My Current EDC

So this is what I’ve been carrying lately. Truth be told the principle has been the same for me for many years, updating and upgrading as needed or when something worth it comes along.


Waterproof, dustproof, nice 2:1 screen, great camera and well placed fingerprint. Does everything an iphone does and then a lot more, for half the price.

Leatherman Charge tti

Mi number one tool, the one I’d never want to be left without. To be honest it can double as a pocket knife, but its just so convenient and so handy when SHTF, you gotta have one.


Well made, tough, excellent steel Emerson design with a self-deploy wave feature.

Klarus Mi7 titanium

New to me but liking it a lot. Bright AA that can run 14500 li-ions and go up to 700 lumens. It has moonlight mode too which is the one I use the most. Strobe, SOS, battery indicator, and one little trick, at least in mine AAA works as well. I went with titanium because it just looks better and I do use and carry my EDC daily. Titanium holds on and looks much better over the years.

Klarus Mini One titanium

Fancy keychain light. 120 lumens and can be recharged via micro USB.

Casio Protrek PRG250T

Solar, titanium, barometer, compass, altimeter, best watch I ever had and I’ll take it over smart watches that need daily or weekly charging any day of the week.

Wiley Valor

I’ve been using Wiley for many years and recently started using these. If you can, get the polarized version. They are worth the small price difference.

Zippo Crusade Victory

“Deus Vult!”

5 Best Small Knives for Survival & Self-defense?

Hi Fernando!

I found your website a couple of days ago, but I already like it very

much. I also signed up on your youtube channel, but I have a question

I hope you will be able to answer. I live in Hungary, where the legal

size of a knife is if the blade and the cutting edge is maximum 8 cm

long unless you can prove it you need longer knife, like fishing,

hunting, hiking. I am looking for a fixed blade knife for EDC,

defence, and survival.

Thank you for help!




Hello Attila.

You have some good options even with an 8cm blade limit.

These are the knives that by far I recommend the most:

CRKT Minimalist $25.44

Neck knives are surprisingly handy and this is one of the best options. The grip allows for good control and retention. This is a knife that is well suited for everyday utility tasks and you could use it for defense as well.

KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Straight Edge Knife

Kbar TDI $36.36

This is one of the best defensive use knives within your blade length limitations. It is surprisingly devastating in spite of the short blade length. It allows great blade retention and the angle of the blade allows you to stab with basic punching strikes. This isn’t as practical as a utility knife although it could be used of course for cutting, but it is clearly intended for a defensive role.

Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight Blade Combination Edge Knife, Black

 Spyderco Delica 4 $84.47

The Delica 4 has a 7.3cm (2.87″)  blade, well within your maximum allowed blade length.

I know you said fixed blade but in my experience people eventually get tired of fixed blades and start leaving them behind. A small folder in your pocket when you need it is infinitely better than the fixed blade knife you left home.

The Spyderco Delica4 is very well made, uses quality VG10 steel, its surprisingly tough for its size and often chosen by experts that want or need a minimalist folding knife. The pocket clip can go in four positions, tip up or down, left or right pocket. For a small EDC folder, this is as good as it gets. If you want an assisted opening afordable folder, consider the Kershaw Cryo.

Don’t forget to get some basic knife fighting training. If you already bought my first book “The Modern Survival Manual” check the chapter on knives where I explain how to use one for self-defense. Knowing how and where to strike turns a knife into a devastating weapon in close quarters, especially at contact range.

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”

School Shooting in Florida: Why yet another one?

Image result for Nikolas Cruz father died

So yet again we have another school shooting.

What can we say that hasn’t been said before. I could post again about tips and tactics to be used during an active shooter scenario. Hide, barricade, fight. Heck, learning disarming moves and practice them. Trying to surprise the shooter around a corner or when going through a doorway. All last resort, desperate moves when facing an insane armed attacker while being unarmed yourself.

