Reply: American tourist stabbed 10 times in La Boca, Buenos Aires

Is La Boca the same barrio where that one tourist with a GoPro got mugged while he kept saying “amigo?”-Joe

I think it was. Either way Buenos Aires and pretty much Argentina in general, it’s a dangerous place. What I mean by dangerous is not just “crime like everywhere else”. I’m talking people getting killed daily in the city and violent crime very much out of control. There’s currently problems now with armed left-wing gangs occupying land in Patagonia, a group called RAM. The police seem to be unable to stop them and it says a lot about the country when an armed terror organization is free to operate in plain view, yet the police does nothing.

.

“When travelling always dress way down the fashion ladder. Always use cheap baggage. Always wear layered clothing with fake stuff in the outer layer and real stuff closer to the body. A money belt with a few Benjamins in it is also good. Plus a photocopy of ones passport. “ -A

That’s good advice. Those money belts are priceless and work very well. If mugged just give up your wallet, make sure you don’t keep anything too valuable there. I’d keep my original passport in there, not a copy.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Silly gimmick or wise addition? : 10 uses for the EDC Prybar

I think it has a place, yes even these tiny ones that look like a joke.

The logic behind it?  I have a small, Pico prybar in my keychain for all those prying, poking or scrapping tasks where most people would usually end up using their blades, often breaking the tip in the process.

Small Swiss Army knife blades such as the Minichamp I keep in my keychain make poor prying tools so I use it exclusively for cutting. Here is where these tiny prybars come in handy. They are surprisingly study and practical in spite of their small size.

For years I kept a Boker Vox prybar. The Boker Vox is a nice tool but a tad big  for an already loaded up keychain. Today, I keep a Pico in my keychain. Its about the size of a small key anyway and has come in handy enough times to earn its place there.

You also have generic, affordable 3″ versions.

Like small P38 can openers, small prybars have a number of uses:

1) Prying of course. Any stuck drawer, box, etc.

2) Scrapping paint gun, anything you’d use your nails or some small scrapping tool for.

3) Cutting. I use mine frequently for opening boxes and packages, especially when in public and I don’t want to bring out a knife. I’ve sharpened it enough to open stuff but not cut without using force.

4) Screwdriver, works well as a big flat screwdriver.

5) Pulling nails. Yup, the tiny tool can do it with most nails you come across.

6) Opening paint cans and other sturdy lids. Works nice for this.

7) I’ve used it for scrapping stuff from my shoes. Little pebbles that get in there. Since its in the keychain already its convenient for this.

8) The V notch can be used for stripping wires.

9) The V notch or hole can be used for bending wire, even small nails.

10) Scratching and marking on both wood and metal.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

American tourist stabbed 10 times in La Boca, Buenos Aires

La Boca: el turista estadounidense asaltado recibió 10 puñaladas y está grave

American tourist Frank Joe Wolek (54) was stabbed 10 times this morning in La Boca, Buenos Aires.

He was attacked by 2 criminals while taking photographs. The camera was dropped and left in the crime scene. I can only assume the intention was to rob the camera. This would be very typical for the area, popular with both tourists and criminals preying on them. If the victim resisted and refused to give up the camera I can see how he could easily get stabbed over it.  A plain clothes police officer in the area confronted the criminals shooting one in the chest while the other managed to escape.

Both the victim and wounded criminal are in critical condition.

This is just a reminder for everyone planning on visiting Argentina or other countries with high levels of violent crime. People plan their trip to these kind of places and 90% of the time it all works out great. But sometimes it doesn’t.

With places like these you really have to know what you’re getting into. I know my country very well, better than any tourist, and I would never be caught in such an area with an expensive camera or cell phone. Tourists simply don’t know any better.

What’s even worse, they don’t know how to react. When unarmed and kept at knifepoint or gunpoint by two criminals you just give them the camera. They are not bluffing and its just not worth getting stabbed or shot over.

It is a rather natural reaction to fight back when people are getting mugged. You see it with women holding on to their purses as they get dragged by snatchers on motorcycles.

Lessons learned:

*If you’re planning on fighting, then do it right. Be armed and keep a constant state of awareness. Chances are doing it will dissuade a good number of potential attackers.

*Now if you’re caught off guard in some 3rd world country then your camera or wallet just isnt worth getting killed over. Give it up and carry on with your life.

*When going to countries that aren’t that safe, plan accordingly. Don’t take anything too fancy, especially cameras. Don’t try to be like the locals, just stick with your group and your guide when wandering around.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Schrade SCHF38 Frontier Knife: Great value knife for $30

The Schrade SCHF38 is a solid, full tang knife.

