Thursday, July 20, 2017

Glock 19 vs the 17 for prepping


Hi Fernando, I know you're a huge fan of the Glock 17 for prepping and even EDC but I would like to make a counter argument that the Glock 19 has an advantage over it's larger brother for prepping. While the 17 is a solid gun, it can only ever accept magazines made for the 17 while the 19 can accept both the 19s and 17s magazines. So if you buy a 19 you've essentially doubled the possible available magazines you can buy or find for your gun and all it cost you was a bit of barrel length and a bit off the bottom. So if you're CCWing a 19 you can have a 15rnd magazine in it to reduce your printing while having an extra glock 17 mag on your belt or in your bag.
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I like the Glock 19 very much. As you say the size is about perfect, especially for smaller frame people. The grip is basically the same thickness as the Glock 17, only shorter, so I don’t feel it gives any particular advantage to people with smaller hands. But being smaller, lighter, there’s less gun to swing around for smaller people and its also easier to conceal.

I will say though that I like having a bit more grip real estate as in the Glock 17 and I at least don’t feel that the Glock 17 is all that harder to conceal. Again, for smaller frame people or people that dress a certain way, maybe tighter fitting clothes, the advantage in concealment may be worth it.

I also find that having less barrel length gives me a shorter distance between sights. I group better when precision shooting with the Glock 17. The longer barrel also gives you a bit more velocity and power and of course, you have two more rounds in the Glock 17 vs the Glock 19. Sure you can use Glock 17 mags in the Glock 19, but it defeats the purpose of having the smaller gun in the first place.
I feel all of this doesn’t compensate the rather small tactical advantage of being able to use both G17 and G19 mags, especially considering that the Glock 17 is the most prolific gun of the two.

Either way, both are excellent guns and if a given person feels the Glock 19 is better for them then I’m perfectly fine with that. You can’t go wrong with the Glock 17 or its slightly smaller version.

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, July 19, 2017

Glock 17: The Best gun for Preppers and Survivalists


Monday, July 17, 2017

Putting together a Survival Fitted Case Kit

I’ve known about these commercial survival “kits” for several years now, actually since the first ones came out with the prepper movement gaining attention around 2012.
Its usually a Pelican type case or PVC tube. It includes a gun of course and some other survival related gear like a compass, whistle, emergency blanket or flashlight or even some MRE (meal ready to eat)
Now I know that far more convenient is to have an actual backpack that is lighter and easier to carry, and put your gear in there. This makes for more practical bug out bags, EDC bags, or get home bags to keep in the vehicle. Something that can actually be carried somewhat comfortably.
Still I like the idea of a kit with fitted gear in a tough impact resistant or even waterproof case.
I think they look pretty neat. They also remind me a lot of those old fitted gun cases, with tools, a bottle of cleaning oil and other trinkets.  I see these as more modern rendition of those great classic cases to some extent.
So, one day looking online I came across a nice deal on a surplus Explorer case. I made and offer and lucky me I ended up winning it. Now this is what I have to work with:


I’m thinking adding a few mags, maybe a cleaning kit and a knife or multitool. I’ll update you once I put it together.
Or maybe a shotgun kit:

At this point I’m just looking for ideas. In fact if you have any pics, comments, links of pics you just happen to like or suggestions of possible content to include in the kit leave it in the comments below or send me an email.
What handgun or long arm would you chose for a kit like this? What gear would you put in it?
Its a fun little project which you may try out yourselves.
Here are a few commercial models to get you brainstorming:
Stag Arms Executive Survival kit

Smith & Wesson

Steyr AUG survival kit

Taurus First 24 Survival Kit
Mossberg JIC (just in case) Shotgun Kit

The Mossberg version is probably the cheapest. Just a PVC tube, end caps and glue.
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, July 14, 2017

