Friday, July 31, 2009

Locked Out of YOUR Bank - Withdrawl Limits - It's Already Here!

Thanks to Jonas Parker for the video (thanks for everything!)
Pay a visit to your bank, ask around, maybe withdraw a %. Don’t panic, just ask around and use your head. It's better to be cautious these days folks.
Bank runs suck, and they are usually the begging to a fast collapse. But loosing your money to your bank sucks even more. It’s your money, your work and effort after all, don’t let them make you feel guilty about withdrawing it. Bank owners wont lose their money, that I can promise.
Don’t be the one banging on closed bank doors, crying and begging for someone to give you back your money, that I've seen and it’s not pretty.

You dont want to be these guys:

Corralito in Argentina.The funeral flowers (green donut) in the hands of a protestor read: "National Constitution".


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Traveling repairmen and SHTF situations

Hi Fernando,

I recently opened my own business as a computer repairman, working out
of my home. What I do is go out to people's houses and work on their
computers at their houses, mostly cleaning off viruses and such. I have
been thinking a lot about how I would operate in a SHTF scenario in
America, and the best I can come up with is to leave the really
expensive stuff I carry, such as a portable USB hard drive for file
transfers and a tool kit, in the car and just come to the person's door
with my CD case, unless I've determined over the phone that the other
stuff will be needed. I can always run out to the car and get the other
stuff later.

There probably aren't many people with computers in Argentina, but how
do people like plumbers and electricians who have to work at people's
houses try to avoid getting knifed for their tools? I would think that
there's always the possibility of being called out on a fake job just so
they can rob you. I try not to carry cash for that reason. So far in the
month or two I've been operating it hasn't been an issue, but things
aren't too bad here quite yet. Probably within a couple years things
will start to get really bad.

As an aside, I've been noticing lots of ads looking to buy gold here in
America, a sure sign that things are going downhill. It seems that every
city now has a number of casas de cambio that buy gold and silver,
although they're so new here that there isn't really a word in the
language for them yet. Many times they masquerade as places to buy fresh
water since the tap water is going downhill, but inside there will be a
cambio. They will have a few little knickknacks on display in the front
window to fool robbers, but they're cambios and not gift shops or water
dispensaries or whatever.


There’s a lot of people with computers here, and what you’re working on is a good idea. Many PC repair guys work in a similar manner here, going out to get the client instead of sitting in their stores complaining there’s no work. Well done!
Computers here are expensive but used older ones are cheaper and lower middle class folks can still buy an oldie. It’s good enough to get on line, use Word or Excell, and there’s some free dial up available last time I checked.
Some of the older PCs used in public buildings are real dinosaurs, but computers are popular here just like anywhere else. Argentina is still a modern country, in spite of everything.

I wouldn’t leave things in the car, you’ll get a window smashed and your stuff robbed (unless you keep it in the trunk, but still).
Try not using expensive gear unless you have to, the minimum amount needed to do the job, and keep everything organized and in sight.
One thing they do here, check the type of neighborhood you’re visiting first. Here, they sometimes come up with an excuse if the place is known to be too dangerous to risk it. Better to just say no, think of a couple excuses to come up with.

The “I buy gold” places. Yes, those popped up here after the 2001 crisis too. A sign to keep in mind for sure, of things to come.
Same here, small kiosks with pens, or candy stores can be found downtown, but their real business is currency exchange. The ones buying and selling precious metals are usually stamps and coins shops that found a new market.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Self Defense Training

Ever heard of this guy?



Hi Flyboy,

I never heard of this training program but it looks ok and focused purely on self defense which is good.
There's a part in the video where a guy purposefuly goes to the floor on second 37, looks as if he's doing some weapon retention drill, not sure why but I'd avoid going to the floor by all means in a real fight.
The one thing I noticed that there’s no non cooperative attacker drills (at least not in that intro video). If you don’t have non cooperative training (fighting) then it’s not very realistic.
Even if the instructor is a SEAL, his SEAL powers wont rub on to you just because you hang around him. :-) You need to fight yourself and fight against someone that wants to either knock you down or submit you.
If it sounds like competition, that’s because it is. It’s life, there’s winners and losers. If you go back home you win, if you end up dead you lose.
Another thing I noticed, is the confidence boost some of the people appeared to have.
When I went boxing for the first time, I got no confidence boost, got my ass kicked instead. After getting my ass kicked for some time I started doing some of my own ass kicking. Same when I started with Vale Todo and floor fighting, I was forced to tap out more times than I can remember, it was a humbling experience, not a false sense of security.
The close combat fighting class I took a few months ago? Again, I left feeling I needed more training, not less.
Beware of false senses of security. I don’t know much but I know that feeling all bad ass after a couple days of cooperative partner training means nothing, and may even do more harm than good boosting a person’s confidence beyond his/her real capabilities.
Then there’s marketing, and I think I mentioned this on the Krav Maga thread as well.
If you advertise your system or class in a way everyone feels they can do it, you’ll get more customers, more people that will pay for what you offer.
The class I took on close quarter H2H combat pretty much said bring a mouth piece and be ready to fight. There was no mistake and no feel good marketing strategy, and it was made abundantly clear that we we’re going to fight for real. We used mouth pieces and padded gloves, but those where the minimum safety measures. Other than that fingers to the eyes and groin kicks were all allowed. There was no excuse. No “Oh, but on the street I’d do this and that…”
No one was surprised when all those supposedly super deadly dirty tricks made almost no difference.
Of course in that class, you didn’t find soccer mom’s or couch commandos, you found fighters, people that had no problem delivering and receiving punches, kicks and pain in order to improve their H2H and knife skills.
Again, humbling experience, not false sense of security.
But that’s were the economic problem starts. An instructor needs to make a living. If you reduce your market sector to people that are fighters, guys and women that don’t worry much about getting a bloody nose, cut, bruised or a nose broken, that class isn’t going to be very big, because most people wont go for it.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and there should be self defense classes for men, women, senior citizens, beginners and advanced people.
Just don’t have false expectations and beware of anyone, any system or course that promises to turn you into someone with serious self defense capabilities just with a few days of training.
If the system doesn’t even include non cooperative training, be even more suspicious and think twice before spending your time and money there.


Book review on RcPowers Tomorrow

Hi guys,

Seems Dave from RC Powers is going to be reviewing my book this Thursady so you might want to check it out.

First heard of RcPowers when they started doing their videos, they mentioned me an linked here in one of their survival or business vids.

RC Powers LINK

I saw their videos, liked them a lot and recommended them here to the readers.

There’s the gear review and survival videos, and also the videos on business which I like a lot because they present internet business in a very authentic and informed manner. He’s clearly done a lot of research (talking about months or even years) for his own business and everyone interested in starting one can learn a lot from him and the people he recommends.

Last night I saw some videos from the TV Wine guy he recommends, very good material.

As of next week, they’ll be compressing the self improvement videos into Mondays, that will include survival, fitness and health, and internet business. That’s pretty much survival, staying in shape and learning how to make money, all things which I’d recommend.:)

No, we’re not working together or anything, just think similarly.

Take care folks.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Argentina's first couple deliver prosperity – for themselves

Thanks Luke for the link.
Would you believe that there's still people in Argentine discussion forums that think these two aren’t corrupt thieves?
As Einstein said, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

Watch out for those with socialist speeches and capitalist bank account folks, for dangerous bullshiters they are.

