situations and can be used safely in any kind of house or apartment.

Coleman Butane Stove $15.21

6)If you have a car you already have a generator that can run most appliances in your home, one or two at a time. All you need is an inverter. My 500W inverter allowed me to turn on the wifi, use my laptop and charge the cell phones. Careful not to abuse it, you don’t want to end up with burned cables or a dead car battery. These days even fuel efficient refrigerators can be run with a 500W inverter. I would run it for couple hours at a time, get some things done with the laptop before going for running errands and recharging the battery. If you’re going to use the inverter for something more than running a laptop for an hour or two you want to keep the car running so as to avoid draining the battery.

Tip: The advertised power of these car inverters is usually exaggerated a bit. For charging a small laptop and little else a 300W inverter is fine, connected to the 12V lighter. Anything more than that and you’ll probably start blowing fuses in the car. Better yet, get a 500W to 1000W inverter that connects directly to the car’s battery. The bigger the car and the battery the better. Still, Check the wattage and try sticking to half of the max. wattage of your inverter.

 

 

BESTEK 1000W Power Inverter Dual AC Outlets 12V DC to 110V AC Car Inverter $69.99

7)Ice bottles. Put a few bottles of water in your freezer and use it as an ice box for a couple days, maybe 3 or 4 days in winter. Cover everything with a plastic tarp in there for extra insulation. Don’t expect any miracles, but using this technique it will give you enough time to eat any perishables you may have in there before they go bad.

8)Rice, pasta, canned tuna, canned vegetables, lentils, the more shelf stable food you have the easier it is. We are used to eating these things already during “normal” times, so its already easy for us to stop using the fridge and stick to these shelf stable foods. Sure you miss a cold drink in summer, but you get by none the less.

Tip: For rice and especially lentils, pre soaking saves a lot of fuel when cooking. Don’t forget the lid too!

9)Gravity fed city water saved us. If you’re on a well and need to pump water, prepare accordingly. Basically you want to look at your situation and have plan B or even plan C for everything. Cooking? I use electricity. If that goes down I have the butane stove. If that doesn’t work I have the Cat32 alcohol stove which also works. I also have LPG gas bottles used for the water heater, which ca be used for cooking with the right burner. If you have a well, you maybe want a manual pump in case the electric one fails.  Having a plan B, and even plan C for the more critical systems saves the day when SHTF.

10)Living next to town made many things easier. Sometimes you picked fresh food and cooked it right away, buying things you needed, dropping by laundry. Even simple things like having a pizza delivered (even if I usually make my own) it just means you have more resources available and more at hand. Even my neighbour offered several times to hook me up to his grid if I needed it. I don’t like asking for favours or even accepting them when offered, but it was nice knowing that it had been offered.

11)Location, location, location. Living in an area with tropical climate means that when these things happen chances are you’ll get by more easily. In colder climates staying warm is a top priority, especially in winter and a blackout complicates this a lot. The backup systems are crucial in this case. In more benign climates though you just don’t worry about that sort of thing. In sunny places, even lighting gets easier, with daylight up to 9PM in some cases.

12) Batteries, chargers and cables. You need several of these, just like you do with flashlights. You need batteries for your flashlights of course, both primaries and rechargables. Li-ion ones are especially useful for those larger Lumen LED lights. They are brighter and run for longer periods of time. Battery banks and solar panels are also useful. The Waka Waka Power battery bank plus charger worked great yet again. Highly recommended. Keep a lighter plug for the car that has two USB outputs. This means you can charge two phones at a time when running. When there’s a blackout, this is very convenient. A good working solar panel is worth purchasing. I’m considering the one by Goal Zero Nomad 20W  given the positive reviews it has.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

More dead in Venezuela as violence continues

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caracas reuters violence over venezuela s disputed presidential ...

It’s been several days of protesting, rioting and looting in Venezuela, claiming several fatal victims every day.

More than two dozen people have been killed in less than a month and young people keep leaving the country.

People are starving, protesters are getting gunned down by the police and Maduro supporters and it seems that Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship is running on fumes.

Even people with jobs are  looking through garbage to find food. Inflation has spiralled out of control long ago and the lie that is the Venezuelan government can’t keep food on the shelves.

An interesting fact and important reminder: Less than Lethal 12ga ammo (plastic buckshot) CAN be lethal at very close range. Gruseny Calderon was killed by rubber bullets that pierced his lung and liver.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Caterpillar VIP Bag?

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Message:

greetings, am curious on the vip bag from cat. link to view and

purchase. good video on supplies

-Anthony

.

Hello,

This is the bag you are talking about, the one pictured in my book, “Bugging Out and Relocating”.

I cant seem to find it. I bought it many years ago and these things rarely stay in production for long. They get replaced by new, more appealing models.

The closest thing I found from CAT was this tablet bag. I’d probably buy something like this for my VIP bag. Something small, tough and inconspicuous. Being a “tablet” bag, keeping an actual tablet in it isnt a bad idea either so as to access important files, go on line, etc.

Black

CAT The Project Tablet Bag $18.56

For those that aren’t familiar with the VIP Bag concept. You probably know what a Bug Out Bag is, a bag with items you take when escaping or evacuating, usually including food, water, spare clothes, etc. VIP bag stands for very important papers(or possessions) bag. Most immigrants from my grandparents generation had something like this, usually kept in a box, they would keep passports, birth certificates, some family heirlooms, etc. Its basically the same concept but in a more handy container ready to go.  If you need to move fast, if you are injured, if you have to help others escape, injured family, and taking your BOB isn’t possible, at least you would have the essentials in the VIP while still being mobile.

Items to keep in your VIP bag are important documents such as passports, birth certificates, copies of documents and other important files in a USB drive, car and home spare keys, cash and precious metals, maybe even a compact handgun like a Glock 19 and spare magazine. The paper documents and cash should be kept in a ziplock bag to protect them from water. Its not a bug out bag, its something far more compact mostly intended for those important documents.

I suggest keeping it in a fireproof safe. This would be the first thing to grab when bugging out, when you only have seconds to safe your life (flash flood, fire).

Check this previous post to learn more about BOB bags and VIP bags.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

 

 

Should your handgun have a manual safety?

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US Army details new modular handgun based on Sig Sauer P320 | IHS Jane ...

US military new gun, the Sig P320

Fernando,

Your video showing the victims who went for guns that did not have a round in the chamber tells us that they most likely had pistols that did not have mechanical safeties, or if they did have safeties they did not have them engaged.

Either way, they probably thought that keeping the chamber empty was a way to keep the gun from being discharged accidentally by themselves or others who might pick it up.

We have exchanged notes before about the desirability or the undesirability of mechanical safeties on pistols.

While adherents of the no-safety guns make various arguments in defense of their position, a couple of points can be made.

I can send you many articles on many accidental shootings with guns that just “went off” and shot somebody.  These guns were fired by toddlers who somehow got their hands on them (gun owners’ neglect) all the way up to “highly trained” people such as law enforcement officers.  (Interesting that these articles don’t ever disclose the model of pistol involved—wonder if they are worried about legal liabilities.)

But since toddlers probably don’t know how to disengage a manual safety, and competent adults would not deliberately disengage a safety in an unsafe setting, we might conclude that these shootings overwhelmingly are with pistols that do not have a manual safety.

A few months ago, one of the popular gun magazines had an article by a lady firearms trainer who swore that she would never have a pistol with a safety, saying “That is just something else to fumble with” if she had to use her gun.  Strange—you would think that a professional would be trained to the point where there would be no “fumbling.”

Certainly, a gun with a round in the chamber and a manual safety engaged would have been better than the “rack and then shoot” scenarios in your video.

Larry

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Hello Larry,

That’s a good point but you have to keep in mind two words: police and military.

For concealed carry I can tell you one thing; Go with a Glock. Round chambered, no safety.

Your child should NOT take hold of your gun, a safety does not make you a good parent, it does not compensate for lack of training either.

Now for a cop that may lose his gun in a struggle with a suspect, a soldier that may lose his gun in a fight, maybe when handling prisoners, these can be reasons for a safety. I do remember though a cop that had a negligent discharge with his Beretta 92, a gun that has a safety. Safeties do not in any way compensate for improper gun handling. But when it comes to losing the gun to someone that may use it against you (and lack the training to quickly disengage the safety) it may save a life.  Maybe that’s why they required it for their new issued handgun, the Sig Sauer P320.  I bet special forces will stick to their Glocks though, and so should you. A well trained operator, civilian or military, will take the most advantage of a gun without manual safety and a chambered round.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Lever action 22LR: Winchester or Henry?

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This is about the most ridiculous article I’ve ever read. Perhaps if someone is independently wealthy, a $1200 + .22 rifle might be something they want to add to their collection but for most of us, that would never be a consideration when you could pick up 3 Henry lever action rifles for the price of 1 9422. If the reviews are to be believed, the Henry is every bit as reliable if not more so. For the price of just 1 9422, a wise shopper could conceivably purchase a .22 lever action Henry, a 12 guage pump, a self defense sidearm chambered in 9mm or .40 caliber and a .22 semi auto such as the Ruger 10/22. Trying to persuade your readers that a $1200 .22 has any practical purpose in survival is ludicrous.

-A

I suppose you didn’t read the part about “In my opinion you are best served with a semi auto 22LR such as a Ruger 10/22 or a Marlin.” My posts aren’t that long, try reading them in full next time before getting so upset.

And no, the Henry is a great 22 (clearly the way to go for the money ) but better than the Winchester it is not. The fact that the 9422 can get pretty expensive to buy doesn’t change in any way its performance as a firearm. I can buy two Hi-Point 9mm for the price of a Glock… I’d still rather have the Glock.

 

That rifle has been out of production for many years and they have gotten very expensive, if you can locate one. People would be better served with a Henry lever gun. Excellent quality, affordable, and currently available.

-Kurt

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Other than the superior construction, the same traits and qualities of the Winchester apply to the Henry. Basically you’re still talking about a reliable, handy .22 lever action that can handle S, L and LR.

I actually had to pick between the Winchester 9422 XTR (pictured in the post below, which I bought) and a Henry rifle. I wanted something affordable because this was mostly intended for my son. Can’t remember the exact price but I believe I paid around 350 USD for it, plus shipping and paperwork. The used Henry was about the same price, maybe 50 USD cheaper. The Henry was sold by someone local, so I was saving on shipping money.

You see, I didn’t spend $1000, and actually knowing which one was best allowed me to make an informed decision. So if you’re buying a used one, find a good deal somewhere, or if you so happen to be rich which some people are, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with.

The Henry is also a great little 22LR for the money, but obviously the Winchester 9422 is better. It has an all steel construction, forged steel receiver and is simply built to a higher standard. In fact that standard was so high and it was so expensive to make, that’s why they stopped producing it in the first place. This is why you see some very old Winchesters, beaten the crap out of and with almost no bluing left still ticking, the kind of gun that outlasts its owner with ease. This is why they are highly regarded and go for pretty high prices.

As I said in the previous post, if you want to keep it simple and cheap get a Ruger 10/22. You should own one anyway.

For what I had in mind (and yes, given that the price wasn’t an issue) the Winchester presented certain advantages.

As a heirloom gun, its hard to go wrong with a lever action Winchester. For a novel shooter the lever action makes the shooter take his time, be more aware of the round in the chamber and overall keeps things simple and at a nice slow pace to learn proper marksmanship, even if with practice he can become pretty fast with it. In my son’s case playing “Fallout” and liking to use the lever action in the game was an added bonus.

As for the price, of course it makes no sense to spend a grand on a 22 unless you have money to throw around, but if you can get it for a great price like I did then more power to you. Nothing wrong with owning a gun that keeps gaining value as time goes by, rather the opposite.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Utility Gun: 7 Reasons to own a Winchester 9422 in 22LR

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I make no apologies for saying that a Glock 9mm pistol should be the first gun you should own.

The way I see it if a gun is going to save your life, the most likely situation you’ll be involved in will be one of self-defense against two legged predators. A Glock will do that for you. It will protect you in your home, and it will do it when out and about when carried concealed, something no shotgun or rifle can do. I can’t think of many cases of home defense shootings where a full magazine of 9mm wasn’t enough and a long arm would have made much of a difference. On the other hand I know of numerous cases of people getting killed because they weren’t unarmed and simply unable to defend themselves.

