Friday, April 30, 2010

What kind of toilet to have when TSHF‏

Hi FerFal.

Collapse authors like Dmitri Orlov and James Howard Kunsler tell us that someday muicipal water systems will stop working and, as a result, we won't be able to flush our toilets.

You don't seem to address that issue in your blog so I imagine there is no problem flushing your toilets?

Wisconsin, USA

Hi Jeff, lots of authors say lots of things will happen... "someday". :-)
The questions you have to ask yourself when you read those claims are: 1) Did it happen ever before? 2)How long did the situation last? 3) How was it, really?

It may be a surprise to most people that visit Buenos Aires, but 55% of the people in the city of Buenos Aires and its suburbs don’t have sewers. 45% of those in the suburbs don’t have running tap water. This of course means that all the well water you have in the extended area is contaminated to some degree, and I’m not even taking into account the countless industries that ruthlessly throw unprocessed waste to the sewers or directly to the streams and rivers. You have to see the Riachuelo river to believe it: Most polluted river on Earth, it’s a stinking black mass with no life in it.

Of course in the more developed areas you have services just like in any other important metropolitan area. Its this contrast in Buenos Aires that fascinates some people: On one hand you have European Architecture, modern buildings, subways, yet 10 blocks away you have villa 31 where people live in the worst conditions imaginable, same thing if you cross the Riachuelo river into Avellaneda and Dock Sud.

Having said that, water infrastructure is usually very robust. It may work ½ as well as it should, even worse, the tap water itself could be polluted like it is here in Buenos Aires, but all in all, no matter what happens, water systems will eventually be restored in the areas where they want to. Villas? Shanty towns? Poor neighborhoods? There’s no money to be made there, the economic and public image impact isn’t that bad, there’s no respect for those people that are treated like animals, so there’s no interest to set up the water infrastructure in the first place.

Again, I fall back to the Bolivia example, a country that is as crappy as a country could get. Do they have power? Water system in the areas they want? Sure. So rest assured it is possible to eventually restore these services after a large scale disaster.
Guys, there’s certain knowledge and “know how” that will never be lost. Other than getting blown out of the galaxy by a meteor, after a SHTF event, no matter how bad, as long as there’s people there will be society, and the progress made so far wont be undone unless we all get blown to pieces.
Regarding toilets, many of the houses that don’t have city sewer have pits. This is something that pollutes the ground an water but has been a common solution back when houses had outhouses instead of in house toilets. Of course, when this is done in mass by hundreds of thousands within a small area the problem is significant.
I certainly don’t expect city water and sewers to go down for good like these guys seem to believe. Again, its not rocket science and it can get fixed eventually.

But what if something like that does happen? You don’t have much time. Imagine that a city is a mess after just a couple days of trash not getting picked up (we saw that here) and it downright stinks after 5 days, with trash piling up on the streets, rats running around (we saw that too during a strike). After a 2 or 4 weeks tops, if the location you are living in still has no services, you should really move to somewhere else until the situation is solved. After 4 weeks of no trash being picked up or no water or sewer with people relieving themselves in gardens or on the streets, diseases will start spreading fast.

If you have no choice, you can at least set a location (far from the house) for digging a trench to be used as a toilet, have dry leaves for covering after use. Hopefully you’ll have pine needles or some other leafs that have a strong scent. For winter or indoors you can improvise a bucket toilet, used with a plastic bag. If you have some, baking soda spread on the bucket will help avoid smells (read 101 uses: Baking soda)

Again, this will not be a long term situation in a city simply because its too serious to ignore and its nothing that cannot be fixed in a realistic period of time.


101 Uses: Salt

Salt is probably the most valuable staple supply from a survial point of view. Salt is one of the very few items you can buy 100 pounds worth of it, and in an extreme situation you’ll be glad you have it.
Its important to know a few things about salt, so as to undertand why its so valuable in survival situations and why it used to be so important in the past, even used as currency in some places.

Salt and water

Today we live in times of excess. We have lots of everything. Water? You have a virtual unlimited supply of it, just open the faucet. But what happens when you have little of it? Salt comes into play.
When water becomes scarce and you see the possibility of that situation being a medium or long term one, you need to incorporate salt to your organism in order to not lose so much water through sweating.

This is an even greater concern when doing intense labour. Removing rubble all day long after a quake/tornado or doing hard phisical labour and worrying about each drop of water you are sweating because you have little water left, or none? That's a problem.

Of course salt is excessive in today’s processed food, but it wont be if your eating unprocessed staples such as wheat, rice, legumes, etc.
While too much salt is bad for you, its even worse if you die of dehydration during an emergency situation.

Salt and Food

The main reason why salt was so important in the old days, was its ability to preserve food. No fridge, meat rots pretty fast at room temperature. Pretty simple to understand. It is true though that salted meat and fish does not taste very well, will usually require lots of rinsing and washing with water to remove the salt excess. Meats preserved with other spices where preferred, often salted meat was intended for slaves or poor class, but none the less, it is a well known method of preserving food.


Its used for making 1% saline solution for cleaning wounds. 10 gr. of salt in a liter of water. Make the solution inside a plastic bag, punch a small hole in it, close the bag tight and apply pressure. Use the jet of saline solution to rinse the wound.
The salt “dehydrates” the microorganisms such as bacteria, killing it. Salt applied directly on a wound will burn and irritate, but it does disinfect so keep that in mind during an emergency if you only have a McDonalds salt packet and a wound to care for.


Salt will remove the blood sucking critter immediately.

Sore throat

It does work very well, by the way.

Many other uses for salt.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iceland-Volcanic Eruption-SHTF out of Nowhere‏

Hello Ferfal,

Judging by what's going today on between the earthquakes in China, Haiti, Tsunami and the volcano in Iceland. The mother of all SHTF scenerios could be caused by a natural disaster. This scenerio puts rich western countries economic resources on the brink of collapse and economic confidence is lost. As we already know it's unhealthy to sit around waiting for doomsday. My concern is a natural disaster that is enough to dislodge any economic recovery world wide and maybe enough to slide us into a panic or depression. We often talk in the context of currency devaluation or stock market decline but this threat has always existed.

I'm not talking about an extectintion level event neither (like a asteroid) of course we would not have anything to worry about because we will all be dead. How about a scenerio where the natural disaster has a low\mid\high casualty rate but the economic damage is enough to derail any recovery and\or put us in a position of a depression where the powers to be can no longer lie to us. Where life goes on like in Argentina but on a global scale.

Case in point. They are already comparing ecomonic damage done to the airline industry by the volcano to the 9/11 event. Not to mention when Eyjafjallajökull http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyjafjallaj%C3%B6kull there is usually a follow-up eruption from a nearby volcano http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katla. I'm sure we are in the early stages of calculating the economic damage. Britain is sending ships to pick up UK citizens.

In any of these scenerios the person not has not worked in 2 to 3 years or is currently on unemployment does not realize an event like this could make them descend into the economic abyss.

What is your take?



You’re talking about a generalized situation , 1st world countries falling to 3rd world status, mostly because they can’t recover after the natural disaster.
I think it’s a good supposition, a realistic one, of what would happen during such a worst case scenario.

When people talk about these things, I always fall back to Bolivia. If Bolivia still has electricity and running water (at least in some parts) then guys, we’re never going back to the 18th century. Bolivia is as bad as it could get.
Now that’s no picnic none the less. It would be a disaster for prosperous nations to fall to such a degree.

