Happy people: A Year in Taiga

 

I’m pretty sure I posted this before, maybe last year, but in case you missed it it’s worth posting again.

Happy People: A Year in Taiga goes along the journey of one year with the professional trappers and hunters living along the Taiga river in Russia. These are hardy, no-nonsense old world people. They make a living in one of the harshest parts of the world, one that is at that beautiful and full of natural resources. The skill and resourcefulness they show is admirable.

It’s the second time I watch this documentary. Its four parts, one for each season (as in actual seasons of the year) each lasting one hour. Again, worth every minute of it.


One of the things that stuck with me this time though is that even though I bet they are happy people and some of them probably chose such a life, I sure wouldn’t trade places with them any time soon. In spite of the beautiful natural surroundings you can also see the Spartan way of life, in many ways limited. At the end of the day the trapping, fishing and hunting is done for good old money mostly, and they make rather little of it at that. Clearly being frugal is one of their main survival skills and if applied to any other line of work, likely one that pays better, it’s also understandable that a person would thrive as well.


Again, the skill and resourcefulness is amazing. How they cut down trees to make everything from skies to canoes, driving, navigating, repairing, fishing, hunting, trapping. While these people may be jack of all trades, they sure have mastered several of them as well.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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”.

Oroville Dam: Have you bugged out already?

You may want to if you haven’t done so already. It can be nothing, or it can get biblical over there folks.

According to Los Angeles Times, more than 100,000 people were ordered to flee to higher ground Sunday afternoon after the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam developed a hole, prompting fears it could collapse. With rain expected later this week, things can get really bad really fast.

Now this isn’t a storm or winter blizzard we’re talking about. If the dam collapses and you’re down range its bye bye. With such high-stakes I at least wouldn’t be risking it and would get the hell out of there until the crisis is resolved. After all this is precisely the kind of thing we prepare for. Taking such risks makes no sense if it can be at all avoided.

Oh, remember what I always say about bugging out and bugging in not being a matter of choice? well… this.

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”.

Brazil SHTF: Police Strike allows for “Purge” type Chaos

 

Police go on strike in Brazil, cities being wiped out in “Purge” fashion

Police in Brazil have gone on strike, leaving the country unarmed and left in a “Purge” like chaos. In 30 cities across Brazil, militarized police are refusing to do their jobs. According to an anonymous source in the city of Espirato Santo, Brazil, the chaos can be comparable to the 2014 thriller “Purge”, with people running rampant with guns and machetes, stealing from malls, and even dead bodies lying in the streets. As buses are set ablaze on night streets, and people crawl for shelter covered in blood, Brazil is slowly becoming overtaken by it’s people.

“A pm is on strike and the thugs are randomly shooting at anyone who passes the street in Espírito Santo, my God what is happening” says one Brazilian resident.

“I won’t even leave my house today,” one Brazilian resident in Espirito Santo told Political Outsource. “things are absolutely crazy, there are people running around with guns in pretty populated areas, dozens of people stealing sh-t from malls, even dead bodies on the streets!”

In another interview with Political Outsource, one resident in Espirito Santo said in a phone interview; “It’a f–king mess what’s going on here. The worst part is the regular citizen can’t have a gun to defend himself!”

This same thing happened in Argentina a couple years ago and left many dead behind. Now its happening in Brazil with similar consequences.

Lesson Learned I: When cops go on strike all hell breaks loose and you better be well armed in a defendable position. Yes, like in the movie.

Lesson Learned II: The day cops go on strike is not the time to go buy guns and ammo, let alone the time to train and learn their proper use.

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”.

Salomon: High performance footwear

The Philosophy

Every hiker knows that his boots are the most important part of his gear. Lose your backpack, lose your pants, its all good, but without shoes… your mobility is greatly handicapped and without mobility you have very few options.

Given how important it is to have adequate footwear during an emergency, your daily wear shoes should reflect that. If something happens and today whatever you chose to wear is all you will have to walk several miles, get by for days or even weeks, walk across broken terrain, help people or extract yourself or others across rubble and debris, keep yourself dry when raining. Therefore we are looking for practical, capable footwear.

Salomon Quest and X-Ultra

I’ve been using Salomon footwear for about a year now and have not been disappointed.

Even the low-top hikers X-Ultra have kept my feet dry and provided more than enough foot support and traction.

The Salomon Quest boots are a in a league of their own. Tough, impossibly comfortable once broken in and durable.

The grey ones are the typical hiking boots that made the Quest boots famous. Since these ended up in the feet of military personal nearly as much as in the feet of hikers, they came up with the Quest Forces model. The colours are more militaristic and use leather loops instead of metal eyelets but other than that its mostly the same great boot.

