Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Parts of California look like a nuclear disaster area.

The Camp Fire has destroyed more than 8,817 structures, including 7,600 homes, in less than a week since it first ignited 

 The suit accuses PG&E of being responsible for the destructive blaze, claiming it failed to properly maintain its equipment and infrastructure. Pictured is Paradise on Tuesday 

Fallout 4? No, its California.

The intense heat has not only leveled buildings, it has gone wrath of God, scorched earth.
48 people have already lost their lives and the images are just terrible. Not only are trees destroyed, houses burned to the ground, cars are burned down to bare metal, in some cases with a skeleton still inside. You need to be aware of the risks in areas where there’s a fire hazard, organize and be ready evacuate 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”

Monday, November 12, 2018

DQ video: Learning from Unintentional discharges



I came across this interesting compilation video of sport shooting DQ. Now you may think it is not relevant to anything other than sport shooting but it does go to show a) how often people that are very much into firearms still end up pulling the trigger when they don’t mean to b) at what time that is most likely to happen and who the gun is pointing at. If you pay attention you see one happening when the shooter is drawing the gun or a very short while after that.

Now imagine for a second how that one would have gone down if that person had been drawing from an appendix carry position. I know, I know, some of you love AIWB. Just check the video anyway and keep it in mind. No one thinks accidents happen but they do…  a lot. Even to well-trained 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”

Friday, November 9, 2018

Interview I did with Lynette Zang for ITM Trading.

Interview I did with Lynette Zang for ITM Trading.



About the mortgage question I didnt get to answer correctly (happens sometimes during interviews, you just mess up) First keep in mind that Argentina isnt USA and banks just dont go arounf giving money.

Very few people had mortgages to being with. Those that did though, for most people the mortgage either stayed in US dollars or was converted to the new currency rate, so a lot of people could not pay it. Having gold or silver would have been ideal because these kept their value, parity with dollar and basically the rest of the world as the Argentine peso collapses and you can sell your PM for whatever currency equivalent you have that day and pay your debt.

So yes, even if banks closed, which they did, but eventually reopened even if accounts stayed frozen, your could sell your PM in any dealer, (have cash in hand, which you quickly want to spend due to inflation) adn pay any debt or buy anything else you needed.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Reply: The US military would be better off with an AK variant

          АК-47.jpg
The AK is a better weapon than any version of the AR/M16/M4/AR10. AR's are a range Barbbie/snob gun.

If they are surgically cleaned and carefully lubed several times a day, they will work about 50% of the time. Provided you feed them only the most expensive hand crafted ammo, they might even work about 75% of the time. BUT: Make no mistake. EVERY version of the Stoner will fail you when your life is on the line. The AK on the other hand was designed to fight, and survive, the battle of Stalingrad. It will fire ANY proper Cal. ammo. It is every bit as accurate as the standard M4 service carbine. All you need is, To Quote Kalashnicov (spell?) himself. "I designed AK47 so that any common Russian could lift it from the mud.

Clean it with Diesel Fuel. Lubricate it with crank case oil, and defend the Mother Land" The AR is the worst choice you can make in your life. Period. It WILL fail you when you need it the most. The AK will keep running with holes rusted in the receiver, and can be manufactured with hand tools. It is the best military carbine class weapon ever devised by man. 200 years from now somebody will find one in a dry cave in some middle east shit hole. Kick the action open,and it will fire.

—Ray
...


I wont beat around the bush with this one.
I don’t care who you are, what you do or how good you may run your AR, and I know that both for sport and tactical applications some guys run them great. Still, simply from a technical point of view, even from a simple logical perspective a gun that shoots back hot gas and carbon into itself rather than use a piston to transfer the energy alone is simply a terrible idea.  I know, I know, yours works great, and yes, the AR vs AK mud video. It means nothing.

This guy nicely describes the issues with the AR, and does so with a good sense of humor about it.
One gun fouls and cooks a layer of carbon inside itself with every shot, the other does not. Proof of this being the case are the various piston AR mods and of course, the development of the HK416. No other rifle uses DGI (Direct Gas Impingement) so that says a lot regarding how good an idea it is from the design perspective. At the same time we must admit how popular ARs are, that they can run well in the hands of someone that knows how to maintain it, and especially at current prices in America, I would pick one even if I don’t particularly like the gun. For three gun competition ARs are all over the place. Having said that,

I would pick a good AK first. Simple, easy to maintain and once you verify it works properly you can count on it in the future. I don’t need the latest high speed tactical gun. I’d rather have a gun that is just a bit less high speed, yet is above all reliable and I can fix with a Leatherman tool  and a piece of coat hanger.  Later on sure, get your AR, and if your start shooting competition you’ll use it a lot and put a ton of money into it. Don’t forget getting a real battle rifle too eventually.
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, November 6, 2018

Halloween, Read Dead 2, and the little things in Life

 

Halloween was a total bust. At around 3 PM it started raining, hard. Windy too.

We only got one group of brave trick or treaters and we didn’t get to go out ourselves. We kept waiting for the storm to calm a bit but all it did was get worse throughout the evening and into the night. We got to watch a couple scary movies, we had fun with the decorations and spooky looking food. My 10 year old had enjoyed the day in school with everyone wearing their costumes and doing Halloween stuff.

It hit me yet again how life has changed for us since we left Argentina. Over there walking around trick or treating and opening your door to strangers just isn’t going to happen. Maybe in some well-secured gated community or similar setting with lots of private security, but not for the average people. Most people take these sort of things for granted. We don’t. I have noticed that we are getting used to it and eventually I bet my wife and I, and my oldest son as well, will forget what life was like back in Argentina. You still miss your country no matter how bad the situation there may be, but all you have to do is watch the local news there where they discuss current events and you quickly remember why you left:

Even worse crime than before. 50% inflation this year. A president that is trying to do the right thing but fighting against the peronist/socialist/corrupt machine that has been looting the country for nearly a century. You just can’t live that way. You did what we did, you survive day by day, incapable of planning for anything more, let alone live and enjoy your life. So we still take pleasure in these little things that most people take for granted. For us, to be able to safely walk around town, in any direction, pretty much across the entire continent if we chose to do so, that’s priceless.

