Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hiding Money: What worked in Argentina?

Hiding Money: What worked in Argentina?
here's a link about old-school "banks".
of course, with metal detectors, ground-penetrating and thru-wall radar, hiding things within
your home is harder. what were the best options for Argentinians? what do you recommend?

Thanks for the link, very interesting information. Most of the common hiding places are mentioned there. Inside dry walls, under floors, inside furniture and doors.
I can tell you that I’ve seen it all in Argentina, people have hidden money and precious metals in all sorts of places.  The problem is that when your family is tortured you tend to give it all up, so keep that in mind. Hiding valuables is part of a larger security strategy, otherwise it can fail. As for home invasions when people aren’t home, again, I’ve seen it all. I know of houses that had been completely picked clean, including the toilets, faucets and other installations being removed and stolen. Another option is burring your money and gold, sealed air tight and buried in PVC tubes. If its paper cash alone then a metal detector wont find it. A word of caution though: Make sure you remember where you buried it and do tell some other family member about it in case you forget!

First Alert 2092DF Waterproof 1-Hour Fire Safe

My advice is to have two safes, one more visible, maybe your gun safe, and a smaller, fire and water proof one, very well hidden. This strategy is pretty solid and I know for a fact about people that suffered burglaries and the criminals failed to find the second safe.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Getting a Dogo Argentino

profile of a muscular all white male dog standing on grass in front of trees. Very short coat. Reminiscent of a Bulldog.
Hello Fernando,
My husband and I read your book "Surviving The Economic Collapse."
You mentioned the Dogo Argentino and we tried to locate one in the states with little success. Can you recommend a way we can purchase a few of these?
Thank you very much!
Hi Jocelyn, thank you for buying my book. I hope you found it useful. ;-)
The Dogo Argentino is an amazing dog as I explain in The Modern Survival Manual. I believe that the main reason why its such a great dog is that it’s a recently created breed and it hasn’t been polluted yet (at least not much) by breeders who want a show dog rather than a working dog.
There are several people in USA selling Dogo Argentino. I cannot vouch for any of them but I do have some advice for you and others reading this considering buying this great dog.
  • Make sure you want a Dogo Argentino. It’s a pretty powerful animal and even though it is known for having a very stable temperament it is recommended to have some experience with big dogs and a firm hand.
  • Before buying, try adopting a Dogo Argentino from a shelter. Sometimes people get them and don’t know what they are getting into, maybe they get scared because they feel they got more than they bargained for. Most Dogo Argentinos that I’ve come across are very consistent in their temperament so adoption is safe and much cheaper than buying one.
  • There are some breeders that are mixing Dogos with bigger dogs such as Great Danes. They believe bigger is better, or more likely, they believe its good for business, accurately estimating that most of their clients also go for the bigger is better mentality. In the case of the Dogo Argentino the opposite is true. The original Dogo Argentino wasn’t that big, the parents should weight about 95 lbs for the male and 80 lbs for the female and the early Dogos would weight considerably less than that, therefore the smaller the Dogo Argentino, the more likely you have the real deal.
  • If youre buying a Dogo Argentino in America, try getting one from people that actually use it for hunting rather than show. That way you are more likely to get one that has the trait the creators of the breed were looking for.
Try looking here first, Dogo Argentino Rescue Network
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Q&A about moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mr. Aguirre,
I will be moving to Buenos Aires in June. I have some questions that you may be able to answer. Google has given me some info but it's never as good as info from people such as yourself.
Hello J,
I get similar questions pretty often. This is surprising given that I’ve literally written for years about how bad the situation was and still is in Argentina. Still, people have their reasons. So, if others have similar questions here it goes:
  1. I will be living near the city center. Can you give me an idea as to what areas I should avoid?
All of them except these ones. Try sticking to either the city center or northern part of the city. Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano, Las Cañitas, these are ok although nowhere is really safe in Argentina so stay alert. Avoid entirely the western and southern suburbs of Buenos Aires if possible. They are particularly dangerous although again, there’s crime everywhere.
  1. Are there any recommendations for transportation? Any I should avoid?
The subway is pretty good in Buenos Aires, but in general I move around with remis (sort of like Uber) from this company.  http://www.rcremis.com.ar/inicio.php. Write their number down and add it to your contacts. They are safe, reliable, fast and affordable. You don’t get all of that very often in Argentina. Avoid taxis though, in general they will rip you off.
  1. Are there regulations on knife carry?
They are considered weapons and will get you in extra trouble if you use them in crimes, but for law abiding citizens there’s not specific restricting legislation enforced. So get a knife and OC Spray (also legal) as soon as you land.
  1. Are there any like minded(self defense, knife/gun culture) people that you would recommend I contact or possibly put me in contact with?
I would recommend going to one of the shooting clubs, either Tiro Federal Argentino or Tiro Federal Lomas. Take a class or two with Jorge Baigorria (http://jorgebaigorria.com/) You’ll learn a lot and get to meet those “like-minded people”.
  1. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thank you sir,
Just stay safe, keep your guard up and enjoy the stay. I always talk about the bad stuff about living in Argentina but it is a country with great potential and people are fantastic.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Terror attack in Brussels: 5 things to learn from it