Now, a handgun is just one firearm in your battery. I suggest getting a semi auto rifle, some people will go for an AR, maybe an AK. Those that hunt will want to have a good big bore rifle for such purpose, usually a scoped bolt action rifle and most people will agree a 22 is a must have as well. In my opinion you are best served with a semi auto 22LR such as a Ruger 10/22 or a Marlin. Having said this, when it comes to a reliable, accurate, built like a tank dependable carbine that will fire any .22 rimfire, S, L and LR, then the Winchester 9422 is what you’re looking for.

The utility gun

There’s one niche that most people will try to fill and that’s the one of a utility gun. A gun that is more of a tool in your toolbox, reliable, durable but most of all intended to fullfill certain practical, mundane roles.

Typically the shotgun has been that multi purpose utility gun. Especially when it comes to pump action shotguns like the Mossberg 500 with easily replaced barrels you can get one with a long barrel for bird hunting and a shorter one for slugs and for home defense. In my opinion this combo makes for the swiss army knife of the gun world.

Very hot on its heels though is the venerable 22LR carbine. The humble 22 may not be as versatile as a 12 ga shotsell but the round has been perfected over the years into what is today the most cost effective round in the planet, making it arguably the best all-round utility gun in most households for the money. Utility being defined as “capable of being put to use” the uses for a 22 carbine are many:

  • Small game hunting (and then some). When push comes to shove, for the same value, weight and volume, nothing puts as much food on the table as a box of 22LR. The round is clearly intended for small game, but larger animals are often dispatched with a well-placed round and even killing larger game (far from ideal though) such as deer or even hogs is possible with headshots.
  • Pest control. Sure you can blast squirrels with a 12 ga shell, but the ammo is more expensive, both gun and ammo are heavier and they make more of a mess. When you want to keep it simple (and you don’t want to blow up everything around the tree rat you’re trying to kill) then 22 saves the day. With the right load it can be pretty quiet as well given the ability to shoot 22 shorts and its 20 inch barrel.
  • Target practice and plinking. 22LR lends itself nicely for that. These are great guns to learn the basics with. Its easy for new shooters to understand the basic working of the firearm and identify the different components and moving parts. The lever action also happens to be one of the most enjoyable guns to operate. The mechanism forces the new shooters to take their time rather than spray the target, preserving ammunition and making each shot count. The fantastic trigger, nice sights and option of mounting optics means you can squeeze a lot of accuracy out of it.
  • If there’s one brand I’ve seen in shooting ranges around the world, guns worn and weathered with almost no bluing left, yet still running and running well, that would be Winchester. 22s can be picky at times, liking some ammo more than others, or downright refusing to run reliably all together unless certain ammo is fed. While semi auto is faster, in exchange for that speed the Winchester lever action gives you unparalleled reliability. Any .22 you feed down that tube will run.
  • Rimfire options. Unlike a Ruger 10/22, the Winchester 9422 can fire 22 S, L and LR. This can be quite an advantage when getting by with whatever ammo you manage to scrounge, again the lever action mechanism being a plus when dealing with older ammo that may not be in ideal condition.
  • The Winchester 9422 isnt the lightest of 22s, but it can be easily broken down in a more compact package. It’s easy to fit in a backpack along with a few hundred rounds of ammo and carry it without breaking your back.
  • Last ditch self-defense. 22LR sure isnt what you want for self-defense. Even if that’s what you have, a 22 semi auto with a large capacity mag would clearly be a better option. Still, when combined with a handgun, the Winchester gives you a platform to easily reach out and touch someone that happens to be further away and the 15 round magazine gives you a nice supply of ammo. Although there clearly are better options and you should have a fighting rifle in your battery, I wouldn’t like to be running around a field with someone taking shot at me with the Winchester 9422.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Your privacy was just sold: 5 steps to protect what’s left of it.

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You’ve probably heard the news already, but if you haven’t then know that the House quietly voted to undo rules that keep internet service providers — the companies like Comcast, Verizon and Charter that you pay for online access — from selling your personal information.

How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers

What websites you visit, your location, everything they can get from you now is theirs to sell to the highest bidder.

Yay freedom!

Anyway, there’s not a lot you can do but every little helps. These are just five simple things the average Joe can do to protect at least some of that privacy.

1)Start Using Firefox

It’s the best browser anyway.
Here’s a link with some of the ad ons and set up to improve your privacy.

https://vikingvpn.com/cybersecurity-wiki/browser-security/guide-hardening-mozilla-firefox-for-privacy-and-security

2)Stop using Google

Yes, it can be done. Use Duck Duck Go instead as your main search engine. To be honest I still use Google when DDG isn’t giving me good results but not using google is probably the biggest step toward privacy. DDG basically uses Google, but it does it for you while remaining anonymous.

3)Stop using Whatsapp

Since it got sold to Facebook you know what to expect. Shameless abuse of your privacy. Telegram is pretty much the same thing and just as simple to use, but you get to keep your privacy.

4)Stop using Facebook

I’ll be honest. I don’t use it, and those of you that do probably see I hardly keep up with it. My blog posts are automatically reposted on Facebook but I just don’t know how to use 99% of it. The thing is, even if you do like and use Facebook, its as creepy as a company can be, with no regards whatsoever for your privacy of course. At the very least, try not posting vital information like your address, birthday, when you go on holydays or when you make big financial decisions. All of this isnt just about privacy, its about physical safety.

5)Cover the camera of your laptop

My wife first started doing this years ago. I thought she was a complete lunatic. “I don’t know who’s watching” she said. “baby, no one’s watching you” I said back then. Oh, I was so naïve its even cute now that I think about it. Yes, they do spy on you, they use facial recognition technology on you to get your biometric data and God only knows what else, how you react to different data, different products or ads? Disable your camera and microphone when not in use, or as Mark Zuckerberg does and FBI Director James Comey advices people to do, put some tape on it.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

(Free) New US Air Force SERE Manual

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Image result for sere usaf

The new Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) Operations Manual is available free online and it’s actually pretty great. It’s a rather large file so rather than opening it with the browser I suggest to right click and directly download the PDF.

AF Handbook 10-644 SERE 21 March 2017

The USAF survival manual has always been a solid survival literature staple, often used as reference or downright plagiarized by more than a few survival manuals out there. This latest version is packed full of good updated info.

Keep a copy in your PC, you phone and flash drive, heck, take the time and print a hard copy of it as well.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

 

Home Owner’s son kills 3 Home Invaders with AR-15

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max cook, jacob redfearn, jake woodruffThe three The three home burglars that got killed

23 year old Zachary Peters shot the 3 intruders with an AR-15 rifle after they broke into his home, carrying weapons and wearing black clothes.

The link to the story includes more info and the audio of the 911 call, which is worth listening so as to understand better what happens when talking with 911 during such situations.

This goes to show how important it is to teach our kids safe gun use from an early age. I know of much younger children, even pre teens that have used their father’s gun  to protect themselves and their families.

Also its important to remind everyone about the risks of gun handling by children that are too young or not mature enough to handle such responsibility. Be extremely careful with this given how common that type of accident is when it comes to children and firearms.

If your child is old enough, besides safe gun handling the KEY thing to teach  is proper identification before shooting any target. This right there saves lives and avoids tragic shootings of friendly fire.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Reply: A few thoughts about today’s Terrorist attack in London

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Hi FerFAL, thanks for the great advice. I am a regular visitor to your site. Regarding point number 6, I don’t think it is fair to say that when terrorist attacks occur there’s always a “religion of peace” representative involved. Just look at the recent terrorist acts carried out by Anders Breivik in Norway or Thomas Mair in the UK. Extremists of all persuasions are a threat to us all and so we always have to be on guard. Also, I am from the UK and I know from experience that the majority of Muslims abhor such acts carried out in the name of their religion and would inform the authorities immediately if they were able to prevent a terrorist act and bring terrorists to justice. We even have a Muslim mayor in London doing so right now. The mainstream media may portray a particular group as our enemy when in actual fact they may be people we should work with for the greater good. Terrorists have no religion or morals as far as I am concerned and represent no one but themselves. I think that as survivalists we should always think outside the box in these matters

-Ssmith

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Hello Ssmith, thanks for your comment.

You’re right. As survivalists we should look at potential threats objectively even if there are certain red flags to look for. And its true we’ve seen mass shootings or terror attacks by people of all religions and extreme political views.

In the case of Muslims you are right about the great majority of them not being evil, terrorists, etc. They do hold I must say, certain values that are essentially different compared to western ones. I do my best not to judge, especially since as an immigrant myself I’ve been in that place before and do not appreciate it. The differences though, they are real.  I’m not going by what the mainstream media is telling me, I’m saying this based on numerous personal, first hand observations. In general, and even for the young, more open minded Muslims, their treatment of women is just deplorable. Even in the hottest days of summer when walking along the beach women aren’t allowed to uncover their heads, their arms and legs are covered down to their hands and feet, including ankles and wrists. All while their husbands or boyfriends walk right next to them shamelessly staring at topless or bikini wearing women. Even the younger, more westernized Muslims treat women like scum. Their idea of being “romantic” is treating women like animals, controlling them as if they had no rights as a person, telling them how they can or cannot dress and who they can go out with. Even hitting women is pretty much accepted, or at the very least being physical and roughing them up a bit if they don’t do as they are told.  Again, things I’ve seen myself, nothing more, nothing less. This is just the complete opposite from the culture I was brought up in, where treating women like this isn’t just illegal, it’s the kind of thing that probably gets you beaten up pretty bad too.

I’m sure there are people that aren’t like that, and I at least measure people individually, no matter their skin color, religion, even their politics, but those have been my observations so far.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

A few thoughts about today’s Terrorist attack in London

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London terror attack: Four dead and 20 injured

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39359158

In case you haven’t heard, there was another terrorist attack today in London, leaving behind five dead so far and 40 injured. Not much details yet but apparently an SUV was used to plow people and a police officer was stabbed to death.

A few thoughts:

1)Be prepared. Carrying an EDC bag with Celox gauze and tourniquet may seem excessive.. that is until you’re bleeding to death on the sidewalk.

2)As for strategic relocation, it’s yet again another main capital that got hit. NY, London, Paris. Im not saying don’t go there, just be a little extra careful and if possible don’t live in key terrorist target locations.

3)Awareness. When I lived in Buenos Aires I made sure not to wear any headphones. In places with such high crime you need all your senses. Listen to screams, quick footsteps behind you, speeding cars, even shots. In this case a speeding car may have been heard, and someone listening to music may have been completely unaware of it until it was too late.

4)A machine that weights half a ton or more and can move at +100mph can be a terrible weapon. We’ve seen it before with even worse results and we’re likely to see it again. A car, let a lone a truck, in a crowded area can be devastating.

5) The ISIS terrorist magazine “Inspire” tells its followers to do attacks exactly like these. Grab a big car and just plow people. Its easy, simple and any fool can take numerous innocent lives with this kind of attack. It’s reasonable to expect more of these kind of attacks in key western cities.

6)Not pointing any fingers at anyone, or yes maybe I am, but why is it that when terrorist attacks occur there’s always a “religion of peace” representative involved? Just saying.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Venezuela: The Socialist Utopia turned hellhole

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Image result for venezuela disaster

Saw this short 8minute documentary on socialist utopia Venezuela.
Think this is a must see for anyone who thinks socialism is the
answer. https://www.infowars.com/democrats-love-socialism/

-Beth

Thanks for your email Beth.

Venezuela is a mess. Caracas is the murder capital of the world. That people end up starving to death in a large, oil-rich country packed full of fertile land in a tropical climate speaks volumes of the disaster caused by dictators Chavez and Maduro. With such outstanding natural resources the people of Venezuela shouldn’t be starving, they should be thriving beyond their wildest dreams.

Infowars talks about socialism but that’s not it. (and no, I’m no socialist, I believe in having a small, efficient government, which should mix as little as possible with the private sector)

Cristina Kirchner also managed to finish the job started by her husband in their lefty utopia, bringing a large, low population and resource packed country to its knees. Her motto was “national and popular” and with that BS she bankrupted the country. Even worse than that and not being satisfied with stealing alone, she destroyed our once strong education system, which was admired by our neighbouring countries not that long ago. Without education, a country has no future, and when an entire generation grows up having no pride in their education, no respect for work, then you need to double the effort to fix it, and you will only do that when a new generation grows up with a different set of core values.  This is like someone breaking into your home and not only stealing all your stuff, but burning it down right before leaving with all your belongings. They don’t gain anything from it, they are just evil.

