Thursday, January 31, 2019

Polar Vortex: America is Freezing!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Perfect Survival Rifle: Marlin Papoose SS

A little History First

The idea of a “Survival Rifle” is nothing new. In fact one of the first survival rifles to be issued by the US military was the “M4 Survival Rifle”, produced in 1949 after WWII. This was a bolt action 22 hornet with a 4 round magazine. It had a 14 inch detachable barrel and a telescoping wire stock. This gun was not intended for combat, but rather as a survival weapon for downed aircrew to forage wild game for food.

During the 1950s, the M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon supplanted the M4 Survival Rifle.

This was a double barrel rifle chambered in 22 hornet and 410. This 14” barrel combination gun had a large trigger lever so as to be used with cold weather gloves. This was important given the area of operation for pilots during the Cold War. This survival gun design is still popular today.
The M4 and M6 were intended to be replaced by the ArmaLite AR-5, a 5-shot bolt action 22 hornet.

The AR-5 was adopted, but soon cancelled along with the cancellation of the XB-70 fleet it was intended to be issued to. Armalite had made a name for itself though, and in 1959 the U.S. Air Force adopted the “ArmaLite AR-7 Explorer” as a pilot and aircrew survival weapon. The AR-7 was a takedown semiautomatic 22LR developed from the AR-5.


Marlin Papoose: A Modern "classic" Survival Gun

The Marlin 70P tkaedown breaks down into a compact arrange

High velocity, Standard and subsonic, the Papoose runs them all without any issues

Sometimes still called a survival rifle or bug out rifle, in the civilian world these would be more accurately described today as takedown utility rifle; meaning a handy, light weight and compact rifle that once assembled can be used for a number or roles from hunting to plinking or pest control, just to mention some. They make a great choice for a pilot that may end up stranded in the wild, both civilian and military, but also for truck drivers, park rangers or to keep in a boat as well as hikers that want to carry as light a rifle as possible.

The Marlin Papoose 70P is one of the most popular guns in this category. Based on the Marlin 60/65, at a time the most prolific 22LR carbine in the world.

The gun isnt just light and portable, but also just a good reliable 22LR. As a “work gun”, meaning dispatching animals, shooting predators, taking care of pests and even sending some poachers away, the gun is very well suited for all of that, all while also being a takedown gun.


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, January 29, 2019

AK47 and AR15 Vs Burglars: Rifles Used for Home Defense

 Last week a homeowner in Huston, Texas, used an AK47 to fight off 5 armed home invaders, killing 3 and wounding the other two in the process.


An Oklahoma man killed 3 home invaders a couple years ago with his AR. There’s been several other incidents where AR15 have been used as well.


 These incidents where ARs, AKs or other rifles are used just go to show how superior firepower can be a serious force multiplier in these events. It is still a big mistake to overlook a survivalists main weapon, his handgun. People that do so will find themselves without a handgun OR an rifle when they need it the most.

 That doesn’t change the fact that, whenever possible, more bullets and/or more powder pushing them is preferable. You can get to a rifle? By all means use it. Same for body armor.

An auto shotgun would also be a great choice so as to fill up a hallway with lead when several intruders break in. An auto shotgun loaded up with buckshot, putting down nine balls of lead at a time with each trigger pull would be both devastating at close range and safer than raining .30 caliber love all over the neighbourhood. Either way, rifle or shotgun, using the best firepower at your disposal makes a lot of sense.


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”

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

“Bikini Hiker” Freezes to Death

Wu's followers have left messages of condolence on her final Facebook post.

Yeaahhhh.. not a good idea.

GiGi Wu was known as the “Bikini Hiker”. Famous for… well, hiking in a bikini and posting it on social media.

Which is fine. For all I care you can hike butt naked (if your local laws allow public nudity, that is).
The thing is, its just a pretty stupid idea and nature has no sense of humor.
So this last Saturday “Bikini Hiker” went solo hiking in Taiwan's Jupen Mountain, fell into a gorge 30 meters deep where she was injured but able to use her phone to call for help. A Chopper was sent but unable to land on location. A team on foot found her body the next day, cause of death seems to be hypothermia.