Meanwhile back home people have to rush to stock up, fill their gas tanks because prices may go up 10% or 20% in a matter of days. I also got to play some Red Dead Redemption 2. If you haven’t bought it already, do yourself a favour and get it. (yea, that’s my Amazon affiliated link, I do appreciate the support). The game is fantastic. I loved the first Red Dead but now you get to actually walk into an 1890 general store, pick stuff up and look at it like you would in real life. The shootings, the wild west gunstores, robbing trains and stagecoaches and the hunting! Just fantastic. I would even buy the PS4 + game combo just to play it if you don’t have a console.

My oldest son liked the game and was glad to see a lever action gun, similar to his Winchester XTR 22LR although he noticed that my 357 magnum Trapper would be a better fit. My 10 year old is enjoying the game as well. He mentioned some old guy whittling wood in the game and I told him he could do that for real with the Swiss Army knife he got for his birthday (Victorinox Hiker). Funny how a video game triggered something to do in the real world. So we went outside and I taught him how to safely use the tools in his new knife. The knife, the saw and reamer.

SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA: Back to Basics with the Victorinox ...

Believe it or not, even 1 billion USD profit Red Dead Redemption 2 can’t beat a good pocket knife and a piece of wood. He forgot about the video game and spent all afternoon outside carving a small wooden sword, as happy as only a boy with his pocket knife can be. As I was saying, it’s the little things.
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”

Friday, November 2, 2018

The US military would be better off with an AK variant as a standard service rifle

At least that’s what Larry Vickers believes.

In the video below (minute 4:30) he discusses his AK47 book and commented that he believed the AK would suit the “Joe Average” military personnel better while AR variant rifles would be better suited for special forces and other specific tactical units.


As you can imagine, he got a lot of hate from a lot of people for this comment.
I must say though. I do agree with the man.

Hold your horses! I didn’t insult your mother just had a different opinion there, that’s all. The thing is, the AR is a great rifle… but its not as great as many would want it to be. Accurate and with great ergonomics yes, but it requires a minimum maintenance, knowledge and dedication that is higher than the one required by AK type rifles.

Most gun people simply don’t understand how little the average non-gun person cares about firearms.
And believe it or not many of them serve in the military. The AK is a gun that can take that kind of neglect. Just getting some oil prayed somewhere in the vicinity of the gun and little else is enough to keep it running.

The AR though, it needs a knowledgeable user, someone that at least has some interest in having a working rifle. It may be super simple and easy for you, but for the person that doesn’t car at all about guns, trust me, it is not. And Vickers is not talking about your typical pile of crap imported AK. He talks about a Valmet rifle with a few tweaks and upgrades.

I completely agree that something like that would be ideal as well. Especially for survivalists, the AK holds that category of beaten and abused gun that somehow keeps on working. The AR is a more refined gun that while reliable requires more attention. The AK with its piston gas operation, larger components with looser tolerances tends to be more forgiving.

Different opinion? Some other thoughts? Leave your comment 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”

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bad Self Defense and False sense of Security


I’ve talked about this before but these guys do a great job explaining why certain feel-good, yoga studio self-defense just doesn’t work. Let me say this. I have nothing against the yoga pant lady in the video. She looks very fit, in great shape.

I’m not being sarcastic. Being fit is far more likely to improve her health and long term quality of life, so there’s that to be said.



The key is this: If you can’t get it to work against a partner that is the least bit non-cooperative, then it wont work in the streets. In the street you won’t have a partner, you’ll have an enemy, and he will be VERY non-cooperative. He will be downright combative.
Stay safe.

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, October 25, 2018

Trump sends troops to the border to stop illegal caravans. Liberals outraged.

Members of the migrant caravan carrying flags of Honduras and Nicaragua while walking after crossing the Guatemalan border into Mexico.

President Trump has said he’s “"bringing out the military" to secure the border with Mexico. He called the situation “a national Emergency” and is sending at least 800 troops.

Trump said on Twitter:
"Sadly, it looks like Mexico's Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!" Trump said in a Twitter post.

It would seem that some in the liberal media are surprised/upset even outraged that this is happening, but truth be told using the military to protect a country’s border is the most common thing in the world and most countries do it.

Some in the media have said most of these "asylum seekers" were children an families, but pictures show the great majority to be young men.

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, October 22, 2018

Bushcraft level, Inca: A bridge made of grass

Annual Celebration in Qeswachaka Bridge

This is “Godlike” level bushcrafting right here.

It takes place in Peru, in the Apurímac river region. The knowledge and technique used has been passed along from parents to children for hundreds, maybe thousands of years from their Inca ancestors.

The plant used it called “q’oya”, which is particularly strong. The long, strong blades are worked into rope. Each of the four communities bring rope to build the bridge.

Tours to the Qeswachaka - Peru

The video is in Spanish and some other native language but well worth the time and the images speak for themselves really.



It’s a community effort, involving a thousand villagers from all over the region that come together to make the bridge. Even the children help.

Once a year during the second week of July they get together to cut down the old one and rebuild the bridge again. They also have a party to celebrate the occasion.

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, October 18, 2018

Hurricane AAR: Best Phone and Diesel advantages


Our area just came through a major hurricane. It turned out, the model of phone you have is not that important. Service provider is extremely important. In the US, we still have both GSM and CDMA networks.

For whatever reason, post-storm the GSM providers are mostly working, and the CDMA providers are crap. I understand the network is different in Europe, so that probably doesn’t apply to you. Just putting it out there.

Also, I’d like to confirm your earlier observation/conjecture that in a crisis, diesel vehicles are better. 24 hours before the storm, all area gas stations were out of regular gas. But some of them still had diesel.

-Cord



Hello Cord, thanks for your reply.
Great point, thanks for bringing it up. There’s no point in having the best phone if your provider isn’t reliable. It is crucial to check and hire with the most reputable, most reliable service provider. It’s a good idea to ask around in your local area, wherever it is that you are, so as to get advice regarding this.