But what Cristina Kirchner, Chavez and Maduro, or even right wing or conservatives like Carlos Menem or Alberto Fujimori all have in common isn’t socialism. It’s corruption. Nordic countries tend to lean heavily towards socialism, and as much as some of us may not appreciate the way in which such politics interfere with freedom and personal liberties I must admit that Venezuela and Norway stand perfectly in opposite ends of the quality of life spectrum. One can argue that Venezuela is more of an authoritarian regime indifferently of any specific political model and that Nordic countries follow a social democratic model that focuses more on having a large safety net and ensuring basic rights, yet allowing capital to develop. Still, analysing different forms of government in different parts of the world and different periods of time what I always go back to as a common denominator for social disaster is the same: It’s corruption. They can claim to be left or right, liberal or conservative, but if they are corrupt they will only bring misery to the people they represent.  Societies should learn to have zero tolerance when it comes to it.

As for survival in a place like Venezuela, it’s in many ways similar to what I’ve written about for years regarding survival in Argentina. Argentina, Venezuela, Ex Soviet Union, all countries that go down and experience a socioeconomic collapse have numerous similarities and most of the tactics and strategies to get by are the same. But when a country falls as bad as Venezuela they reach rock bottom and the only viable strategy is to leave as soon as you can.  it’s like surviving 100 feet under the sea. There’s no life in such a place, you just get the hell out of there as soon as possible.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Careful with Inflation folks…

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Janet Yellen, chair of US Federal Reserve, announced interest raise rise from 0.75% to 1% on Wednesday.

US Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 1% in bid to hold off inflation

Fed chair says US economy in strong health as she announces third rate rise since 2008 and the first of several expected this year

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/15/us-federal-reserve-raises-interest-rates-to-1

Inflation is the worst kind of robbery, the one that hits the hardest to those that have the least. Like an inverted Robin Hood, inflation steals from millions of poor to feed billions into a handful of elite superrich. Stealing from anyone, rich or poor, is wrong from an ethical point of view, but it’s especially wrong when done by the most powerful targeting the poorest and most vulnerable people. Inflation kills, people. Inflation ruins lives. A little inflation hurts you a little, a lot of it will destroy you, but don’t ever let anyone convince you that there’s such a thing as “good” inflation.

Stay vigilant. Check those prices, look out for “shrinkflation”. Its already been going on for some time now.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bugging Out, Passports and Cash

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Image result for passports and cash

Hi Fernando,

Thanks for your blog!

Here is a link that I thought you might find helpful for your blog readers.  Good reminder to have an updated passport while times are good!

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-10/millions-venezuelans-try-flee-country-they-run-problem

Tomás Páez – author of “The Voice of the Venezuelan Diaspora” – told Bloomberg that since Chávez took power in 1999 nearly 2 million Venezuelans have fled the country and hundreds of thousands are marking their time until they obtains the funds and the passport that will allow them to leave.

Maduro has acknowledged the issue of the chronic shortages in passports and last week launched a new “online” option that will rush a passport to customers within 72 hours for about double the price of waiting in line. The website, however, has crashed numerous times and it is unclear how many passports have been expedited through this process. Saime has stated that the backup in processing passport applications is because the agency lacks enough “materials,” but did not specify what that means. Observers say that while the government may not be able to afford the paper to make the passport. Paper products in the country, including toilet paper, are in short supply in Venezuela. But skeptics think the Maduro government may also be trying to keep people from leaving the beleaguered nation.

Karyn from California

Hello Karyn, thanks for your email.

Indeed, passports and money (a good bit of it in cash!).  I’ve explained many times before how these two are the most important assets to have when bugging out abroad.

The thing with passports is, timing is key. In most countries getting a passport takes time. If you want to apply for a second one due to family ancestry it may take years.

The lesson folks is get your passport and keep it updated even if you’re not planning on going anywhere.

Also, if you think you may be able to apply for Irish, British or any other second citizenship, don’t waste any time, contact the embassy and get it done while you can. It can one day be, by far, your most valuable asset… or your grandkids.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Survival… rest: 7 tips to buy a new mattress.

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Now this I know is a topic that rarely gets covered but man is it important.
How well are you resting?
A number of factors come into play. You need a quiet, dark room. The suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
But above all, you need a good mattress. This is by far the most important piece of furniture in your house, the one that directly impacts your quality of life the most, how well you rest during the night and how well you perform during the day. It’s the one you spend 7 to 8 hours sleeping on. Make that nine if you’re lucky.
What’s this got to do with survival you ask? Everything. Proper rest is almost as important as a proper diet. It will directly impact both your mood and physical condition. Many people just get a cheap piece of foam and consider the matter done, only to wonder why they feel tired all day, or why their back, neck or head hurts. To heal, to be productive during the day, to be rested and therefore alert you simply need to sleep well.
Personally, I guess I was spoiled from the start. Knowing how important a good mattress is, it was the thing I spent the most money on when I first got married. We bought a Simmons Beautyrest with pocketed coils. Man was that nice. Maybe the best mattress I ever owned. Because of that Beautyrest I learned to appreciate pocketed coil springs and always stuck to those until last year. I somehow ended up with one of those spring mattress that aren’t pocketed, just a bed of connected springs. It was cheap garbage and by far the worst mattress I even slept on. For almost an entire year I dreaded going to bed, woke up with a stiff neck, felt tired all day. You know how that is, you know something needs to be done but you keep postponing it. One day I woke up and promised myself I would not continue to suffer this nonsense, especially given how easily my “problem” could be solved by just buying another mattress. Well, that was the beginning of period of days dedicated to research and finding the right mattress.
This is what I learned:
1) You get what you pay for but sometimes you over pay. If you want quality then it wont be cheap. The Simmons Beautyrest I mentioned before is a classic, still in production and a top of the line mattress, but some of their best models cost over $2,500. You can buy a lot of foam mattresses with that money.
2) Then again sometimes you are also getting ripped of. A +$1.000 foam mattress is still a piece of foam, even when fancy trademark names and new foam “technology” is used in the marketing of said product.
3) Get pocketed coils. This is what the best, most expensive mattresses have always been made of. This means springs in individual wrappings, so that each one works independently. When this method is done properly there is no movement transmitted from one side of the bed to the other. Even if you jump on one side and try to sleep in the other.
4) Get one that offers at least 6 months of trial and +10 year warranty.
5) Get one that uses quality, if possible natural fibers.
6) Get one that has a good thick bed topper(pillow top) as pictured below.

Beautyrest Recharge Simmons Plush Pillow Top Mattress, Full, pocketed coil springs $752.16

 

7) Go with “firm” for your mattress. When combined with a pillow top it makes for the best of both worlds.
After researching for several days I went to IKEA and got myself their top of the line mattress, Hesseng. The Hesseng is made of thick gauge pocketed coils, uses horsehair as filling, along with cotton and wool, all natural fibers. The topper, Tromsdalen is also natural silicon. This makes for a super fresh, well ventilated mattress.


If you need a new mattress look for this one in IKA (although I don’t believe its available in America yet, better check). IKEA gives you 12 months to try the mattress and a 25 year warranty. That’s pretty good.
IF not go for the Simmons Beautyrest. You cant go wrong with either one. They aren’t as cheap as a piece of foam but the quality is on another level as well.
If still on the fence and looking to save a few bucks at the expense of the quality of your rest, remind yourself that you deserve the best you can afford. Especially for a bed in which you’ll spend 1/3 of your life in.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Improving your Glock trigger

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Other than the sights, Glocks are perfect just the way they are.

Seriously, just taking a few classes will make you appreciate your Glock. You’ll see most other guns fail all the time. They are heavier, they break, have sharp edges that cut the hands of the shooters, have problems feeding, ejecting and so on. You even see this with guns worth thousands. Glocks rarely have such problems, and they keep up with the best in terms of accuracy for all practical purposes.

The trigger though, yes, it has that staple gun feeling going on. Which is fine for a fighting gun. Now, if you want to improve it some, there are a couple things that can be done. It will never be a fine tuned 1911 race gun, and I’m not suggesting spending crazy money on a new trigger kit.

What I did was install a ZEV Race Connector v4 and ZEV’s competition trigger spring.  I didn’t install the reduced power firing pin spring and firing pin safety spring, which would have brought down the trigger to around 3 lbs, mostly because I didn’t want it to be too light and because a lighter firing pin spring means you could have problems if the gun is dirty or if you have a hard primer.

With these two installed the trigger feels noticeably better. A bit lighter, but what’s more important more predictable and with a shorter trigger reset. At least that’s the way I feel it.

If you’re not too happy with your Glock trigger give it a try. Keep in mind, ZEV does say *ZEV Technologies recommends this for competition use ONLY* so check your CCW laws and requirements before making the modification.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Gun Shooter vs Gun Fighter

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Image result for teen shot columbia county

Teenager shot to death after young girl sneaks him in house

The title of the story linked above is pretty self-explanatory. A girl sneaks a boy into her house, apparently the boy hides in a closet. Dad thinks someone broke in, ends up shooting the boy.

Its one thing to kill someone you are 100% sure you want to kill. Its another, VERY different story, to look down on a person you just killed and realize you made the worst mistake of your life.

I’ve said it a hundred times but I haven’t said it enough: Keeping a loaded firearm for defense without proper firearms training is like getting on a car for the first time, turning it on and getting on the highway. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Any clown pulling the trigger is a shooter. Now, someone that has received advanced training and keeps it up to sustain the level of proficiency, that’s who your’re supposed to be. Someone that actually trains to fight with his gun. Not in the sense of the old west gunslinger and professional duelist, but a modern day gunfighter that has trained for the martial use of his weapons.

My old instructor used to say, “we don’t train shooting machines here, we train hitting machines.” Anyone pulls the trigger and shoots, not everyone hits what they are shooting at in a violent dynamic encounter. There’s a big difference. My first firearms instructor when I was 14 or 15 years old insisted on target recognition. “ID the target before you put a round in it”. Till this day, I believe that’s the most important lesson I’ve ever learned regarding firearms. The truth is that for most normal people, far more often than not whatever went “bump in the night” will be something you do not need to kill. Yes it can be a home invader, but far more likely it’s the dog, the cat, one of the kids that went down stairs to get something to drink in the middle of the night. It’s the friend that stayed over for the night. It’s the wife that is a day early back from that trip or the son that “broke in” through a window in the middle of the night because he forgot his keys and didn’t want to wake everyone up.

Lesson of the day folks: ID your target before shooting. Once the round leaves the barrel you can’t take it back.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Federal appeals court says weapons “like M-16 rifles” not protected by Second Amendment

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Image result for wiki ar15

Now this is disturbing news.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decision upheld Maryland’s ban on assault rifles, which was passed in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. It cited a 2008 Supreme Court case, Heller v. District of Columbia, which said that weapons “most useful in military service” are not covered by the Constitution.

Federal appeals court says assault rifles are ‘weapons of war’ not protected by Second Amendment

This shows a concerning level of ignorance regarding the basic principle of the Second Amendment were clearly the “security of a free State” involves warfare against tyrants or foreign invaders, meaning yes, using precisely weapons of war. If anything it’s sporting firearms that have a limited or nil combat application therefore aren’t strictly “necessary to the security of a free State”.

This serves as a reminder that gun rights should never be taken for granted and that there’s people always operating to take them away from us. The minute you relax, the minute they take a bite. Relax too much and one day you have nothing left.

Take care folks,

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Happy people: A Year in Taiga

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I’m pretty sure I posted this before, maybe last year, but in case you missed it it’s worth posting again.

Happy People: A Year in Taiga goes along the journey of one year with the professional trappers and hunters living along the Taiga river in Russia. These are hardy, no-nonsense old world people. They make a living in one of the harshest parts of the world, one that is at that beautiful and full of natural resources. The skill and resourcefulness they show is admirable.

It’s the second time I watch this documentary. Its four parts, one for each season (as in actual seasons of the year) each lasting one hour. Again, worth every minute of it.

One of the things that stuck with me this time though is that even though I bet they are happy people and some of them probably chose such a life, I sure wouldn’t trade places with them any time soon. In spite of the beautiful natural surroundings you can also see the Spartan way of life, in many ways limited. At the end of the day the trapping, fishing and hunting is done for good old money mostly, and they make rather little of it at that. Clearly being frugal is one of their main survival skills and if applied to any other line of work, likely one that pays better, it’s also understandable that a person would thrive as well.

Again, the skill and resourcefulness is amazing. How they cut down trees to make everything from skies to canoes, driving, navigating, repairing, fishing, hunting, trapping. While these people may be jack of all trades, they sure have mastered several of them as well.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Oroville Dam: Have you bugged out already?

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You may want to if you haven’t done so already. It can be nothing, or it can get biblical over there folks.