Don’t be fooled though, this 36 year old woman was an experienced hiker and we still don’t know the details regarding how she died. If they are speculating hypothermia though, its probably because she was visibly poorly dressed.

The lessons here is, obviously enough, when hiking outdoors, adequate clothing is essential and can in fact save your life. Hiking solo, while fun and some people prefer it, it also involves an additional risk. Don’t make it even worse by making an obvious, ridiculously poor decision such as hiking solo and doing so practically naked. Take adequate clothing (obviously) and footwear, spare food and water, a small survival kit, and these days an additional battery bank for your phone is a must have.
Also, just as important as having the right gear, let people know where you’re going and when you are expecting to be back.  Email a map with your intended route to a trusted family member or friend, detailing your schedule and when you’ll be calling in and who to contact if there’s no news of you by a given deadline.
Stay 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”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Q&A: The situation in Europe, migrants/Invaders and right to own guns

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Charger and Battery Setup for Preppers

Links to some of the stuff shown in the video:
ThruNite MCC-4S Universal Charger
Zebralight H53w AA
Klarus Mini One 130 Lumens
NITECORE 14500 Built-in Micro-USB Rechargeable

Monday, January 14, 2019

Reply: How much cash for emergencies? Denominations?

Anonymous said...
   Have made it through some serious hurricanes and floods the last 25 years in South Louisiana, and the one thing I've learned was not only to keep cash where I could get to it, along with keeping as much of it as possible in small bills. Because the prices tend to go crazy after a weather event here, no one has change, or wants to give it to you. Also because soon as the electricity goes out, there are no working ATM machines for cash. We were 75 miles from New Orleans for Katrina and didn't have almost any rain at all, but we had strong winds that took down hundreds of trees, so there was no electricity for weeks. Which means no banks were open and no ATM's were working, nor gas station machines. Hurricane Gustave was much worse for us, as was the more recent flood of 2016. We lost the electricity after Gustave for 9 months at my place, although some neighborhoods came back at 6-8 weeks. It was 95 degrees F. during this time. The state estimated one million trees were lost in this area. Credit cards are not useful in these situations until after the events when there is substantial infrastructural improvements and repairs. And lastly, no cell towers means almost no communication (wind).

Anonymous said...
    You must have small denominations, because no one will give you change. This from 25 yrs. of hurricanes in South Louisiana. No electric means no banks, no ATMS, no credit cards can be used.

J said...
Seems to me that smaller denominations would be more flexible. I don't want to have to fork over a hundred bucks for a $25 item that I need. A thousand dollars in twenties might not be good for a wallet, but it doesn't take up that much space in a larger bag or in the safe.


Thanks guys for all the thoughtful input. Its true, in hurricane country you will come across the “got no change” types. Keep in mind some of these people may be trying to take advantage of the situation and pocket the change themselves. If they are taking “cash only” then by definition they have been taking cash and have a pile of smaller denomination bills. This is pretty common in Argentina where cash is predominant for daily transactions. Usually it’s the taxi drivers that try to pull the “Ive got no change” thing so that you round it up in their favour.

Still, great point. Doesn’t hurt to have more small denomination bills.
One little tip I do that has already come in handy a couple times: I keep the ashtray cup thing in my car full of coins, about 20 or 30 bucks worth of it.  This always comes in handy. I also placed a couple 50 bills in there, lined on the inside of the cup covered by the coins. Its not visible unless you dig around in there. I already found myself grabbing a bill and avoiding having to drop by the ATM.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Glock makes the “Perfect” knife: 12 Reasons Why

Ha! Glock Perfection, yeah right.

Sure, nothing is perfect, but let me know of any other auto pistol that combines durability, reliability, simplicity of use, accuracy, ammo capacity, parts availability, ease of repair, availability of accessories and the list goes own. Simply no other gun scores so well in so many of them and that’s why the Glock 17 is as popular as it is.