I think they all work very well for all-round footwear. They are comfortable enough for normal, everyday use yet provide serious hiking capability if it’s ever needed. It doesn’t hurt that they look great. The Quest boots are clearly more suited for moderate to cold climates (especially with Goretex models) and the low top do well in very warm climates. These do have goretex as well, which granted, makes it warmer, but then again its great to step on a few inches of water and not have a single drop go in (have done so numerous times already)

Give Salomon a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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”.

Stocks During the Economic Collapse of Argentina?

 

Dear Ferfal,

I think I’ve read every blog post you’ve ever written. Long time fan. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom with everyone.

The Dow Jones just hit 20,000! I have a question about what the stock market is like when TSHTF. Like most Americans, I “own” stocks through my retirement plan. If inflation goes really high, is a stock like a gold ring that doesn’t have value until you sell it (and therefore increases with inflation), or will stocks kind of stay the same price, and therefore lose tremendous value? What happened in Argentina?

And I want to say that you have actually changed my life. I live in a very safe place, the kind of place where people still can leave their front door unlocked. Which I sometimes do when I go next door (on the other side of the porch), but I’ve made it a habit to always lock the door behind me when I come inside. If I come home and someone is inside, I can run away. But nobody’s coming in when I’m home unless I let them in (not too many ways out except the front door). Anyway, I think it’s a good habit, and I think I’m better prepared for what’s coming thanks to you.

Best Wishes,

-Adam

Hello Adam,

Thanks for being a long time reader. I’m glad to know I helped make your life a bit safer! These are all little things we do, habits and strategies that start building up as our mindset changes.

I see survivalism, at least the practical version of it that I call modern survivalism, as a lifestyle in which practical decisions are made keeping in mind the best possible outcome in a worst case scenario. Sounds paranoid but it’s not. If doing one thing instead of another improves my odds and quality of life (better, safer, more peace of mind) then it is the one that provides the most strategic advantages from a tactical point of view. From the items in your EDC, the clothes you wear, the car you drive and the place where you live.

Regarding the stock market in Argentina during the crisis, here yet again we see that common assumptions and what actually ends up happening during an economic collapse have little in common.

Of course, the stock market has collapsed in the past and such a possibility is something to keep in mind, but we must remember than these situations are pretty complex, both in causes and effect. It is crucial to fully understand the former to correctly predict the latter.

Here is where we must ask ourselves, what caused the collapse in the first place? In the case of Argentina it was a bank run followed by a devaluation. The knowledge of an impending devaluation and rumours of accounts being frozen obviously triggered such bank run. If the same had happened for example with stocks, rumours of a bubble, followed by sharp sales and loss of value the story would have been different. The chart below reflects the Merval, the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

We clearly see a big drop as expected at the time of the economic collapse in December 2001, but then as time goes by it starts going up, even as the Peso goes down, why? Well, the price is now in Pesos no longer pegged to the dollar, but even more important is that stocks represented something physical to own, a part of a company (even a struggling one!). Even if people suffered it often occurred that companies did well eventually. The common saying in Argentina years after the crisis about “its great that the economy is doing much better. Too bad we don’t get to see any of it” reflects just that. With a 25% inflation per year anything that held its value was better than the Peso. Real estate, US Dollars and yes also stocks.

I would say that looking at it from a historical perspective, good time-proven stocks tend to do well on the long run. High risk ones are more of a question mark. It sure isn’t a chunk of gold or silver in your hand, but the chances of it being worth only the paper they are printed on and the company going belly up isnt as high if you invest wisely. As always, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket and so on.

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”.

How the super-rich are preparing

An armed guard stands at the entrance of the Survival Condo Project, a former missile silo north of Wichita, Kansas, that has been converted into luxury apartments for people worried about the crackup of civilization.

Interesting article.

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

These guys have:

*Money, both cash and funds in accounts across the world.

*Well set up Bug out locations, both local and abroad.

*Means to get there. Most of these guys have their own plane, boats, can pay for private jets, tickets, etc.

*Intel and connections. By the time you read about SHTF they’ll already be in some safe location.

All we can do is try to get as close to such a setup as possible. One of the toughest parts for most people being having the money do move around like that, and maybe even harder to get, connections with true insiders that warn you ahead of 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”.

 

Best carry knife for Germany ?

Hi Ferfal, You seem to like folding knives. I live in Germany where it is illegal to carry a folding knive. It is only allowed to carry non-foldable knives with a blade that is less than 12 cm long. I’m looking for an all-purpose knive that I can legally carry. What knive(s) do recommend for Germany?

Regards, Karl

….

Hello Karl, thanks for your message and sorry for the long wait.

Yes, I can recommend you a knife and will do so in a minute but before we go there I’d like to talk a bit about having the right mindset. This goes for my friends here in Europe and the ones in US that have to deal with restrictions just as bad or worse depending on where they are living.