According to Los Angeles Times, more than 100,000 people were ordered to flee to higher ground Sunday afternoon after the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam developed a hole, prompting fears it could collapse. With rain expected later this week, things can get really bad really fast.

Now this isn’t a storm or winter blizzard we’re talking about. If the dam collapses and you’re down range its bye bye. With such high-stakes I at least wouldn’t be risking it and would get the hell out of there until the crisis is resolved. After all this is precisely the kind of thing we prepare for. Taking such risks makes no sense if it can be at all avoided.

Oh, remember what I always say about bugging out and bugging in not being a matter of choice? well… this.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Brazil SHTF: Police Strike allows for “Purge” type Chaos

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Police go on strike in Brazil, cities being wiped out in “Purge” fashion

Police in Brazil have gone on strike, leaving the country unarmed and left in a “Purge” like chaos. In 30 cities across Brazil, militarized police are refusing to do their jobs. According to an anonymous source in the city of Espirato Santo, Brazil, the chaos can be comparable to the 2014 thriller “Purge”, with people running rampant with guns and machetes, stealing from malls, and even dead bodies lying in the streets. As buses are set ablaze on night streets, and people crawl for shelter covered in blood, Brazil is slowly becoming overtaken by it’s people.

“A pm is on strike and the thugs are randomly shooting at anyone who passes the street in Espírito Santo, my God what is happening” says one Brazilian resident.

“I won’t even leave my house today,” one Brazilian resident in Espirito Santo told Political Outsource. “things are absolutely crazy, there are people running around with guns in pretty populated areas, dozens of people stealing sh-t from malls, even dead bodies on the streets!”

In another interview with Political Outsource, one resident in Espirito Santo said in a phone interview; “It’a f–king mess what’s going on here. The worst part is the regular citizen can’t have a gun to defend himself!”

This same thing happened in Argentina a couple years ago and left many dead behind. Now its happening in Brazil with similar consequences.

Lesson Learned I: When cops go on strike all hell breaks loose and you better be well armed in a defendable position. Yes, like in the movie.

Lesson Learned II: The day cops go on strike is not the time to go buy guns and ammo, let alone the time to train and learn their proper use.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Salomon: High performance footwear

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The Philosophy

Every hiker knows that his boots are the most important part of his gear. Lose your backpack, lose your pants, its all good, but without shoes… your mobility is greatly handicapped and without mobility you have very few options.

Given how important it is to have adequate footwear during an emergency, your daily wear shoes should reflect that. If something happens and today whatever you chose to wear is all you will have to walk several miles, get by for days or even weeks, walk across broken terrain, help people or extract yourself or others across rubble and debris, keep yourself dry when raining. Therefore we are looking for practical, capable footwear.

Salomon Quest and X-Ultra

I’ve been using Salomon footwear for about a year now and have not been disappointed.

Even the low-top hikers X-Ultra have kept my feet dry and provided more than enough foot support and traction.

The Salomon Quest boots are a in a league of their own. Tough, impossibly comfortable once broken in and durable.

The grey ones are the typical hiking boots that made the Quest boots famous. Since these ended up in the feet of military personal nearly as much as in the feet of hikers, they came up with the Quest Forces model. The colours are more militaristic and use leather loops instead of metal eyelets but other than that its mostly the same great boot.

I think they all work very well for all-round footwear. They are comfortable enough for normal, everyday use yet provide serious hiking capability if it’s ever needed. It doesn’t hurt that they look great. The Quest boots are clearly more suited for moderate to cold climates (especially with Goretex models) and the low top do well in very warm climates. These do have goretex as well, which granted, makes it warmer, but then again its great to step on a few inches of water and not have a single drop go in (have done so numerous times already)

Give Salomon a try. You won’t be disappointed.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Stocks During the Economic Collapse of Argentina?

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Dear Ferfal,

I think I’ve read every blog post you’ve ever written. Long time fan. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom with everyone.

The Dow Jones just hit 20,000! I have a question about what the stock market is like when TSHTF. Like most Americans, I “own” stocks through my retirement plan. If inflation goes really high, is a stock like a gold ring that doesn’t have value until you sell it (and therefore increases with inflation), or will stocks kind of stay the same price, and therefore lose tremendous value? What happened in Argentina?

And I want to say that you have actually changed my life. I live in a very safe place, the kind of place where people still can leave their front door unlocked. Which I sometimes do when I go next door (on the other side of the porch), but I’ve made it a habit to always lock the door behind me when I come inside. If I come home and someone is inside, I can run away. But nobody’s coming in when I’m home unless I let them in (not too many ways out except the front door). Anyway, I think it’s a good habit, and I think I’m better prepared for what’s coming thanks to you.

Best Wishes,

-Adam

Hello Adam,

Thanks for being a long time reader. I’m glad to know I helped make your life a bit safer! These are all little things we do, habits and strategies that start building up as our mindset changes.

I see survivalism, at least the practical version of it that I call modern survivalism, as a lifestyle in which practical decisions are made keeping in mind the best possible outcome in a worst case scenario. Sounds paranoid but it’s not. If doing one thing instead of another improves my odds and quality of life (better, safer, more peace of mind) then it is the one that provides the most strategic advantages from a tactical point of view. From the items in your EDC, the clothes you wear, the car you drive and the place where you live.

Regarding the stock market in Argentina during the crisis, here yet again we see that common assumptions and what actually ends up happening during an economic collapse have little in common.

Of course, the stock market has collapsed in the past and such a possibility is something to keep in mind, but we must remember than these situations are pretty complex, both in causes and effect. It is crucial to fully understand the former to correctly predict the latter.

Here is where we must ask ourselves, what caused the collapse in the first place? In the case of Argentina it was a bank run followed by a devaluation. The knowledge of an impending devaluation and rumours of accounts being frozen obviously triggered such bank run. If the same had happened for example with stocks, rumours of a bubble, followed by sharp sales and loss of value the story would have been different. The chart below reflects the Merval, the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

We clearly see a big drop as expected at the time of the economic collapse in December 2001, but then as time goes by it starts going up, even as the Peso goes down, why? Well, the price is now in Pesos no longer pegged to the dollar, but even more important is that stocks represented something physical to own, a part of a company (even a struggling one!). Even if people suffered it often occurred that companies did well eventually. The common saying in Argentina years after the crisis about “its great that the economy is doing much better. Too bad we don’t get to see any of it” reflects just that. With a 25% inflation per year anything that held its value was better than the Peso. Real estate, US Dollars and yes also stocks.

I would say that looking at it from a historical perspective, good time-proven stocks tend to do well on the long run. High risk ones are more of a question mark. It sure isn’t a chunk of gold or silver in your hand, but the chances of it being worth only the paper they are printed on and the company going belly up isnt as high if you invest wisely. As always, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket and so on.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

How the super-rich are preparing

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An armed guard stands at the entrance of the Survival Condo Project, a former missile silo north of Wichita, Kansas, that has been converted into luxury apartments for people worried about the crackup of civilization.

Interesting article.

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

These guys have:

*Money, both cash and funds in accounts across the world.

*Well set up Bug out locations, both local and abroad.

*Means to get there. Most of these guys have their own plane, boats, can pay for private jets, tickets, etc.

*Intel and connections. By the time you read about SHTF they’ll already be in some safe location.

All we can do is try to get as close to such a setup as possible. One of the toughest parts for most people being having the money do move around like that, and maybe even harder to get, connections with true insiders that warn you ahead of time.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Best carry knife for Germany ?

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Hi Ferfal, You seem to like folding knives. I live in Germany where it is illegal to carry a folding knive. It is only allowed to carry non-foldable knives with a blade that is less than 12 cm long. I’m looking for an all-purpose knive that I can legally carry. What knive(s) do recommend for Germany?

Regards, Karl

….

Hello Karl, thanks for your message and sorry for the long wait.

Yes, I can recommend you a knife and will do so in a minute but before we go there I’d like to talk a bit about having the right mindset. This goes for my friends here in Europe and the ones in US that have to deal with restrictions just as bad or worse depending on where they are living.

Those of us that are law abiding citizens always look to understand the local laws and regulations and stay on their right side. The problem I see is that many times, like-minded honest citizens try to go an extra step away from that line, just to play it safe. This is how I often come across people that truly believe guns are illegal when they are not, or knives or other defensive tools. I had a friend in Argentina that was surprised to know that guns were legal to own in the country. She was in her early twenties, we were in college and she wasn’t a dumb person. It’s just human nature to assume that anything potentially dangerous gives you power, and these days people are brainwashed to believe that power should not be in the hands of common people.

The same happens with guns, ammunition, and knives. Recently I had to explain a gun store owner that buckshot is perfectly legal. He was under the impression that it was banned so he hadn’t been ordering it for years “just in case”.

Now, the thing that sets me apart from most other people is that I know for a fact what happens when SHTF. I know that if someone attacks you on the street or breaks into your house to hurt you and your family, they (its usually more than one) won’t care what you thought or wrongfully assumed. It will just be too damn late and what happens is cold harsh reality. An undeniable fact that can’t be changed and isn’t open to debate. (Yes, people there are no “alternative facts”). If you get killed in your home, or your loved ones hurt. If you’re left on a wheelchair for the rest of your life or your daughter is raped that cannot be changed. It simply is what it is and you can’t go back in time to change it.

So… you may read here and there to just play it safe and go with a Swiss army knife, or maybe a non-locking Opinel. True, it will handle 90% of the cutting tasks you may come across on your day to day routine and even help in some emergencies. But my advice is to plan for the worst and keep that worst case scenario in mind. Don’t take five steps away from the legal limits. Know them and within that limit we law abiding people always respect, carry the best most capable tool you can.

In your case, it seems that you can’t carry a folder that locks and can be opened single handed. You may be able to do so with a lawful use (say you go fishing, hunting or hiking) but it seems that you can carry a fixed blade as long as its under 12 cm (4 3/4inch). That’s actually pretty good and opens up a few interesting options.

SOG Seal Pup

SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP $30.74

A great option. I believe the blade is exactly within your limit. This would be one of my first choices. If the blade happens to be a couple mm too long, I wouldn’t hesitate to cut the tip down a bit and regrind it. If you’ve done this before you can do it yourself, or find someone more experienced if not. Just be careful not to overheat the thin tip and dip it in water constantly when working on it with a grinder.

ESEE 3P

ESEE -3 Plain Edge $98.99

This is another solid choice. Definitely within your legal limit yet a super capable little knife. The sheath is pretty much ideal since you can carry it as a neck knife or on your belt. It doesn’t look aggressive or tactical, at least not much, so it may work better if ever stopped by cops and such.

Cudeman MT-5 Survival fixed blade knife

Survival fixed blade knife Cudeman MT-5 120-X $79.99

This is a actually a great brand, makes excellent knives in quality BÖHLER N-695 stainless steel, similar to 44C . If you’re in an area that is damp or wet often, this is a great way to go at exactly 11 cm.

If you ever need that knife, and you happen to need it in a life or death situation where a Vicotrinox or other pen knife simply wouldn’t have been enough, you’ll be glad you went with the most capable tool you could lawfully carry.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

6 Reasons why you should own a kerosene heater

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For most people that live in locations where winter temperatures mandate heating to remain comfortable or even survive, staying warm is crucial. This means having a main source of heating and at least two backup plans. Remember that three is two, two is one and one is none. People may use electricity, natural gas, heating oil and wood, just to name some. It still surprises me though that a lot of people don’t include what is probably the most rugged system, ideal for disasters which is kerosene heaters.

Sengoku CTN-110 KeroHeat 10,000-BTU Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater

Why should you get one?

1)They are cheap. Some on Amazon go for under 100 bucks and if you keep an eye out you can often find them on flea markets or garage sales for a lot less. Keep in mind that you may need a new wick for it though. Other than the kind of fuel used, the wick is the second most important part of a kerosene heater.

2)Most reliable way to heat a home. There just isn’t a most straightforward and reliable way to provide heat. Electricity will be down during serious storms, propane bottles can leak, found empty when needed the most. A generator is a far more complex machine, and it is nowhere nearly as efficient in terms of heat per fuel used. With a kerosene heater you can literally buy one, keep it along with a few gallons of fuel stored in a garage and years later you know you can have it running in a matter of minutes. Kerosene heaters are extremely simple machines. There really isn’t much that can break of otherwise go wrong.

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor- DH2304

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor $139

3)Its safe. Like with all open flame heaters, you have to make sure you have ventilation of course. A cracked window, just a couple inches will do for smaller rooms. For larger family rooms even less than that will do. You should still have a CO detector to be on the safe side but these modern heaters burn very clean and are extremely safe. Kerosene is one of the safest fuels you can store.

