Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Charger and Battery Setup for Preppers

Links to some of the stuff shown in the video:
ThruNite MCC-4S Universal Charger
Zebralight H53w AA
Klarus Mini One 130 Lumens
NITECORE 14500 Built-in Micro-USB Rechargeable

Monday, January 14, 2019

Reply: How much cash for emergencies? Denominations?

Anonymous said...
   Have made it through some serious hurricanes and floods the last 25 years in South Louisiana, and the one thing I've learned was not only to keep cash where I could get to it, along with keeping as much of it as possible in small bills. Because the prices tend to go crazy after a weather event here, no one has change, or wants to give it to you. Also because soon as the electricity goes out, there are no working ATM machines for cash. We were 75 miles from New Orleans for Katrina and didn't have almost any rain at all, but we had strong winds that took down hundreds of trees, so there was no electricity for weeks. Which means no banks were open and no ATM's were working, nor gas station machines. Hurricane Gustave was much worse for us, as was the more recent flood of 2016. We lost the electricity after Gustave for 9 months at my place, although some neighborhoods came back at 6-8 weeks. It was 95 degrees F. during this time. The state estimated one million trees were lost in this area. Credit cards are not useful in these situations until after the events when there is substantial infrastructural improvements and repairs. And lastly, no cell towers means almost no communication (wind).

Anonymous said...
    You must have small denominations, because no one will give you change. This from 25 yrs. of hurricanes in South Louisiana. No electric means no banks, no ATMS, no credit cards can be used.

J said...
Seems to me that smaller denominations would be more flexible. I don't want to have to fork over a hundred bucks for a $25 item that I need. A thousand dollars in twenties might not be good for a wallet, but it doesn't take up that much space in a larger bag or in the safe.


Thanks guys for all the thoughtful input. Its true, in hurricane country you will come across the “got no change” types. Keep in mind some of these people may be trying to take advantage of the situation and pocket the change themselves. If they are taking “cash only” then by definition they have been taking cash and have a pile of smaller denomination bills. This is pretty common in Argentina where cash is predominant for daily transactions. Usually it’s the taxi drivers that try to pull the “Ive got no change” thing so that you round it up in their favour.

Still, great point. Doesn’t hurt to have more small denomination bills.
One little tip I do that has already come in handy a couple times: I keep the ashtray cup thing in my car full of coins, about 20 or 30 bucks worth of it.  This always comes in handy. I also placed a couple 50 bills in there, lined on the inside of the cup covered by the coins. Its not visible unless you dig around in there. I already found myself grabbing a bill and avoiding having to drop by the ATM.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Glock makes the “Perfect” knife: 12 Reasons Why

Ha! Glock Perfection, yeah right.

Sure, nothing is perfect, but let me know of any other auto pistol that combines durability, reliability, simplicity of use, accuracy, ammo capacity, parts availability, ease of repair, availability of accessories and the list goes own. Simply no other gun scores so well in so many of them and that’s why the Glock 17 is as popular as it is.

Something similar happens with the Glock knife.
It’s a cheap, ugly, light little thing, but when you look at what its supposed to be used for and how well it scores in all categories its easy to point out the Glock knife may just be the Glock of the knife world.

1) Cutting ability. A knife that doesn’t cut isnt much of a knife, is it? Well, we all know that sometimes knives come with a poor edge, in some cases rather expensive knives are delivered with an edge so poor it will barely half cut, half tear through paper across most of the edge. I know for a fact that the Glock knife was at times delivered poorly sharpened. Current ones though they are either sharp or shaving sharp, in either case well within what you would expect in a utility/survival knife.

2)Fit and Finish. The knife is on the low budget side of things no doubt, but its well made, correct bevels, quality plastic injection, steel finish and overall a high quality product manufactured in Austria. For such a low cost knife, you get a lot of bang per buck.

3)Toughness. A knife is supposed to be a cutting tool but a survival/utility knife is meant to be more. If needed, it must also be a hammer, a pry bar, scrapper, axe, shovel or whatever else you need it to be. No, it wont do any of those things “well”, but when you have no other choice it should hold up to that kind of abuse. The Glock knife does that.

4)Blade geometry. Not much innovation here. It’s a typical fighting knife bayonet shaped blade, but the narrow blade, with the strong tip will not just stab well and perform as a fighting knife, it also performs as a general utility tool. As long as its sharp it will cut anything that needs cutting and the thick, 6,5” blade will hold its own when battoning wood.
Glock KB17281 81 Field Knife
Glock Perfection OEM Fixed Straight Blade Field Knife $32.95
5)Steel quality. 1095 carbon steel is good stuff. Some of the better utility knives use it and for good reason. It will rust so there’s that, but it also holds an edge well and sharpens easily.