At the end of the day there’s nothing a kid can do if while focusing on algebra someone opens a door, point an AR15 to his face and pulls the trigger.

So I thought this time we could do something different and ask ourselves, why? Why do these things happen? And no, this isn’t Liberal Survivalist, we know it’s not the guns.

America has had modern guns for a number of years and yet you didn’t have kids stealing dad’s Thompson submachine gun and rain .45 slugs down the cafeteria. Mass shootings have happened before in America, but never with the frequency and viciousness we’ve seen in the last few decades. Other countries have more than enough guns and these things don’t happen, or at least don’t happen often. They are rare, once in a decade kind of event. There’s plenty of South American hell holes flooded with illegal guns, machineguns and grenades and they STILL don’t have these problems.

So if it’s not guns, then what is it?

So what’s the difference between America and other somewhat similar developed countries with a high number of guns per capita? What’s the difference between America today and America from a few years back when kids kept their gun in their truck and went hunting after school without ever worrying about some lunatic opening fire.

Mental illness would be one of the things you think of first, and there certainly is something very much wrong in a mass murderer’s head. The healthcare situation in America is certainly fragile, especially mong poor so there’s something there for sure.

Also, we look at the families of these kids, or even the adults. They are dysfunctional, messed up families. Divorced, missing a parent, abused children. There’s always something wrong, even if in some cases you have to scratch the surface a bit to find that the picture perfect wasn’t quite so.

But you know what, there’s plenty of messed up families in other countries and they have guns and these things still don’t happen (as in not happen with the frequency seen in US).

I think we have to go even deeper and here is where the case of Latin America helps clear things up. There’s guns in Latin America, more than enough for anyone that wants to get one. There’s millions of illegal guns, meaning its even easier for criminals or unstable people that just want to get hold of one. In fact I remember well that in Argentina kids from poor neighbourhoods would often carry guns and knives to school. Every now and then there would be an accident, someone wounded, but it was always due to negligent handling of the gun (showing it to a friend, accidentally firing it).It just doesn’t happen with any given frequency that a kid goes nuts and starts shooting down fellow students, even when hundreds or more of them pack heat to school! But if Latin America has guns (mostly illegal ones) and has its fair share of broken families, then what is it, what’s different?

I think that the problem is within the family, as often seen in these mass shootings, but also within society itself. The family is the building block of society, when that starts failing everything else falls apart. When you have broken families you have a hard time building a healthy society. But there’s a point where broken or dysfunctional families becomes the norm, when society itself doesn’t care anymore. Then that’s when you have this kind of large scale social problems. Even with families where parents aren’t divorced you have too many people that are cold, distant, dysfunctional parenting and simply don’t give a damn.

For all my criticism to Argentina and Latin American countries in general, and by God I doubt many people have been as critical as I’ve been about them, I do admit that family and friendship are still very much important. In Latin America, family and friends MATTER. It’s not ok, it’s not normal not to have family or friends. I’ll give you an example, which I suppose is hard for my American friends to understand:

American Joe and Marry have two kids. They are divorced, they both work. The extended family? May as well not exist. The kids are excess baggage and no one spends much time with them and they may end up shooting a school one day.

Latin America Maria and Jose are divorced too. They also have two kids, work and spend a lot of time away from home… but they do make time for the kids when around and don’t escape being with them. They spend weekends with them. The extended family, grandparents, uncles, cousins, they are all very much involved with one another. Even if Jose becomes a violent drunk, a terrible parent, but someone in the family will care for the kids. Maybe an uncle or grandparent but within the fabric of society itself it is understood that family, friends, people in general, matter.

I think that’s what’s been lost lately in American society. And I think it wasn’t always like that, that at some point for some reason, the idea of not only family, but of relationships with people in general just wasn’t important any more. Maybe it has something to do with excessive mass consumption, with more “stuff” mattering more than human relationships. Maybe it’s that instant gratification “fix”, the idea of you and you alone being the most important person in the world and the one that matters the most because you’re a super special one of a kind snowflake and what you want must always come first.  In Latin America culture it is understood that while you’re special and unique as well, it is still very much important that you are part of something else. Either your family, your group of friends or even your neighbourhood. But you are part of something bigger than you at a social level.