Today we saw yet again another terror attack, this time in Brussels. A bomb in the airport, at the check in of American Airlines. Another bomb exploded in the subway, at rush hour.
These terror attack aren’t likely to stop any more than we are likely to stop the next mass shooting. As long our political leaders avoid making the harder choices, this will continue.
What can we do about it? Well, what we always do. Prepare.
A few things came to mind as I watched the images of today’s attack and it reminded me of other similar situations, other terror attacks or mass shootings.
1)Watching the footage of people walking out of those dark subway tunnels, I imagined how useful a good flashlight would have been. That’s why we carry an EDC light.
2)The smoke and debris after the explosion and people covering their faces, I was reminded of the importance of making your sun glasses also your safety glasses, capable of protecting your eyes like the Wiley X Revolvers I use all the time.
3)Particles in the air also make it difficult to breathe.  It also shows how useful a respirator would have been. Carry one in your EDC kit.
4)People with awful wounds and amputations due to the explosions, it was easy to see how people could have used a CAT tourniquet or Celox gauze.
5)While we shouldn’t live in fear because of terrorists, these attacks do occur in key cities such as nation capitals. Avoiding these greatly reduces your chances of becoming a terror attack victim.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Best Survival T-shirt: Cotton vs Merino Wool vs Synthetic

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Stick shift less Likely to get stolen? My Story

stick less likely to get stolen
stick can be coasted or bump started if the battery is low
stick doesn't have transmission cooler lines and radiators springing leaks
stick can be shifted with left hand, elbow or partner in the passenger seat
OK, before we get started, indeed, stick shift cars are less likely to get stolen. Some articles online contradict such idea but others support it. At the end of the day it makes sense that if most people are used to automatics then manuals may present a problem for most criminals as well, therefore finding automatics easier to steal for whatever intended purpose.
And here’s the story. Keep in mind this was many years ago, let’s say early 90s. I was a little kid yet old enough to remember and old enough to understand what it meant when my mother came back home one day saying her car had been stolen while visiting my grandmother. This was in Argentina, where 99.99% of cars are manual. The thing is, my mother had learned to drive a few years earlier while living in Boston where of course cars are mostly automatic. When we moved from USA back to Argentina my father had to look all over the city until he found one of the few automatic cars for sale, a Ford Taunus.
That same day we received a phone call from a police department nearby: The car had been found. We all left in my father’s car and sure enough my mother’s Taunus was there. Whoever stole the car only drove a short distance… before busting the automatic transmission by trying to use it as a manual. Yes, the thief probably never used an automatic car in his life and managed to break the transmission.
So long story short the cops found our Taunus in the middle of the street with a busted transmission. The cherry on top? We then realized that after having the car removed from the street the cops had stolen our new tyres and replaced them with fully worn ones, probably from one of the cops in the station that needed a new set for his own vehicle.
True story folks.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Surviving in a Refugee Camp: How to earn a living when you have nothing.

Refugiados caminan entre las vías del tren en Idomeni, Grecia

It is always nice when you come across accounts of people actually getting through disasters and learning what they did to survive and stay afloat. In the case of the refugees in Europe from Middle East, life in a refugee camp sure is challenging and there’s lots of lessons to be learned.
I found this article in La Nacion about refugees in Idomeni, Greece. Los refugiados apelan a una imaginación inagotable. The article is in Spanish but these are the most interesting accounts:
Rachid, a 36 year old mechanic from Iraq, makes a living in the camp by working as a barber. “Each day it rains is a day I don’t get to work” he complains about the Greek weather ruining his “business” which consists of a couple chairs set among the tents, a couple scissors and combs.
Rachid and his brother rented a generator “ I prefer to work even at night”. he states proudly. His brother Faisal is in charge of the “communications” business, charging the cell phones of other refugees for a fee.
Syrian Malik set up a General Store in the camp: Peppers, lemons, tomatoes and canned greens. He buys most of the produce he sells from the nearby farms. His cousin Ali sells fruits, four boxes of oranges and applies which he refills twice a day.
“With just 3 Euros our women can do miracles, prepare meals from back home” says Abdulá Kamir, a Syrian IT that grew tired of the bombings back home.
But the business that really booms in the refugee camp is the sale of prepaid phone cards. These are useful not only for calling family back home and those already in the countries of destination, but also to keep up to date regarding the situation in the different frontiers and the changing regulations in each country. Samir (20), Omar (20) and Mustafá (23) make a living providing these, which they consider their trade secret. “The day we reveal how we get our intel is the day we are left without a business”. Edith Duncan, a British nurse volunteers, says they are the three most popular people in the camp “wherever you see a crowd of people, there you will find one of them” she says.
Hazan, eight years old, sets a few packs of cigarettes on top of a box “¡Marlboro! ¡Marlboro!” he shouts, selling cigarettes to help his older brother, age twelve, who also works. Hazan claims he will own a grocery store chain in Munich when he grows up.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Responsible Gun Ownership: 4 year Old shoots Mom