6)Heat treatment. The Glock knife is hardened to 55HRC. While many high end knives are expected to be 60HRC or harder, the truth is that the benefits of such hardness aren’t worth the loss of toughness and these knives will break when abused. On the other hand the Glock knife can be abused, bent, used as a chisel and for smashing concrete blocks and just take the beating that would destroy supposedly better 60 HRC knives.

7)Blade Finish. The smooth electrophoretic black coating protects the blade and reduces reflection.

8)Balance. The blade has a partial, narrow tang. Usually this is a rather bad, fragile tang compared to a full tang fixed knife but not in this case, not with a good bit of Glock plastic around said tang. The attachment is in fact so strong, the blade will break way before you manage to break that polymer handle. Thanks to the short narrow tang, the knife is perfectly balanced in the cross guard. With a lower grip, it allows for acceptable chopping given the blade size and weight. The knife was also designed as a throwing knife and it does very nicely as such.

9)Handle. The Polymer handle is not only as tough as they come, its also has a classic, proven shape design. It is comfortable for most hands and allows for good retention.

10)Sheath. One of the strongest points the Glock knife had going for it. Entirely made out of polymer, fully ambidextrous, the sheath is classic Glock minimalistic design. It has a belt loop that first large belts and the sheath itself can get tucked in molle, either a vest or backpack.The retention lever keeps it in place and makes it almost impossible to get the knife out by another person by accident/surprise.

11)Weight. A bit over 7 ounces, the knife is one of the lightest knives around, especially for a tough, 6,5 inch blade. Ideal for soldiers, contractors, but also for survival and bugout kits as well as camping, backpacking or as a general use knife around the house, car or tool box.

12)Price. For an extremely well designed and manufactured knife made in Austria, the price is very low. Around 30 bucks or so, its worth getting spares.

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, January 8, 2019

How much cash for emergencies? Denominations?

Hope all is well.  When putting cash back for bad times is there a percentage or mix of denominations that works best?  I am sure anything is better than nothing but is it better to have a large sum in big bills back, or a mix?  I would imagine if inflation hits smaller denominations are worthless?

Hello A-

Thank you for your email.
Cash is one of those things you just don’t see people talking about that much in our community. Sure, someone mentions having a few 10s or 20s, maybe a few coins for machines and such but rarely much more than that.

Over the years, whenever cash was brought up, I get a few standard replies.
“Cash? That becomes paper after SHTF, look at Weimar republic”
Yes… kind of. Weimar was a very specific case and even if something that bad happens cash won’t lose its value overnight. I’ve seen my cash lose about 60% of its value in a matter of days… cash was STILL valuable, especially if you had either the green or European kind.
“I don’t focus on cash, I’m all about the skills, hunting and growing food. I wouldn’t change a single chicken for a bar of gold or a million bucks… cuz I cant eat gold or cash”

Ok.. first, that’s stupid. Even if you don’t care about cash or gold, a bar of the stuff of any size is a lot of money that you can easily sell/trade so it would idiotic not to take advantage of such an opportunity. Second, its not about you. Even if you don’t want to trade a pound of rice for a pound of gold (or cash), there’s millions of people out there that will, and that’s what really matters, the so called market for said product.

So yes cash is important, clearly one of the most useful tools during real world emergencies and you want to have a good bit of it at hand. A month worth of expenses is a good start.

As for denominations, it depends on where you keep said cash. In my car I keep the ashtray/cup thing ( I don’t smoke) with about 30 bucks in coins. I pick change from there all the time and throw it back in when given to me. In my wallet I keep maybe a couple 10s, a couple 20s and then about 300-400 in 50’s for emergencies. How much emergency cash to keep on you at all times? Depends on your situation. I would suggest enough for a couple nights in a hotel if needed, enough for a few bus/train/plane tickets somewhere safe.

In a pack you may want to have 100 bucks in 10 or 20, but any more cash you may go with 50s or 100s because it probably means you’re buying something more expensive, maybe getting a room, renting a car, buying a ticket for traveling and so on.

As for the cash you keep at home for emergencies 100s bills are fine. Some change makes sense but I don’t see the point in having two thousand bucks in 10s just in case you need that much change. Don’t forget also about precious metals, silver and gold!
Best of luck!


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”

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Life lesson from my Son

Just moments ago, right before going to bed, my son told my wife:

"Life puts obstacles in front of you but limits, those are self-imposed."

She asked "Where did you learn that?"

"I dont know. I think I read it somewhere".

He's 10.