This kid in Florida that killed 17 people, Nikolas Cruz, he’s a 19 year old kid that lost both parents, lost his dad when he was 6 and his mother tried to give him away to their neighbours. They didn’t want him either. He was held back in school twice, with obvious mental problems.

This 19 year old didn’t just turn into a mass shooter from one day to the next. There was something very much wrong with him when he was 15. There was something wrong with him when he was 10 too. You don’t just wake up one day and do something like this. You have to be VERY disturbed, for a VERY long time. This kid grew up knowing he was scum, that he had nothing and no one wanted him. There was no uncle, no grandparent, not even a neighbour or a distant family member or friend that took him under their wing while he still had a chance to become something else other than the monster he is today.


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”

Venezuelan Refugees Mass exodus from ‘Mad Max violence’

These incredible images show the thousands of desperate Venezuelans trying to flee the crisis-hit country by pouring into neighbouring Colombia

We already know the situation in Venezuela is bad to say the least but it is now reaching what truckers call “Mad Max” violence. Trucks with food are being attacked on the road before they reach the stores. Cars with armed, desperate people attack and close around the trucks like “wild animals”. What are these people stealing? Potatoes, sugar and milk, basically any kind of food.
The situation has been critical for a long time and people are now just desperate, escaping the country along the borders any way the can, forcing the countries next to Venezuela to tighten the border controls. Over 2 million have already escaped the country.
In a desperate attempt to keep people from leaving, the Venezuela government is making it increasingly difficult for people to get their passport. They claim lack of paper and other nonsense. The truth is that a passport can go up to 6,000 USD. Given the out of control inflation, this is something most Venezuelans don’t earn in years.

The INCH bag list for your average Venezuelan?


2)Money (USD or Euros)

3)A place to go to.

What else would you wish you had if you were stuck in Venezuela? maybe trying to escape?

I know we have readers here from Venezuela. Please feel free to leave your comments below.


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”


South African Crime Documentary


I saw these videos on South African crime on Lauren Southerns YouTube

channel and remembered that you did some post about this very thing. I

placed a your link in her comment section and thought you may want to

see the documentary she is doing on South African crime. I have been

watching her content for a while now. She has good content and a good

head on her shoulders, like yourself. It is tragic that this is not

reported in international news more. Thanks for all your good work,

Thank P, those are worth watching.

It actually remind me of Argentina a lot. Driving by and seeing all houses with reinforced doors + bars on every single window and gates all over the place. Many have electrified fences as well. On poor neighbourhoods you see barb wire, broken bottles on the top of walls. Gated communities with heavy private security, neighbours hiring their own security, or in some cases organizing themselves.

These are the solutions people just try to come up with when the government fails and people have to fend for themselves. Out in the country its hardly better with people getting killed like we see in those clips.
I had the pleasure of meeting some young South African expats many years ago. They were young people like myself back then and they were simply fed up and looking to leave SA. They didn’t want to live their lives like that and I can fully understand that.

Finally, something interesting said in one of the videos, about your life being spent “indoors” when crime is that bad. Again, reminds me of Argentina. You rush from one house to another, or to a mall or gated community with security, always worrying about being safe.  You’re living in South Africa (or South America) but the time you spend doing outdoors stuff is seriously restricted by how dangerous it is.


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”

Mom shoots intruder: Is a 6 shot revolver enough?

The clip below is about a mom that hid in the attic with her 9 year or twins as an ex convict broke into their home.

In the dramatic audio we hear the husband instruct his wife to shoot as he taught her. The woman shoots the intruder as he enters the attic, hitting him 5 times in the face and neck with her 38 special revolver. The intruder escapes, goes back to his vehicle and crashes near by due to blood loss. He is captured by the authorities and expected to survive.