4)Its compact. If you have little room around to spare and nowhere to stockpile cords of woods then this is the way to go.

5)It can be used in any type of building. Kerosene heaters are used all over Japan in both houses and apartments. No complicated or expensive installation is requires.

6)It can be used for cooking and lighting besides heating. The models with flat tops can usually warm up, even boil water placed on top of them on a pot. The model shown below also has a glass body and can double as a lantern.

Dyna-Glo WK11C8 Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater, 10500 BTU $97.72

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bank Payments and Having Children when SHTF

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Image result for greece financial crisis

Hi ferfal my name is Aris from Greece I am 31 years married no children yet. I had send you before an e mail many years before but didnt get an answer its ok I had your book for guidance hope you are ok.

I know you are very busy so I’ll make it quick.

I have a question need your advice .

What did you do in Argentina with banks? my father has a  house loan and till now we pay it  many people here dont paid the banks because they waiting bankrupsy and to come drachma alredy the banks here make some cut to the loans if someone  has 10000 euro loan and can afford to pay the say pay us 5000 euro cash and we are ok.

Many clever guys took advance of this so me and my father feel like suckers that we struggle  to be ok with our payments.

questions

1 shall i stop paying the bank and keep the money in offshore or as we say in the matress waiting?2 keep paying ?

Thanks.

Also a personal  question my wife and I want to make a child start a family but situation here is very bad economical shall I wait for better days or to start having children, how was in Argetina the birth  rate after the economic collapse?

I try to buy the new book of you but don’t have money right now waiting the summer for work. I love my country and I don’t want to leave.

Thanks for all the advices from the first book sorry for my english!!!

-Aris

Hello Aris,

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your previous email. Some days it piles up and if the following day I also get a bunch its sometimes hard to keep up. Sometimes they end up filtered as spam for whatever reason.

Regarding your first question. What you certainly DON’T want to do is to lose your house to the bank. You need an advisor to go over your contract and make sure that whatever it is that you do, you do not endanger that.  Having said that, yes, many times you pay every month and then comes this guy that hasn’t paid a cent all year and gets a bigger discount than you. Banks are all about making money, not being fair, let alone being your friend. If they can charge you 2x they will, and if they believe they can only get 1x out of another person then they will go for that. In Argentina its common practice to pile up property municipal fees and wait for some payment scheme that offers a bigger discount to debtors. In that case yes, the person that paid in time feels like a sucker. After making sure you are not endangering possession (don’t know how this works in Greece) maybe you can save up that money in an offshore account. If you have to make the payment you still have the money, if eventually a better deal can be made and save money then you can try that too.

As for your question regarding children my advice is to go for it. I had my first boy right after the  big collapse of 2001. It wasn’t easy, as you say money was tight, but it was worth every second and I’m glad we had him back then rather than wait. As I explained in my previous post, you have to live today, not plan to live 5 years from now and this is especially true with having kids. Have them young, enjoy them. In Argentina birth rates went up soon after the crisis. This is pretty common, for people to invest more in family when times are tough.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Are you truly living or are you merely surviving?

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This is a question I used to ask myself a lot when living (or should I say surviving) in Argentina.

I knew the answer well enough. I was surviving in Argentina and I did not like it. That’s why we left after all. Since then I can say we’ve been living life. It’s been a great life with my fantastic wife and kids. We live every day to the fullest and look forward to the next one. In many ways we’ve been making up for lost time. Every day I try to do right, do what I like and live it as the precious moment that it is. For all the talk about the snowflake generation, I do treat each day, each moment as one. As something that is unique, special, will last just a moment and I’ll never get back. Let me tell you, it’s a great way to live your life. If you do it you’ll look back and regret nothing.

What does it mean to “merely survive”? It means to just be alive but not do much living other than that. In our case the clear limiting factor was crime. Every time you left your home you felt exposed and you did because you actually were. You would walk around always looking around, you looking for threats. Even in crowded places you needed to be careful with pick pockets or snatchers grabbing your backpack, briefcase or in the case of women their purses. I’ve seen men get mugged, at gun point, at the train station in the middle of rush hour. The platform packed full of people and the robber sticking a gun to the guy’s face. It could truly happen anywhere at any time and it happened a lot, all around you. After we left Argentina, the thing that amazed us the most was that, security. The ability to go out for a long walk, pretty much anywhere we want and not fear getting attacked. Sleeping at night knowing that even is some noise wakes you up, chances are its not four or five guys trying to break in. Crime limited you in other ways too. It dictates where you can live. Gated communities and apartments in safe buildings are fine, a more isolated house in the outskirts of town is not. When buying a new car, try not buying one that is too expensive or looks too good or you’ll get carjacked over it. A guy that I knew bought himself a fancy car and had it armoured so as to be able to enjoy it. A week later he was carjacked when getting in, robbed at gunpoint.

What can you do about this? The choice is either do something about it (try to avoid being a victim) or go into denial. I’d say 90% of people chose denial.

The other factor was of course economic. No matter how much money you made 25% inflation meant you couldn’t save up money at all. You had to spend it right away. With that kind of economic instability you can’t plan for anything beyond a couple weeks, let alone a few years.

Here is where I suppose a lot of people may feel represented. Not because of inflation but because of money being tight and living month to month with nothing left in between. That isn’t much of an enjoyable life either. Worrying about an unexpected expense, an accident or illness ruining you financially. Never taking vacations, always living on a strict budget.  In my case I felt as if my life was on hold, as if someone had pressed the “pause” button in my life. What kept us going was the hope that soon enough we’d get to live for real. Be free to go out for a walk without worrying about getting mugged. Get to travel without the fear of our home getting picked clean while we were away. Get to dress anyway we wanted without worrying about having something on us that was of certain brands or worth a bit too much and it being too much of a temptation for a would-be robber. I mean, my wife and I, we ended up replacing our gold wedding bands for silver ones. It was common practice to avoid getting mugged. I still remember the day after we left that we got to wear them again.

When certain “preppers” talk about looking forward to SHTF, because they’ll do great while all the liberals die off, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Surviving sucks folks. It’s the living part that’s fun. Merely surviving sucks but it’s much better than being dead, most of all because it means there’s still chance you may end up living again one day.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Survival Diet: Sugar causes heart attacks (yes, it does)

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Image result for sugar heart attack

It is obvious enough, isn’t it? Staying healthy is essential for survival and nothing else is as strongly linked to health as our choice of fuel, whatever constitutes our diet.

With the right diet, your body works better, it repairs itself better and even your mind works better. One of the big problems with processed foods (among others, including pesticides, GMO, etc) is the addition of sugar. With moderation, sugar as found in fruit is cool, as found in Froot loops its not.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand why our brain craves sugar and how food companies figured out how to exploit that to maximize profit at the expense of our health. You can literally pick up horse manure, if you add enough sugar and some artificial flavouring you can wrap it up and sell it. Someone will buy it. And like it.

I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for the billions food companies pump into the medical establishment, we would know a lot more about the disastrous effects it has on our bodies.

If you think I’m nuts try this: One week without food with added sugar. Fruits yes, but no sodas, no junk food or even a teaspoon of the stuff in your coffee. Just one week and you’ll see for yourself how you can concentrate more and basically think better.

Take the time to read the article linked below.

Eggs Don’t Cause Heart Attacks — Sugar Does

Take care folks,

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Russian and Argentine Collapse: Similarities, differences and lessons learned

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Image result for USSR collapse food

Folks there’s this fantastic thread over at ar15 survival forum where member Gyprat posts about his experience the Soviet Union during its socioeconomic collapse. I encourage you to follow the link and read the entire thread.Gyprat’s insigths into societal collapse

Here are some thoughts and notes I took about parallelisms, similarities and some differences too with what I saw in Argentina.

1)” One day I remember well was in August of 1991, when communists attempted a government takeover coup. I was in Moscow that day. Everyone was scared and confused. Nothing was on the news. Oil pump quit in my little Lada’s engine and I was not far from one of the busiest intersections, where tanks were taking positions to fire at something. I was lucky to have tools and skills to pull the oil pan off and to make a temporary repair to the oil pump shaft to get us back home.”

The Lada comment and car problems right in the middle of chaos, protests and social unrest. This means no one to call to tow your car, no help, no insurance or breakdown cover, you have to fix it yourself. In my case it wasn’t a Lada but a Renault 9. A reliable, but mostly simple carburetor engine vehicle that was easy to work on and parts easily available. Dear God I’m no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination but I knew that car well and could fix little problems with my Leatherman, some wire and duct tape. At times that made the difference between having a vehicle when SHTF all around you or not. Today, the lesson for me is keeping my Honda well equipped and well serviced in an official Honda shop.

2) The rumours, lies and misinformation. Understanding that the government lies, that companies lie (yes, for profit! Unbelievable!) , that the media owned by such companies lies as well. Lies and social engineering, how people’s opinion is “shaped” and they don’t even realize it. Maybe this is one of the most important, key aspects taking place today. Alas, 99.9% of people, even those that consider themselves “conservatives” don’t even realize they’ve been manipulated in such a way.

3)” Monetary system? Everything was cash based.”

Yup, indeed it was. Cash is king. Even when devaluating it’s still king. You have to be careful and watch before things go Venezuela or Weimar republic on you (meaning cash becoming practically worthless)  but cash gets things done.

4)” Some people had savings accounts in the only available, government owned bank. Once the inflation hit, savings accounts were frozen by the government. People had to stand in long lines to get a limited amount of money out. I can’t remember all the details but the inflation hit very hard.”

Oh I sure can relate to that.

One of the most powerful tools that I’ve mentioned here before (even if some of the “experts” here have mocked me for it) having an off shore bank account and second nationality. When everyone in my country was struggling to get 300 pesos out of an ATM, I could go to a local branch of my off shore bank, use their ATM and get 1000 USD out of it, cash. Then go to an “arbolito”, street currency dealer, and turn that into 4000 pesos. Only Gyprat here understands what that means. To have your money safely abroad, and access it, while everyone else a)Lost 66% of their savings b) will keep losing more to inflation c) cant even access what’s left of it.

5)” I could barter almost anything for alcohol.”

Alcohol is always a valuable barter item, especially in times of war, but I believe its also very much cultural as well. A bottle of vodka sure has more of an appeal in a place like Russia than in South America. I my experience it was always cash the nice thing to have and most often used in bribes. Gyprat mentions cash bribes as well, I think it’s the “safest” route for something that has universal appeal. Maybe in USA a box of ammo has somewhat of a similar appeal, especially in more pro gun areas. In general though, if I had to advice anyone I’d say go with cash if you have to buy your way through trouble.

Regarding bribes, it sure is illegal and you shouldn’t do it, but then again sometimes you do NOT have an option. I know because I’ve been in such situations before. Sometimes it culturally accepted, (even if it wasn’t not long ago) and sometimes it’s so accepted that it’s expected of you, and not doing what’s expected of you when dealing with corrupt people with power gets you in very serious, life threatening trouble. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never been in that position, but know that some of us have.

6)” Medical services were free.”

Free in Argentina too, although not nearly as good as having private cover like I had. One of my grandparents died before his time because of poor public cover. I will admit though that poor public cover is better than no cover, and that with the new government in Argentina the free public healthcare is doing much better once again. Turns out that when politicians aren’t stealing 90% of the people’s money, it’s much easier and cheaper to get shit done! If I was poor and suffered health problems, I’d rather be in Argentina today than in USA. Healthcare will be a main topic to work on for American survivalists in the future. You just have to check GD forum here to read up on some horror stories. Make it a priority to have as good health cover as you can afford, and as always options, options, options. The more the better.

7)” Water was another story. We live near the highest spot in the whole city. Water pressure was always low and we only had water from 6-9 AM and back at 5 through 8PM. That’s it. Water quality was terrible too.”

Yup, little water and of poor quality. By code, homes in Argentina have at least a 1000l tank. That means the tank gets filled up during the times of the day that you actually have water, and you use the 1000l during the day. With a bit of careful use you can get through a couple days or more, but the problem is that people forget about the automated system and only realize theres something going on when they run out of the reserve tank which is no longer being refilled.

Poor water quality means a good water filter is essential.

“Natural gas, on the other hand, was always there and was almost free.”

Yes, natural gas is generally pretty reliable if you have a city connection. Its also much cheaper than buying bottles, another advantage of being closer to a town that actually has NG. Ironically enough, people that live further away, in many cases poor people that live in less consolidated areas, they have to pay a lot more for gas used for heating.