(that sounded like master Yoda :-) )


Argentina's first couple deliver prosperity – for themselves

* Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 26 July 2009 20.45 BST
* Article history

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez and her husband, outgoing President Nestor Kirchner, Buenos Aires, December 10, 2007. Photograph: Argentine Presidency/Handout/Reuters

They were elected on the promise of delivering prosperity to Argentina, but statistics showing a stunning economic turnaround have come with a catch.

New figures show that since Nestor and Cristina Kirchner came to power in 2003, they have presided over a remarkable sixfold increase in their own wealth.

The couple have racked up a fortune through property speculation and investments that have thrived even as the economy has faltered. Last year alone their wealth jumped 158% to £7.3m.

Opponents have accused the Kirchners of exploiting political connections in their home state of Patagonia to buy municipal land cheaply and sell it at a vast profit. "It's a scandal," said Patricia Bullrich, a member of congress.

The couple, lawyers by training and leftists in the Peronist movement, denied any wrongdoing and through a spokesman said that being in office did not impede business deals: "That is the essence of capitalism."

In an unusual tandem, Nestor served as president until 2007 when he stood aside for his wife, a veteran senator and politician in her own right, who was elected in the first round over a divided opposition.

They were popular for presiding over a speedy recovery after Argentina's econnomic meltdown in 2001-02. But underlying problems became apparent after "Queen Cristina", as she is known to some, took over.

Analysts said inflation was perhaps triple the official rate of 9%, a figure widely viewed as a product of government fiddling, and a bruising battle with farmers over export taxes was compounded by a drought. After six consecutive years of steady growth the IMF expects GDP to shrink by about 1.5% this year. Industrial activity has slumped.

With their own party riven by in-fighting, the Kirchners lost control of congress in mid-term elections last month. In their Patagnonian fiefdom, however, they have notched up property deals that would have made Donald Trump proud.

According to information the couple supplied to the anti-corruption office, they own 28 properties valued at $3.8m, four companies worth $4.8m and bank deposits of $8.4m. Last year they sold 16 properties, almost tripling their bank accounts, and expanded their hotel business in El Calafate, a tourist magnet. Their debts also jumped because of bank loans.

Local authorities have investigated transactions over suspicions that a mayor had given the Kirchners a bargain price for municipal land, but the case has stalled.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Urban survival hype

Some of the stupidity being sold as preparedness and survival skills these days is amazing.

The amount of trash is too big to go through all of it. Survival is on the spotlight these days, specially urban survival, and there’s an entire market for it.
Seems that these days being thrown into a trunk and learning how to pick handcuffs is one of the most valuable skills to be learned.
Mostly people that don’t know much about realistic survival situations, they eat all of this up like hot chocolate fudge.

People want to be Jason Bourne. Its cool, sounds great and the market appeal is terrific.
I loved the Bourne movies people. They’re a blast… but its just a MOVIE! Sorry if I burst anyone’s bubble.
Where to start? Picking handcuffs and being thrown into trunks?
Kidnappers don’t throw you into trunks guys, they seat you between two other guys in the back seat and if you move you get shot.
Why throw you into a trunk where you can make a lot of noise whenever they stop (that thing called traffic) and alert everyone near by?
The only cases I know of people that managed to escape, most of them managed to speed away before getting caught, a couple jumped out of the moving vehicle (and got seriously hurt, unlike TV ) because the kidnappers didn’t plan right where everyone would seat and set the door on childproof.
One neighbor that got kidnapped, he escaped by bending the metal sheath roof of the shack where he was held and escaped from there.
Now serious kidnappers, they’ll chain you to a bed and have someone watching over you all day.
Newsflash folks, if eight guys seize you with intentions of kidnapping, you’re going no where, you wont pick your way out of anything.
Instead of worrying about opening trunks you’ll never be thrown into unless you’re a movie star and picking handcuffs, worry about not getting caught, because that’s worth the time and money invested.

Fooling alarm systems, I mean who comes up with all this? who convinced people this was useful… other than for thieves? Oh, yes, I could come up as well with some far fetched scenario that will never occur even if I get to live 1000 years.
At the end of the day you’ve practiced a bunch of “cool” secret agent tricks, you feel like “The Jackal” with your disguises and fake IDs, but you spent your time and money on something of almost no value in much more realistic, more likely situations.

There are skills worth learning, starting a car without the proper keys may as well be one… AFTER you learned the other 200 or so skills that would prove more valuable and are much more likely to be needed and used.
Want to learn a valuable urban survival skill? First, learn to shoot, learn to fight, learn CPR, visit your red cross chapter (or your local hospital) , learn to navigate and know your location and the surroundings like the palm of your hand. Know your own culture or the one of you AO and network for friends. Learn defensive driving and have REALISIC plans.
Most of all THINK. It’s something so rare these days. People wouldn’t do ½ of the stupid things they do if they followed that simple advice.
What I’m saying here is, all skills may come in handy on day and are worthy in their own way. Leaning to build a canoe using fire and stone tools is a honorable skill, but is it a skill worth my time?
Freeing yourself from a knot maybe be useful one day if mugged in your home, but how worthy is it to someone that doesn’t know home and personal security safety measures, or defensive gun fighting and doesn’t practice daily concealed carry?
Classes that teach you what you see in action movies, leave those to actors and stunt men, and put your money and time to better use.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Reply: Bugging in and water treatment


I was reading your quarantine observations post the other day about
the struggles to stay entertained while bugging in. I am definitely
the type to go a little stir crazy when stuck in close quarters, I
need some privacy for a while to get refreshed. I know its hard to
do while you are in quarantine situation, but it helps to keep things
in perspective. I read an article last week http://www.abc.net.au/
news/stories/2009/07/15/2625941.htm that describes a simulated mars
mission test recently completed. Five astronauts were locked in a
cramped capsule for 105 days to simulate a trip to mars. They wanted
to study the effects on mental health. Imagine being stuck in a
capsule with five other jokers for that long, breathing each others
recycled farts all day long. I will try to remember how good I have
it if I am isolated in a house with my family for some time.

On another topic, I recently purchased a katadyn water filtration
system. If you use something similar, have you needed to replace the
carbon filter elements more often due to the high chlorine levels in
your water? I may have the wrong idea of how your water is there, do
you have to boil, and then filter to use it? Do you shower with city
water, or filter first and use a solar shower?

Take care,


Thanks for the link.
We’re going out a bit more now for a bit of distraction, still avoiding places where a lot of people gather and such. It’s very cold down here these days, and a new peak of flu is expected soon.
Games and distractions help, but most of all what we’ve learned is that everyone has to try to be extra patient with each other.

About the water filter. The greatest problem I’ve found wasn’t chlorine, but having clean water that doesn’t clog the pre filtering cup. Tap water isn’t very good in Argentina, and its even worse in the southern suburbs where I live.
For a Katadyn filter I’d definitely pre filter the larger particles with a coffee filter so as to extend the life of the filter. Chlorine gets filtered rather well and it should be ok as long as you replace the cartridge after using it to filter the amount of gallons its designed for (aprox. Give or take) .
Good purchase by the way, Katadyn filters are top notch.
We don’t boil water, we just use the filter for cooking and drinking.
Here tap water is barely potable ( according to the water company themselves, small children and pregnant women shouldn’t drink it) it’s ok for showering but the excess of chlorine may leave the skin too dry and itchy sometimes.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reply: A cell phone and 20 Pesos

Anonymous said...
After reading your book I began carrying a weapon and perhaps more importantly, I'm now much more aware of my surroundings.