One of the most common discussions among firearms enthusiasts regarding self-defense is how many rounds do you need and what caliber should it be.

This story is in fact a great piece to analyze and explain what happens in real life.

Was the 38 revolver enough?


Enough to dissuade the intruder? Yes it was. It saved the woman’s life because five of those six shots made the bad buy change his mind. But it did not stop him. The man was still able to exit the house and drive. Had he been armed or more determined to cause harm he might have been able to do so.

We often hear that six rounds is more than enough because the average gunfight is 2-3 rounds….

Well, no. Those statistics often include everything from homicides to suicides and certainly are a poor representation of what actually happens during violent confrontations, even more so when it involves multiple attackers.

You see, this woman was effectively out of ammunition in this situation. She shot all 6 rounds in her revolver.  If there had been another attack with the will to fight, she would have been unarmed. In fact she didn’t have enough ammo left to effectively stop the one intruder she did shoot 5 times already. Sometimes things work out, but sometimes they don’t and we can’t plan on being lucky.

Was 38 enough? 5 shots in the face and neck is more than what most shooters can hope for in a gunfight. Clearly none of them were direct hits in critical parts of the anatomy but it is safe to say that a more powerful round (or maybe better 38 ammo) would have performed better. 357 magnum rates considerably better than 38 regarding one shot stops. The recoil is also more powerful and not everyone is comfortable with it.

A revolver is an excellent choice for shooters than won’t be training much and may get confused with the somewhat more intricate manual of arms of auto pistols. 38 special will work within its limitations (and it certainly did in this case) but 357 magnum is preferable if at all possible. Keep in mind that a person that isn’t comfortable with the blast and recoil of a magnum may hardly notice any of it under stress during a confrontation, even if back at the range it was more of a problem.

My advice still remains the same. For anyone that will put into it the necessary training to be proficient with a firearm, take a defensive shooting class and practice with certain frequency then a Glock in 9mm (or bigger) loaded with good ammo is certainly the way to go. For the person that wont go beyond the basic firearms safety handling, then a revolver is more simple to use, less prone to confusion when handled under stress and it is still far better than being unarmed.


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”

My favorite: Easy Improvised Fire Starter

Funny thing is, I use this fire starter all the time yet never thought about bringing it up here. I suppose it’s so simple and obvious I thought everyone did it (or some variation) but apparently that’s not the case.

This is by far the most common fire starter I use. I have more commercial stuff for kits but for a BBQ or to start a fire around home, start the fireplace or during a picnic this is what I do. Whenever there’s a BBQ party this is very convenient because the materials needed are already handy. People often act completely surprised as if you’re McGyver or something.

I bet there’s several variations but what I do is press one paper napkin into a ball and wrap it with the other, making somewhat of a cup.

Then I simply pour some vegetable oil inside. The paper ball absorbs most of the oil and the paper napkin acting as a cup keeps it from pouring out.

Place it in the fireplace or grill with the wood piled around it and light it up.

That’s it. It burns for a good few minutes, the more oil it has the more it burns, and it burns very hot too.

Give it a try next time!


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”

WROL in Mexico: What it’s like when people self-govern

José Santos at a checkpoint near the entrance to Tancítaro. Fed up with both the cartels and the government, the people of Tancítaro pushed out both. Credit Brett Gundlock for The New York Times

A very interesting article about how people are running their own cities and territories as the central government of Mexico fails to deal with the drug cartels and widespread corruption.

Losing Faith in the State, Some Mexican Towns Quietly Break Away

The article is well worth your time but what I take from it is how complex these situations can be. At the end of the day when the government leaves a void regarding safety people have to defend themselves any way they can. Even then, it is not the safe utopia many survivalists often envision in their fantasies:

Monterrey: ‘They Destroyed the Whole Thing’

If Tancítaro seceded with a gun, then the city of Monterrey, home to many top Mexican corporations, did it with a Rolodex and a handshake.