Good point on diesel too. Indeed, when there’s no gas, usually you can still find diesel. Depending on the diesel vehicle you can even get a bit creative as of what you feed it, especially older diesel vehicles. Diesel also stores far better, it is less dangerous and more stable for long term storage. Also, diesel gives you more torque, sometimes significantly more than their gas counterparts. I was caught going uphill during some hard rain on the side of a hill some time ago. Water was flowing down, the street turning into a downhill river. The diesel Honda CRV truck along. Water would splash over the hood and for a minute I thought I was in serious trouble but the CR-V got me home.

A few days later I found the car of a neighbour that wasn’t as lucky, pic of his car can be seen above.

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, October 16, 2018

Recommendation for a Prepper Phone ?

Message: Moto G 4 gen fell from my pocket while using moto-taxi, a car drove of over it (on a dirt road). But due to the Poetic heavy duty case and motorola quality I guess, the phone survived, although it is visibly curved and the top of the screen has a dozen breaking lines. Still works perfectly. The kids that picked it up believed the phone was dead, so they returned it to me when we went back to search for it. In case it gives the ghost, what it your current recommendation for prepper phone ? Moto G 5 Gen seems to have a removable battery. Samuel . Hello Samuel, I’m glad the Moto G has performed well for you. The Moto G series is a high value phone that I have recommended in the past several times. Low price yet high quality and very good specs. I basically look at 7 things when shopping for a new phone.
  • Good value. Doesn’t matter if its 200 bucks or 800, I just want to get my money’s worth. This is particularly important with a product that depreciates as fast as a smartphone.
  • Updated Specs. I want a phone that works well and does what you would expect a smartphone to do today. I want a nice, big screen. A fast processor, to take good pictures. I want a micro SD card slot for extra storage. I don’t need the latest most expensive, but reasonable for the current times. One of the things I’ve noticed is that many “rugged” phones cheap out on the specs, and are several years behind, simply because they focus on being rugged than in being up to date tech wise.
  • Most well-known brands are of good enough quality. Apple makes a reliable phone. Samsung hold on nicely. Lenovo makes good laptops and sure makes good phones too. LG has been good to me so far and reviews seem solid enough. But I avoid no-name brands or cheapo phones with no backing from a trusted manufacturer.
  • Water Resistance. For a survivalist, few things are as important as knowing your phone will still work even if rain, floods, falling in a river or God knows what else. In case you’re wondering about IP67 vs IP68, it just means that IP67 can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour, while IP68 guarantees protection in water up to 1.5m deep for the same period of time. Both are resistant to dust. These are lab tests though, carefully placed in water containers on pretty much ideal conditions. In practical terms it means that the IP67 IPhone can take a bit of water splash when brushing your teeth, maybe survive being dropped in the toilet, but little else. Lets say if you barely survived a flash flood and are calling 911 from a tree top, you want IP68.
(Iphone X IP67 water resistance on a thousand dollar phone is unacceptable, by the way )
  • Popularity and availability. I want a phone that is popular enough in the market to find cases and screen protectors for it. Obscure models suck at this.
  • Big enough battery so as to last a reasonable period of time. Removable battery would be nice, but less and less models are produced with one and they often sacrifice water resistance to achieve that.
  • Built in FM radio. Again, not as popular as it used to be but some models do have it. The cool thing about a real built in FM radio is that in the worst case scenarios you can still pick up air signals to listen to the news, rather than listening to the radio through the internet data service like so many people do.
As for recommendations, I have a few based on how much money you want to spend. For a budget yet high quality smartphone, I still recommend the latest Moto G, currently that being the Moto G6 (water-repellent though, no IP certification). Another phone doing very well at a similar price range is the Huawei Mate SE  ( IP67 Water Resistance)  . Its one of the best sellers over at Amazon and holds a 4.5 star rating with almost a thousand reviews. This would be my top choice as of today for a budget smartphone.

Huawei Mate SE 
A phone I really like is my current one, the LG G6. For a few more bucks you get a high quality, high spec phone.  It’s a last year flagship model but at the current price I believe it’s a great deal. Its 2:1 screen form factor makes it easy to slip in any pocket even with a reasonably durable case (I use the Spigen armor), yet the screen is big enough so that I don’t miss my olf Note.  It is true waterproof IP68, a big battery, perfectly placed fingerprint reader on the center back and two great cameras.
LG G6
If youre wondering about Iphone X, I haven’t bought an Iphone in years. Android is just more compatible with everything and more flexible. Besides, a IP67 water proof rating on a thousand dollar phone is insulting.
 
Samsung Galaxy S9+
If you want one of the best phones around and don’t care about spending even more money, there’s the Samsung Galaxy S9 plus. My wife got one a few months ago and is very happy with it.  The best current specs, also waterproof IP68 and just beautiful all around. Just get a good case and screen protector because those edges are pretty exposed. I’ll stick to my LG G6 though, but if I lose/break it, I’d probably go with a LG V30.

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, October 12, 2018

Take Note: Great item for your First Aid Kit


So some time ago I was at the vet with my dog. Bull terriers have a high tolerance to pain and can often hurt themselves against sharp objects and barely notice. Mine will easily get cuts and scrap all over its face.

So the vet gives me this pink liquid for cleaning the wounds. I use it for a few days and yes, turns out it works very well mixed with some water into a pale pink solution.

I mention this to the vet and she says “yes, it’s very good. I get cuts and scratches on my hands all the time and this is what I use too. Its cheap, you get a lot of product for the money mixing it with water and it works very well for disinfecting wounds”. Ding! Ding! Ding! The alarm bell in my survivalist brain went off. A good, cheap disinfectant? Sounds like the kind of stuff I would want to stock up on.

So I went and got a bottle for the dog and another for myself. The products is called Chlorhexidine.
You can find it for humans, but also by the gallon for horses and dogs. Sometimes it’s sold as mouthwash for gingivitis at an even lower concentration.