Shitty deal for the woman.

It's like you say... most dangerous place is right at the doorstep. (For people in Argentina, apparently.)

Where I live that's far from the truth... the most dangerous place here is near the bars.
July 22, 2009 11:00 PM

Glad you’re taking measures to protect yourself.
Today they were saying on the news, it wasn’t three guys, but actually a couple and a third guy watching out while the couple robbed. They stabbed her in the belly as well, bunch of beasts I hope they at least catch them.
Imagine that: You come back home after work, you find a couple walking around the sidewalk. Who would have thought that the nice couple would end up cutting a pregnant woman’s throat?

Its hard to profile people these days, older people, young kids, you never know who’s going to pull out weapon to rob you.
I’ve mentioned it before, we had several such incidents here and usually the woman are as brutal or worse than the male counterpart.
Not long ago a +70 year old grandma was caught on a security camera robbing a shop, she was the boss and had several teens working along with her. The grandma looked like the granny in the Tweety’s cartoon.

Bars and night clubs, of course they are places were fights usually occur. Nightclubs and bars are pretty dangerous around here, and fights are something that simply happens every night they open, you just try to stay away from them.

But even that is no guarantee of anything.
This weekend for example, a poor guy got killed by a drunk cop in front of a nightclub. Someone supposedly snatched his bag, an the cop confused the innocent guy with the thief. He hit him several times on the head with his issue handgun and as the guy turned and fell, he shot him in the back.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poverty in Argentina: Some numbers that make little sense

According to the very questionable INDEC, that favors the government:
*50% of the people under 18 years of age in Argentina are poor. This does not include the people that are indigent (people that lack the basic needs such as the minimum amount of calories per day to stay alive and a home)

*10% Of the Argentines are indigent. Back when the INDEC was a reliable source of information before Gillermo Moreno and his thugs took over it, the number was 20%

*The amount of shantytowns, camps made of shacks with pieces of cardboard wood and debris, tripled since 2001.(doesn’t add up with that 10% indigent number)

*46% of the indigent receive “some kind” of help from the government. (May be just a couple bags of food, usually a packet of formula for babies)

*17% of the poor receive “some kind” of help from the government (the social plans are usually 300 pesos, less than 100 dollars, and those mostly are used to pay the political foot soldiers that can be seen in campaign rallies)

*According to the INDEC’s own numbers, taking into consideration the amount of poor, indigents and the amount of money spent each year in social care, 50% of what is spent each year in social plans would be enough to give each poor family a yearly salary that would put them out of the poverty line.
Meaning, with the amount of money spent by the Argentine government in social plans (the ones you just don’t see anywhere), it would be enough to end poverty in Argentina… TWICE.

We have one of the largest tax in the world, 21% for everything, plus savage income taxes, taxes for services and luxury goods.
They take the money, they milk the middle class, they just don’t spend it where they say they do.


A cell phone and 20 Pesos

That’s what 3 bad guys took after murdering a 40 year old woman, 5 months pregnant with twins.
They attacked when she was entering her home in the district of San Martin, Buenos Aires. They forced her inside and slit her throat. She managed to get outside but still bleed to death. She had been going throw treatment for a long time to get pregnant.
Good luck with getting mercy from these kind of animals.
Gun, knife, lots of ammo and the knowledge to use both people, at all times.


Food Storage Blog

Hi guys.
Here’s a good resource for long term food storage.
Dumping stuff in a 55 gallon barrel isn’t much of a good idea, but other than that there’s lots of info for storing, cooking and mostly organizing.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Work during the recession

I have read your entire blog as well as your book and I find the information that you provide to be very helpful. I think that you are doing an enormous service for a large number of people worldwide. I thank you for what you do and encourage you to keep up the good work. I work as a strength and conditioning coach for a major university here in the US. Our athletic department actually makes a profit unlike most, but I am seeing cut-backs and major differences in policy and procedure. Employees who have been here much longer than me have said things like “we never had to do this before” and “what is this new paperwork for?” Unfortunately my job doesn’t pay very well and I work very long hours. Even though I recognize the benefits and contributions that my job provides, I don’t think that my position and others like it are valued as much as they should be considering how much money we can save the university by preventing injuries to the athletes. I am curious about how professional and collegiate sports (if you had them) were affected during the economic collapse in Argentina and if they even exist today. A private sector counterpart for my job would be working as a personal trainer and this has been a pretty decent way for me to make money while I was in between jobs. What is the fitness industry like in Argentina? Can you make a living in it? I know that you stress the importance of being physically fit, but do large numbers of other people recognize how important this is and are they willing to pay for it? What profession do you see someone with a knowledge of healthy lifestyle changes, fitness, nutrition, exercise, and athletic performance training having during times of economic hardship like what we are facing in America? I feel like I need to develop another skill set, but I don’t feel like I have enough time to do it. Thanks for your time and once again, I greatly appreciate what you do. Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.

Thanks Brady, I appreciate your support.

I am curious about how professional and collegiate sports (if you had them) were affected during the economic collapse in Argentina and if they even exist today. A private sector counterpart for my job would be working as a personal trainer and this has been a pretty decent way for me to make money while I was in between jobs. What is the fitness industry like in Argentina? Can you make a living in it?

It’s hard and not the best paying job in general terms, but as always when you do what you love it’s much easier, you put more energy into it and your chances of success increase.
Hey, Billy Banks made a fortune, why can’t you?
It’s mostly thinking a lot and using your head, and most important never giving up.
About your question, of course we have gym teachers, personal trainers, etc.
I’ll admit most of them have a hard time. Schools don’t pay much. Private schools pay much better and I know some coaches and gym teachers that do very well indeed.

The personal trainer idea is a very good one and yes, we have many here and a lot of guys make a living being personal trainers. They’ve adapted, worked harder at their customers network and marketing, maybe aiming for more regular people and not rich folks alone. Middle class moms that needs a couple classes two times a week or so.
Maybe you can get 2 or 3 moms in the same block interested, and that makes it easier for them to pay. You get together in one home and do the session there, go out running, I dont know.

Other’s go the opposite route, they have the contacts and train actors, models or people that can afford them and they stay within that higher profile target.
Two different alternatives and both may work if you find the niche and make it work.
You have to explore your area, your market, see the possibilities and GO FOR IT.

Don’t let the naysayers get to you. Most people don’t have the guts to do anything, they are too afraid of failure. Do your homework, have a clear goal and go for it.

A blog or website that offers one health program or schedule or another may be an alternative as well. Read a lot about web business and blogging. It can be done. The advantage is that it requires almost no investment, the disadvantage is that months can go by without making any money.
Check this guy for starting your own business. I like him because he’s not offering fake BS promises. He explains how to get started and is realist about the hard work it requires. Check his "Monday-Interent Business" videos. RCPowers

The good old gym may be another viable route. May be you can include Mixed martial arts or self defense programs ( find a guy to partner up if needed) since self defense will be a growing market as things get worse.
My vale todo instructor associated with another guy and a woman. They teach TKD to kids and adults, MMA, Vale todo, Tai boxing, and self Defense.
They have a nice variety of “products” to offer, an that enables them to cover various markets and niches.
These are a few choices, there are many others. Maybe you can do more than one. For example working on you personal trainer business while at the same time investing time in a training course you’d offer on line in your blog.
It’s all hard work, but it can be done. I’m not saying anything here that someone didn’t successfully try before.