8) I was just telling my oldest son about the time my grandparents lost everything. They had been successful business owners, both of them. My grandfather had a large carpentry shop, half a block workshop, my grandmother had a successful bakery, also pretty big. They made very good money. Because of the increase in crime and a couple armed robberies my grandmother sold the bakery. They still had my grandfather’s business. My aunt convinced my grandfather that he was already a successful businessman, to just sell his company and live off interest and investments. So he did that. Sold it, put the money in the bank and bought a couple small rental flats. Then came the hyperinflation in the later 80’s. My father, an accountant and executive in a large bank, told them to take the money out of the bank ASAP. They didn’t listen, my aunt told them it would be all right. It wasn’t and they lost everything. The retirement collected each month was pitiful and really the rentals were the only thing keeping them afloat.

I remember it was the first time I heard my father shout so much. My grandparents were crying in the kitchen, asking him “what do we do now!?” My dad was so pissed, he shouted back “Nothing! now you’re fucked! Why didn’t you listen to me!?”.  Sometimes people self-destruct like that. You know what’s better for them, you try to make them understand but they just don’t listen. Of course it’s much worse when its people you care for.

9)” This meant that everything was tied to a real market price, tied to the real currency exchange rate. Prices skyrocketed. People were walking around in shock and disbelief after they saw new prices on food and everything else. It was like 10, 100 or 1000 times more than a month earlier. Yes, food was readily available but people could not afford much because they were still getting paid very little..”

Amen to that. This is what folks sometimes don’t understand. Cash is king, yet you have to be careful with hyperinflation. If a banana costs 1000 USD, does that mean the USD is worthless? Well, not if you need that banana and you have those 1000 bucks. “So I should stock up on bananas/tools/stuff! Sell it after the collapse!” Well… no. There’s lots of “stuff” floating around, the price will rarely be as good as you hope. Only certain items at a certain time keep up the price. In my case it was foreign currency, what Gyprat calls “real market price”. In the case of Argentina I know gold and silver stayed in that “real market price” too and that’s where I see Americans finding a safety net in such an economic disaster takes place there. Even if bananas cost 1000USD each, I don’t see 1oz gold coins selling for 2000 USD, the price will most likely than not go up just like the price of bananas did.

10)” Food was number one priority back then. Like I said previously, people were not really starving but they were not eating as good as what’s considered normal here in the US. I often laugh when I hear on the news about people who “starve” here in the US. How is this possible when food is so cheap and available everywhere? Perhaps they call it starving when they can’t afford to eat out everyday? Obviously they have no clue about basic things like cooking. Yes, it’s nice to have pork chops or a steak every day but it costs a lot too. Why not make soup? It’s relatively cheap and will feed a family for several days. A 50 lbs. bag of rice can be purchased at Costco for around $15 and will last for a long time. You can make a lot of mouth watering dishes from potatoes only. How can you go hungry in this country???”

Regarding food and eating habits it was as bad or even worse in Argentina in terms of eating habits. Argentines eat meat, and meat in Argentina means beef. An “asado” often mistaken with a BBQ, is not about grilling a few burgers or hotdogs. Its about getting all sorts of cuts from a cow, preparing the organs and eating it all. Any Argentine male worth his salt knows how to prepare a fire and cook everything inside an animal on it, most know how to ID each cut of meat and organ. We had to adapt and understand that in spite of our cultural tradition food didn’t mean a pound of beef in each plate. You had to stretch it, lots of rice, pasta, make soups, cook lentils. That same pound of meat that used to sit in a single plate now went into a big pot along with rice, vegetables etc and fed the entire family.  Sure this means learning to cook for those that don’t know how to do it already.

11) “My grandparents shared a lot stories about the WW2 with me. I sure learned a lot of valuable lessons from them. My grandmother told me stories about people trading everything they had, including gold and silver for a piece of dry bread so their children would not die of starvation, or at least live another week. This was true survival. Food was very important. Alcohol and tobacco were very valuable items as well.”

My wife’s grandparents went through WWII in Italy. Her grandmother had a big chain of gold and would go to town to sell a few link to buy whatever they needed. By the time they left Italy and moved to Argentina that neck chain had lost so many links it was now short enough to be a bracelet. My wife still has that bracelet. While I see how in some desperate situation you may end up trading precious metals at a great loss, in general I would say that with enough time and know how you can put precious metals to very good use, especially in countries where there’s already a culture and understanding of what precious metals are, how to ID them and their overall value.

12) “The supply line was always overloaded in summer months. Forget about running a hair dryer or any high wattage appliances. It was enough for lights and maybe for a TV. We were the only ones who could watch TV because my dad installed a CVT to keep the voltage close to 220V. Our neighbors were lucky if they got 160 Volts in the evening and it often sagged down to below 140 Volts and could spike to above 260V, early in the morning. It was enough for lights but not enough for a TV or any other appliance. The electrical company was owned by the government and could care less, like every other organization back then.”

This I can completely relate to and experiences the exact same thing. In my case, in Buenos Aires, we rarely had spikes, and it seemed that year round, other than in winter when AC weren’t used as much, you had 150V-160V instead of 220V. This isnt enough to run a microwave and the AC barely works or doesn’t work at all. I fixed it by installing a voltage elevator. That thing cost me a good bit of money but was worth every cent. Loved that thing. When I left I gave it away to my brother in law. He didn’t seem to care though, and in spite of being a pretty good electrician he just left it there in the house. By the time he could be bothered with picking it up someone else took it. Some people just cant be helped.

13)” One thing that was always available was bread.”

Probably strongly linked to the Soviet communist system. Its good that they managed to keep bread supplied but I certainly wouldn’t expect it in other countries. Even in current Venezuela its clear that they can’t keep people fed. Having flour and bakeries all over the country ready to supply the population on demand even when little else is working in terms of infrastructure is a serious achievement. Indeed, a person can live on bread and water, but I wouldn’t count on it in most countries if there’s a socioeconomic collapse.

14) “Having a vehicle for transportation is essential for living in this country. I did not need a car when I lived in Russia because everything was close and there was good and affordable public transportation in most Russian cities and even outside of city limits. American cities are spread out and it’s nearly impossible to get places without a vehicle.”

This is another American-specific issue to prepare for. In Europe you can move around most countries without a car. Even with a car public transportation is very good and at times even more convenient. Why drive somewhere, park and such, if an air conditioned train gets you there faster without you having to drive? It is true that in certain small towns public transportation isnt as good but in America you are always expected to drive places rather than catch a train or bus. You need a car and you need one that works well, and is affordable to fuel and maintain. Heck, its so important you probably need two so as to have at least one backup.

“I would probably trade my new 4runner for a 4×4 Dodge 2500 truck with a Cummins diesel or another vehicle that runs on diesel fuel”

I just refilled my diesel Honda CRV. What was it? 30 bucks? I came back from Sierra Nevada just a few days ago. Round trip about five hours driving time and I still had fuel to drive around town and then some, about 44 mpg is I remember right. Diesel is just fantastic. Its not only cheaper, it just gives you a lot more range on these little engines, all while giving twice as much torque compared to gasoline.

15)” The city we lived in (Tula) was about 100 miles south of Moscow. Moscow, being the capital, always got much, much better food availability and selection than any other city in the country. Most government officials lived in Moscow and obviously they made sure that their city was supplied better than anywhere else. They also wanted to show off to some foreigners who visited the capital”

So much for large cities being the first place to burn down, refugees pouring out of them into the countryside!

It is indeed typical for collapsed countries to keep their capitals and other major cities strong. Its a practical decision (x money servicing a larger number of people) a strategic one (capitals are usual government headquarters) and psychological (the capital, the “head” of the country and what it stands for).

16)” Crime was getting worse by the day. Armed robberies became a new norm. People no longer trusted wooden entry doors with regular locks. My friend’s company built new, hardened metal doors, locks and hinges that guaranteed to turn your apartment into a fortress. The doors were bullet resistant and guaranteed to stop a 7.62mm AKM round fired at a close range.”

Exact same thing in Argentina. Most houses have armoured doors. Not having one is practically asking criminals to rob you. Not kidding here, if you don’t have one and you get robbed people will go “what do you expect? Did you see that stupid flimsy door he had?”

17) “Moving to another country would be an ultimate test of your flexibility and ability to adjust to new conditions and culture.”

And I would add, it’s the ultimate solution to a large scale SHTF that affect a country or region.

It’s the one thing Gyprat and I have in common. We left the mess behind and found greener pastures. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side but it is if your side is collapsed Russia or Argentina. After years of researching disasters and survivalism I can say with confidence that when it gets THAT bad, you better move somewhere else. That’s the ultimate solution. Study, have skills, get an education, for God’s sake learn a second language and If you can get a second citizenship, don’t let such an opportunity go to waste if you happen to have it.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?

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It seems that for every blogger or forum member there’s a survival expert as well. That’s great because there’s such wealth of information and you can learn from different experiences and accounts.
Then again the downside… every blogger and member thinks he’s an expert.
You see, for realistic survival and preparedness it’s crucial to differentiate the “I think” and “I believe” from the “this is how it went down” “this is why”.
We all know that food is essential for survival. No food and you won’t last long. Same goes for water (and I see it overlooked more often). Keep in mind that while a day without food may suck a bit, but a day without water will be tough indeed. In certain warm climates it can be downright dangerous.
We all get how important food and water is, but then there’s the classic survival question: How much food should you have stored for emergencies?
Doomers say you need years worth of food. Decades even. After all you die if you don’t eat. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are famous for their year worth of food approach, although many have far less than that.
Officially speaking, what would a real expert recommend? Ready.gov says to have 3 days worth of shelf stable food and bottled water. That may seem as very little but in general most emergencies are either resolved within that time frame or help becomes available. Still, tell this to anyone that spent a week or more snowed in during a storm and he’ll find it lacking.
So how much? A Week? A Month? A year?
The first piece of advice is one you’ve probably heard before and that it is to store what you eat. If your kids don’t even know what rice looks like then having buckets full of the stuff isnt that much of a good idea. Either store something else or actually start eating rice.
There’s two very important reasons for this.
First, if you don’t rotate your food supply it just becomes one of those “just in case” things, and you’ll find yourself throwing food away every few years. This makes keeping large quantities of food stored a great waste of money. Second, if you store what you eat there wont be any difference between emergencies and “normal” times, at least food wise.
In our home we love rice and lentils and prepare rice and lentils stews often. Its tasty, very healthy, stores well for years and its pretty affordable too. Some canned tomato and vegetables and you have all you need for a great nutritional meal.
Another important point is understanding how much calories you actually need. The standard reply here is 2000 calories. Sure, if trekking the north pole you’ll need 5000 instead but even if some manual labour may be needed during disasters there’s people that stay healthy AND active with a lower caloric diet. 2000 will do well enough.
OK … SO HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
The 3 day recommendation by ready.gov is based on a rather optimistic government recommendation. If they have said instead to have 7 days immediately people would be wondering “Wait, so you’ll let me hang there for an entire week?!” People don’t react well to uncertainty and avoiding panic is a government’s #1 priority. Two weeks worth of groceries is just common sense. It doesn’t put a significant dent in your wallet if done correctly, and yes, it is true that it will cover 99% of the disasters and emergencies you’re likely to face in your lifetime.
I already imagine people thinking “but I want to be ready for SHTF, a worst case scenario, the real end of the world stuff!”.
OK, lets do that. Lets say it’s a worst case, total SHTF scenario. But lets keep it real and look how does it actually play out in the real world rather than fantasize about it.

