Thursday, December 14, 2017

How to keep your Bitcoin safe


So you followed my advice, put some money in Bitcoin and by now you doubled or tripled your investment. Good for you my friend!
Keep in mind what we’re doing here though. Keeping eggs in different baskets right? Crypto currency is a VERY attractive basket thought and if it ever reaches just a percentage of its true potential…
Anyway, if you bought some coin I’m sure you’re a happy camper and that’s fine but just like you keep your gold and cash in a safe, just don’t leave your money sitting there in an online account. It’s not safe, and if something happens to the company, lets say Coinbase goes under or gets hacked, you may lose your Bitcoin. I know that with reputable companies this is unlikely, but it has happened before and all experts agree on not being a good idea to leave large savings just sitting there.

What do to then?

You have a few options. The idea is to have a cold wallet for the bulk of your coin. Cold storage means storage that is offline and therefore impossible to hack. You can create a paper wallet, with extreme precautions to reduce the chances of hacking such as going off line and using a live OS in a fresh USB drive, print with an offline, wired printer.

What most experts agree on being the best way to store Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is using a Hardware wallet. These are devices similar to a USB drive, with its own screen an pin number which even in a computer infected with malware (like may are these days)  it would be save to use.

I recommend these two, which are considered the best, the Ledger Nano S and Trezor.
Using it is easy enough following a few simple steps. Make sure you keep the recovery code VERY well protected (you write this down in paper), a couple copies in different safes. This would allow you to recover your money if the device is stolen, lost or destroyed.

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”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reply: American tourist stabbed 10 times in La Boca, Buenos Aires

Is La Boca the same barrio where that one tourist with a GoPro got mugged while he kept saying “amigo?”-Joe

I think it was. Either way Buenos Aires and pretty much Argentina in general, it’s a dangerous place. What I mean by dangerous is not just “crime like everywhere else”. I’m talking people getting killed daily in the city and violent crime very much out of control. There’s currently problems now with armed left-wing gangs occupying land in Patagonia, a group called RAM. The police seem to be unable to stop them and it says a lot about the country when an armed terror organization is free to operate in plain view, yet the police does nothing.

“When travelling always dress way down the fashion ladder. Always use cheap baggage. Always wear layered clothing with fake stuff in the outer layer and real stuff closer to the body. A money belt with a few Benjamins in it is also good. Plus a photocopy of ones passport. “ -A

That’s good advice. Those money belts are priceless and work very well. If mugged just give up your wallet, make sure you don’t keep anything too valuable there. I’d keep my original passport in there, not a copy.
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”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Silly gimmick or wise addition? : 10 uses for the EDC Prybar



I think it has a place, yes even these tiny ones that look like a joke.
The logic behind it?  I have a small, Pico prybar in my keychain for all those prying, poking or scrapping tasks where most people would usually end up using their blades, often breaking the tip in the process.

Small Swiss Army knife blades such as the Minichamp I keep in my keychain make poor prying tools so I use it exclusively for cutting. Here is where these tiny prybars come in handy. They are surprisingly study and practical in spite of their small size.

For years I kept a Boker Vox prybar. The Boker Vox is a nice tool but a tad big  for an already loaded up keychain. Today, I keep a Pico in my keychain. Its about the size of a small key anyway and has come in handy enough times to earn its place there.

You also have generic, affordable 3" versions.
Like small P38 can openers, small prybars have a number of uses:

1) Prying of course. Any stuck drawer, box, etc.
2) Scrapping paint gun, anything you’d use your nails or some small scrapping tool for.
3) Cutting. I use mine frequently for opening boxes and packages, especially when in public and I don’t want to bring out a knife. I’ve sharpened it enough to open stuff but not cut without using force.
4) Screwdriver, works well as a big flat screwdriver.
5) Pulling nails. Yup, the tiny tool can do it with most nails you come across.
6) Opening paint cans and other sturdy lids. Works nice for this.
7) I’ve used it for scrapping stuff from my shoes. Little pebbles that get in there. Since its in the keychain already its convenient for this.
8) The V notch can be used for stripping wires.
9) The V notch or hole can be used for bending wire, even small nails.
10) Scratching and marking on both wood and metal.