It has a sabre grind, quarter inch thick blade which lends itself nicely for tougher use such as batoning and chopping.

I believe that a survival knife should fall in that category of “sharpened prybar”, capable of cutting, chopping, prying, hammering, digging, or axing its way through anything on its way and this knife does that.

The blade is 5.8” long, but given the mass it has it’s a good chopper for its size.  On the other hand, with a fat blade like this you don’t have the finer edge you’d find on a thinner blade, so while it does cut it’s no carving knife. A bit of work reprofiling the bevel can certainly improve its performance though.
The blade is 1095 carbon steel and my sample was correctly heat treated without any visible chips or dents after batoning and chopping.

The tip of this knife is VERY strong.

The knife comes with basic but functional nylon sheath, a diamond sharpener and a rather nice quality ferro rod. Given the price, its surprising the amount of stuff you get for your money besides a sturdy blade made of quality carbon steel such as 1095, found in Becker and ESEE knives costing two or three times more.

Schrade SCHF38 Frontier Full Tang Drop Point Fixed Blade Knife

Schrade SCHF38 Frontier $30.97

The only con I can think of is the handle. Trying to please the horde of youtube commandos Schrade went nuts with jimping on this thing, using it both on the front and back of this knife’s handle. Jimping is… I don’t want to offend so lets leave it there.  If they had left it as is without the stupid jimping this knife would have been a 10/10 in the budget knife category.

The good news is that scales are easily removable and making your own scales capable of covering the jimping isnt that hard. I already ordered a couple micarta scales which I’ll be using on mine. I’ll post pics once its done. As it is, it’s still very much usable as a survival or emergency blade but I’d rather do without the jimping for extended use sessions without gloves.

I just checked and the SCHF 38 Frontier is currently selling for $30.97. That’s a steal and wouldn’t hesitate to order a couple to beat around or to include in survival kits.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Survival and Enjoying the little Things

So today my wife and I had been running a few errands. Since it was getting late we talked about going to Burger King and grabbing something to eat.  Our youngest son who was hanging out with us was very much ok with that. 99% of the time we cook and eat at home so fast food once a while wont kill us. Its fast, it’s convenient. Junk food none the less but as burgers go…meh.

But then I looked around and thought a bit better about it. No one was rushing us. No one was forcing me to go to a burger joint. In fact I had a much better view and a nice restaurant just a few steps away. I told my son “Say, how about some paella instead?”

So we traded the interior of a Burger King joint for this view:

And traded a burger and fries for this:

And we traded yet another soulless evening of mass produced industrial garbage for this:

And wrapped up a perfect day in front of the fireplace.

We ended up having a great time. What was a matter of just grabbing something to eat turned into a fantastic evening without even planning it.

Those of us with a strong survival mindset can focus too much on being efficient, preparing and being ready, we sometimes forget to stop for a minute, relax and enjoy. No need for anything special, maybe its just calming down for a few minutes and have a chat and a cup of coffee.

So as Zombieland Rule #32 says– Enjoy the Little Things

Have a great weekend.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

70 years isolated and living off the land

Very interesting documentary. Escaping communism, the Lykov family settled in the middle of nowhere in Taiga, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement.  Agafia Lykova was born there in isolation with her family. She lived her entire life there. Now 70 years old, she’s the only survivor of the family.

It’s very interesting to see how such conditions affect a person. The survival and preparedness community often fantasizes about such things, romanticising what is in fact a very harsh, in many ways a very sad way of living. Being ostracized, isolated all the time, it clearly has an impact on a person.

Car Emergency Kit: Setup and Content Details

Car kt content

I was recently asked to show my Car survival kit.

This gave me the chance to go through everything I keep there and sort a few things out.

Its amazing how in what it seems to be no time food and meds expire, batteries go bad, water bottles get used up and the spare clothes no longer fit the kids!

I even managed to misplace and lose some of the stuff along the way. No doubt brought out to be used at some point only to be left God knows where.

Your Car survival/emergency Kit works as a system, of which your actual vehicle is the foundation. I believe that your daily driver is your “first responder” when there’s an emergency so it’s much more important to have that vehicle ready than to have a loaded up off-road truck at home while driving a compact sedan with just a spare tyre and little else for emergencies.

The car must be very reliable, well serviced, large enough yet practical enough. Have 4×4 or AWD. Not necessarily an off road truck, but capable of dealing with some snow, mud or doing some light off roading if the situation requires it.