Related image
Lets say you have 2 years, no, 10 years worth of food. Lets say you have that plus means of producing more, a fully working farm.
Now lets suppose you have your ten year supply of food, plus a farm, plus a pile of guns and ammo… and you’re sitting in Eastern Ukraine when the Russian troops roll in. Or Aleppo when they are levelling every structure around you with barrel bombs. Or in South Africa when white farmers were exterminated and kicked out of their homes. Or in Fukushima when the tsunami destroyed everything and the radiation scorched the land. Do you see a trend here? More food, or a bigger farm would have done you no good. In all of these sometimes like more cash or gold to take along with you when you bug out or even better money in an offshore account would have been far more useful.
“But… I want the end of the world to be more convenient…”
Ok, what about Venezuela? You have out of control inflation, out of control crime and poverty with people starving. Even farmers starve there(posted about just this a few weeks ago), just like Irish farmers starved during the genocide known as the Great Famine or Ukranian farmers died during Holodomor, reduced to cannibalism. Yes, sometimes its natural disasters, but in others its lack of means of production, and an authoritarian government ensure that people starve in spite of having land and the knowledge to work it.
In my experience after the collapse of Argentina’s economy I would say it was somewhat similar to Venezuela during the times of Chavez. By this I mean horrible inflation, but not reaching the levels of food poverty seen today in Venezuela. Food was available, just two or three times more expensive than before. Just imagine how you would deal with such a scenario if you woke up to it tomorrow. Indeed, we all wished we had more food stocked up, and we rushed to buy more right away desperately trying to beat the nonstop inflation. I sure kept several months worth of food stockpiled. But still, at the end of the day if you had money you ate.
I stayed for over a decade after the collapse of 2001. In retrospective I probably should have left sooner. Personal circumstances, heck, life I guess, made us delay our departure. Still, we always had the resources to leave ASAP if needed. This is more than what most people in Venezuela can say.

Image result for irish great famine
In such a complex situation would a 10 year supply of food, or a farm, made much of a difference? Not really. The food would have been nice, but the money to buy it was just as good besides having a conservative stockpile. A farm? Maybe more of an anchor to the country at a time when leaving was the clear path. A farm in a place like Venezuela, where you cant sell it, or if you do you don’t get anything for it, really does you no good.
So, start with a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food. Work towards a month. Then 6 when you can afford it and have the room for it. 6 to 12 months is the maximum I would recommend, with 6 months being the most realistic objective for most people. Six months of food gives you plenty of time for things such as unemployment, family problems. 12 months helps greatly when dealing with inflated prices, food shortages, and overall instability in the country where you maybe spent several months maybe saving money and looking for a job abroad, for a way out of the country entirely.
The lesson being, If you need more than 12 months worth of food, then more food will do you no good because what you really need is to get the hell out of there!
Take care folks,
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Reply: Best Concealed Carry Glock for California?

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Image result for chopped g19 to take g26 mags

Chuck Haggard said…

A very real issue with the Glocks is that the ten round “Clinton” magazines are not reliable, especially with JHP ammo.

For a ten round limit I’d go with a G30 or a G26, both are designed around the ten round mags and are very reliable.
An option some explore is doing a grip chop on a G19 to take G26 magazines, that gives greater velocity and sight radius while allowing the shooter to use a reliable magazine, enhances concealment, and allows one to use the 15 or 17 round mags if they travel to a state where those are legal.

OK, I like the idea and I think it makes sense, for the reasons you just mention:

1)More reliable mags.

2)Better sight radius. I at least like having a bit more distance between sights, I find it helpful although some people argue that a shorter one is quicker to align, which in theory is correct.

3)More barrel length, more velocity and better terminal ballistics.

Having said all this if you have larger hands you may still be better off with the Glock 19 or 17 in their original size. I have used those 10 round mags (gift from an American friend) and I at least never had a problem with them so they can work for you after extensive testing with the ammo you intend to carry.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Bought a couple of these… maybe you should too.

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If you don’t have a good set of electronic earmuffs, get these:

Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff $38.72

Best Sellers in Amazon. For under 40 bucks, I just don’t think you can beat them. Not many products get over 10.000 reviews, a 4.5 star average. I was about to get some fancy Peltors but after seeing these and such overwhelming positive feedback I went for these instead.

earmuffs

I got a couple, one for myself and another for my oldest son that is now shooting with me. Hearing is just too important, and it makes no sense for any avid shooter not to have a quality set of earmuffs.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Relocating to Australia?

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Image result for melbourne

Message:

Hi Fernando I live in the UK currently things are going downhill. I’m

aware though that it’s not limited to just here it’s more of a global

thing. I’ve been offered the chance to go and live and work in

Australia. Do you think this would be a beneficial location to

relocate to or will it be much the same as here in UK?. Currently

re-reading your “Bugging out and Relocating” book. I notice you say

Melbourne is a pretty good place to live. It’s definitely one area we

are looking at. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Ashleigh

..

Hello Ashleigh,

Please accept my apologies for not replying sooner. It gets pretty busy this time of the year. 🙂

I wouldn’t doubt it for a second and yes, I would go to Australia if I was living in UK. Having said that here are the reasons I would go for it and some of the other considerations you should keep in mind.

Since you read my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” you probably understand some of these already. Australia simply has a lot going for it. The weather, the quality of life and standards of living in general are among the best in the world, especially in Melbourne, Perth and if you can afford it, Sydney(very expensive!). You’re talking about some of the best ranking cities to live in, in the entire planet.

The one thing every source I have mentions is cost of living. It can be an issue if you don’t make enough money, especially in Sydney, the most expensive city in Australia. Maybe the second most common problem people face when relocating to Australia is actually getting the visa to move there. If you have the opportunity and the money is good you really should give it a try if you feel strongly about it.  What happens sometimes is that people move to a “better” place but then just miss good old home and eventually move back. People that move to Australia though tend not to regret it. Another thing I’ve learned over the years and verified it on others time and again: Going “up”, as in a better place, it’s easier than going down. I’d say Australia is definitely an improvement in general quality of life, especially if you already have a job in line.

As for the situation in UK, I just don’t see it getting better any time soon. True, everywhere is complicated these days but some are worse than others. Right now UK is going through some serious changes given Brexit. Some believe it will be better on the long run, some are less optimistic, but what all serious analysts agree on is that the next few years will be hard indeed. I can very much assure you this: It will be very hard for at least the next 5 -10 years, at least it will be for most people. You are already seeing where this is going with the NHS cutting budget and services and with inflation. If there’s one thing I know, that’s inflation and there’s simply no way around your currency dropping 20% or more. Everyone gets that much poorer.  Then you also have to accept that many companies are preparing for more complicated times ahead, reduction of staff, drop in sales. Out of the common market sales will simply drop and many companies will have to move operations within the EU where they intend to still do business.

I say go for it. Worst case scenario you don’t like living there and just have one more significant experience that makes your life richer although chances are you’ll love it and stay there permanently.

Good luck!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Cheap and Great Results: Red Lithium Grease for Guns

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glocklithium

Next time you’re in Walmart, remember This:  High Temp Lithium grease. Its costs just a few bucks for a lifetime supply of the stuff. In Amazon you can get a pound of it for just under eight bucks.

High temp Red lithium grease is intended for vehicles and other high temperature, metal on metal friction.

What’s wrong with gun oil? Nothing really. It just doesn’t last nearly as long. After over a decade of using it I can say that grease just stays around more, doesn’t dry away nearly as fast. You simply see it where you last placed it in the gun after weeks of use, while oil just seems to go away after a couple trips to the range. Not very scientific but that’s my impression.

One final tip though: don’t overdo it. As cheap as it may be a very small amount of it goes a VERY long way. Just a pinch on the rails and other contact areas, heck use a tooth pick for good measure. If you overdo it you end up with a greasy mess which may even attract unwanted dirt in dry, sandy climates.
Other than that, it’s what I’ve been using mostly for keeping my guns lubbed and I’m happy enough with it to recommend it to you folks.

Have a great weekend!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

3 Items to pick up Next time you’re in IKEA

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ikeabat

1)Batteries. Their primaries are cheap and pretty good quality but the best deal is their rechargables. These are made in Japan and great quality. I read somewhere that these are the same as Eneloops. Not sure if its true or not but “made in Japan” does point in that direction and again, the quality is there. I’m using these to replace the AA and AAA in my kits given that all alkalines seem to leak eventually. This is much safer and works well with the second item in the list.

2)AA and AAA USB charger. Its cheap, compact and works. I bought one of these for the car. If It goes well I’ll get one or two more. Can’t remember the price but it was just a few bucks. You don’t find cheap and well-made chargers that often, especially this small.

3)USB LED light. Missing in the picture here but it’s a small black LED light that connects to a USB port. I found it close to the batteries and charger. Very minimalistic like IKEA usually does it and cheap too. It could be a bit longer but its small so as to be out of the way. Maybe not as much of a bargain as the first two but I’m giving it a try to see how it does.

Take care folks!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Gunfight Video: 10 Lessons Learned

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1)Carry a gun,  a FIGHTING gun, not a microsubcompactnano pocket carry special in 25 ACP with a capacity of 2+1.

2)Train. A lot.

3)Awareness. Enough of it and you may even avoid the fight entirely.

4)Apendix carry isnt that great. Its more obvious when drawing and that can get you killed. Stick to strong side, 4 oclock.

5)When shooting, shoot to kill and shoot a LOT.

6)If you’re not shooting, get out of the way (like his wife did)

7)Even at just a foot away, you can still miss.

8)Down doesn’t mean dead. Make sure he’s no longer a threat, kick his gun away.

9)Look for his friends, there may be more.

10)Brazilian cops do NOT mess around.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Flash Flood: What happens if you get caught

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floodcar

I found this car just a couple streets from mine, right after the storm and flood I talked about in the previous post.

The difference between making it home all right or drawning is in these details, in having the right vehicle for what you are dealing with, in that extra inch of water that causes your vehicle to float, lose contact with the pavement and turns your car in the worst boat in the world. Ultimately, its about knowing when to turn around and not risk your life.

And again, the best 4×4 in the planet wont do you any good in the garage if you drive a Prius to save gas as your daily driver. Chances are your daily driver is what you’ll have to face these situations when SHTF.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Story Time: BOV/Daily Driver saves the Day

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crv1

After over a week of continuous heavy pouring rain today it finally stopped. I’ve seen tropical climate rain before but nothing like this, non-stop pouring followed by “what the hell the sky is falling”, followed by more pouring rain.

In spite of this, this past Saturday morning I still had to drive to town to pick up a delivery. After checking the news and making sure there was no flood alert I thought “hey, the worst that can happen is getting wet a bit”.

Not so much. The slope on the side of the road had collapsed, dirt and rock had been washed over the road, and by the time I made it back I was dealing with more flooding, a fallen tree and the road going home up hill was turning into a downfall river.

The humble Honda CR-V saved the day though. AWD, snow+mud tires and the extra torque of the diesel engine meant I could climb up the road that was now becoming a river slowing down in the opposite direction. As it turned left, it was surreal to see the well-known road home now flooded, with a fallen tree across the street, the trunk almost fully under water. It seemed like a completely different place.

I don’t know how close I got to getting washed downhill. The current was pretty strong. A bigger truck would have done even better no doubt, but then again a bigger truck would have probably been left in the garage because I wasn’t expecting any of this.

The lesson is pretty clear: SHTF happens without notice and more likely than not your daily driver is what you’ll have to work with. Its better to drive around the small or mid size SUV all day than to have a Humvee in the garage while driving a Prius all day because its good on gas.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

The Best Amazon Black Friday Deals for Survivalists

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This is the time of the year I really envy you guys (most of these deals are US only). Some of the deals are outstanding, more than 50% discount in some cases. If there’s anything you’re needing to buy its worth checking. Keep in mind that most have a limited duration.

Kershaw 1990 Brawler Speedsafe Folding Knife $17.49

Just a steal. Period. I have one, love it and recommend it. Under 20 bucks and notice the fantastic rating with +1000 reviews. Stocking stuffer, for BOB and kits or as your EDC.

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener $8.89

Columbia Men’s Steens Mountain Front-Zip Fleece Jacket $19.95-$69.95

 

The pump shotgun: 7 Reasons why it’s the classic survivalist Workhorse Gun

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Mossberg 500 ATP 7-shot with rifle sights

From killing zombies to defending your home, you cant go wrong with the dependable pump shotgun, especially with the two most popular ones, the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870.

Jack of all trades master of none describes the pump shotgun perfectly.

1)In most hands, quick follow up shots aren’t as fast as in a semi auto rifle (or shotgun) then again the pump action can be surprisingly fast in the hands of an experienced operator and each trigger pull puts nine 9mm projectiles on target faster than any other firearm.

2)It requires manual operation between shots. Then again, the pump action ejects any cartidge no matter the condition and will reliably slam a fresh shell in place as dependably as no other gun.

3)Capacity isn’t as high as in a 20 or 30 rounds rifle magazines, then again the tube can be constantly fed, topping up the magazine which is something you can’t do with a detachable mag rifle.

4)It lacks the range of the rifle, but with rifle sights or red dot and slugs you can break the 40-50 yard limit set by buckshot, and do so accurately.

5)It may not seem very tacticool, but few other firearms are as durable, as reliable or as easy to repair and replace parts.

6)Shotguns can operate with a variety or cartridges, from birdshot to buck or slugs, even non lethal. No other firearm provides such flexibility.