Something similar happens with the Glock knife.
It’s a cheap, ugly, light little thing, but when you look at what its supposed to be used for and how well it scores in all categories its easy to point out the Glock knife may just be the Glock of the knife world.

1) Cutting ability. A knife that doesn’t cut isnt much of a knife, is it? Well, we all know that sometimes knives come with a poor edge, in some cases rather expensive knives are delivered with an edge so poor it will barely half cut, half tear through paper across most of the edge. I know for a fact that the Glock knife was at times delivered poorly sharpened. Current ones though they are either sharp or shaving sharp, in either case well within what you would expect in a utility/survival knife.

2)Fit and Finish. The knife is on the low budget side of things no doubt, but its well made, correct bevels, quality plastic injection, steel finish and overall a high quality product manufactured in Austria. For such a low cost knife, you get a lot of bang per buck.

3)Toughness. A knife is supposed to be a cutting tool but a survival/utility knife is meant to be more. If needed, it must also be a hammer, a pry bar, scrapper, axe, shovel or whatever else you need it to be. No, it wont do any of those things “well”, but when you have no other choice it should hold up to that kind of abuse. The Glock knife does that.

4)Blade geometry. Not much innovation here. It’s a typical fighting knife bayonet shaped blade, but the narrow blade, with the strong tip will not just stab well and perform as a fighting knife, it also performs as a general utility tool. As long as its sharp it will cut anything that needs cutting and the thick, 6,5” blade will hold its own when battoning wood.
Glock KB17281 81 Field Knife
Glock Perfection OEM Fixed Straight Blade Field Knife $32.95
5)Steel quality. 1095 carbon steel is good stuff. Some of the better utility knives use it and for good reason. It will rust so there’s that, but it also holds an edge well and sharpens easily.

6)Heat treatment. The Glock knife is hardened to 55HRC. While many high end knives are expected to be 60HRC or harder, the truth is that the benefits of such hardness aren’t worth the loss of toughness and these knives will break when abused. On the other hand the Glock knife can be abused, bent, used as a chisel and for smashing concrete blocks and just take the beating that would destroy supposedly better 60 HRC knives.

7)Blade Finish. The smooth electrophoretic black coating protects the blade and reduces reflection.

8)Balance. The blade has a partial, narrow tang. Usually this is a rather bad, fragile tang compared to a full tang fixed knife but not in this case, not with a good bit of Glock plastic around said tang. The attachment is in fact so strong, the blade will break way before you manage to break that polymer handle. Thanks to the short narrow tang, the knife is perfectly balanced in the cross guard. With a lower grip, it allows for acceptable chopping given the blade size and weight. The knife was also designed as a throwing knife and it does very nicely as such.

9)Handle. The Polymer handle is not only as tough as they come, its also has a classic, proven shape design. It is comfortable for most hands and allows for good retention.

10)Sheath. One of the strongest points the Glock knife had going for it. Entirely made out of polymer, fully ambidextrous, the sheath is classic Glock minimalistic design. It has a belt loop that first large belts and the sheath itself can get tucked in molle, either a vest or backpack.The retention lever keeps it in place and makes it almost impossible to get the knife out by another person by accident/surprise.

11)Weight. A bit over 7 ounces, the knife is one of the lightest knives around, especially for a tough, 6,5 inch blade. Ideal for soldiers, contractors, but also for survival and bugout kits as well as camping, backpacking or as a general use knife around the house, car or tool box.

12)Price. For an extremely well designed and manufactured knife made in Austria, the price is very low. Around 30 bucks or so, its worth getting spares.

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, January 8, 2019

How much cash for emergencies? Denominations?

Hope all is well.  When putting cash back for bad times is there a percentage or mix of denominations that works best?  I am sure anything is better than nothing but is it better to have a large sum in big bills back, or a mix?  I would imagine if inflation hits smaller denominations are worthless?

Hello A-

Thank you for your email.
Cash is one of those things you just don’t see people talking about that much in our community. Sure, someone mentions having a few 10s or 20s, maybe a few coins for machines and such but rarely much more than that.