Argentina for example is the land of Futbol (that’s soccer for you guys) everyone wants to be Lionel Messi and make 100.000.000 Euros a year.
If you specialize in soccer players, you’d do very well in Argentina. Maybe in USA its Football, basketball or baseball.
Most people don’t recognize how important it is to be fit and healthy. Argentina is no different though its easy to see that people here are more fit and slimmer than in USA. Still, you have to go out there and convince them of it, they won’t come knocking on your door. That’s why marketing, relationships, and working on your clients list is so important.
Also, you mention lack of time. We’ve all been there. I had to sacrifice ( and risk) a lot to get enough time to finish my book. I risked and achieved my objective. But if I hadn’t risked…
You may want to keep your job but work less hours to invest on oyur personal business.

I read somewhere once that the average millionaire fails 17 times, has 17 failures before making it.
Now don’t think about becoming a millionaire, have a realistic objective and try to succeed at that. Will you quit as soon as you find the first signs of trouble, problems or after the first failure? Heck, no keep pushing and working towards your objective and if it doesn’t work then maybe try something else but the point is, never give up. If you never give up, eventually you succeed. I’m sure you know this very well.
That’s all I have. I don’t know much about fitness industry but these things I’m talking about, creating business opportunities, they apply to everything from fitness to knife-making or computer skills or whatever. Its’ the entrepreneur mindset that makes it happen.


Getting Friends and Family interested in Survival Mindset and Preparedness

I was asked this by a reader yesterday and thought maybe others would have similar problems.
One thing I can assure you, it’s impossible or at least extremely difficult to prepare when you don’t have the support of your family. You need everyone to be on the same page is you expect to have anything that resembles a preparedness strategy.

Everyone has his own version or advice.
My advice is to take a realist approach. Don’t go for far fetch conspiracy theories or fantasies. You’ll just scare them away, and end up looking like a weirdo.
Reality is bad enough already, even for the worst pessimist.
No need to go into Hollywood or fantasies. “Look what happened to Will Smith in “I am Legend”!”
That’s supposed to get a person’s gears moving? Most likely it will do more damage than good, portraying yourself as someone that can’t differentiate fantasy from reality.

There are hundreds of examples world wide where it’s clear that preparing accordingly would have made a great difference.
From plane crashes to more ordinary accidents and incidents like earthquakes, floods and tornados, to falling governments and economies along with religious and ethnical fights among nations. And lets not forget the everyday facts of life: Unexpected deaths and illnesses, getting fired or suffering other kind of financial blows. They are not glamorous but they occur all the time.
This is not supposed to scare people or make them go nuts, it’s called life guys. Most of it is great, some of it isn’t.
As I told the reader that emailed me, a smart survivalist isn’t all about doom and gloom, he’s not a pessimist.
A smart survivalist enjoys the good times and also prepares for the bad ones so that they have a minimum impact in his life and the life of his loved ones.
He makes preparedness a part of his life and enjoys that as well.
Just take for example the current Swine flu issue. You don’t see survivalists panicking. We saw this coming a mile away. You get informed, you learn, you take measures, buy the supplies you think you’ll be needing, and that’s that. Meanwhile others live in fear, because they didn’t prepare and mostly because of their ignorance regarding what’s going on.

As a first step into getting started, here a post that might be useful.
The longer post I wrote in 2005 has converted into survival and preparedness more than a few people.
And then of course my book, which is meant to be a modern survival manual, like the title says, covering all the spectrum of an economic collapse that may apply to other emergencies as well since it covers the general survivalist mindset, including self defense, security, food storage, supplies and gear, just to mention a couple.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quarantine observations and other Swine Flu reflections.

It’s not really a quarantine because my wife and I do go out sometimes. But we’ve managed to put our daily activities on hold and we spend a lot of time indoors, several days going by without even opening the front door.
Waiting for the worst of the epidemic to reach it’s peak and see what happens. we’ve been staying home a lot lately.

1)Stress: This is maybe one of the most complicated things to deal with. Staying home for so long really irritates you. The constant bumping into one another, the kid wanting to go to school, see his friends, go outside, etc, and you telling him he can’t wears you out. You also want to go out, do things, see other people, change a bit.
We all have short fusses by now and any little thing is enough to start an argument or a fight.
We’ve recognized this for what it is and talked over it, trying to be more patient with each other, finding things to do.
Talking helps, listening to one another helps even more.
We’ve talked about how, in spite of the situation, this is better than being forced to go outside to work, 9 to 5, and having no choice in spite of having two small children to worry about.
2)General preps apply: All that gear we always talk about, this is just one situation out of thousands were it all ends up being very useful. The better prepared you are, the better you’ll deal with these things.
Most of all I’ve found that I didn’t have enough of common, everyday use supplies like clothes softener, cleaning supplies for the house, bathroom, dish washing soap, etc, things that are easy to obtain and cheap but I somehow forgot about.
Having enough of these supplies for months, we only go out a couple days a week to take care of things we have to or buy fresh food so as to keep a healthy diet and also restock our long term supplies.
3)The ability to quarantine: National emergency is declared, classes have been suspended and certain events were large amounts of people gather have been canceled, but there’s not been an official quarantine approved or enforced by the authorities.
For them a few thousand dead are acceptable to keep the already poor economy going.
When this happens, having the ability to bug in indispensable. Either working for yourself, having enough non pay days available or having enough saving to pull this through is invaluable.
Most people can’t do this, doesn’t mean you should try to get to the point where you can make the decision and stop working for a few months.
One small tip though. When the economy is shaky, this is much easier done. In some cases companies actually look forward to a proposition where they have to pay you maybe 60%-80% of your salary and you stay home for a couple months. If the recession is hitting hard and there’s no actual work for your company, you’d even be saving them money.
Working from home is also a viable option for many of us. Maybe you get on line each day and work, and just go to the office once a week (wearing a respirator) and doing what paperwork is required.
This is something both employees, company managers and owners should look into as a contingency plan for a hard hitting epidemic. You have to be creative and think outside the box here. Find ways to keep things working yet preserve people’s health.
Being self employed and having savings for rainy days such as these would be an alternative as well. Maybe you don’t stop working entirely but also work from home or work less, and pack your visits into one or two days a week only.
4) Entertainment: A good TV, videogames, CD and DVD collection, toys for the kids, books, homeschooling material and supplies.
Some of these things such as toys you can order on line for cheap and you don’t even have to leave the house.
Also gear for working out, don’t forget the heavy bag, helps when you just need to hit something.
5)Again, stress is worth mentioning yet another time. (crap, as I write this my wife is arguing with my son over nothing at all).
Imagine a fallout bunker, imagine staying underground all packed in a very confined space for 14 days minimum.
I’d keep guns locked and ammo FAR away after the first 48hs in those conditions. Heck I’d secure sharp objects and possible blunts weapons as well, you really can’t stand each other after so much time all looking at each other.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Book and Interview

I said it before but it’s worth reminding. My book costs 24.95 (before discount, which is only available at Lulu) and is currently only available at Lulu. When Lulu restocks it in Amazon again, it will be for that same price, 24.95.

My book in Amazon priced at $81.68 and $2,399.99 are being sold by a third party, someone that bought my book and is reselling it for those ridiculous prices, probably trying to catch someone not paying attention, I don’t know.