I think that what we preach here often still applies: 1) Be ready to face problems/disasters. 2) Know that in worst case scenarios, moving away form the State/Province in question or leaving the country or continent entirely is the best solution.

This applies to the situations you mention, and it would work for people in Chile after the quake.
In the case of Chile, you have your supplies to make it, water, food, and a gun for self defense, flashlights because of lack of power, a netbook/notebook to keep in touch if you find internet signal, and you get by during the first stages after the incident. Then when you organize things, you leave the are or better yet, the country for some time, hopefully relocate.


101 Uses: Olive oil

I’ll be posting a few of these 101 uses post every now and then because these are items worth having and learning some of their applications.
I recently bought a nice supply of canned extra virgin olive oil (the best kind) that should last for some time. I liked the rugged container, much better than the more common plastic bottles. My wife's family comes form Italy so she likes using olive oil often.
Some applications for vegetable oil, olive oil being the healthiest:

*Cooking of course. For salads and making soups, bread, pizza, etc. Unlike the junk used to fry potatoes in McDonalds or chiken wings, extra virign olive oil actually has a taste worth noticing. Its good for your heart and reduces colesterol.
*People would be surprised to know how many premium, extra expensive skin oils just have a very small amount of vegetable oil in it (in some cases olive oil) as their most effective ingredient.

* Models around here do a vegetable oil bath on their hair before important events or photo sessions.

*The health benefits of olive oil are numerous, and oil is of course a basic food supply used pretty often, providing the healthy fatty needed for good nutrition.

*It’s a source of fuel as well. Combine it with a container and  a piece of cloth, oil can be used for lighting and heat.

*In a pinch, it can be used with a piece of cloth or cotton to wipe the baby when changing diapers.
Other uses…


Sunflower oil, like other oils, can retain moisture in the skin. It may also provide a protective barrier that resists infection in pre-term infants. Studies using sunflower oil have been conducted involving low birth weight pre-term infants that are often susceptible to infection due to their underdeveloped skin. The study determined that infants receiving a daily skin treatment of sunflower oil were 41% less likely to develop infections in hospital.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ammo and silver?

  I bought  your book, thank  you.  I have followed your posting on various web sites
Since your time on frugal squirrel.
  Anyway, my question is related to ammo.
I had a friend who had a ton of 7.62 Nato ammo that he sold to me below his cost
A few years ago as his wife was threatening to divorce him if him if he didn’t get
The ammo reduced, so I got  cases of 7.62 nato for 100 bucks.
  I haven’t shot any in a while, though I do have a couple of Nice FAL rifles (I think
It was on the FALFILEs I saw you first.)  I’ve moved on to AK’s.
  So, I was wondering and thinking, why don’t I sell some of the  7.62 Nato and buy
Some more 7.62 X 39 ammo and then buy some silver with the rest of the money.
How much rifle ammo should I keep?
   I’m not asking you to make my decisions for me, just wondering what you think.
I tend to think like you do that pistols will be more important in a collapsing society.

Thank  you and if  you don’t have time to answer I understand.


Hi K, in the book I give some advice regaridng this, 1000 rounds per handgun or rifle is the minimum I'd go for.
If you're planning on using your AK more, of course get more ammo for it. I'd still keep a healthy amount of 7.62 NATO because I like the ballistics. Your FAL will chew down cover that the AK wont, it will hit further away and it can be set with a scope and adequate mount for 600 yard shots if needed.
Does your situation, your location or your plan dictate for such long range shots or the need of maybe having to defeat cover, requiring more penetration? If the answer is no then I'd just keep a couple hundred rounds of  7.62 NATO and put the rest in 7.62 x 39 mm ammo.
About selling  ammo to buy silver, it would depend on how much ammo you have. If you have 10000 rounds of ammo and no PM savings sure, get the silver. But if you have PM and you're only selling the ammo only to buy more a year or two later, know that you'll probably end up paying more for it, so I'd keep it.


101 Uses: Baking Soda

Yesterday I received a nice bag for every day carry. I wanted something for my upcoming trip to USA that looked a bit better than what I usually carry around here, my old musette canvas bag or the MKVII gas mask bag. This bag is sturdy, big, looks good, well made… and it stinks. It’s made of camel leather, and it stinks like a dirty camel. I don’t know if its camel urine, camel poop, bit its just too much. I’m ok with a bit of scent, but I can’t go around smelling like zoo compost.
Searching for tips, I found one suggesting covering the bag with plenty baking soda, and leaving it wrapped in a bag for a week or so. Apparently that worked for this person with the same camel leather problem.
Anyway, all this boils down to baking soda. Its well known that it has many uses but its still worth remembering and stocking up on it.

*Its readily available in most stores. Pretty cheap too, so have a good amount stored.
*Its often used for cooking.
*Absorbs and neutralizes odors, so people keep it in the fridge, freezer, small bags can be placed with stored clothes.
*It can be sprinkled on a wet toothbrush and used as tooth paste for a nice white smile.
*Mixed with water, it is used for sore throats and mouth washes.
*Body deodorant, rub some of the powder under the armpit and feet.
*Mixed with some water, it is used to remove stains.
*It is used for polishing metals, as well as general cleaning in the house.
*Mixed with water, it can be used as an alternative liquid soap.
*Mixed with water, its perfect for acid indigestion.

…more tips and advice.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Diabetic‏ Son - Finding medicine during troubled times

Hello Fernando,

I was reading about how your son was lactose intolerant and had some medical issues.

My son was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes. Here in America there isn't an insurance company that will touch him because he has been "pre-diagnosed" or had an existing illness. So he is on the state system and that is what pays for his doctor visits, insulin, needles ect.

Our "plan B"  is if that goes down we can go to Mexico to purchase Insulin and supplies, but there is no "plan C."

Following the 3 is 2, 2 is 1, 1 is 0 rule we have our current supply and then there is Mexico.

How did people in your country deal with an issue like this?

Were drugs like insulin hard to get hold of?

How many people died due to not being able to get their treatments?

Thanks for answering my question. I loved the book. I got it last week and already finished it and I am reading again. I subscribed to your videos also. Good stuff.


Hi R, yes, my son has a very mild lactose intolerance. That was the problem, it was so mild no one ( none of the dozens of Doctors we went to) detected that he had this problem, so he would drink a lot of milk each day and after a few months, for no apparent reason he had gastroenteritis. We didn't give up until we found one of these Docs, that did a real detective work (Mater Dai Hospital) and did a list of each and every possibility, and we checked them all until we found this mild lactose intolerance.
Here in Argentina you need a private medical care plan. I have Swiss Medical Group, which is pretty good and covers all these things, including unlimited hospitalzation if needed. Like you, we plan on ABC, Argentina would be our plan C once we move to USA, Spain and our EU citizenship would be B (free medicine), and our medical plan in USA would be A. 
If you didn't have such a private health plan, you depended on the public health, which is free, but is unbelievably bad. There was a scandal not long ago about placebos being sold to the state health plans for cancer patients, many died of course. Oh yes, THAT bad. Not to mention the lack of basic medication for everything. Public health in Argentina is worse than you can imagine in your worst nightmare.
About finding meds after the crisis, for most common problems like finding insulin and other common supplies, if you had a good health plan and the money to pay for teh medicine, you usually find it.
For other more rare meds, it can be a bit more complicated. My father in law, may be rest in peace, sometimes had difficulties finding a medication he needed for Alzheimer. When these things happen, its important to have a friend or someone that you know that travels to Europe or USA often, usually a pilot or crew personal, that can get them for you abroad.
As usual, money makes things easier. Unfortunately it applies here as well.