Its available on Amazon, heres the link.
Hibiclens Antimicrobial/Antiseptic Skin Cleanser, 32 Fluid Ounce Bottle, for Antimicrobial Skin Cleansing
Antimicrobial/Antiseptic 32 Ounce Bottle $15.58

You can also buy it per gallon for "dogs and horses" although its the same thing and if you read the comments people use it on themselves. Folks use it on pets, for wounds and with shampoo, use it also on people and to disinfect things around the house.
Chlorhexidine 2% for Horses & Dogs, One Gallon
I was told to mix it with water at about 5%, but as long as there's a visible pink (or blue)  tint it should work and that seemed to work ok with my dog.
I would advise you to read up on Chlorhexidine so as to know when to use it. This stuff is strong, so never use it on eyes, nose, inner lips (unless it’s a mouthwash solution) and genitals because it will destroy mucous membranes.
 
Take care,

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, October 9, 2018

The Brazilian Trump: Three things you should know about Brazil’s next President… and why you should care.

Image result for bolsonaro jair gun

If you heard anything on the main stream media about the man who will most likely become Brazil’s next president, Jair Bolsonaro, it probably wasn’t very positive to say the least. Far right, homophobic, sexist and gun nut.

But here’s the Top 3 things you should know about the man.

1)Number one, and the main reason Jair Bolsonaro is so popular in Brazil, is because of his clean record. Nearly all other Brazilian politicians and certainly all the left leaning ones are either already in jail for corruption or about to end up there ( many related to the infamous Car Wash scandal). Say what you want about Bolsonaro, but the one thing you cant say about him is that he’s corrupt. That drives the Left crazy, but its one of his biggest selling points for the Brazilian voter fed up with corrupt politicians.

2)He’s got Christian, conservative values. The other important point that explains Bolsonaro’s popularity is his conservative values. Brazilians, like millions of people around the world and especially in South America, are fed up with Leftist’s agenda.  He does not believe homosexuality is “normal”, he believes men and women are different and have a different roles in society. He may be a bit rough around the edges in the way he expresses these cultural views of his, but that doesn’t change the fact that he reflects the view of a lot of people that are simply fed up with the leftist cultural brainwashing.
In fact, he's got liberals so upset, one of them stabbed him recently during the campaign, nearly killing him.
Image result for bolsonaro jair gun
3)He is very much pro gun. He has a military background, went to a military school, artillery parachutists with the rank of Captain. And the man likes his guns. That’s obvious by the way he handles firearms in some of the youtube videos. He has promised to pave the way for concealed carry in Brazil.

So what do I care

If anything, know that people like John Oliver hate the guy, meaning you’re likely to like him. A lot.

Also, you should because like it or not we’re all stuck in this world together and Brazil happens to be in America (as in the continent)  it’s the 5th largest country in the world and an economic leader in the region.

A man that finally cuts the BS with all the Liberal hysteria in many ways ruining countries, Bolsonaro can be a fantastic presidential figure in the region. Mauricio Macri in Argentina was a nice bit of fresh air. Although in global terms considered a moderate centrist, he’s as far right as anything Argentina produced in decades. A very well educated engineer, bilingual, millionaire and pretty much a man that has been very successful at anything he set his mind to from president of Boca Jr. Football club, business man dealing with Donald Trump or Mayor Of Buenos Aires city. But for all his political success so far he’s struggling economically and is far too moderate to lead the region on his own.

With a bit of luck Bolsonaro’s success in reducing crime with a pro gun agenda will help popularize the idea in the region.

Bolsonaro would be a great figure to influence the entire region for more permanent change, the kind that lasts for generations.
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”

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Big Thank you to Sootch00 from SensiblePrepper


Hope everyone had great weekend.

I just wanted to thank Sootch00 from SensiblePrepper for recommending my book “The Modern Survival Manual” in his latest video.



I happen to like his channel a lot and have watched several of his videos over the years.

Stay safe everyone, enjoy the rest of your day!

FerFAL

Friday, October 5, 2018

My EDC for Rome/Vatican City Trip


Went there for a few days, had a great time. Highly recommended for anyone that hasnt visited already.



Anyway, a short video showing the stuff I took with me to the trip.

Also a list of some of the items, available in Amazon.

Phone: LG G6 https://amzn.to/2MRhOKu

Spigen Tough Armor case https://amzn.to/2zVi1Jb

Thrunite T10 https://amzn.to/2BZOgID

Glock Hat https://amzn.to/2KUApEY

Leatherman PS4 https://amzn.to/2mCA7b4

Wiley X Valor (polarized) https://amzn.to/2KVBMmV

20,000mAh Power Bank https://amzn.to/2PfNtXx

Casio Protrek https://amzn.to/2CD2nQH

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, October 4, 2018

5 Best guns for Barter/Sell after SHTF


Guns are often brought up when people discuss firearms as barter items post SHTF.
My position is that I simply don’t believe much in having barter items at all. Every time I’ve seen it used, it was always by people is pretty desperate situations, trading at a loss. This is something you saw a lot of in Argentina after 2001, you saw it again in 2014 and its happening again with the latest crisis, a 100% devaluation in the last few weeks.(Nope, never a boring day in Argentina)
My point is, anything you may have heard being mentioned as “worth its weight in gold” or otherwise a great barter item to be had, every single time my conclusion was that such person would have been better off having the actual cash at hand instead. Either cash or its equivalent in precious metal as insurance for said type of devaluation. The toilet paper, the seeds, the tools, its all just junk you end up trading at a loss during desperate times.

There are certain items though that I believe hold enough intrinsic value and are of such wide use that you can feel safe in stockpiling them. Food for example, is both valuable and more important, you consume it yourself. Ammo, somewhat of the same thing. And guns. Guns are not only used for the critical role of defending yourself and your loved ones, they hold value rather well too.

Some people are concerned regarding trading or bartering guns, worried that they may be used against them. I talking about dealing with reputable people you actually trust, or maybe your local gun shop. In my experience guns are not only useful, they hold value very well. Even in very unstable economies like Argentina, Ive managed to convert guns I didn’t have a need for anymore into cash rather fast.