One other thing. I just had a rather long conference with several people through Skype. One of the guys invited me the other day and organized everything, he asked questions while the rest listened and then I answered some of the questions the rest of the folks had and where asking through the written chat.
I think it went very well in spite of my very rusty English. I’ll have a recoding of that and maybe upload it in case people want to listen to it. Mostly about the crisis and the current swine flu problem.
I’ll upload it and link it here when I have it.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A flu H1N1 Pandemic: 7 Lessons Learned.

Thanks to reader B- for reminding me about disclaimers.

Discalimer: I’m not a doctor and none of this is medical advice. What you read in this blog should not be considered legal or medical advice in any way.

Still ongoing and the worst is supposed to be expected in 10 days or so, which doesn’t add up with school starting in a couple more weeks. Meaning they should postpone school a bit more.
Anyway, these are a few tips learned so far.

1)Don’t go paranoid, but be a realist.
Survivalists are simply realists that prefer to stay on the side of caution. If you hear A flu reports in your city, start worrying.
Let me rephrase that. Don’t worry: Start thinking. Use your head and take logic yet conservative measures. But you do need to draw a line and make a decision. That way we decided to take serious measures weeks before those same measures were recommended by the government on TV.
This proves we didn’t overreact of do anything silly. We just did it almost 3 weeks before and stayed ahead of the herd.
The braking point for me was noticing the amount of sick people you clearly saw on the streets. Happens every winter but this time the coughing or sneezing was more noticeable, as well as clearly sick people, with fever and red eyes. The coughing is pretty different. This is in no way medical advice but my perception of things. What I mean is of course, winter means sick people and flu, but this time you could see it was different because it wasn’t a cough with loose mucus, it usually was a much drier, sickening cough. Besides, it seemed to be that everyone was sick, not just a handful of people.
Some people you just turned around and thought “Dude! Go see a doctor. That doesn’t sound right”
Also, and maybe easier to see in a more objective manner, was the way kids ins school were falling seriously sick with flu. When we stopped sending our son to school 10 kids or so were already sick, soon only half the class went and finally they had just 5 kids going to school. A couple weeks later we received an email from the school saying a kid and school worker had died.
2) Get your supplies right away. Disposable paper napkins, alcohol gel hand sanitizer (lots of it) as well as small bottles for the pocket or purse. Also remember the respirators. 3M 8210 are N95 and they are the most popular respirator world wide. Learn to wear it well. When you breathe in you should feel it suck against your face.

3M 8511 Particulate Sanding Respirator N95, Valve 10-Pack
The 8210 models are for medium and large faces. The model 8200 is for smaller faces. There are other models too. Find one that fits you well before buying quantity.
The ones with a valve wont prevent a sick person from spreading the virus but having used both I can tell you, the valve does work and makes one heck of a difference.
With mild physical activity the regular respirator quickly makes you notice the lack of fresh air. This can even be dangerous for people with asthma and cardiac conditions. Just another reason to stay healthy at all times.
Do whatever you can to get Tamiflu and antibiotics for treating pneumonia, also ibuprofen and Paracetamol, both for adults and kids. If in bad shape, stick to Paracetamol (Tylenol) to control the fever. Have a couple spare thermometers as well.
ONe thing they keep saying on TV:
About antibiotics: Amoxicilin may or may not work. Clarithromycin seems to be more effective for atypical pneumonia.
Don't take meds without asking a doctor first. I have my kids doc phone number and he's the one that told me what to give him and in which quantities. He's the one that gave me the order for my son’s x-ray and said it was pneumonia, gave me the antibiotic.
I already had it and used his order to rotate, but its important not to use drugs until the doc tells you so. Still, know what each drug does, READ a lot, in case a doctor is not available. ( I found a small clinic where tehre was very few people, in and out and bak to the doc's house with it).
The X ray showed lots of white lines, spòts and strands, something I had seen before in my own x-ray when I had pneumonia.
Get the book "Where there's No Doctor"
3) Don’t forget natural methods to control fever. Getting in the bathtub with warm water and slowly adding cold water until your body temp drops. A wet cloth on the forehead, keeping neck, arms and wrists wet, to control the fever.
4) Shave. The respirator wont seal as well if you have a beard.
5) Use the respirators when in contact with possibly sick people (bus, classroom, waiting rooms and other places were people are packed close to one another)
Draw the line. At least here, when the authorities decide to do something, it’s usually too late. Decide for yourself when it’s time to stop sending the kids to school, use those vacation days or call in sick.
As I mentioned before, at first when I used the respirator people looked at me weird, a few days later they ask where did you get it, because they can’t find any respirators for themselves.
People behave like sheep, Cows would be more fitting. They are slow to react, slow to calm down, and don’t remember things for long. Last week you could see people on the streets with masks and respirators, not many but probably half a dozen. Now that the peak point is getting even closer, people have dropped down the guard.
6) Wash hands a lot. The most common form of catching it seems to be touching infected surfaces and objects and taking that to the face. That’s why its so important to wash hands thoroughly after touching anything: Specially doors, money and all surfaces in public places. For this you’ll need a generous supply of alcohol based hand sanitizer.

Jumbo Size Hand Sanitizer Gel in Pump Bottle. Contains Moisturizers & Vitamin E. 62% Ethyl Alcohol. 67.6 Fl Oz/2 Litres.

Provon Alcohol Gel Purell With Aloe 2 Ounce - Case of 24
7)Bug in. This is also recommended a lot and sure is an effective alternative if viable for you. Stay indoors and avoid contact with people as much as possible. This will logically require for 4 months of supplies, including food but also household products and items you use during normal life. You’ll need a variety of food to keep a healthy diet and keep that immune system top notch.
Have entertainment as well, specially for the kids that really suffer these quarantines.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reply: Good Footwear

Good suggestions on the shoes, but I have a point.
Some of the leather on these stylish modern camping shoes is too thin to the point it will actually tear. Check the uppers, not just the soles. On the steel toes, good for reinforcement and not getting stepped on, but with an improvement. Get boots with non-metallic toes, like with fiberglass or polycarb inner toes instead of steel. First because they won't alarm all the metal detectors we have to go thru now, and second, because if steel does get smashed, it will stay pinched and can cut off toes and has to be cut off. The fiberglass or polycarb has some memory and will not stay deformed. It is also an electrical non-conductor unlike steel. Power company workers use fiberglass toe protection instead of steel for that reason.

--Saltcreek, on the forums

Emergency Homeschooling

Because of the A flu pandemic, school has been canceled and kids are now staying home all over Buenos Aires and in most provinces.
All of a sudden parents are forced to homeschool, something that, unlike USA, we’re not used to.
As far as I know the only legal education alternative you can have here is regular schools, never heard of anyone homeschooling in Argentina and I doubt there is anyone.
Because of this new situation, the government just now launched a website to help people with all this. (its all in Spanish, of course)


It’s just an example of how things suddenly happen.
A couple months ago I never would have though that homeschooling was something I’d have to worry about, yet here we are.
One thing I’ve got to give Argentines: Man, we’ve learned to adapt quick to whatever life throws our way.


Amazon Book Price and New Code

Hey guys. I’m having some problems with Amazon and erased the link.
Apparently they aren’t stocking my book but are allowing others to resell it… for $ 81.68 bucks!!!