I’ll go right ahead and say it: I hope this woman makes full recovery and the entire family can get past this tragic incident.
Having said that, other things need to be said as well. Liking guns and being a strong gun advocate is not enough. An adult need to be a responsible gun owner in every sense of the world. I’m not talking about giving gun haters “ammo”. It’s not about that. It’s about being a responsible adult plain and simple and we must admit that most adults simply do not fit that category.
I don’t know exactly what happened with this woman and her son inside that car. What is clear though is that a 4 year old got hold of a loaded gun and that is simply not acceptable. Some have suggested that she kept her gun in her purse. If that’s the case then the negligence involved is considerable. She was shot through the seat while driving, meaning she was shot through the back and therefore that’s where the child was. A child that age always travels in a child seat of some kind, meaning he can’t move around freely or pick something that was dropped in the car’s floor. The gun was either left in the backseat by accident or kept in her purse in the back seat next to her child, both of which are unacceptable. Had the gun been with her or in the front seat next to her this wouldn’t have happened. Ladies, purses are for wallets, phones and maybe makeup but not guns. Guns go in waist holsters. In 2014 another mother was shot by her 2 year old in a Walmart when he got her gun out of her purse.
It’s not the first time that seemingly proficient and trained gun owners fail terribly at applying basic common sense. Not long ago a 9 year old child killed a firearms instructor when he switched the child’s Uzi to full auto. It’s hard enough for trained operators to keep all rounds on target in full auto in an SMG, you can imagine how hard that can be for a 9 year old child. Again, unimaginable negligence that ends up costing someone’s life.
The problem with gun ownership isn’t guns but the people owning them. You need a car license to drive a car. You don’t need one to buy a gun in America but as I’ve said many times, owning a gun without professional instruction is as irresponsible as getting behind the wheel of a car without having a clue as of how to drive it. Shooting some beer bottles with uncle Bob does not constitute professional firearms training. With so many people owning guns without having the slightest idea of how to safely handle one it’s amazing that there’s not even MORE accidental gun related deaths.
A gun is not a TOY. It’s a tool intended for killing people. Yes, that’s exactly what it is and it’s literally dead serious. You may use it for sports, for hunting, target practice, or for self-defense, doesn’t matter, but 99.9% of the firearms out there have a martial origin one way or another. People that fail to admit this or understand this are dangerous to themselves and others. In countries where laws force people to have a safe and take adequate firearms training accidents involving firearms are a fraction of what they are in America. Guns kept in their safe and away from a mentally unstable young man would have stopped Adam Lanza from murdering 28 people including 20 children. Those people are dead because of Nancy Lanza’s negligent gun ownership. You want to do something for the right to keep and bear arms? Have a gun safe and get professional training (and apply the gun safety rules learned!) even if you are not forced to do so by law, but still do so because it’s the safe, responsible thing to do.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

World’s Deadliest Animal (hint, it’s not humans)

So yes, it’s not humans but the not so humble mosquito. Malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, west Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis and Zika virus are just some of the deadly infections this little pest can transmit.
Ironically enough, during a large scale disaster where mosquitos are vectors of transmission, it is in larger urban areas where mosquito control efforts are more successful while rural and wilderness areas are much more exposed. This has historically been the case for Dengue fever across Latin America where the larger cities are kept under control through anti-mosquito campaigns, breeding water prevention and anti-mosquito fogging.
If you live in Southern USA, especially in rural areas, it makes sense to stock up on repellent in case of an outbreak. Surrounding your house with citronella plants is also a good, natural mosquito repellent to consider.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Survival Irony: Most Overlooked yet most likely to kill you

I’ve been in forum discussions (recently) where people get so worked up over which handgun caliber is best they literally can’t keep the debate civil. Articles and posts about gear are all over the place, I know I do my fair share of those as well. We talk so much about emergencies and out of the ordinary events we sometimes lose touch with reality and either neglect or completely forget about the undisputed top causes of early death such as heart disease.
I’ve written before about how important it is to keep a healthy diet, exercise and maintain a reasonable body weight. It sure isn’t always easy but it needs to be discussed and insisted upon more. It’s not zombies or Mad Max style raiders, its this stuff that is by far the thing most likely to leave your kids without a father or mother before their time.
So, now that I hopefully caught your attention, how’s your weight, and when was the last time you checked your blood pressure and cholesterol, let alone a complete blood test.