Having said that, not all guns are equal and some are easier to sell/trade and are in higher demand than others.

Combat/Defense handguns

Chief among them, 9mm Glock, models 19 and 17. Guns like Beretta 92, CZ75, XD, HK USP and Sig 22X. Reputable guns for self defense or carry. Popular models are easier to move, but Glock 9mm are without a doubt the most popular ones, almost as good as cash in hand. Its not a bad idea to buy police trade ins as spares, even 40 S&W Glocks trade well and are good guns in their own right.

Premium guns
These would be the guns the collector community always seems to be interested in. A Colt Python is almost a commodity of a certain market value. Same for original Colt 1911 service pistols, S&W model 29 just to name a couple. Sometimes you can cross over categories. The HK P7 for example is a wonderful gun for defense while also being highly desirable among collectors.

Work guns
Popular 22 carbines like the Marlin 10/22 or shotguns like the Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Even a solid 357 revolver like the Ruger GP100 to an extent.
These are usually easy to trade or sell at the right price. These are practical, versatile "tools" and even if already common and everyone seems to have one already, they continue to be in high demand if the price is right.
Cheap guns
At the other end of the spectrum you have the cheap junk guns. They may work, but their main attraction is simply being cheap. Hi Points, Taurus guns, these are the ones that go for 50-100 bucks, but they still sell because they are affordable.

Service Rifles
Old surplus Mausers, Mosin Nagants, AR15, SKS, FAL, AK, G3. These are guns that have a somewhat fixed market price and you can usually expect to get your money’s worth for them rather fast.
Uncommon guns, guns in unusual calibers, brands that aren’t as well known, these would be the guns that are harder to sell or trade, even if they are great guns in their own right.

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, October 2, 2018

“Leave No Trace”: A movie every Prepper should watch

Image result for leave no trace
“Leave No Trace” (yes, its available in Amazon) is a genuinely good movie. You may like it more or less but it is certainly good, enjoying a Rotten Tomato rating of 100% critic and 86% audience at the moment.

It is family friendly, not violent in any way, so feel free to drop it in the list for this weekend.
The movie starts with a father and his teen daughter living in the woods, away from society. That’s as far as I will go, no point in ruining a good movie.
What I will say though is that the main point of the movie is one that many preppers and survivalists can certainly relate to. One I’ve seen somewhat regularly when meeting with other survivalists: The desire to escape society, escape people. It is a recurring topic and it is found to a greater or lesser degree but it is there quite often. Its folks that don’t mind or actually enjoy being alone (most of us in this community are a bit like that) most prefer avoiding crowded, big cities, some avoid even small towns and live a bit away from them, others try to live as far from anyone else as they can possibly get. Some people have real problems having friends, basic neighbourly interactions or even having a family. It is a topic brought up every now and then in the forums, about preppers and survivalists that are alone, and yes, at times feel lonely.

This is one of the main topics of the movie and it is somewhat of a real concern for some folks in our community. Personally, I don’t think that in my case it is that bad. My family helps a lot. I always knew I wanted to get married and have kids, and at least that part comes naturally to me. I honestly don’t have to “work” at making my marriage work like I sometimes read that you’re supposed to. So I guess I’m lucky in that regard. But I also see how with that particularly screw in my head tightened another half a turn or so, I could have easily ended up being that guy alone in a cabin in the woods.
“No man is an island” according to John Donne and I agree. In my opinion a modern survivalist, the way I conceive survivalism, is both capable of going at it alone or working in a group, being part of society, not escaping from it. In fact, I’d say building up relations and a network of people is one of your greatest assets. And why not, having friends is not only a tactical choice but also a way of enjoying life more.

Is it always easy? No, not always. And the lone wolf thing comes much easier to most of us than it does to most people, but I think its something we do have to work in keeping at check, stay reasonable. I know of cases in which survivalism turned into doom worshiping, paranoia and ended up consuming people’s lives.

We have to stay reasonable, balanced, understand what’s good for us and work in those things that may not come to some of us as naturally.
Take care

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, September 27, 2018

Autistic 6 year old goes missing & found dead: A reminder to us all

Image result for maddox 6 year old

You  probably heard the news of Maddox Ritch, the 6 year old boy with autism that went missing 5 days ago and who’s body was found just a couple hours ago.

We still don’t know what happened for sure. So far his father says they went for a walk in the park, Maddox took off running after a jogger, the father let him get a bit too far, and by the time he ran after him to catch up with him it was too late. He was lost. Today his body was found.
My point with today’s post people, is complacency.

Complacency kills in survival. You never let your guard down. You never allow your kids out of your sight, not for a second. You never let them get beyond your reach. With kids, there’s no place too safe.  Perverts are EVERYWHERE, even in the safest of places.

But complacency also applies to security, keeping your car doors locked. Locking your doors and windows. Never answering and opening your door to people you don’t know.
It applies to keeping track of y
our preps as well. What supplies you have, expiration dates and so on.
Stay safe 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”

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hatsan Escort & $16 Amazon Relfex sight: My experience after 1000 rounds


Shotguns have always been kept in high regard in the survival community. Simple, effective, versatile. There’s really not a lot you can’t do with a shotgun.

One of the first guns I bought last time I moved was a Mossberg 500 "combination" set, 18.5” slugger barrel with sights and a second, longer choked barrel for hunting. For just under 300 bucks you get a serious gun that while not perfect, can do just about anything. From a role as a home defense shotgun with the shorter barrel, to hunting both small and large game.

Now the shotgun does have its issues as a defensive use weapon. While pumps are extremely reliable, having to operate the gun with both hands between shots is a tactical disadvantage in a worst case scenario. So how about a semi auto shotgun then? Ah! But theres no free lunch. With an auto loader you sacrifice the legendary reliable of the pump shotgun.

Well, not always. Not with the right gun, combined with the right load.


Hatsan Escort MPA

The Hatsan Escort Autodefend started as a little project of mine. I wanted to see how much bang I could get per buck on the cheapest yet reliable autoloader I could find.
I paired it with the cheapest red dot I found on Amazon, $16 Reflex Sight, and my back yard spray can paint job.
The results? Better than you’d think!