That of course doesn’t sound right but apparently it’s legal for them to sell it at whatever price they desire, and there’s nothing I can do.
I want to make it clear that I’m not selling it, its another person reselling it.
If you click on it, it says "available from these sellers" and a third party seller's name.
Please in case anyone mentions this to anyone, Please clarify that I AM NOT selling my book for 81 USD, that’ s a reseller that bought several books and is now trying to take advantage of the shortage in Amazon.

My book is still available for $ 24,95 at Lulu, plus the 10% off using the new discount code.
Just wanted to let you guys know about this in case there’s a confusion. I sure was pissed when I saw the price.
Thanks to all of you for your support. You guys are great.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Good Footwear

I was answering to a post at Glocktalk the other day and was reminded again of the importance of good footwear.
I brought the issue up because a certain survival expert, supposedly giving advice on surviving hell and various disasters recommended going around barefoot so as to have a better connection with mother Earth.
Not wanting to go much into connections with mother earth and such, I do want to mention how important it is to have adequate, or even more than adequate footwear.
I wont insult you guys by explaining the importance of actually HAVING footwear to begin with, and what a terrible idea it is to go barefoot both in the wild and in the city.
Many backpackers consider your boots to be the single most important part of your equipment and I can’t disagree with that.
Even during wars generals at various times during history have considered trench feet the hardest enemy they had to fight.
Some of the poorest people in my country that live in the northern provinces, whenever they get the chance to ask for something on TV, they usually ask for two things the most, clothing and shoes for the children and themselves. Then yes, powdered milk, flour, rice, sugar, and other supplies if the crops where bad or they were hit by floods, but usually shoes is right there in the top three.
Guess those Collas and other real native Americans don’t appreciate the connection with mother earth.
Now, when everything works great you can get away with trendy super slim line footwear that provides no protection at all, but that’s not the best alternative in my opinion.
The survival minded person is someone that can think of possible worst cases scenarios without going nuts, just making it part of the decisions he makes.
I’ve always liked trekking shoes, and light trail shoes for urban use.
At least around here sidewalks are often broken and in need of repair, so you do step on less than ideal ground very often.
In nice cities in USA and Spain this isn’t common. Sidewalks are usually clean and well taken care of.
Here they’re not and as silly as it may sound it can cause accidents if you’re not used to it. Sounds silly but it does happen. You get used to walking in better kept surfaces and I suppose you don’t lift your feet as much as you should.
This happened to my mother a few years ago walking down Florida, the nice commercial street in the down town capital district.
We were talking about something and suddenly she disappeared!
I looked down and there she was. She had fallen because of a broken and raised tile in the sidewalk. She hit it with one of those chunks of wood that are supposed to be shoes, wooden sandals that I guess were fashionable back then.
She had been living in Spain for many years already so I guess she was used to those perfectly cared for sidewalks.
Anyway I helped her up and her face was leaking blood from mouth, nose and a couple cuts here and there. What a mess for such a silly accident.
We went into a coffee shop nearby and the waiter helped us, gave her some ice. Do you know what he said? That it happens all the time. People fall in that same spot and get hurt. He even knew of people sewing the city for the poorly kept sidewalk, so I guess it wasn’t that much of a freak accident.
Back to the importance of good shoes.
Just think about natural or man made disasters, think about climbing through rubble and debris, stepping on mud, chunks of concrete and broken glass. Maybe you never though of that but that will turn regular dressing footwear into shreds in no time. Most women footwear don’t provide any protection at all.
I had a little revelation once while traveling in the sardine can known as the Roca train during rush hour. Its’ simply impossible to avoid dozen of people stepping on your toes. That’s when I started looking for trekking shoes that included industrial protection steel toes.
I ended up with ankle high Ombu boots. They are made of black leather and have a very thick working sole, along with steel toe protection and electric hazard sole. They also look very much like regular trekking boots.
Here they are.

Ombu Neon
IN USA and Europe you have much more alternatives. I’ve seen some nice ones made by Timberland and Caterpillar that look great.

Caterpillar Men's Diffuse Hiker Steel Toe Oxford

Preferably get something in leather that protects your feet from glass, rocks and debris.
One of the things that happen fairly often here is that trains and subs break for whatever reason, mostly poor maintenance.
People have to get out and walk on the train tracks to the next station. These are full of trash, broken bottles and of course the rocks themselves that can be found in the tracks.
The subway tunnels have the additional treat of having cat sized rats running around, carrying a potpourri of diseases, including Hantavirus.
If you are forced to walk through one of these tunnels back to the station, adequate footwear and a flashlight are a true blessing.
Even though they usually open by themselves, a small prybar or tough multitool could be needed to open the doors if they get stuck.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

KUHNER: The Peron pattern

A bit somber, but needs to be read.



KUHNER: The Peron pattern

Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Sunday, February 15, 2009

America is heading down the road to socialism - and ruin. Numerous proposals have been enacted to reverse the economic downturn. First, in the spring of 2008 came the $180 billion stimulus program. Then, the 2008 summer $345 billion housing bailout. This was followed by the 2008 fall $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

Now, the House and Senate have passed a nearly $800 billion stimulus package. Hence, more than $2 trillion will have been spent in a futile attempt to revive the economy.

We are imposing upon our children and grandchildren the burdensome costs of our addiction to big government. And this doesn't even take into account Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan for the taxpayer to absorb another $2 trillion to $4 trillion in debt to clean up the financial system. In other words, America is being buried under a mountain of debt - a debt that will trigger soaring inflation, crushing taxes and high interest rates. This is a recipe for economic disaster.

President Obama is playing Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush's Herbert Hoover. In the 1930s, it was FDR who expanded his New Deal liberalism from the activist policies of Hoover. Mr. Obama is building upon the massive budget deficits and reckless government spending of the Bush administration. Unlike Mr. Bush, however, Mr. Obama is shrewdly erecting an enduring majority electoral coalition - just as FDR did.

The stimulus plan has something for every important Democratic special interest group - labor, the teachers unions, big-city bosses, environmentalists, Hispanics, and African-Americans. Key constituencies will benefit from school construction, infrastructure projects, public works, retooling federal buildings with green technologies, expanding Medicaid and unemployment insurance, and more money for strapped states and localities. The plan is primarily designed not to stimulate the economy, but the size and scope of government. More citizens will be dependent upon government largesse. This empowers the Democratic Party and its liberal elite.

As National Review's Jonah Goldberg has rightly noted, modern American liberalism is a form of fascism - otherwise known as national socialism. Its goal is to establish a centralized corporatist state, in which a ruling class manages to transfer power from the private to the public sector.

Liberalism champions huge entitlements, expensive social programs and the regimentation of nearly every aspect of people's lives - from smoking bans and university admissions policies, to prayer in schools and how much right-wing talk-radio one can listen to. It seeks to dominate not only politics and the economy, but culture and the arts as well.

Liberalism fuses statism with class-based populism. It is perpetually at war against some perceived national enemy, whether it be the "rich," conservative Republicans or traditional Christians. It designates an entire group of people - in America, it is unborn babies - as being less than fully human and lacking basic rights. It believes that politics, not religion, is the salvation of humanity. It constructs mass movements based on charismatic, messianic leaders, such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John F. Kennedy and Mr. Obama, bestowing upon them almost divine, saintly qualities. It is obsessed with using activist government in the service of social engineering. Since liberalism is consumed with power, it contains the seeds of its own destruction; it is the ideology of national suicide.