Over the years, whenever cash was brought up, I get a few standard replies.
“Cash? That becomes paper after SHTF, look at Weimar republic”
Yes… kind of. Weimar was a very specific case and even if something that bad happens cash won’t lose its value overnight. I’ve seen my cash lose about 60% of its value in a matter of days… cash was STILL valuable, especially if you had either the green or European kind.
“I don’t focus on cash, I’m all about the skills, hunting and growing food. I wouldn’t change a single chicken for a bar of gold or a million bucks… cuz I cant eat gold or cash”

Ok.. first, that’s stupid. Even if you don’t care about cash or gold, a bar of the stuff of any size is a lot of money that you can easily sell/trade so it would idiotic not to take advantage of such an opportunity. Second, its not about you. Even if you don’t want to trade a pound of rice for a pound of gold (or cash), there’s millions of people out there that will, and that’s what really matters, the so called market for said product.

So yes cash is important, clearly one of the most useful tools during real world emergencies and you want to have a good bit of it at hand. A month worth of expenses is a good start.

As for denominations, it depends on where you keep said cash. In my car I keep the ashtray/cup thing ( I don’t smoke) with about 30 bucks in coins. I pick change from there all the time and throw it back in when given to me. In my wallet I keep maybe a couple 10s, a couple 20s and then about 300-400 in 50’s for emergencies. How much emergency cash to keep on you at all times? Depends on your situation. I would suggest enough for a couple nights in a hotel if needed, enough for a few bus/train/plane tickets somewhere safe.

In a pack you may want to have 100 bucks in 10 or 20, but any more cash you may go with 50s or 100s because it probably means you’re buying something more expensive, maybe getting a room, renting a car, buying a ticket for traveling and so on.

As for the cash you keep at home for emergencies 100s bills are fine. Some change makes sense but I don’t see the point in having two thousand bucks in 10s just in case you need that much change. Don’t forget also about precious metals, silver and gold!
Best of luck!


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, January 3, 2019

Life lesson from my Son

Just moments ago, right before going to bed, my son told my wife:

"Life puts obstacles in front of you but limits, those are self-imposed."

She asked "Where did you learn that?"

"I dont know. I think I read it somewhere".

He's 10.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Review: Hiking with Salomon Quest Forces Boots

Hope everyone had a great New Year.

Today I took my Salomon Quest Forces on a little hike. About 20 km, 3200 feet

Cant ask for better weather

Not much of challenge but I wanted to soften them a bit. I have worn them several times before but not much hiking. I mostly use either my grey Salomon Quests 4D GTX or my Salomon Ultra 2. These last ones are my go to shoes most of the time given the warmer climate. My grey Quests are already nicely broken in and just feel more comfortable. The Forces one are still a tad stiff.

So how did they do? Well, as expected they did great. Didn’t get to soften them much but it’s a boot that doesn’t need it much anyway because they are very comfortable from the go.

The trail was a rocky mountain trail. Lots of loose pebbles and rocks, at times covering larger rock surfaces which felt like walking on marbles. I was careful not to fall and after kicking the rocks out of the way the boots provided sure footing on the smooth rock surface. Some people don’t believe boots provide ankle support. I don’t agree with them at all. Many times I stepped in the most messed up angle and I could feel the boot help improve the support in those instances.

Pretty rocky trail though

What can I say that most people don’t already know about the legendary Quest boots?  They are just high quality, premium footwear. Not cheap but worth every cent. Comfortable, solid, don’t slip where other shoes do. The anti-debris mesh actually worked for me today. I like the locking eyelets a lot too. The toe cap and heel cap are an appreciated feature that keeps your boot from tearing against the rocks. The Goretex didn’t feel particularly hot, but of course you want to take breaks, take your boots and socks off and let them dry when taking a break on the trail.
Image result for amazon salomon quest forces navajo
Love them. If you’re looking for a great boot that is light, comfortable yet tough, and don’t look half bad with a pair of jeans,  give the Salomon Quest 4D GTX a good long look.


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”