"How many people died due to not being able to get their treatments?"
We’ll never know. Those in the government, public hospital directors, doctors and nurses, they all make sure that no one will ever know that. Its' in their best interest. All I can tell you is that here in Argentina, if you can't afford to get private medical care, either by paying from your pocket or as a work contract package, you're considered sub human and I promise you, you'll get sub-human medical care.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Could the U.S. become Argentina?

I swear I'm not writing under a fake pen name :-). Read, understand the similariteis and prepare for it as best as you can folks.
Take care.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RAHN: Could the U.S. become Argentina?

Obama policies have put the nation on a similar downhill slide

A century ago, if you had told typical citizens of Argentina (which at that time was enjoying the fourth-highest per capita income in the world) that it would decline to become just the 76th richest nation on a per capita basis in 2010, they probably would not have found it believable. They might have responded, "This could not happen; we are a nation rich in natural resources, with a great climate for agriculture. Our people are well educated and largely descended from European stock. We have property rights, the rule of law and an open free-market economy."

But the fact is, Argentina has been going downhill for eight decades, and it has the second-worst credit ranking in the entire world - only Venezuela has a lower ranking. Argentina, despite its natural resources and human capital, has managed to throw it all away. Argentina did not become relatively poor because of having been involved in destructive conflicts. It became poor because it has had a series of both democratically elected leaders and non-elected dictators who never missed an opportunity to make the wrong economic decisions. It is, once again, trying to renege on paying the
principal and interest on Argentine government bonds  to foreign bondholders, and hence New York state (where many of the bonds are serviced) may take further action against Argentina, including fines and asset seizures.

In the 1930s, the Argentine government increased its interventions in the private economy. Juan Peron took over in 1946 and ended up nationalizing the railroads, the merchant marine, public utilities, public transport and other parts of the private economy. For much of the past half-century, Argentina has engaged in a series of erratic monetary policies, often resulting in periods of very high inflation and economic stagnation. Because of their political power, the unions have been coddled, resulting in unsustainable wage-and-benefit programs. Excessive government spending has caused recurrent fiscal meltdowns, where both foreign and domestic debt-holders have lost many of their investments.

According to the Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report (published by the Fraser Institute in cooperation with the Cato Institute and others), Argentina ranks 105 out of 141 countries surveyed. Similarly, the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom (published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal) ranks Argentina 135 out of the 179 countries surveyed. (The U.S. is No. 8 and falling.)
The U.S. has a per capita income of about $47,000 per year, while Argentina's is just $14,000 on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis. A hundred years ago, Argentina's per capita income was about 80 percent of that in the U.S. If Argentina had done as well relatively as the United States, it would have a per capita income of about $38,000 today. Countries can become wealthy in a few decades, as have South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Finland, by following the correct economic policies. They also can become relatively poor, as have Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela, by doing the wrong things.
Argentina has extensive import bans and controls. The Obama administration has been advocating protectionist trade policies and has opposed the ratification of previously negotiated trade agreements.
Argentina has income tax rates roughly equivalent to those in the United States but also has a value-added tax (VAT) and a wealth tax. Officials of the Obama administration and some members of the U.S. Congress are flirting with a VAT.

Argentina has continued to run inflationary monetary policies while at the same time attempting to treat the symptoms through price controls. The U.S. Federal Reserve has greatly increased the money supply, which is likely to produce future inflation. Officials of the Obama administration, at times, have advocated price controls of insurance companies, medical suppliers, financial institutions and even fees for carry-on luggage on airplanes.
Argentina's largest bank is state-owned, as are a number of its other banks. The Obama administration forced a number of large American banks to become partially government-owned. The two largest mortgage institutions in the United States - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - are now largely government-owned-and-controlled.

Argentine courts are slow and corrupt. Property rights are not secure, and the government has willfully understated inflation statistics, causing foreign and domestic bondholders to lose much of their investments. The Obama administration unilaterally took away bondholders' rights in the GM and Chrysler cases and, in essence, took their assets and turned them over to the unions that had supported Mr. Obama.
Argentina has extensive labor regulations to favor unions, which greatly increase the cost of hiring. The Obama administration has supported costly labor regulations that the unions favor, which eventually will drive up the cost of hiring workers and result in higher unemployment.

Argentina has a long history of deficit spending, which, in turn, has made government debt burdens so high that the government refuses to pay the debt to the private domestic and international debt holders. Over the next 30 years, economists associated with the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, estimate (as have many U.S. economists) that the U.S. public debt will rise to between 200 percent and 500 percent of GDP. (It is now about 60 percent.) Debt levels of 200 percent to 500 percent cannot be supported; hence, the debt holders will face erosion of their capital through either inflation or nonpayment.
The U.S. is not yet Argentina, but, if many of the policies of the Obama administration are not reversed, America will only get poorer and, in as little as 30 years, become a middle-income country, while dozens of other countries will enjoy a higher standard of living.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

Laptops for Argentine students?

I saw a news article about the Argentina government providing laptops to all school children. Is this true, and if so, how is that so considering the economy there? What are you thoughts, and keep up the good work.


Hi K
Yes, there's a project, if it ends like all the other "projects", the money will be spent, no kid in the country will see a single laptop and they'll get sold in a neighboring country! :-)

This all started because Uruguay actually did that (gave a laptop to every kid in school) and the comparison was killing us. "Hey, kids here dont even go to school, and those that do can't read while across the Plate river, Uruguay has given a laptop computer to every single kid!!". It was all over the news and this "project" was the answer to calm things down.
So, because of that, the Ks say they'll eventually do the same here. As of right now,its just talk. Based on previous experiences, the moeny will be spent and nothing will get done.
Take care and thanks for the email.


Please dont post email address.

Knife Laws in Argentina

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, it is legal to own a bowie-scale knife in Argentina?

I might just pick one up. Seems like a good stepping stone psychologically to the responsibility of owning a gun.

April 26, 2010 9:09 AM

This may be useful for those of you living here in Argentina, thanks for asking.

In the city of Buenos Aires, you are fined between 1000 and 3000 pesos or 5 to 15 days of arrest, those that carry blades and other unconventional weapons "inequívocamente destinados a ejercer violencia o agredir", that's Spanish for "With the undoubtful purpose of doing violence and attack others." So if you have a legitimate purpose for carrying it, one that isn't illegal, you're good to go. Even for criminal use, the penalty is luaghable, something that sure could use a modification.

In the province of Buenos Aires, there's a somewhat similar penalty for carrying a knife alone, but you have a broad spectrum of legitimate reasons for carrying it, like using it por for your profession, hobby or other legitimate activity.
In a nutshell, there's really no clear law in Buenos Aires and most provinces that I know of, and it basically allows you to carry anything you want unless you clearly do so with criminal intent.