The disastrous path on which America is currently embarked was tried in another country - in the Western Hemisphere: Juan Peron's Argentina. During the 1940s until a 1955 coup ousted him from power, Peron presided over a fascist state.

What is not commonly known about Argentina is that prior to World War II, it was an economic powerhouse. Beginning in the 1880s and continuing through the 1920s and 1930s, it was regarded as one of the most prosperous and advanced nations in the world.

Argentina had a strong industrial base, thriving agricultural exports and a broad and expanding middle class. Like America, it served as a magnet for immigrants from all over the world, especially Italians. Within 15 years, however, Argentina went from being one of the richest to one of the poorest countries.

This was due largely to Peronist policies. Upon coming to office, Peron, along with his popular wife, Eva, established a corporatist state characterized by lavish social spending, elaborate welfare programs, protectionism, confiscatory taxation and runaway deficits.

Peron used strident class warfare rhetoric, attacking big business, the banks, corporations and the propertied class. He greatly strengthened labor unions, making them pivotal allies of his regime.

Peronism transformed the Argentine state. The bloated bureaucracy and massive government intervention fostered widespread corruption. Central economic planning destroyed productivity and growth. Investment capital fled. Inflation and interest rates soared. The middle class was wiped out. The independent judiciary was undermined and eventually smashed. The fawning media class became co-opted by Peron's allies. His -and Eva's - cult of personality fostered a climate of violence and political persecution of the regime's enemies. Argentina degenerated into the Latin American basket case that it is today.

The failure of Peronism should serve as a warning: Socialism and a sky-rocketing national debt can permanently impoverish even the wealthiest nations. America is not immune from the laws of economics. Prosperous republics - ancient Rome, the Italian city-states, Argentina - have seen their wealth squandered, never to recover.

Mr. Obama is taking the first dangerous steps toward an American version of Peronism. His followers see him as a political messiah, a revolutionary change agent who will foster national cohesion and unity. He and the Democrats are plundering the state, using it as a vehicle to reward supporters (and punish foes). He is our Dear Leader, whose image is everywhere from magazine covers to T-shirts to baseball caps. His wife, Michelle, is the Eva Peron of our time - glamorous, chic, a fashion trend-setter who is beloved by the media.

Most ominously, Mr. Obama is repeating the statist populism that didn't work in Argentina, and will not work in America. Professor Philip Jenkins wryly observes that the United States of America risks becoming "the United States of Argentina." He is right. Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and the president of the Edmund Burke Institute, Washington think tank.

Friday, July 10, 2009

RCPowers Videos

I found about Dave Powers a couple days ago.
The website name implies remote controlled planes and such, but there’s much more.
He does a youtube show each day and of special interest would be the Survival one on Thursdays, Internet Business on Mondays and Health and Fitness on Tuesdays.
About the ones where he talks about Internet business, people, learning how to make money from home and being self employed is of particular value these days.

Its is possible, people are doing it and Dave gives some great, hard earned advice.
As they say, people learn from their mistakes, smart people learn from other’s mistakes.
Dave is doing things right in his project so learn from his experience.
I might be doing some youtube videos of my own in the future ( not any time soon) and I’ll be watching his videos to learn.
Forget feel good bestseller books about working 2 hours a week and making more money than Bill Gates. Doesn’t work that way.
As Dave says it’s a lot of hard work, more than likely harder work than working from 9 to 5, specially at first.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Warning Shots

Dear Ferfal,

I have enjoyed reading your work ever since you first showed up in the forums. Thank you for your contributions.

Regarding warning shots: Generally they are a bad idea. First, they reveal your position. Second, they give your opposition the idea that you shoot and miss. Third, unless you are scrupulously careful, they may go you-know-not-where. Fourth, they deplete your already limited supply of ammo. Fifth, they give the opposition the idea that you do not have the stones to actually shoot them.

Jeff Cooper had similar things to say, and I am not sure that any of the more modern teachers recommend the warning shot.

Generally, the only safe backstop for a fired shot is the body of your assailant.

Please know, I write this from a standpoint of only one moment of experience, which is not much. But in that experience, I saw a man continue to advance in the face of a shot from a .357 magnum fired about six feet over his head at a range of 15 feet. His reaction? He yelled, "You tried to kill me, you S.O.B!" and he kept advancing.

So in that one case, a warning shot was not effective. That is my only experience. Everything else I have is just from books.

(PS, the advancing man was finally subdued, not shot.)

Again, thank you for your blog.

Ed Gage

About warning shots, Ed I agree with what you say, and in the situation you describe, a warning shot is a terrible idea.
That’s why I said it depends on your type of home and location. Also depends mostly on the situation.
True warning shots are used all the time around here on farms to let know poachers and trespassers they are not welcomed. I’ve seen it done several times and they get the message. Even shot a couple myself (couple loud .44 magnum shots sent the right message, the poachers that where about 100 yards away left right away)
I’ll readily admit the risk involved, some farmers even shoot over the heads of the poachers or petty thieves but it does seem to work rather well and avoids unnecessary bloodshed, when the situation allows it.
Every situation is different.
Neighbors in certain scarcely populated locations (I know people that do it in Cañuelas ) shoot a couple shots each night as a warning, as a standard procedure, and apparently it does work to keep certain thieves away.
A woman not long ago scared away several armed bad guys trying to break into her home. She screamed and told them to leave and they kept trying to break in in spite of that. She shot some rounds through the door and that sent them away.
Mostly these involve dissuasion shots where the attacker is not close enough or in sight, but is suspected to be in the premises.
“I’ve called the police and I’m armed!” carries much more weight if a shot confirms that you’re not bluffing and the bad guy knows he's stepping into the wrong house. Then again someone already in your house requires you to be silent so as not to reveal your position and using the known territory to your advantage. Depends a lot on each situation.
Now when you have to shoot in true self defense with a clear threat you shoot to kill, no warning shot, no bluffing or shooting in the leg /arm/whatever. I think that’s what Cnel. Cooper had in mind when he said you shouldn't shoot warning shots.


Fight back or not?

Hi Mr. Aguirre,
Like many who were woken up by the collapse last year, being afraid of what might come and what to do about it. I found your experiences on a survival web forum very insightful and useful. Since then I had follow your blog, and also bought your book and read it, in no time. It had help me prepare.
I had recently gotten my license to carry, and am looking to prepare myself with some purchases.
Since then I had different scenarios in my mind of what might happen if it requires the use of gun self defense. Here is one,

If you know there are 4 assailants with handguns broke into your house, and you only have a handgun, would you use that to defend yourself risking escalating into a firefight, which is to your disadvantage, or do nothing, hope they are only after your money and not hurt your wife who is pregnant with twins?

Very interested in what you think.

Thanks for your time, hope all is well with you and your family's health.