In my case I believe the Honda CRV balances these very well. Being diesel it also means I get considerably more miles per gallon of fuel. It’s also safer in case of an accident, diesel stores better than gas and diesel cars have roughly twice as much torque compared to similar cylinder engines.

I would also like to point out that both the vehicle and kit depend on the specific location, climatic conditions and family group. Living in the middle of nowhere in Alaska probably means your daily driver needs to be a 4×4 truck, in cold climates the spare clothes would be more winter oriented or if you have a baby in the family you’ll need a baby bag.

I used the list from my book “Bugging Out and Relocating” as a guide to make sure I was covering the important points.

Here’s the list:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Food (I’ll be including some of the long term rations)

SOS Food Labs, Inc. Rations EMERGENCY 3 Day/ 72 Hour Package with 5 Year Shelf Life $8.95

  • Clothes and footwear
  • Water
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • AM/FM radio
  • Tool Kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct Tape
  • Spare Tire, Lug Wrench and Jack
  • Jumper Cables
  • 50 Feet of 550 Paracord
  • Tow Strap
  • Lighter
  • Work Gloves
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Wipes
  • Sunblock
  • Bug Repellent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Shovel (managed to lose my shovel, so I bought a folding E-tool to replace it)

Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade, Serrated Edge $44

  • Ice Scrapper
  • Tire inflator
  • Emergency Flat Tire Repair
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Reflective vest
  • Reflective triangle or road flares

I also included a Cold Steel Kukri machete and keep a can of Sabre Red OC spray on the driver’s door storage compartment for quick access.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

 

Black Friday Week: Deal Alert on Amazon

Some nice discounts and Deal of the Day in Amazon you may want check out. Stock runs out pretty fast and there’s more deals showing up so look around. If there’s something you like, grab it while you can.

Gooloo 800A Peak 18000mAh Car Jump Starter (Up to 7.0L Gas or 5.5L Diesel Engine) Portable Power Pack Auto Battery Booster Phone Charger Built-in LED Light and Smart Protection  $52.49

Price is good? Check. Good reviews? Check. Good idea to keep one of these in your car, especially in colder climates.

Fairwin Tactical Belt, Military Style Webbing Riggers Web Belt with Heavy-Duty Quick-Release Metal Buckle $18.99

Tactical Riggers belt with Cobra belt similar to the one I wear every day. This is what you want in a gun belt for CCW and the price is great.

SureFire 6PX Series LED Flashlights $51.88

 

Surefire going for almost half the usual retail price.

LG Electronics OLED65C7P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2017 Model) $2,696.99

I’d tell you how much I paid for this same TV just a few months ago… yeah, should have waited until Black Friday.

Anyway, 65” OLED from LG. I did a ton of research before buying and it’s simply the best TV currently in the market. Doesn’t get any better and yes, it is awesome. Totally worth it if you can afford it.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

 

Reality Check: 5 common problems in your survival Kits

I was recently asked about my car kit so I took the opportunity to go through it.

What I found brought me very little peace of mind, the opposite of what preparedness is supposed to do.

After several months of neglect, my car kit was a mess and a reality check is in order.

Here are five of the most common fails found in kits.

1)Water

I had used up most of the water in my car for different reasons and only had one 2 liter bottle left in it. Hardly enough for my family if stranded in summer out in the road.

Water is so important, you end up using it up often. The problem is that sometimes we forget to resupply what we use.

2)Expired Food

While water gets used up, with food the problem I often come across as years go by is that is simply expires. Some types of food and some packaging is better than others but it’s still important to check. I just threw away several energy bars that came in individual mylar pouches. Mylar works well but it isnt magic and food can still go bad in them. Check the expiration date and replace as needed. Its cheap enough insurance.

3)Clothes

Spare clothes for each family member are an important part of the kit. For me it has saved the day more than once.

The problem is, kids grow and clothes don’t fit them anymore. I just realized we need to replace the ones we have for some that actually fit if/when needed.

4)Medical supplies

Just like food, your meds expire too. Check those vehicle first aid kits and make sure they haven’t expired. This goes for other supplies that have an expiration date or other items that require regular check, such as batteries or your fire extinguisher. Make sure it still has enough pressure.

5)Missing stuff

Oh, it sure is useful to keep a kit with gear handy. Now, you need to make sure you return everything back to its place because if not you end up with a kit missing many vital components. I just checked and cant seem to find the small folding shovel in my car kit. Who knows where that thing is now? I’m sure there are other items missing too.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”