So, feel free to carry anytihng you want. Its better to keep it ou of sight just in case. Most often cops dont know the law, even though most know they can't arrest you simply for carrying a knife, but they might try to take it away from you if its particularly big, looks menacing, or they just want it for themselves :-). In that case you're probably better of losing the knife that starting an arguement, but the truth is that the law is on your side, its just better to avoid the discussion.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Knife Laws in USA

Anonymous said...
Regarding knife carry, the USA is more restrictive with knives than even guns. In many states even if you have a concealed carry permit you cannot carry a knife with a blade over 3 inches (the concealed carry permit only applies to a gun). There is no 2nd amendment protection to the right to carry knives, so be careful. I would not carry one with a blade over 3 inches anywhere.
April 25, 2010 10:21 AM

That’s pretty interesting. Given that knives are considered weapons, I’d argue that it is covered when the second amendment talks about “arms” (small arms, including firearms but blades too) not to mention that they are part of a “well regulated militia”.

Never the less, anyone knows which States have the best knife laws?
Which are the States with worse knife laws?
I’ve learned not long ago that “bowie” knives are illegal in Texas, at least carrying them. That’s crazy. I’m also curious about how they would even define a “bowie” given that even knife experts can’t make up their minds. A “bowie” could be anything from a clip point knife to a regular curved point knife like the Razin Bowie.

I’d feel naked without a knife. I’ve been carrying a big one with me for as long as I can remember, even in school (doubt thats ok in USA these days).


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pocket Carry for Ladies‏

Hello Fernando.
Can you tell us what your wife carries in her pocket(s)?
or purse??

Being a woman, does she carry essentially the same things
you do? Any differences?

Which choices are 'better' for women??

Keep up the blog.


Hi Selene, interesting question!
Seems that mostly guys visit places like EDCforums.com but I bet women have lots of interesting ideas and advice. Comments are more than welcomed! I'd love to hear what women carry as EDC.

Regarding my wife,she carries a purse with a wallet, kleanex, lip balm, cell phone, hard candy, gum, small Sabre Red (Red Pepper & UV Dye) .79oz Pocket Unit w/ClipOC spray can, femenine pad, Keychain with a Fenix E01 Compact LED Flashlight spare AAA battery for the flashlight, small pouch with coins and small bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer.

A few months ago she started carring a Cold Steel 29MC Voyager Clip Point Knife The knife she takes for defense. It´s small so it works for her hands, razor sharp and a clip point with good penetration.
Nothing fancy and its funny to notice that I carry more stuff than her! :-)
I'd say she's missing some sort of multitool, either a small victorinox or Letherman, but she's never been much into it. Now that you mention it I guess I'll get her a Leatherman Micra, its small and practical so maybe she'll carry that in her purse.
Other than that she has the knife and OC spray covered, and she loved the purple Fenix Light EO1 I got for her keychain. Its 15 lumens which works just fine for ordinary uses and lasts for 24 hours give or take. At first she liked it becuase she tought it looked pretty in her keychain, then she liked it beucase she actually ended up using it a lot! :-)


Cutting of police forces in USA and job observations‏

First off, the cutting of police forces:


Sacramento has a large "conurbano" that has no other government other
than county supervisors, and no other police other than sheriff's
deputies. It's unincorporated, IOW. We call it "The Uncity". Well, life
in The Uncity is about to get a whole lot more dangerous when the
sheriff's office stops patrolling it! If you call them, they won't come.
There will be no more patrols. This is "hypothetical" now, but it's
about to become real. This means that the only real policing will be in
Sacramento city, Folsom, and Galt, since Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, and
Rancho Cordova rely on the sheriff. Free rein for criminals in the
American zonas liberadas. Many other municipalities are doing the same

Now for the job observations:

As you know, I repair computers. And as GTA regulars know, the market in
my city is flooded with former IT guys who can't find work, so they do
virus removals, meaning I can't get any work. Well, now I've noticed a
LOT of computer repair shops opening up, in seedy shopping centers in
rundown suburbs like North Highlands and Citrus Heights. First it was
Craigslist being flooded with ads, now this. Apparently these out of
work repair guys are taking the last of their savings and renting
rundown shop space-Sacramento and California is WAY glutted with retail
space-in a last ditch push to make some money and stave off ruin. But
shop space is expensive, even at a few dollars a square foot. I'm
betting that they will run out of money before getting business, since
they seem to be doing little real advertising, and the business that
they do get in these bad areas won't be worth it. So eventually, they'll
all disappear. What's your experience with this in Argentina the first
few years after the collapse? Did lots of small shops open up and then
close as their proprietors ran out of money?


Hi Loqusimo, I remember tlaking aobut this with you at GTA forums some time ago.
Your observations are correct, and yes, it did happen like that here too.
Many of these stores and little shops poped up after the crisis and they tried to make a living. Some were more succesful than others.
When we talked about it back then I told you its important to be good at marketing, make contacts, advertize, and have a good relationship with clients. Try offering various serivces with stepping into things you have no experitize of, offer different packages for you clients, discounts, etc.
I'd say 8 out of 10 of these business failed in the first, year.The ones that did well made a good living after that.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Reply: Soybeans and pesticides

Ivan said...
Is this genetically modified soybean that resists round up weed killer? Monsanto has co-opted governments around the world to allow these products to be allowed into the market without comprehensive safeguards.
That’s 100% correct. We are using a genetically modified soybean all across the country, the only thing that survives Monsanto’s Roundup poison. Everything else dies, including people. All to maximize profit.


Argentinian corned beef and trigger events‏

Hello FerFal,

I had a couple of questions for you. I grew up eating canned corned beef from the supermarket that was labled "product of Argentina". Some years back, my father told me it was pretty good beef because they are grass-fed and weren't as chemically altered as our beef here in the US. Was he right? Is it still grass-fed, if you know? I buy the Kroger's house brand.

Hi, the timing for your question couldn’t be better.
In an attempt to max. soy production, Argentina is pretty much sacrificing everything else up to the point that we’ll be needing to import meat soon. Soy is currently the most profitable activity, and since due to governmental corruption we have a savage market here, something that could be called brutal capitalism: Soy is the most profitable activity? Perfect! Then it’s the only thing done, no more cows, no more wheat, just soy. Soy needs pesticides that kill everything else and poison the land, causes cancer to people? No problema! They throw that junk all over the country with planes. None of this would be legal in a serious country, but that’s not the case of Argentina with the current K government that, contrary to their communist speech, only cares about taxes and retentions to exportations, so the more money being made, the better.
Read more about this problem…

I wouldn’t worry much about the meat. Yes, its grass fed, but the grass has these toxins all over it, but don’t worry much. Your country sure has controls that ensure a minimum level of toxins. Having said that, I have no doubt that USA food has much less pesticides and toxins in it than anything from Argentina these days. Food that wouldn’t be allowed to be sold in USA or Europe is legally sold here.
Soybeans for example. In Europe its only legal as animal food grade product, not for humans due to the pesticides in it, but here in Argentina its legal and that’s what you eat when you eat a nice healthy vegetarian soybean burger.

The other thing I would like to know is whether you (in your experience of the collapse in Argentina) had some sort of change in understanding that "things would never be the same" as a point in time, or was it a gradual awakening to a changed reality? I remember that your book mentions a school class where the teacher explained that the folks at the base of the pyramid were poor, and that that group included the class the teacher was teaching just then and that it was a profound awakening for many of the students.

Maybe a better way to put the question is, did you have to cope with things changing all at once or a little bit at a time?

thanks and best wishes to you and your family!