This article suggests that it might be better to not fight back.

see link: http://www.eiconline.org/resources/publications/z_gvdb/gvb1-5.pdf

the first paragraph says:

¡» Emphasize that wielding a firearm in selfdefense
may ironically increase one¡¦s risk of death
or injury by increasing the likelihood that the
assailant will use his or her own weapon.
Still feeling humiliated from a home robbery three
weeks earlier, a homeowner decided to fight back
when three gunmen invaded his house. Feigning illness
and asking to retrieve medication, he was
allowed by the men to go into his bedroom where he
kept a handgun. He grabbed the gun and started firing
at the intruders, saying ¡§No one is ever going to
rob me again.¡¨ He killed one of the men, but was himself
killed when hit with ni neteen return bullets from
the others.
¡VLA Times, 6-1-00

Hi P, about the article, its clearly biased and misleading antigun propaganda.
If guns are such a bad idea, ask yourself. Why is every president in this planet surrounded by a dozen people carrying them, 24/7?
Wouldn’t that escalate terribly the chances of getting wounded with their own guns, according to those statistics?
Next time Obama wants to take your guns, just say “Sure, that’s a great idea! Lets start with the ones carried by the secret service guys standing all around you! Lets get rid of those first, since they are already here!” I’d love to hear his explanation to that.
Guns aren’t good or bad, or even dangerous. A gun wont hurt anybody all by itself. It’s the shooter that makes the difference.
As I said in my book, if we allow ourselves to be reduced to the average level of population stupidity for our own safety we wouldn’t have guns, cars or even allowed to use matches, or sharp objects.
I consider people like us above that very mediocre level.
We’re people that own guns, practice with them and received enough formal self defense training. At least that’s what every person arming himself for self defense should do.
In my case, my home is very defendable. I’d certainly fight back and probably succeed.
Depending on your type of home and location, a few warning shots may be in order.
The most natural reaction humans have when someone starts shooting is to run in the other direction. Criminals are no different.
There’s plenty of cases where the home owner starts shooting and even without hitting anyone the bad guys leave. That’s the most common reaction.
This isn’t an exact science, but I’d rather shoot than give up without a fight and maybe regret that for the rest of my life like so many people did.
I’m no Rambo, I’d readily give away my cell phone and wallet if mugged on the streets is that solves the situation quick enough, but when its your house, your family, and you talk about surrendering and being at their mercy, that’s very different. Usually you’ll get none.
You have to make your own decision and learn to live with it.
I already made mine.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Pistol caliber Sub-rifle as a viable choice

This type of weapon is generally overlook by shooters in general including people in the survival community.
“Big gun no better than a handgun”
“If I have a long gun, I want it to fire rifle ammo”
But lets look at some of the advantages:

1) It IS better than a handgun: It’s easier to shoot accurately, has more firepower (40 rounds in some 9mm models) and the extra barrel length adds a couple hundred feet per second in certain 9mm and 40 S&W ammo.
2) Robust: This mostly applies to the more simple open bolt models. Not terribly accurate, but reliable and simple to operate and repair.
3) Ammo price: This is a mayor factor for me, the ability to keep the creature fed.
Honest now guys, how many of you flinch every time you shoot your rifle, not because of recoil but because of the $ you feel fly away with each trigger pull? Ammo is pretty expensive these days, specially rifle ammo. Even if you have it, you sure want to use a minimum amount of it to stay proficient, and save most of it for a rainy day.
This also means you get to practice more.
9mm and other common pistol calibers are cheaper and readily available. If you find ammo in the civilian world, more than likely it’s going to be pistol caliber ammo.

A Nigerian soldier, armed with an UZI. He also has a revolver as a last resort, defensive weapon. In this case, the revolver is a true secondary weapon, unlike the survivalist that carries only a handgun and that is his one and only weapon, his primary.
Notice the two pouches with two reloads handy in his belt.

4) Ammo interchangeability:
Worked for the cowboys and works for us as well. It’s just a terrific advantage in terms of logistics to use the same ammo (even same mags in some cases ) for your handgun and long gun.
5)Light recoil: You don’t have rifle power, no doubt there. And rifle ammo is an entirely different ball game in terms of wounds and stopping power. Still, many special forces and SWAT teams around the globe still use pistol caliber SMG ( in spite of the growing popularity of 223 carbines for this role)
A pistol caliber subgun is something a recoil sensitive person will find more comfortable to shoot.
6) Small overall package: Some of the smaller SMG turned semi auto only are available to civilians and they sure are small.
From a realistic survival situation we’ve discussed many times how important it is to keep our weapons concealed. A small sub gun, even some of the folding models available, they can fit in small suitcases or backpacks. This is terrific if you have to bug out for whatever reason on foot, or board a rescue chopper or boat.
Take an ordinary rifle, open carrying it, and I guarantee you you’ll get a “Sir, please leave your weapon behind before bordering the vehicle”.
A pack with the only material items you have left after a disaster? I doubt they’ll go through that or ask you to leave the backpack behind.
Out of sight, out of mind folks.
So people, I’m not saying that this replaces in any way the firepower or range that a real rifle provides. But this is another tool, another alternative that has many interesting uses that apply to various survival situations.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Gear review: Flashlight and charger

Hi guys, sorry for not posting for a while.
A few days ago I received another package from Deal Extreme (it gets addictive, so careful) and in it came the Ultrafire Cree Flashlight I’m holding now.

The UltraFire WF-602C has a Q2 Cree LED.
Price is $ 10,78.
It has a 5-Mode function. Hi, Mid, Low, strobe and SOS in morse code. After a few seconds on off, the flashlight resets and the first mode is again Hi. This is very practical an forgiving for a tactical/self-defense light.
The Hi mode is rated at150-Lumen, and I found it to be rather accurate compared to other flashlights.


Note that this flashlight requires 3,6V CR123A (rechargeable Lithium-Ion)
With these you really get those 150 Lumens.
With ordinary primary batteries you just get ½ the lumens.
The rechargeable batteries are a bit bigger and the flaslight doesn’t close completely, leaves 1mm gap, while it would close completely with primaries. I don’t find this to be a problem, other than esthetics, and it could be solves nicely with an extra o ring to fill the small gap.
The tail clicky cap is glow in the dark green.
I had no charger for this type of battery so along with the two Ultrafire 3.6V 880mAh LC Protected CR123A batteries, I bought a single cell charger. Two of these batteries cost $ 5.08

The Nano Li-Ion Single 3.6V CR123A charger is very nice. Small, effective, and cheap at $ 5.39
So, for about $ 20 dollars I got another nice setup, delivered at my door.
Now, what’s the purpose of this light/battery/charger combo?
The Low and Mid mode works for general purpose use during blackouts or searching something under the fridge.
The Hi mode has nice spill but not enough throw for long distances. Still, with such power it fits the tactical/defensive roll well. 150 lumens will blind anyone, and even though not a weapon mounted light, its enough for when searching the house and nearby ground for intruders.
If you already have a headlamp (which is simply irreplaceable) this system would fit the remaining flashlight needs. The batteries are more expensive and harder to find, but since you have rechargables this isn’t much of a problem. You can have both batteries charged and the wont loose charge like regular Ni Metal rechargables do.
Now lets look at it some other way. Lets talk about a flashlight for maybe a survival kit for the outdoors. There, battery availability isn’t that much of an issue, since you’ll only have what you bring with you. A couple spare rechargargables will provide a lot of light for camping activities, and the strobe and S.O.S mode would be great if you get lost or hurt and need to signal for help.
I tested the light and found that on high, you have a good 30 minutes, and 10 minutes of lower light until shutdown.
On mid, you have 3 hours, and on Low 5 hours.
Low is still bright enough for general work.
The glass came a bit loose but this was quickly solved by screwing the LED unit tighter.
Right now I have more flashlights than I need, and more are coming for more reviews.
Where would I place this flashlight, specially taking into account the li-ion rechargables and nano charger?
If you don’t have any decent flashlights, or none at all and need a good one that fills several niches, along with a nice battery system, you might want to look into this.
Take care folks.