A 1,000 rounds later I can say the gun is perfectly reliable with rounds over 30 grams. With 28 grams I had one failure in 50 rounds. This may even improve with a bit more use when the gun slicks up some. All of the shells above work perfectly, 100% reliable.
I’m surprised how well the little cheap reflex sight worked and held up, even keeping the zero.

Downside? Yes, the feeding ramp lever is super sharp and chews on your fingers when reloading. It could use some sandpaper dehorning to get rid of the sharp edges.
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, September 21, 2018

South Africa and platinum

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/Platinum_Mining.jpg
Dear Fernando,
First off, I'm an avid reader of your blog and would like to thank you for all the advice and information that you've posted over the years. I've finally decided to start buying precious metals, namely platinum. How do you think the situation in South Africa will impact platinum prices, especially if it devolves into civil war?
Regards,
-Jake
.
South Africa produces 80% of the world’s platinum, so I understand what you mean.
A couple points to keep in mind though. Unless South Africa goes 100% complete stupid (which yes, it could) they will keep production going. Dictators have a way of saying one thing and doing another, especially when there’s money to be made. All words and populist speeches aside, I believe they will keep “business as usual”, that the people wont see a cent of it, but that’s another story.

Second, the traditional currency has always been gold and silver. These are the ones you are more likely to come across, the ones people know best, know how to detect fakes, more widely acceptable and at more reasonable premiums on the street. You’ll have a hard time convincing average Joe on some small town shop or market about the real value of your platinum when he’s mostly used to move around gold and silver.

I see that there could be a scenario where, due to unrest in SA, production of platinum suffers and the prices go up. Anyone that wants to put some chips there and see how the dices roll I understand.

I’m not sure if that compensates for the lack of familiarity compared to gold and silver though. At least for the average modern survivalist that wants to have a good old reliable precious metals in case of a strong devaluation of fiat currencies.

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, September 18, 2018

Politically Incorrect Preparedness: Immigrants and choosing where to live

Image result for frankfurt
Dear Fernando,
As I don't know how much time you spend reading reader's emails,
therefore, here's the TLDR version:
Which factors to consider in a city A vs city B decision, with a focus
on the implications of the percentage of immigrants.
Now my actual email:
I've read your first book about three years ago and all your blog posts
since then. Thanks a lot for all the thought-provoking stuff and the
triggers based on your real-world experience. I've read several other
books on the topic, but yours finally got me to stock up on water (just
to give one example).
However, there is one topic I'm grappling with for which I couldn't find
your opinion and would like to know it. I saw the chapters/many posts
about city vs. country side. But not much regarding city A vs city B and
any related metrics for such a decision.
With my wife and daughter, we life in Frankfurt, Germany. Its
population is around 750,000, lies in the center of the country, is the
traffic center and thus offers many jobs in a good economic situation.
But my wife was born in Dresden (Eastern Germany) and she would love to
relocate back to her home town.
Population-wise it is sort of comparable: ~550,000. And being an IT guy,
I probably wouldn't have problems to find a job there. But the eastern
part of Germany in general is still much weaker in terms of economy.
What good is my own job if much around us in terms of infrastructure and
general social prosperity level would be lower?
Then there's the geopolitical question. In a general European decline,
what would it mean to be geographically much closer to the even poorer
economies of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, etc.?
And probably the most sensitive and politically incorrect question is
about the implications of the percentage of immigrants in each city.
Frankfurt is really multicultural and has one of the highest percentages
of immigrants in Germany. Dresden is the opposite, having far less
immigrants. And you might have heard that still the hatred of foreigners
in eastern Germany is far higher than the western part. And to be clear:
I'm not talking about well integrated and/or well educated individuals
who make an effort to be part of and useful for society. I'm rather
thinking of the lower end of the skill spectrum. And be it that its just
"low" due to the fact that the local language is not there to apply any
skill.
Of course there are many more related factors. Where do we want to have
our kid in school? Let her go through the "school of hards knocks" with
many kids from families where even speaking the local language is an
issue, or rather some place else? And all the other "normal" factors,
like where are more relatives, closeness to nature, costs of living, etc.
But now let me formulate my main question(s) related to the survival topic:
- Do you have an opinion about the implications of the percentage of
immigrants in a SHTF scenario?
- Would you consider this aspect when choosing a city to live in?
- What other SHTF-factors do you see and would you consider in
comparison "city A vs city B"?
If you already answered this in your 2nd book, please let me know, as
this is still on my someday/maybe pile.
If you want to publicly answer my email despite the politically
incorrect aspects, please make it anonymous.
My last question is: Do you "need" further questions to fuel future
posts? I've gathered a laundry list of small questions for which I at
least didn't stumble upon answers from guys with real-world experience
during my survival studies. But as I don't want to ask for too much of
your time, I've just sent the question which is most on our minds these
days.
Thanks again for your valuable contribution and for considering our
concerns,
F
.

Hello F,

Thank you for your email. Sorry for the delay in replying. Its been pretty busy around here lately with the holidays and all, hope you understand.
Yes, this is the kind of topic I addressed in detail in my second book “Bugging Out & Relocating”, especially on the second part of the book regarding relocating and choosing wisely taking the most important factors into consideration.

I understand that based on your email immigration is a big concern, and it well should be, but then there’s also everything else to consider. A lot of it will have a great impact on not only your strategic position from a preparedness point of view but also on practical, everyday life quality.
I actually know a couple friend of ours, he’s Argentine, she’s from eastern Germany. I talked with her a lot and I get this impression that people from the east that suffered communism at one point seem more, “hardy”. It’s as if they still remember what tough times and adversity is like.  I’m sure one can’t generalize but it seemed to me that’s the most common mindset in the area. As you say you have more jobs in your current city, that’s also a factor to consider. Not that relocating within the same country to yet another large city would be that big a change.