Let me clarify this before answering: What you are talking about is not my book, "The Modern Survival Manual".
You are referring to an essay I wrote a few years ago, called “Thoughts on Urban Survival”. This is a lengthy write-up but its not my book. My book is not available on line, and goes much more into depth, covers other subjects as well, not even mentioned in that essay. I wrote the book for people that liked the article and wanted me to write a book, but I didn’t use a single sentence from “Thoughts on Urban Survival”. People had already read that and didn’t seem fair. Of course it covers those topics better and many others, so its safe to say that if you liked the essay, you’ll like the book too.

About your question, the breaking point was the devaluation. When your currency is only worth 33% of what it used to, and inflation soon sets it at 25%, you know things will never be the same. Its true that in that particular social studies class we understood the textbook explanation of different societies, 1st world, 3rd world (or “developing nations” as they now call them) and it was pretty depressing to realize that you know were 3rd world. But on more general terms, the devaluation and the president resigning and escaping in an helicopter, that’s a pretty clear sign that things will never be the same.

At the same time, there are other things you don’t realize but adapt later on, little by little. Crime was what caught most of us by surprise, and that’s why I insist a lot about crime prevention and self defense.

Its simply something normal folks aren’t prepared for and it can ruin your life for good.
Then there a million other little things, social changes, how the landscape of the country changes when the economy goes to hell and never recuperates. An American tourist that I met the other day in the subway told me that what surprised her the most about life in Argentina are all those surreal things that happen here on daily basis; roadblocks, protests, ridiculous crime situations you wouldn’t believe could ever happen for real, the level of corruption, the way people behave in some cases. I thought it was a pretty accurate explanation. Some of the things that happen here on daily basis, you just wouldn’t believe.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Detecting lies and subliminal messages in the Media.

I’m not talking about plots by aliens to take over the world or the Iluminati adding nanobots to your kid’s milk cartons at school.
Less fancy, but very real and something worth taking into consideration.
First, lets start by accepting a few facts. We need this to understand why this is done in most cases.

1)In most cases, the main purpose of a media groups (paper, TV, radio, internet) is to make money.
2) In some others, like state(or politician) owned channels, they are biased by the agenda they are trying to push.
3) An indirect variation of point #2, is the one the Argentine government is trying to achieve now with the “K media law” (Ley de Medios K): Change the law so that they have indirect control over privately owned media groups. They achieve this by making sure channels wont be profitable enough and will need of government advertisement or sponsorship to survive. Either that or direct power to decide what content is allowed or not.

Making money is achieved by having the greatest amount of sponsors and advertisers, and advertisers are interested in the greatest amount of audience. This means, news have to be presented in a dramatic, catchy manner. Everything you see must catch your attention better than the following channel, doesn’t matter if its some bloody image, Janet Jackson’s boob… or a lie.

“Greenville neighbor investigated by the local police: His firearm collection was taken away by the police” doesn’t sell as well as “Greenville survivalist arrested: Hidden Arsenal found at his home”.
Arsenal? What’s an arsenal these days? 2 hunting rifles and a couple boxes of ammo? Hey, that may as well be two high powered, long range sniper rifles and 200 rounds of ammunition, each round capable of killing a polar bear or going through both sides of a car!

If three neighbors say he was a nice guy but one says he didn’t knew him, but that he never caused trouble, some reporter will interpret that as: “Neighbors said he was a man that kept to himself” (implying “weirdo” “looner”), and simply not mention the other three that spoke favorably of him.

“Greenville Survivalist caught: He may have connections with terrorist cells” or “Greenville Survivalist caught: Possible connection with terrorist cells”. This means that after the word “may” you can put anything you feel like writing, your saying it but you are still covering your butt. The reader’s brain registers: –Greenville survivalist-arsenal-terrorist- and makes an unconscious associating, the word “may” or for that matter “possible” is lost.

So, this is all ways in which the media sells more, but its also the way in which type 2) or 3) achieve the political agenda of altering public opinion.
What does the government-owned, “Public TV” channel has to say? It never mentions the economic problems, or crime. Not once. Ever. Doesn’t matter if those two are by far the greatest problems we face. I kid you not, not ONE SINGLE mention ever of the dozen murders, or the thousands of violent crimes that go on each day. Inflation? That word simply isn’t in their vocabulary.

Recognized journalists and public figures also have a role. Many will have a “price” for their point of view, like Argentine journalist Bernardo Neustad, who was known among the political and financial circle for having a favorable or negative opinion about others depending on a brown paper envelope full of money.
If that doesn’t work, there’s always direct threats, but why go there if buying enough positive opinions by celebrities is far less troublesome?
I’ve learned to take everything I see or listen to on the media with a big grain of salt.

Why do I say that the crime situation in Argentina is out of control?
Because you see it in channels that are not yet under the government control, but mostly because you hear it and see it yourself on the street, when talking to store owners and neighbors. Because you can’t listen to a police scanner for a couple hours without learning about dozens of armed robberies, violent muggings, people getting shot or even unidentified corpses to be picked up.
Its more important than ever to know the source of the information, if it can be trusted or not, if its biased.
Its important so as to know what’s really going on all around you, if you should be more careful regarding crime, if the economy is doing worse than you’re being told and you should be taking other measures.
Take care guys,


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dirty War: Terrorism of State... but dont forget the other Terrorists

Don Williams said...Off topic , Ferfal, but what is the word in Buenos Aires re the sentencing just now of former President Reynaldo Bignone over acts in the Dirty War? 25 years for a 82 year old man seems kinda ..uh..redundant.

From http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/world/americas/21argentina.html?hp

Oh, they make such a big deal out of it. Yes, he’s a criminal. But as you say, he’s already half dead. Throw him in jail for all I care, but really, its not as if its going to change much. I’d rather see the ERP terrorists and Montoneros we now have in the government judged instead. These were hardocore Maoists of the most violent kind.
On the other hand yesterday we had an attempt carjack caught on tape, they caught the two bad guys, but the district attorney considered that there wasn’t enough proof and dismissed the case.
That’s the way it is here, criminals simply don’t go to jail.
About the junta, its just politics right now, its the communist’s revenge. What’ do I care if they put a 90 year old repressor in jail if they leave a 16 year old multiple time robber and murderer free on the streets.
But well, it’s the way this government rolls, the avengers of Mother of Plaza de Mayo. The “mothers” even have their own TV shows now on the public channel, were they say we have to honor and be proud of their “revolutionary” sons. Didn’t they kidnap and murder innocent people? What about the bombing of that kindergarten school, killing 20 kids only to get to the son of a cop? While there were torturers and innocent people disappeared, many of these guys were indeed terrorists and got what they disserved. The ERP (people’s revolutionary army) and Montoneros killed 1500 people, 600 of them civilians, including, women, children and babies.
Of course you’re not supposed to say this out loud here these days.

For anyone that can read Spanish, here's a list of attacks these "heros" are responsible for, including the bombing of numerous schools. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Berkey Guy Introduces The Go Berkey Kit

Video made by one of our Sponsors, Directive 21, about the Go Berkey Kit.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Best lighter?

Anonymous said...Speaking of updates, have you looked into different style lighters? I used to carry a Zippo regularly but in the last year or two have changed to an IMCO Super Triplex. Same fuel, same flints, and without extensively scientific testing it seems to preserve the fuel longer
Funny that you should ask. I DID run a serious test and came up with the following results:

The zippo lasted 17 days. The Imco (original, made in Austria) lasted 35 days! The test was done with both lighters full of Zippo lighter fuel, turned on for 3 seconds once a day.
The peanut lighter blows them both out of the competition in terms of durability, since it can keep its fuel for 2 or 3 months. But of course capacity is much smaller, so its better for emergency use and as a spare.
If you're going to be using it often though, and you want something practical you are correct, technically and speaking from a practical point of view, the Imco is simply better (and cheaper) than the Zippo.