Reply: Some thoughts about push daggers

Fernando—
Regarding push daggers, as cute as they are there are potential complications that can come up before someone might use one in self-defense, and they are certain to come after they have used it.
The first point is that I suspect they are illegal to carry in most jurisdictions.  While in some places in the U. S. the law might allow a person who has a concealed weapon permit to also carry and potentially use such a knife in self-defense, in most places the CCW only pertains to a handgun.  Other laws govern knives.
“Ah”, you say, “but what if you carry the push dagger openly?”  First, it is hard to carry it in any way that it is not concealed at least partially or at times, depending on how it is carried, what clothing is worn, etc.  Second, there are laws on the books in some jurisdictions that allow law enforcement officers to arrest people who openly carry a knife—in at least one jurisdiction the display of a pocket clip is enough to get a person arrested.
As you know, there is a patchwork of laws in place across the U. S. and across various countries.  In one jurisdiction where the law is written to allow knives to be carried that are not “designed and intended” to be used as weapons, that “design” and “intent” comes down to interpretation by law enforcement and the courts.*  Under those rules, it is probably illegal to carry a push dagger since it is designed and intended to be used as a weapon and cannot be justified as a tool intended for some other use or general utility.
Then, if someone actually uses a push dagger in otherwise legitimate self-defense, they are likely to be charged criminally for carrying an illegal concealed weapon, with any damage they might do to an aggressor to also be adjudicated according the local laws and preferences of law enforcement and prosecutors.**
The bottom line is that maybe the push dagger should be left at home or else only carried by people who are legally authorized to do so because their professions require them to go in harm’s way.
-Larry
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That is true.
Usually when I post about gear I include links to those products in Amazon (I get a small % of it) but in this case there was none to be found.  I looked further and could not find a single push knife/dagger in Amazon.
That alone goes to show the problematic laws and bans they face in many States.
Yet again, you simply have to know the laws that apply you. For knives, guns and self-defense, knowing the law is important.
Having said that, where legal to own and carry I do believe they have the advantages mentioned. Compactness, ease of carry, instinctive use and outstanding retention being the most valuable traits.
No affiliation of any kind and I’ve never bought from them, but knifecenter.com does seem to have a wide variety of push knives offered.
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”

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mittelstand: Made in China vs Made in Germany


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Advantages of the Push Dagger for Self-defense

I was going through my knife collection the other day and came across an oldie but goodie: The Cold Steel Safe Keeper Push Dagger.

In the world of edged weapons you rarely see or read much about push daggers/knives.
It’s usually folders or traditional fixed blades that end up in the spotlight. Nothing wrong with these no doubt but the push dagger does deserve your attention because it certainly has its attributes.
1)Fixed blade
It’s not a folding blade, usually a single piece of steel. This means you have all the rigidity and strength of a fixed blade knife.
2)Ease of carry
Because the handle is perpendicular and not in line with the blade. Push knives can be very compact in spite of blade length. It is fairly easy to carry concealed a four inch blade, let alone smaller 2 or 3 inch ones which are still formidable weapons. The one pictured was carried by me on several occasions in Argentina. I remember how comfortable it was and feeling rather well armed with it.
3)fast deployment
Unlike folding knives there’s no blade to flip or other deployment mechanism. Just grab and pull out ready for use. Neck knife models are particularly well suited for quick access. The Cold Steel Mini Pal can be kept handy in a key chain. Don’t let the small size fool you. That little Min Pal can cut.
4)instinctive use
Because it is held in a balled fist and used in the same manner as punching, the push knife lends itself nicely to not only different martial arts disciplines but also more instinctive punching.


Safe Maker II at ColdSteel.com
5)Almost impossible to disarm
Besides its ease of carry, this has to be one of its most valuable traits: retention. Anyone that ever took a knife fighting class and practiced some CQC with practice knives knows how likely it is for knives to be dropped during a fight. In the case of women or smaller frame people there’s also the risk of being overpowered and disarmed, a position you certainly never want to find yourself in. With a push knife, such a thing is almost impossible. For most models none of the handle is left exposed for grabbing and the only surface protruding is the blade itself, which your attacker certainly doesn’t want to touch.
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, July 4, 2017

Skysaver: Escaping from high-rise buildings


Some people commented regarding my post about escaping a building during a fire with traditional climbing gear and noted that the rope can burn.
Of course this is a possibility. The fire on some of the lower floors may even burn yourself as you rappel down. The point is we’re talking about a desperate, last resort situation here. During the London tower fire some people climbed down using tied bed sheets to make a rope. I’ll take an actual harness and rope over sheets any day.
But I did look into it a bit more and there is a product specifically designed to escape high rise buildings during fires, terrorist attacks or other emergencies.
As strange as it looks, it does seem serious and apparently it works as intended.