7)They are cheap too, meaning you can arm more people. For the price of one medium grade carbine or rifle you can buy shotguns to arm three or four adults, maybe more with second hand market shotguns.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

EDC: Pocket Piece to Remember JFK

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jfk

My favourite pocket piece, it’s been with me for a few months now, including today in the anniversary of Kennedy’s death. In many ways it symbolises the death of real money too, since 1964 was the last year in which 90% silver was used in American currency, minted just a few months after his death.

For many one of the last great American presidents, RIP JFK.

FerFAL

Long Term Food Storage: Alternative to Coffee & Tea

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mate

It’s easy enough to stock up on tea and coffee but if you are looking into something different, maybe something even better, as your daily booster beverage consider yerba mate.

I drink both coffee and tea, but mate is with me every morning and throughout the day.
Unlike tea or coffee, I’m used to drinking mate without added sugar. It’s also more gentle as a stimulant than coffee (even if it does contain caffeine ) Its probably the healthiest beverage too. Yerba mate contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants.

Its cheap too. Around here it costs about 2.50 for half a kilo.

I drink it the traditional way but you can also make mate tea if you prefer.

Look around, you’ll probably find it in your grocery store in the imported/Latin food section.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Black Friday Preparedness Deal Alert I

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Trump Supporter Survival Guide 101

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Image result for trump protest face trump supporter

The election is over but the implications are still very much alive. You just have to watch the news for a few minutes to see protests, violence, people randomly attacked and so on.

Folks, this isnt a political website. As I’ve always said vote anyway you think you should (and that’s exactly what millions did) but if one thing is clear is that the lack of tolerance has reach record levels and on one hand you have people that can’t seem to process that they’ve lost, just like some can’t grasp the concept of finally getting what they wanted and be content with it. This website is about practical, objective advice. If you can’t stop yourself from wearing your Trump or Anti Trump, or Hillary for Prison t-shirt then that’s fine too, but know that from a practical perspective, it’s not exactly advisable at the moment.

Having said all this, here’s my advice.

  • Avoid logos, stickers, etc.

The election is over so there’s not much of a political battle to fight at the moment. These days, you risk getting into trouble for nothing really to be gained.

People have been beaten, insulted or otherwise aggravated because of wearing Trump shirts. I know of people that had their car vandalized, tyres slashed, all four, because of Trump stickers. Recently a car was set on fire over a Trump sticker.

Mustang vandalized, set on fire in Santa Maria

Given that the elections are already over and in the spirit of going as unnoticed as possible, I at least would avoid it. For those of you very political at least hold until next elections.

  • Avoid politics at your workplace.

People have gotten themselves in trouble at work for expressing their political views, even fired. Now, it sucks not to be able to express your views, but then again with freedom comes responsibility and that includes knowing whats in your best interest or not.  If anything, try being as discrete as possible when discussing politics. Even if your boss and immediate colleges mostly think alike, you never know who’s overhearing and who takes note of your views with a negative connotation making life harder at your workplace.

  • Avoid protests and rallies.

At the end of the day, what matter is your vote and that has already been cast. If people want to protest/express their discontent that’s all fine and dandy, until the protest stops begin peaceful that is, which is not ok (but more on that later). Confronting them though makes no sense, does you no good other than scratching some childish itch some people have.

  • Learn how to deal with roadblocks.

Everyone has the right to peaceful protest but there’s nothing peaceful about stopping traffic and keeping people hostage in their vehicle. Remember the basics. Avoid protests when possible. Do NOT engage. Do NOT lower your window to talk politics with the violent thug attacking you, keep moving away from the potentially dangerous ambush.

  • Don’t let politics destroy your family.

I’ve addressed this topic before and I’ve seen the same thing happen in my own country. The division, the rift between opposite opinions. The fatal mistake of believing that a political adversary is an enemy. Trump himself has talked about “unity” and “heal the division” in his victory speech. But if there’s one thing both Trump and Hillary hardcore supporters agree on, ironically enough, is that they want none of that. I know for a fact such a thing is a big mistake, especially when politics end up affecting your relationships with family and friends. An extra dose of maturity and empathy can work miracles.

  • Stay informed.

Matt Bracken was interviewed recently. I have a ton of respect for Matt and his opinions. There’s talks about possible false flag ops (entirely possible in the near future) and there’s strong evidence about many protesters being paid to participate, herded into buses like we see so often in South America. I understand how some people may not like Trump and chose to express such opinions. I also understand having thousands of paid violent “protesters” making a mess. This kind of organized resistance to the democratic process is pretty risky and its important to stay informed, fully understanding the interest and political inclinations of each player and media outlet.

  • Keep Preparing.

With a Republican president and majority on both houses gun owners can sure relax. Chances of any kind of gun ban are slim to say the least and fingers crossed, maybe some new opportunities may arise for those living in more restrictive cities and states regarding concealed carry and what kind of firearms can be owned.

Still, firearms ownership is just a small part of the equation. Today more than ever its important to be ready to face challenges. Socially speaking expect protests and random or organized acts of violence and rioting to become more common, not the other way around. The supplies kept in your vehicle are key, especially your first aid kit.  Shameless self-promoting here, if you haven’t done so already do get my book, “The Modern Survival Manual”, and put into practice as much as you can right away. Everything from awareness, grey man philosophy, self-defense and economic preps its all very much relevant and applicable. This website is packed full of information as well, read through the older articles.

With a new president there’s always a “honeymoon” period of about 3-6 months. After that things settle and the political and economic future becomes more clear. Some measures taken by Trump may be less popular than others. Mistakes will be made in the learning process, especially in his first presidency. Economic measures that may have benefits in the long run may be less popular at first, even have the opposite effect, just like positive short term ones may not work that great down the road. And then there’s the fact that almost half the country isn’t happy with the way things went, and will try to sabotage Trump every chance they get.

Good luck people!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Toblerone: Before and After Brexit

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This is priceless.

Its amazing that UK went Venezuela in their attempt to control inflation.

The government clearly pressured for Toblerone to be sold at the same price in spite of 30% inflation. They demanded that they didn’t make the packaging any smaller and kept the same price.

So how’s the Toblerone now sold in UK?

This is the result.

Toblerone 2020?

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

EDC Keychain: 5 Must Have Essential Items

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Yesterday during an interview with Jim Paris I was asked about survival gear. It’s a massive topic and it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated.  It’s safe to recommend stocking up food and at least two weeks worth of bottled water. The same goes for essential emergency supplies, but people want specifics and these lists can be massive, overwhelming.

For those new to modern survival I recommend starting with the core items behind such philosophy: The items you are most likely to use during an emergency, meaning the ones you will have on your person. This is what we call EDC, everyday carry items. Now here too it can get a bit intense but I do have a tip for you.

Just start with your keychain.

Everyone carries one. It’s an item you will have with you no matter what and a few carefully selected items can keep the total volume and weight down while making sure critical tools are always available. I’ve had this setup for years and ended up with it after years of trial and error. I guarantee you will be using all of these more often than you’d think.

These are the items I recommend you have in your keychain.

1)Flashlight.

SureFire Titan Plus Ultra-Compact Variable-Output LED Keychain Light $87.75

ThruNite Ti NW Lumen Cree XP-L V4 LED Key Chain Flashlight in Titanium alloy, Neutral White $25.95

Few other items are as indispensable during emergencies. Today LED lights are surprisingly bright. Surprisingly durable as well and can run for long periods of time.

I currently keep a Thrunite Ti in my keychain, but if you want to spend a bit more and buy premium quality look for the Surefire Titan.

2)Knife/Multitool.

Victorinox Swiss Army MiniChamp II Pocket Knife,Red

Victorinox Mini Champ Swiss Army Knife $29.95

Leatherman - Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool, Black

Leatherman – Squirt PS4 Multi-Tool, Black $29.24

Pretty basic right? You gotta have a knife. Better yet have a knife and a bunch of small tools. After years of use I recommend either a Leatherman Squirt PS4 or a Victorinox Minichamp, the Minichamp being my personal favourite although the PS4 is objectively as good, maybe better for certain applications.

3)USB Flash drive.

SanDisk Cruzer Fit $9.78

Keep one with your important work files, copies of documents and other important papers and family photos and videos. The Sandisk is a good way to go given that their encryption software is pretty good and allows for the creation of password protected vaults, meaning you can safely use the Flash drive for everyday use too.

4)Lighter

Jolmo Lander Titanium Watertight Fluid Lighter Ti Peanut Petrol Lighter $15

Fire being a quintessential survival tool I believe you should have a lighter or at the very least fire starting tools. A ferrocerium rod is suitable for repeated outdoors use, but a lighter provides a quicker flame when needed. This is the one I have, a titanium peanut lighter. Pretty great and totaly worth it.

5)Mini Prybar

Miscellaneous M4276 2" Pico Widgy Pry Bar Titanium

2″ Pico Widgy Pry Bar Titanium $20.57

Boker Plus 09BO310 Access Prying Tool $24.99

Its small, light and compact. A small prybar can spare the relatively fragile blade in your keychain tool. For years I had the Vox bar from Boker. Currently I’m using a tiny Pico bar. Either one will serve you well.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Burglars Explain how they Broke into Homes

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Image result for burglar

Home security is a top concern. It is today and it sure is after a socioeconomic breakdown. Maybe one of the weakest point I see on nearly all American preppers is home security. Having guns means you have means of self-defense, it doesn’t mean that your house is more of a hard target.
This article from 12News is well worth the time it takes to read it and has some good first-hand information about how burglars operate.

Here are the top five lessons:

1)Burglars will look for jewellery, electronics, cash, credit cards and guns. One burglar said that NRA stickers means there’s guns to be stolen.

Not mentioned in the article but I know this to be true, many criminals also look for drugs, legal or otherwise, either for personal consumption or for selling.

2)All burglars CHECK IF YOU ARE HOME. They knock on your door and if someone answers they ask for directions, pretend to be lost or to be looking for someone else. Some even pretend to be doing surveys.

3)They prefer breaking in early morning or afternoon when people are working and kids are in school. Most of them access through UNLOCKED windows and doors. Some kicking down the door if locked.

4)The ideal house to break in? They looked for homes with big fences and overgrown trees or bushes. “Homes AWAY FROM OTHER HOMES, blind spots, older window frames, cheap wooden doors,” wrote a burglar. “Large trees, bushes or shrubs around the home, or very reserved and conservative neighbours,” wrote another inmate.

“Nice home with nice car = A person with money,” another said.

Simplisafe2 Wireless Home Security System 8-piece Plus Package

Simplisafe2 Wireless Home Security System 8-piece Plus Package

5)How to make your home a hard target? Keeps doors and windows locked. Large dogs are one of your best deterrents. Smaller ones don’t seem to do the trick nearly as well. Install an alarm, most intruders said they would leave immediately if a security alarm went off.

Most burglars consider a car parked on the driveway to be a sure-fire sign of someone being home. TV or radio noise also made them think twice about breaking in.

“Put bars on your windows and doors, get an alarm, keep an extra car in the driveway, keep lights, TVs and radios on when you leave your home,” read one questionnaire.

“Home alarm, know your neighbour so they can report suspicious people around the neighbourhood,” said a burglar.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

 

Thoughts regarding the Presidential Election

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Politics and Religion.

The golden rule of blogging says you’re never supposed to talk about those two if you want your readers/viewers  to like you.

Well, I’m not the kind of person that worries about being liked. I’m the kind that worries about the well-being of my readers and sometimes that includes tough topics, topics in which we may not agree on or be forced to look at uncomfortable truths. Still, this is an important … no, an ESSENTIAL part of modern survivalism and the mindset that goes along with it. The ability to understand the agenda of politicians, the different media outlets, some more obvious than others, the ability to understand were your bests interest lies.

I was asked about my opinion regarding the US elections. Keep in mind these videos are just that, my opinion. Also keep in mind the following: that if you think I’m stupid/misinform/Hillary killed my dog or Trump spit on my Lucky Charms this morning, you’re wrong.  It’s not personal. Its political analysis, some of which you probably haven’t considered before.
I’m not trying to change anyone’s vote here. If anything, it would be nice to see less verbal violence, more communication and tolerance among yourselves. These elections are ripping the American society apart like no other election in recent history. Friends, even families are fighting or even not talking to one another because of different political ideology. Its destructive, poisonous behaviour that I’ve seen how it leads to decades of social conflict and division.

With that being said, here’s what I think. Of course, YMMV, and you know what? That’s just fine brother.

FerFAL
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.