Preparedness-wise I would say that people from the east are more prepared for adversity having endured it in the past. Then again, a weaker economy is still likely to suffer more during tough times. If such a thing does happen you could move back, although I doubt the German economy will get THAT bad any time soon.

The way I see it its more about what your wife wants than what you need from a practical point of view, and of course that’s important as well. As the saying goes, happy wife, happy life, right?
But also ask yourself, what do YOU want? Do you care much either way? If you don’t then why not make her happy. Maybe she also has a better support network of friends and family back home and that I can assure you is critical for preparedness, and for quality of life in good times as well.
I wouldn’t worry that much about being closer to Poland and other countries that could go through tough times. If anything most immigrants are likely to go right past you and straight to Berlin looking for work. Its all EU anyway, so movement is very much fluid all over the place.
Some of the eastern Europe countries do have rather hardcore criminal elements that are a concern. They are usually involved in some of the more violent crimes and home invasions. Being close to them could increase the risk factor although that has to be taken into account with the other pros and cons of moving there.

Is crime in Dresden particularly worse? Doesn’t seem to be the case.
https://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Germany&city1=Frankfurt&country2=Germany&city2=Dresden
If anything it seems that Dresden is considerably safer than Frankfurt, that’s very good.
Regarding your questions.

- Do you have an opinion about the implications of the percentage of immigrants in a SHTF scenario?

Yes, I do. I’ve been an immigrant myself and I know what its like to have someone look at you funny because you speak a foreign language, not realizing that you probably speak and write better than him! But I also understand that’s not the case with most immigrants.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m probably the least political correct person you’ll come across but I also believe that the majority of those people washing ashore lately are indeed desperate people that just want to survive and have good lives. But I also admit that there are evil people among them, and even among the “good” ones they are essentially very different people, with very different core values of what’s right and wrong compared to Christian/Western civilization cultures.
So yes, I do take it into account and I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a city with a large percentage of “refugees”, no matter how much I may sympathize with the suffering they have endured.

- Would you consider this aspect when choosing a city to live in?

I would. Both for safety, quality of life, even your kids in school. I wouldn’t want my kids going to a school where there’s a lot of people with such different values. One or two I can live with, but I don’t want a pack of them my kids school.

My oldest son had a classmate of muslim/middle eastern background and the kid was problematic, the kind that can only be addressed with violence. Fortunately my son took care of it without getting into too much trouble with the school (his teacher turned a blind eye). But I wouldnt want that kind of people around my kids, especially since you have a daughter that would be at a physical disadvantage. These people have a very different idea regarding the treatment of women.

-What other SHTF-factors do you see and would you consider in comparison "city A vs city B"?

Crime is certainly a big point to keep in mind, but also jobs, unemployment, income, education (how good are schools there?) infrastructure, even pollution. I also look into floods and other potential natural disasters. Being your wife’s home town adds several benefits and that must be considered. She has lived in both places and knows well why she wants to go back.

Hope that helps and by all means feel free to ask any other questions you may have. I’ll do my best to answer them (even if at times it takes a few days :-)  )

Kind regards and 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”

Friday, September 14, 2018

Krav Maga for Preparedness & Self Defense




Hi Ferfal,
I just wanted to add my two cents, I have read your first book and have acted on alot of your advice its good stuff. I have a background in Taekwando from years ago and had since got older and heavier, basically about 40 lbs overweight. I started a Krav class about eight months ago and until then had no idea how out of of shape I was, we train hand to hand, weapons and do a lot of ground work. Its just three times a week but we usually are so sore and beat up from it that is about all we can stand.

I am lucky to have some great instructors, one is currently in federal law enforcement with a 20 year background in judo and Bjj, the other is former military and owns an executive protection company, these guys are the real deal. So far I like the training, it is fairly intense and injuries are common, I like that the instructors train us in what works best, be it krav, bjj or judo.

We spar occasionally, and just like anything in life results may vary, you will get out of it what you put into it, its all about getting to your personal best. At this point I am stronger, faster and better trained than at any point in my life, I have no illusions about my capabilities at this point, still about ten pounds to go and another year or two of training, but I am already so far ahead of where I started. Thanks for the advice, no doubt it will help myself and family in the future.
A-
.

Hello A, thanks for sharing your experience.

I’m actually about to start in a new gym and take some Krav Maga. As I said before it really depends on how lucky you are with the instructor and school you come across. In general I’ve seen a lot of feel good commercial nonsense, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed this time!

Sounds like you landed in a great place with serious people. Keep in mind the idea isnt to get hurt, but I do want to have at last a bit of non-cooperative training and sparring to keep it real.
Also, as you well explain, it’s a reality check regarding our fitness level, which is also very important, for lots of people a wakeup call.

At the end of the day people, go out there and try stuff. At the very least you can say you didn’t like it, and also remember that doing something is FAR better than doing nothing and having NO training or self defense training whatsoever.
Take care!
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”

Hurricane Florence: Death Toll Rises to 5

Hurricane Florence Slams Into Coast Of Carolinas https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/hurricane-florence-category-1-path-tracking-latest-weather-forecast-north-carolina-2018-09-14-live/

Florence is now a tropical storm, but still very much lethal.
At least five have been killed already.

In Lenoir County, a man was electrocuted while plugging a generator.
A mother and an infant were killed when a tree fell onto their home in Wilmington on Friday.
A 78-year-old male was electrocuted at a residence Friday morning when he attempted to connect two extension cords outside in the rain.

The body of a 77 year old man was also found, probably blown down by the wind as he checked on his hunting dogs.
People, stay safe.

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, September 11, 2018

Preparing For Hurricane Florence


Hurricane Florence continues its path toward the East Coast.
It is expected to make landfall between northern South Carolina and North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a Category 4 on Thursday.


Despite 2017 hurricane season, US lacks 'culture of preparedness,' says FEMA administrator

*Have your kit ready, both for sheltering in place or evacuating if needed.

*Have a plan. Where are you going, route and enough fuel to get there already stored.

*Listen to the news to stay informed. Keep your radio nearby.