I collect lighters and have many. I have a cheap Chinese Imco imitation that I bought as a kid. I loved it beucase, like the original one, its terribly reliable, tough, and the fuel lasts twice as long compared to Zippos. Back then I was living in the province of Cordoba, I went trekking and camping much more often and the Imco imitation was a trusty companion when starting fires.  If anyone out there has a thing for lighters like I do but never tried the Imco, you're missing the experience of using this little gem.

PS: Oh! Yet another reason to buy this lighter:
In the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost Arc, Elsa (the hot german blonde chick) gives Indy her "lucky charm" the zippo with the clover leaf badge similar to the one I have and posted pic below. This lighter was a fantasy piece and zippo made if AFTER the movie,  but quality is poor and it peals off. The one I have has custom made badges by an Indy fan in California called "Relic Raider". Anyway, after Indy goes to save his father in that nazy castle ( and uses Elsa's zippo to burn the ropes) Elsa is left without a lighter, so on the scene where she leaves in a car and lights a ciggar, she uses.... an IMCO Super Triplex! Its silly but I thought its kind of cool to know that it has been used in the movie. Its also the lighter used by Marion in the Raven bar ;-)
I added an Amazon affiliate like and get a small % but really just buy it anywhere as long as you get one, it cheap and deffinitely worth it, any tabacco store sure has it.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Today's pocket carry

Someone once said in a forum that he didn't trust my gear choices much because I often change it.
I thought this was funny since if we dont upgrade and see what's new (and sometimes better) we'd still be carrying a Swiss Army knife Spartan instead of a multitool and a Mini Maglite 2xAA as our EDC light, something that is today underpowered even compared to keychain LED lights.
This is what I carried today in my pockets to go to the movies with my wife.

Cold Steel Vaquero Grande
Elsa's Clover leaf zippo (Relic Raider's badges)
Leatherman Charge TTi (black pocket clip, less shinny)
Quark Mini 123 Titanium edition (6 modes, 189 Lumens maximum output)
Citizen Titanium Eco-Drive
Keychain (Midnight Minichamp red LED, peanut lighter, Fenix LDO1)
Cold Steel Folding Knife Grande Vaquero  (NOTE: This model is no longer being made by Cold Steel. Get it while its still available)
I also bought a new Midnight Minichamp with a white LED, the old one had a red light for better battery life.
Victorinox Swiss Army Midnite Minichamp, Sapphire

Saturday, April 17, 2010

KAPAP Seminar today

So I took one today and while there are lots of things that could be improved, I did exercise for 3 hours and had a good time.
For those curious about the difference between KAPAP and Krav Maga, here’s an article that explains each.
Basically KAPAP lacks most of the things I don’t like about Krav Maga. It’s more military oriented, and doesn’t feel that much like a glorified Taebo session like some krav maga classes seem to go.
The good part: Instructors seemed humble enough, learning along the way.
Typical knife and stick work, blocks, some grappling and ground work. The firearm disarm drill was ok but pretty optimistic, meaning you never have a guy pointing a gun at you straight to your face at contact range with the arm extended. Wish the exercise was done with more realistic stances, disarms where the gun is pointed at the waist/chest.
Now for the bad part: Just like in KM, it was emphasized that you don’t spar full contact because its not a sport. I don’t know if saying such a thing impresses anyone, you know, “this is not a sport”, as if implying its more effective or something. You only have an idea of how good or bad you are when fighting someone for real, even if its in a gym with gloves and mouth piece. I assure you its much more realistic than not fighting at all and having a false sense of security about your abilities.
Resisting and fighting was not encouraged. Unlike Biagorria’s classes where if you feel like and your partner is up to it, you continue fighting beyond the exercise in question until you submit your adversary, in this case it was strictly cooperative partner drills.
The disarm drill explanation had some serious flaws, the difference of double action and single action only pistols was explained (well done) but it was explained taking no consideration about revolvers, saying that if you grip the slide and frame tight, only one shot will come out and after that the gun is jammed. I waited for the revolver explanation but it never came. Since I was there as a volunteer for such exercise, I explained that revolvers would not “jam” because of an empty case in the chamber. I had bit my tongue during other mistakes like a good student, but this was downright dangerous, leaving a handful of total novices with no firearm training with the wrong idea about their ability to neutralize and attacker’s weapon.
“The drills works too with revolvers” said the instructor, not leaving room for debate and hurrying on with the next drill. Ok man, I thought, hope none gets killed because of that.
A few knife disarm drills where ok, one in particular done by the instructor “with a real live knife” was again, walking a very thin line, since if that knife had been razor sharp like mine are, he would have lost a finger or two. This time I had the good sense not to bother explaining anything.
Maybe the worse part of all was that after the class ended and everyone was asked what they thought, in typical Krav Maga fashion, a very snobby (and sweaty) guy explained how amazing it had been to see how it happens on the real world and that now he new he could handle those situations. As I said many times, this is the thing I dislike the most about KM and think its so dangerous for people to feel such a false sense of security.
I try to overlook the bad and concentrate on the good things learned. The head instructor is a man with a fair amount of military experience and training, so overall, we’re not talking of yet another publicist or real estate broker thinking he’s Chuck Norris and holder of the special forces deadly secrets because he’s a KM instructor.
Doing it once a week would be worth it because of the stick, knife and grappling practice alone. Combined with another weekly class or two of mixed martial arts and an occasional world class training session with Jorge Baigorria, that could be an interesting combination.


Friday, April 16, 2010

FerFAL on Twitter

Twitter is pretty simple and I often find some thought or piece of inforamtion I'd like to share but I either have no time or its too short for a blog post.
That's where Twitter will come in handy.
This is my Twitter: Fer_FAL(click on it and clikc "follow")
Take care and have a nice Friday night!


Retreats and reality: Should I stay or should I go?

Anonymous said...
Instead of putting the money in a rural hideout or supposed 'sanctuary', when crime and society get out of hand.

It would instead be far wiser to buy a house and plot of land in a good 2nd or 3rd world country in South America for instance, and move there.