On the down side it is very expensive at 800 bucks or more depending on how many feet you need.
On the up side, it requires no rappel knowledge, no particular physical strength or dexterity and allows you to safely jump off the window and safely reach the floor. The cord seems to be steel, which is of course safer and less likely to be destroyed by fire and debris.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
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”

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fire in Portugal: More than 60 Dead, some trapped in their Cars while Escaping

Según la Autoridad Nacional de Protección Civil portuguesa, que monitoriza en su página web en tiempo real la evolución de los incendios, 117 fuegos arden en el país este jueves a mediodía —13 de ellos de grandes dimensiones—. A las 12.30 horas había 3.682 efectivos combatiendo las llamas en Portugal, que cuentan con 1.159 vehículos terrestres y 17 aviones. En la foto, un bombero trabaja en las labores de extinción del incendio forestal que afecta a las localidades de Couto de e Cima y Couto de Baixo en la región de Viseu.
Hi there Fernando
while some people are still recovering from the aftermath of the London fire, we have witnessed right next door, the devastating effects of another terrible fire this time in Portugal.
According to the news at least 30 people died in their cars while trying to escape from the flames (probably too late).
I think this reinforces the message of how important it is to read the (get out of dodge) situation, and is better to leave and come back during a false alarm than to lose your life...
I enclose a link (in spanish) La carretera de la muerte
Thoughts?
-Antonio
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Hello Antonio.
Sorry for the delay in replying.
Yes, I saw the news. It’s just terrible.  This yet again goes to show: living in more isolated areas does not mean you’ll never have to bug out.
Also, know your threats. Some areas are known to be affected by wildfires, if it happened once, you can be sure it will happen again. Especially in wooded or grassy areas you have to role play the situation and imagine what you would do if it catches fire.
Watch the clip below, its just terrible.



You need a bug out plan, and a good strategy with alternative routes is crucial here.
Also car selection. I would want a truck or at least and SUV, something with AWD or 4WD so as to go off road if needed when escaping. Also a good car kit, with food, water and clothes, especially good shoes for walking.
Above all, staying informed and taking action. I believe that in this case reacting in time would have been the difference between life and death.
Yet again it’s always easy when you’re not the one trapped in that inferno and you only read the news after it happened.
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, June 27, 2017

6 items to have for long term power outages


List of Items
1)1)Flashlights:
Thrunite TN12
Lumintop Copper Prince
2)Batteries
3)Gas Stove
4)Car Inverter
5)Solar Battery bank
6)Kerosene Heater

Thursday, June 22, 2017

High-Rise Dweller Escape Kit

Would you list basic rappelling gear? how many sets are needed for a family? i stay on the first or second floor of hotels, and keep a flashlight in case the electricity fails. you never know! i keep water and protein bars and toilet paper in the car. anything else you recommend? these are silly questions to people with common sense but i have none and would appreciate some advice. many thanks to you.
That’s actually a great point.
I’m by no means an expert on rappelling (and those that are please comment below). I have done it a few times though, enough to know it’s easy enough and you can learn the basic technique in one session.
You’re basically looking at four items you need, at the very least: a climbing rope, harness, carabiner and figure 8 descender. How advanced each item is and how much extra equipment you add is up to you. A helmet for example, would be considered essential safety equipment for climbing.
The good news is that if you want a basic kit, rope, harness, figure 8 and carabiner, you can have a basic emergency set for relatively little money. A harness can cost as little as 29 bucks in Amazon, a rope can go for a little over twenty. This is the cheapest stuff around but it sure beats tying a few bed sheets in a borderline suicidal attempt to escape burning to death. Even this basic kit can make all the difference between life and death.
For those living long term in high-rise buildings I would suggest spending a bit more and buying brand name such as Petzl or Black Diamond, which goes for a bit more money but you can use with confidence, even use once or twice a year in a safe location to properly practice rappelling. For rope, get proper 'dynamic' climbing rope.

We recently learned the terrible fate dozens suffered in the tower that burned in London. That example alone is good enough, but there’s also home invasions, terror attacks, earthquakes, or a shooting in your work place, anything that forces you to escape out of your residence or work place.
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, June 20, 2017

So whats a traditional Match Lighter?


Monday, June 19, 2017

IPCS and Defensive shooting skills


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”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Inferno in London Tower Building: Some survival related thoughts

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”

Monday, June 12, 2017

This is how thugs are dealt with in Brazil (Gunfight vid, lessons learned)


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, June 8, 2017

“Dad, it hurts”

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”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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


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”

Monday, June 5, 2017

Must watch show in Fox News: Swamp Watch




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”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trijicon ACOG


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”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Advice for expats moving to Uruguay (or anywhere else)

... 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”

Saturday, May 27, 2017

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”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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



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
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 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”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Coligny Riots: More trouble in South Africa

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.
...
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”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When White Rice becomes a Luxury

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.
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”