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”

Friday, December 8, 2017

American tourist stabbed 10 times in La Boca, Buenos Aires

La Boca: el turista estadounidense asaltado recibió 10 puñaladas y está grave

American tourist Frank Joe Wolek (54) was stabbed 10 times this morning in La Boca, Buenos Aires.
He was attacked by 2 criminals while taking photographs. The camera was dropped and left in the crime scene. I can only assume the intention was to rob the camera. This would be very typical for the area, popular with both tourists and criminals preying on them. If the victim resisted and refused to give up the camera I can see how he could easily get stabbed over it.  A plain clothes police officer in the area confronted the criminals shooting one in the chest while the other managed to escape.
Both the victim and wounded criminal are in critical condition.

This is just a reminder for everyone planning on visiting Argentina or other countries with high levels of violent crime. People plan their trip to these kind of places and 90% of the time it all works out great. But sometimes it doesn’t.

With places like these you really have to know what you’re getting into. I know my country very well, better than any tourist, and I would never be caught in such an area with an expensive camera or cell phone. Tourists simply don’t know any better.

What’s even worse, they don’t know how to react. When unarmed and kept at knifepoint or gunpoint by two criminals you just give them the camera. They are not bluffing and its just not worth getting stabbed or shot over.

It is a rather natural reaction to fight back when people are getting mugged. You see it with women holding on to their purses as they get dragged by snatchers on motorcycles.

Lessons learned:
*If you’re planning on fighting, then do it right. Be armed and keep a constant state of awareness. Chances are doing it will dissuade a good number of potential attackers.

*Now if you’re caught off guard in some 3rd world country then your camera or wallet just isnt worth getting killed over. Give it up and carry on with your life.

*When going to countries that aren't that safe, plan accordingly. Don't take anything too fancy, especially cameras. Don't try to be like the locals, just stick with your group and your guide when wandering around.
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”

Monday, December 4, 2017

Schrade SCHF38 Frontier Knife: Great value knife for $30


The Schrade SCHF38 is a solid, full tang knife.
It has a sabre grind, quarter inch thick blade which lends itself nicely for tougher use such as batoning and chopping.
I believe that a survival knife should fall in that category of “sharpened prybar”, capable of cutting, chopping, prying, hammering, digging, or axing its way through anything on its way and this knife does that.

The blade is 5.8” long, but given the mass it has it’s a good chopper for its size.  On the other hand, with a fat blade like this you don’t have the finer edge you’d find on a thinner blade, so while it does cut it’s no carving knife. A bit of work reprofiling the bevel can certainly improve its performance though.
The blade is 1095 carbon steel and my sample was correctly heat treated without any visible chips or dents after batoning and chopping.

The tip of this knife is VERY strong.
The knife comes with basic but functional nylon sheath, a diamond sharpener and a rather nice quality ferro rod. Given the price, its surprising the amount of stuff you get for your money besides a sturdy blade made of quality carbon steel such as 1095, found in Becker and ESEE knives costing two or three times more.
Schrade SCHF38 Frontier Full Tang Drop Point Fixed Blade Knife
The only con I can think of is the handle. Trying to please the horde of youtube commandos Schrade went nuts with jimping on this thing, using it both on the front and back of this knife’s handle. Jimping is… I don’t want to offend so lets leave it there.  If they had left it as is without the stupid jimping this knife would have been a 10/10 in the budget knife category.

The good news is that scales are easily removable and making your own scales capable of covering the jimping isnt that hard. I already ordered a couple micarta scales which I’ll be using on mine. I’ll post pics once its done. As it is, it’s still very much usable as a survival or emergency blade but I’d rather do without the jimping for extended use sessions without gloves.
I just checked and the SCHF 38 Frontier is currently selling for $30.97. That’s a steal and wouldn’t hesitate to order a couple to beat around or to include in survival kits.
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”