Today I got my results and fortunately they are very good. I did gain some weight recently which I need to lose ASAP (too much Spanish food since we moved here) but still everything came back within normal parameters and the cholesterol and triglyceride levels are low enough to place me in the “very low” risk of cardiovascular disease, so that’s good news.
Its not always easy and quite frankly its sometimes a PITA but this is important and needs to be talked about and taken care of. I’m not preaching here, I’m sure thinking about myself as well as I write this.
If discussions about calibers can end up in forum wars you can imagine what happens when someone speaks honestly and goes “Dude, you’re not big, you’re fat”. Fat has somehow become a politically incorrect word, yet given its link to cardiovascular disease it is, by far, the leading cause of death world wide. Survivalism is pointless if we only focus on the fun stuff and can’t be bothered with keeping it real and that means seriously working on the extremely high risk threats such as diseases involving poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Two new EDC lights from SureFire

SureFire is known as one of the most highly regarded brands in the tactical flashlight world. They are expensive but quality is outstanding. As good as their products are, many of Surefire products aren’t as exciting for flashlights fanatics, also known as flashaholics. There are several brands out there that are more affordable, offer good value and update their products more frequently to satisfy the demands of their lumen thirsty clients.
Surefire recently presented two new EDC lights that depart from their more classic line. Both are keychain lights, which is a category I’m always interested in. I firmly believe that what you have in your keychain is likely to be there when needed most, so I pay particular attention to that.
SureFire Titan Plus Ultra-Compact Dual-Output LED Keychain Light
The Surefire Titan Plus is the one that really caught my attention. I droll all over a powerful AAA keychain light and this one is currently the brightest at 300 lumens for high (300 lumens / 1 hour), medium (75lumens / 2 hours) and low (15 lumens / 7 hours). Like the Sidekick, it has a proprietary faceted reflector (MaxVision Beam™) which creates a broad, smooth beam.
Surefire Sidekick $78.99

The second one is a small keychain light called Surefire Sidekick. It has the form factor of a small square polymer remote control, multiple intensity outputs, Low (5 lumens / 45 hours), medium (60 lumens / 4 hours) and high (300 lumens / 1.25 hours). The nice thing about this light, besides its peculiar shape which departs from the traditional tubular form factors, is that that it uses a fixed battery rechargeable through a micro USB port. I favour replaceable batteries but I do like the micro USB recharging feature. Given how common these are I can see how someone would easily integrate this to their routine, recharging his EDC light just like they recharge their phone with no problem.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spain: 5 Things I love about living in Spain (and one I hate)

Winter in Spain...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The BEST Survival Tool… and the most overlooked.

Passports, Gun and Cash.
A recent article in CNN (World's best and worst passports revealed) reminded me of what I know to be one of the most powerful survival tools, maybe THE most powerful one besides your own body and mind: A Second Passport, especially one in a first world nation or EU.
But isn’t it food, water, guns, ammo, meds? Yes, they are all very important, essential even, but for a worst case scenario, for when you have to bug out and do so even out of the country due to pandemic, war, tyranny, then a second citizenship is without a doubt your most valuable tool, and that’s just one of the key advantages it has.
Many Americans could get EU citizenship through Ireland, Spain, Germany and Italy. If you have a grandparent from one of these countries, in general it costs very little money, just making a few calls and having patience.
There’s a reason why an EU passport costs millions of dollars. (I believe Malta still offers the cheapest one just under 2M) What are the advantages? Wealthy people from other nations find it to be a powerful tool for business and financial reasons, having assets and investments in countries that offer favourable conditions. That may not be of as much interest to you but there are other key advantages for the average Joe as well.
1)Healthcare. In Europe you’re entitled to it, for free. And it’s far better than most Americans think. Entitlement sounds bad until you’re dying and you don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to save your life, or your kids, or your grandkids. A plane ticket to an EU country where you have citizenship means you will get treated.
2)Education. How about studying in Europe for free or very cheap, a quarter or less of what it costs in USA? Again, your kids and grandkids will enjoy those same rights.
3) Refugee. If we can learn anything about the current refugee crisis is that it sucks to be one. With a second citizenship from a serious country you have an embassy, you have a country backing you and a place to go to… as a citizen. War, disasters of great magnitude of an authoritarian regime means you have somewhere to go to. It may seem unlikely, distant, but remember this is a right you can pass on down your family tree. Maybe is not your own, but your kids or your grandkids who you’re saving.
If you believe you can get a second citizenship, don’t even think about it just do it. Your kids, great grandkids or a family member further down the bloodline may thank you for it one day.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.