That's Ferfals advice. It seems to me alot of people are just asking for trouble for no good reason, apart from just being stubborn. It's not patriotic, it's stupid.
April 15, 2010 7:00 PM

I would have chosen a few different word but yes, that’s about right.
That’s why I’m pretty adamant about the super fortress retreat.
It just doesn’t work for what it’s theoretically supposed to.
You put all that money, effort, etc, etc so as to have this impenetrable bunker … for when SHTF, the ballon goes up, or whatever you want to call it, and if that ever happened it will not turn out as you dreamed.
So you turn out believing you’re ready for sometihng your not. But the wonderful thing is, such a situation is so unlikely. Its like when Lisa Simpson sells a lion repelling stone to Homer. She tries to explain to him that it works because there’s no lions running around in Springfiled… Homer still buys the rock from Lisa for 20 bucks.
Now, the problem just doesn’t stop there. Some people end up buying the $20 buck stone, only that it costs several hundred thousands to get set up as you’re supposed to, and it requires serious life changes, some of which people go out of their way to achieve.
Maybe its people that don’t enjoy that lifestyle but think its better for the end of the world (they end up living a miserable life and the world never ends) or they make serious financial sacrifices, losing jobs and such, and end up broke because of their SHTF planning. Funny how this supposedly “end of the world proof” idea can’t survive without a serious influx of funds.
So you have to A) Be able to work from home, and not just barely make it but have a solid business that can take a few downturns without sending you running to the nearest fair sized city (which is wisely two gas tanks away… you know, because of biker looters) looking for a job. B) Actually enjoy living in the country/farm/woods, wherever it is you ended up at.
And that’s what it all comes down to, what you like to do.
Live in the country or in the woods or next to a national park because its what you LIKE doing. Don’t thinks it’s the best SHTF proof plan, its not. But if that’s what you want then its more than enough reason.
Now, be sure that you can sustain that livestyle, make sure you have adequate infrastructure, medical assistance near by, job opportunities or ways of making money, otherwise you go from “Not good for end of the world” to “awful choice no matter if times are good or bad”.
Then you have others to consider, your wife, your kids, family.
Some people actually enjoy that their kids can see grandpa or grandma every now and then. What about when they grow up? Will they have an education, social life? Or are they supposed to marry the homestead’s sheep or go buy a bride form Asia?
Talking about surviving from a practical sense, when things are no loner sustainable in your country, you just leave. Always has been that way, always will. Living in your retreat shooting it out with the ex cons, UN soldiers or cannibals every week or so is not realistic.

Want to prepare for a worst case scenario, as in we have to leave and never come back worst case scenario?
Live wherever it is you want to live, and have a small property in another country, and put it up for rent on the mean time.
Its not only going to cost you a small fraction of what a fully loaded end of the world retreat would, but you can also put it up for rent while the world doesn’t end. Find a place you like and you can go there on holydays too.
“Honey: We’re buying a small house/apartment in Australia/Brazil/Uruguay/Thailand (wherever it is you like). We’ll put it up for rent and use it ourselves every once in a while”
“Honey, I’m spending all our savings and asking the bank for 100.000 more. We’re moving to Nothingville. Well, not actually Nothingville, its 100 miles from there so you wont be able to watch a movie in a real theater ever again. Or see other real live people other than ourselves. Oh by the way, say bye bye to your folks, you’re never seeing them ever again as well!”

So after you get divorced and lose your kids you move there and start living the dream!

Serious now guys. History is the key, and history tells us that when SHTF bad, you leave.

What I’d like to do is keep a small apartment in the capital district in Buenos Aires, the part I know would be the last part to fall before the entire country goes to hell. Uruguay would be even better though harder to rent probably.
Not only can I have a plan C location, its also one that can be rented to tourists on weekly or monthly basis. That means not only that I’ll have the place furnished and in proper condition, I can stop renting it whenever I want and move there myself, and I don’t depend on a two year contract. Besides, it makes almost twice as much as renting for longer terms. Even with a couple months loss if it doesn’t rent and even giving 10% to some realtor to take care of it, you’re making money and having a place available at a moment’s notice. You can stay at a friend’s house or use your emergency cash to pay for a hotel until the place is available.
Now that’s a realistic alternative for a worst case scenario.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reply: Homesteads, security and devaluation.

Don Williams said...

1) I would note that Mel Tappan agreed with Ferfal. Mel argued strongly against having an isolated
homestead in the countryside -- and argued for being in a small town --in an agricultural area but large enough to have a diversified economy. (Including a hospital).
The concern, as Ferfal noted earlier , is whether those small towns (5000+ people) will dry up and blow away if the national economy collapses.

2) The model is Kinda like the fortified hill towns of the Middle Ages -- or the Greek city states that arose circa 500 BC.

One where people slept behind high stone walls at night with guards on watch --then went outside the city walls in the daytime to work on surrounding farms --with horsemen on patrol scouting the surrounding countryside to give early warning of any invaders.

3) The early pioneers of Kentucky also built forts to which the farmers could retreat from Indian raids -- and kept up mounted scouts to patrol and give warning.

4) As Mel Tappan and Ferfal both noted, a single sniper can take out an isolated farmer at any time.
then kill his wife and children. A bandit gang is even worse.

An advantage that farmers can have over such gangs is that farmers can grow hay to sustain horses -- and horsemen can run down and ambush bandits that are on foot.

This was what once defined an aristocrat.

April 15, 2010 8:10 AM

Blogger WATYF said...

Ferfal... are you saying that there's no practical purpose whatsoever (as far as survival goes) to owning a remote parcel of land?

Could it not be used for food (hunting/fishing/farming)? Could it not be used for temporary refuge if crime gets too bad in the area you're in? Is the only choice really to just stay near a high-population/high-crime area and rely on security forces to protect you? Doesn't that make your every move (going to the grocery store, visiting a friend, etc) extremely dangerous?

I know you have experience with this, but I'm just having trouble wrapping my brain around how this works exactly. The US is pretty spread out. The urban areas are packed, but in the rural areas, population density can be extremely sparse. And crime is much higher (per capita) in urban areas than it is in rural areas. So that means that in urban areas, 6% of the populace might be inclined to commit violent crime, while in rural areas, only 1% might be inclined to do the same. So, not only am I less likely to be around people (in general), but even with the people I am likely to be around, it is less likely that those people will be willing to commit a violent crime against me.

And with the much higher percentage of home-owners in rural areas of the US being armed, how could a very small percentage of a very small population (i.e. those inclined to commit violent crimes in rural areas) be an overwhelming force?

I understand that crime rates will rise (both in urban and rural areas) if an economic collapse happens, but even then, it's still a law of averages. I would be much more likely to be attacked in an urban area than I would in a rural area. And any precautions that can be taken in an urban area (i.e. always carry a gun/knife/spare money/meds/etc) could also be taken in a rural area, thus still keeping your chances better in the rural areas.

April 15, 2010 8:13 AM

The typical misconception of living like the Ingalls family but with AR15s while the world goes hell all around you? Yes. Absolutely.
I assure you it does not work when crime goes off the charts. I’ll put my first born in that bet as well.

Its just impossible,, it’s a nice idea that works perfect in fiction, not in reality. Rhodesian white farmers, isolated homes and retreats throughout history have been whipped out when crime gets out of control and are in fact the reason why cities started in the first place.

You avoid crime typically found it cities of course, you do NOT avoid getting killed when crime gets out of control, and there’s no distance in the modern world that avoids that. You got there with a car? So will others.
Now, what we know that does work are gates communities, a solid perimeter, and serious professional security. Private neighborhoods as they call them here.
Even better and something that is becoming more and more popular here among those that can afford it are “quintas” neighborhoods. These are similar to walled communities but with small farms instead.

Half an acre, one or two maybe, not much , but several of them together, with a secured perimeters and security. That gives you enough land to have a certain independence. You can have a nice garden, of course not serious plantation but a good sized orchard and some small animals. In some cases they have community buildings for horses. You have your own, but you share the facility/security.
This could work also for cows, sheep ,etc.
In a worse case scenario, this would be a possible solution. Until things go completely to hell and you just have to leave the country, that is.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homesteads, security and devaluation.

Anonymous said...
How did land outside the larger cities do after the Argentina collapse... not the burbs, but small acre homesteads? I've read your notes on people who were tortured in isolated areas.