*Use your own good judgement but if told to evacuate do so, nothing is worth risking your life and your family’s.

*Board up, make sure any potential flying objects is removed or secured. Have enough food, water and means of cooking.

*Remember to cut off both water and gas before leaving if you evacuate.

*Careful with that generator. Make sure it has proper ventilation, never indoors.

*If you are bugging in, then do so! Going for a walk to check things out is a terrible idea, flying missiles are one of the most common causes of death and most objects can be deadly with enough velocity with such fast winds.

Take care and 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”

Monday, September 10, 2018

Self Defense: What are the Best Martial Arts?


Ferfal-
I have reached out to you a few times, it seems you are doing well.  Hopefully you tried the Vertx pants I recommended if you remember.  Anyway-on the subject of self defense disciplines, how do you feel about Brazilian Juijitsu?  My youngsters take it for fitness and discipline reasons at their age right now, however how do you feel it translates to modern preparedness?  I know from my limited fighting experience in my youth (don’t ask) you generally end up on the ground in some form of wrestling/striking situation anyway.  Does that translate?  Do you recommend vs. the traditional disciplines?
Please do not post my info-
Thanks much,
Ernie
...

Hello Erine.
I believe that Brazilian JJ is one of the best martial arts for self defense and its great that your kids are learning it.
As you correctly state, most street fights do end up on the ground. Having said that, BJJ black belt or not, you do not want to end up on the floor in a street fight. Remember nothing is fair in a street fight and on the floor you are easily kicked and stomped. You may be easily beating your attacker with a rear naked choke when all of a sudden a buddy of his gives you a nice soccer ball kick to the head and its lights out for you.

For that kind of thing, scrapping on your feet against one or several attackers you just have to look at how modern MMA keeps evolving more towards striking. Its history repeating itself all over again from ancient times. There’s a reason why traditional boxing as we know it today exists in the first place. It’s the ancient art of landing a KO blow to finish the fight, that same KO punch MMA fighters look for in the octagon, the same art of hitting and not getting hit that goes back to 200BC, as the bronze statue “The Boxer at Rest” illustrates so graphically. As the great philosopher Iron Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”.


Boxing is the martial art that allows to most quickly dispose of one or more attacks. That’s why boxers usually do so well on street fights. Having said that you do need to know grappling, both for using it yourself and for countering. Here is where BJJ becomes very useful.
Ideally you would combine Boxing, BJJ and kickboxing.  Those are the ones I feel work best on the street. While its hard to do them all at least keep them in mind so as to try out when possible, or to ask to focus on if you have a MMA gym or a good instructor where you can practice different martial arts.

Some people really like Krav maga. I get it that with a good instructor it can be pretty good, especially when incorporating weapons, knives, sticks and guns. I see two problems with it though. First, in general (and your experience may be totally different), it tends to be extremely commercial focusing on “feel good” false sense of being a badass, all while practicing choreographic moves that don’t work for real. Second, the lack of competition means that, unlike boxing, you don’t get to fight someone trying to punch your face in for real. Same thing with BJJ and Judo, you have an opponent trying to beat you and that’s good, that’s the closest thing to fighting for real in a safe environment. I’m sure someone very offended will comment soon that in his gym their KM is the best and most lethal form of hand to hand combat ever seen in the universe, but that’s been my experience with 90% of the KM and KAPAP I’ve come across in different countries.

Another great martial art, especially for small children, is Judo. You learn great moves, there’s no striking which is a bit of a concern with young children and it gives them discipline, self-respect and a way to defend themselves, both from bullies at school and later in life.
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, September 6, 2018

Grey man? Waved through security thanks to Glock hat



The Italian Polizia at the Vatican entrance was having none of it.

The guy in front of us could walk back from where he came or drop the selfie stick in the bin but he was not walking past security with the popular telescopic device. 

Security at the Vatican was tight this past Sunday, as it usually is before the Pope speaks around 12:00. I was there in the queue behind “selfie stick guy” with my two kids, waiting to enter St. Peter’s Square. My Leatherman Charge and folder had stayed back home. My only knife consisted of the tiny blade in my Leatherman PS4 which replaced the Minichamp in my keychain for this specific trip. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to carry it with my carry-on on the flight to Rome. Rules say its fine if the blade is under 6cm.  I was carrying my North Face red messenger bag, wearing a gray tshirt, blue 5.11 taclite pants and my Glock Perfection khaki hat. Oh! We were also armed with some delicious gelato we had just bought. 

After selfie stick guy mourned his gadget left behind in the bin and kept on walking it was our turn.
“Buongiorno!” I said, with my best crappy Italian. The young polizia officer looked at me, his eyes went to my hat and he smiled back “Buongiorno!”. He pointed with his finger an asked how was my ice cream. I said it was great (it really was). I started to open the flap of my messenger bag but he waved us through so I kept waking with my youngest son. He stopped my oldest son and pointed to his backpack, but I turned and said “È mio figlio”, so he waved him through too. 

After that there was another queue for the metal detector. I sent my bag through the scanner and when I walked through the metal detector it went off. The guard looked at me, I again saw his eyes go to my Glock hat and while I started to remove my riggers belt which was obviously the reason why the metal detector was triggered the officer told me not to bother with the belt and just waved us through again.
Believe it or not this scene repeated itself time and again in museums, monuments and other security points across Rome during our visit. It happened so much my youngest son asked why police and guards “like me” so much. 

The only reason I can think of is positive profiling.  At least in Italy, I can say that police related to my gun nut hat in a very positive way.  A guy with two kids, wearing basically the same clothes I use for ISPC shooting, 5.11 pants, gray/black Salomon X-Ultra shoes, Riggers belt, Wiley X glasses and a big red North Face bag, just doesn’t fit the terrorist type. 

Does the same apply to police and security checkpoints everywhere? Probably not. But don’t be afraid to try things out and experiment some, you might be surprised. The Glock hat is somewhat tasteful and not so much “in your face”. It’s the kind of thing other gun people notice while 99% of the rest of the population probably wont.  Being friendly and smiling helps a lot too, no matter what you wear.