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.