We are buying a place w/ cash for investment - about 5 acres with a humble house outside the city. Close enough to be w/in an hours drive, but far enough to be considered country and not burbs. We'll enjoy during good economic times as a second home. This has neighbors you can see, but just not on top of each other compared to inner city. This is not an Idaho retreat, but a place we could probably get to if our large US city had major problems. And we could store a few supplies to get us through a short term event; while also leaving our city life home going for job purposes.

Did these type of set-ups prove helpful for those inner-city people during the Argentina collapse?

Small farms and homesteads arent safe here. Even those are now offered within a community that has its own security these days.

Sounds like a nice place. Neighbors within screaming distance are more important than most people realize.
The retreat in Idaho works perfect as long as shit DOESN’T hit the fan, at least not bad. Its simply impossible to defend and well, you’re a sitting duck for anyone with a gun and half an ounce of brain.
The place you mention could be a good place to live in if things get worse and you can coordinate security with your neighbors. I wont lie to you. When crime gets bad there’s no other choice: You need security. When times are REALLY bad, you need, good security, not just a fool walking around. Here, that’s most often found in high end building of gated communities. The communities that went half way about security and went for the cheapest offered are now paying for that mistake.
Maybe this is not your case but you could eventually tlak with your neighbors, organize yourselves and either pay for good private security or do it yourselves if people are available. Usually what happens is that people have jobs and see that its better to keep working, chip in, and outsource your security, no problem there if you hire serious people.

Anonymous said...
Hey FerFal. You stated you need money most of all and I agree if it's a slow slide or a mild depression. But what good is money in a Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe type hyperinflation? What would you do in those types of extreme situations?
April 13, 2010 6:15 PM

Well, it depends on the kind of money you had. If you had Swiss Francs I’m sure you could have exchanged it for whatever currency you needed. If you had gold or silver I assure you, you wouldn’t be using it for fire like they did with their own currency.
When that type of thing happens, it happens in places that use a currency that isn’t very strong. These days a country going through that will start using Euros or Dollars on the side pretty quick. Laws forbidding it wont matter much, its impossible to control.
If something like that happens to the dollar or Euro, then you can expect an important parallel market running on gold and silver.
What would I do? I’d have my food, water and other basic supplies sorted out, means to defend myself too. The things we talk about here all the time. I’d try to have an emergency stash of money, put most of it into precious metals or a currency I trust more than my local one that apparently is about to collapse.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When S really... REALLY Hits the Fan.

In 2001 the average Argentine worker made 841 USD per month, best paid workers in Latin America.

A year later in 2002, after the economic collapse, the average Argentine worker made 230 USD per month, worst paid worker in Latin America.


From best paid to worst paid in just a couple of weeks.
Think about it for a second, a reduction of 73% in your salary.
Lets be kind and say that, due to the inflation not catching up with the devaluation, the real reduciton of salary 50% average for the middle class.

Talking about non-BS survival, would you be able to deal with THAT as of today?
What about the rest of the citizens, how would they cope?
... what if it actually happens for real as it did here?
What if you dont have a choice?


FAB Defense KPOS for the Glock Pistol

I recently had a chance to try the KPOS for the Glock pistol.
You probably have no idea what I’m talking about so here’s a pic and clip.

If you read my book or read this blog for some time (old post about this is), you already know that I think that the pistol caliber carbine or subgun fills a certain niche that is of particular interest for the armed civilian that considers the possibility of serious civil unrest, lack of ammo and other problems. I’ll explain this better later on.
The KPOS converts your Glock 17, 19 or similar sized Glock in 40 and 357 SIG into a pistol caliber carbine. 

You replace the Glock’s backplate with one provided that has a cocking handle adaptor. You insert the Glock, lock it inside the unit, slide in the cocking handle and you’re good to go.
You have a folding stock which is effective for its compact size, and a forward grip that goes both vertical or horizontal. You have several rails for optics, and other accessories, so you can basically put any setup you want together like a Lego.

There are other carbine conversion units, but none are as ergonomically correct or as compact as the KPOS in my opinion. The HERA for example, its too square, the stock doesn’t fold and it lacks enough length upfront. Feels more like a stocked pistol than a carbine and doesn’t have much forward space to hold onto.

The bad news: This is a short carbine conversion unit and is taxed accordingly in USA (200 bucks I believe) This also happens with other conversion units but it has to be mentioned. If you are working with a limited budget and you want to keep your weapon collection at a bare minimum, you probably have other guns worth getting instead.

Now for the good part and why I thing it’s a serious carbine alternative.
Advantages common to many pistol caliber carbines:
1)      They can share ammo with your handgun, stocking only one caliber makes things easier.Pistol calibers ammo is easier to find too.
2)      Pistol caliber ammunition is usually cheaper and you can shoot more and train more as well. A serious advantage these days considering rifle ammo prices.
3)      Pistol caliber carbines with folding/collapsible stocks are usually small and can be carried in a backpack.
4)      Light recoil makes them ideal for novices or recoil sensitive family members.
5)      Unlike the popular belief says, it is not an over sized handgun and accuracy is far better even though the intrinsic accuracy of the weapon is the same. The reason for this difference is that you have a)More stability b) You can add optics. The key point here is stability. You can add certain optics to normal handguns as well but you can’t take advantage of it if you can’t keep it steady. Here’s where a) comes into play: With a handgun you just have one point of contact, both hands on the grip. With a carbine you have four: one hand to the grip, the other on to the forward grip, the shoulder and cheek on the stock. This is of course much more solid and makes 100 yard shots and beyond much easier and faster to perform. With a fast caliber like the 357 SIG and its straight trajectory the possibilities are even greater.

Now some advantages to the KPOS system itself:

1)      It’s simply the most compact carbine you’ll find, thanks to its small folding stock. Using the sling provided you can carry it all day under a loose fitting jacket.
2)      Something I’ve noticed is, because its essentially a Glock, its simplifies trainning in many ways. Most of the things learned in the pistol class apply here too and it makes the transition to rifle classes much easier.
3)      You don’t have carbine mags and handguns mags. Any magazine you reach for during training or a fight will work on either gun. This advantage shouldn’t be underestimated during stressful situations.
4)      Even in a civilian enviroment and wearing casual clothes, you can put a truckload of lead down range in a pinch with this system if you have a chest rig or leg rig with several magazines concealed under a large jacket.  This means: You are evacuating on foot, driving around keeping an eye on things with some neighbors for whatever reason. You don’t have to look all tactical, no one is going to call the cops on you or make the mental note of how much of a freak you are, yet you are much better armed than just having your concealed handgun. Certainly not a daily carry setup, I’m realistic, but would work excellent during known high risk situations.
5)      You don’t have rifle caliber power and that’s a disadvantage indeed, but with a caliber such as 357 SIG you are putting serious stopping power with good penetration down range. Get a slightly longer barrel from Wolf for the KPOS and you’re exceeding 357 Magnum ballistics thanks to the added length to burn more powder and get some more velocity.

“SO FerFAL, how many FAB Defense stock market shares did you buy?” 

None. :-) I just like the pistol caliber carbine concept in general and think the KPOS is an excellent conversion unit, that’s all.
The PDW concept is gaining more and more acceptance, and I believe there’s a good reason for that. Its clear that fights are getting more “urban”, fast and at short range. Weapons such as the Heckler & Koch MP7 and FN P90 are proof of this trend.
Again, not a must have, but worth considering and certainly worth trying out if you have the chance, see someone using it at the range or so.

Take care guys, have fun!