Rather than ejecting institutions, Monterrey’s business elite quietly took them over — all with the blessing of their friends and golf partners in public office.

But their once-remarkable progress is now collapsing. Crime is returning.

“I’m telling you, I have a long career in these matters, and the project I am more proud of than anything is this one in Monterrey,” said Jorge Tello, a security consultant and former head of the national intelligence agency.

“It’s very easy to lose it,” he warned, adding that it may already be too late.

Monterrey’s experiment began over a lunch. Mr. Tello was dining with the governor, who received a call from José Antonio Fernández, the head of Femsa, one of Mexico’s largest companies.

Femsa’s private security guards, while ferrying employees’ children to school, had been attacked by cartel gunmen, he said. Two had died repelling what was most likely a kidnapping attempt.

In many cases the already existing socio-political structures can be used at a local level, but self-governing rather than taking orders from an incompetent and corrupt central government.

It also helps if the region is economically self-sustainable.


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”

Why you want short hair in a fight

So I was messing around with my oldest son today. As I suppose most dads do, we do these “fights”, just to practice a bit of grappling without punching (ok, just light contact ones). I do let it get a bit rough here and there so as to make it more realistic.

Well, today I was reminded of something. As I was going for his arm he managed to grab my hair and pull me to the side, quickly moved his legs for an arm bar. I must say I’m pretty proud that he thought of that. There’s no “dirty fighting” in a street fight and when training you have to keep it as real as possible while keeping it safe.

Still, the lesson remains that hair long enough to be grabbed can work against you in a fight and its better to keep it rather short.

I’ll be dropping by the barber tomorrow to get a haircut.

When asked how do I want it I’ll just tell them I want it short enough so that it can’t be grabbed. 🙂


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”

Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA:Triple Fuel Flashlight

Streamlight is a company that produces some interesting high value flashlights. They are often found in use by military, police, EMT and firefighters, people that put their gear through some hard, honest use.

This isn’t some generic Made in China flashlight manufacturer. Streamlight products are well tested and they are durable, offering a ton of flashlight for the money. This is a flashlight that would do well as EDC, kept in kits for emergencies or for use in your line of work where a reliable flashlight is required.

The most interesting feature this flashlight has is that in can run on a single cell of CR123A or AA. Officially speaking it’s a “Dual Fuel” flashlight. Unofficially speaking though, this flashlight can also run on AAA batteries as well. You just place them in there, carefully screw the cap and it does work. The ability to run on the most common batteries available out there is a huge capability for a survival oriented flashlight.

The Streamlight 88061 ProTac 1L-1AA feels solid in the hand. It is made of anodized aluminium and has a tail cap clicky button which is capable of momentary on when pressing without clicking. One click turns the light on in high (350 lumens for the CR123A or 150 lumens for AA), tapping the tail button twice activates the strobe mode. This can be used for defensive use, along with the flashlight itself given that is has a strike bezel to use as an impact weapon. Tapping on the tail 3 times engages the low mode which is 40 lumens on either battery. This is the pre-set program the flashlight comes in. You can access two other settings by tapping on the button 10 times. There’s another setting that works just on High, and another that has both High-Low. This works well for people that want a simple light that just turns on an off when they click it and nothing else or for folks that want to do without the strobe mode. I do feel that a Low or even Moonlight mode is missing in this flashlight. That would have made it just about perfect in my opinion, if at least one of the three programs offered such an option.

Streamlight 88061 ProTac 1L-1AA 350 Lumen Dual Fuel Professional Tactical Light $36.02

I do like the Streamlight 88061 ProTac 1L-1AA . I think it offers a lot of flashlight for the money and I think the “Triple Fuel” capability makes it an ideal choice for any Modern Survivalist. As of right now at 36 bucks it’s a bargain. Get yourself a couple and put them in your kits. You’ll be glad you did.


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”