Those of us that are law abiding citizens always look to understand the local laws and regulations and stay on their right side. The problem I see is that many times, like-minded honest citizens try to go an extra step away from that line, just to play it safe. This is how I often come across people that truly believe guns are illegal when they are not, or knives or other defensive tools. I had a friend in Argentina that was surprised to know that guns were legal to own in the country. She was in her early twenties, we were in college and she wasn’t a dumb person. It’s just human nature to assume that anything potentially dangerous gives you power, and these days people are brainwashed to believe that power should not be in the hands of common people.

The same happens with guns, ammunition, and knives. Recently I had to explain a gun store owner that buckshot is perfectly legal. He was under the impression that it was banned so he hadn’t been ordering it for years “just in case”.

Now, the thing that sets me apart from most other people is that I know for a fact what happens when SHTF. I know that if someone attacks you on the street or breaks into your house to hurt you and your family, they (its usually more than one) won’t care what you thought or wrongfully assumed. It will just be too damn late and what happens is cold harsh reality. An undeniable fact that can’t be changed and isn’t open to debate. (Yes, people there are no “alternative facts”). If you get killed in your home, or your loved ones hurt. If you’re left on a wheelchair for the rest of your life or your daughter is raped that cannot be changed. It simply is what it is and you can’t go back in time to change it.

So… you may read here and there to just play it safe and go with a Swiss army knife, or maybe a non-locking Opinel. True, it will handle 90% of the cutting tasks you may come across on your day to day routine and even help in some emergencies. But my advice is to plan for the worst and keep that worst case scenario in mind. Don’t take five steps away from the legal limits. Know them and within that limit we law abiding people always respect, carry the best most capable tool you can.

In your case, it seems that you can’t carry a folder that locks and can be opened single handed. You may be able to do so with a lawful use (say you go fishing, hunting or hiking) but it seems that you can carry a fixed blade as long as its under 12 cm (4 3/4inch). That’s actually pretty good and opens up a few interesting options.

SOG Seal Pup

SOG SEAL Pup Fixed Blade M37N-CP $30.74

A great option. I believe the blade is exactly within your limit. This would be one of my first choices. If the blade happens to be a couple mm too long, I wouldn’t hesitate to cut the tip down a bit and regrind it. If you’ve done this before you can do it yourself, or find someone more experienced if not. Just be careful not to overheat the thin tip and dip it in water constantly when working on it with a grinder.

ESEE 3P

ESEE -3 Plain Edge $98.99

This is another solid choice. Definitely within your legal limit yet a super capable little knife. The sheath is pretty much ideal since you can carry it as a neck knife or on your belt. It doesn’t look aggressive or tactical, at least not much, so it may work better if ever stopped by cops and such.

Cudeman MT-5 Survival fixed blade knife

Survival fixed blade knife Cudeman MT-5 120-X $79.99

This is a actually a great brand, makes excellent knives in quality BÖHLER N-695 stainless steel, similar to 44C . If you’re in an area that is damp or wet often, this is a great way to go at exactly 11 cm.

If you ever need that knife, and you happen to need it in a life or death situation where a Vicotrinox or other pen knife simply wouldn’t have been enough, you’ll be glad you went with the most capable tool you could lawfully carry.

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”.

6 Reasons why you should own a kerosene heater

For most people that live in locations where winter temperatures mandate heating to remain comfortable or even survive, staying warm is crucial. This means having a main source of heating and at least two backup plans. Remember that three is two, two is one and one is none. People may use electricity, natural gas, heating oil and wood, just to name some. It still surprises me though that a lot of people don’t include what is probably the most rugged system, ideal for disasters which is kerosene heaters.

Sengoku CTN-110 KeroHeat 10,000-BTU Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater

Why should you get one?

1)They are cheap. Some on Amazon go for under 100 bucks and if you keep an eye out you can often find them on flea markets or garage sales for a lot less. Keep in mind that you may need a new wick for it though. Other than the kind of fuel used, the wick is the second most important part of a kerosene heater.

2)Most reliable way to heat a home. There just isn’t a most straightforward and reliable way to provide heat. Electricity will be down during serious storms, propane bottles can leak, found empty when needed the most. A generator is a far more complex machine, and it is nowhere nearly as efficient in terms of heat per fuel used. With a kerosene heater you can literally buy one, keep it along with a few gallons of fuel stored in a garage and years later you know you can have it running in a matter of minutes. Kerosene heaters are extremely simple machines. There really isn’t much that can break of otherwise go wrong.

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor- DH2304

Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater, 23,000 BTU, Indoor $139

3)Its safe. Like with all open flame heaters, you have to make sure you have ventilation of course. A cracked window, just a couple inches will do for smaller rooms. For larger family rooms even less than that will do. You should still have a CO detector to be on the safe side but these modern heaters burn very clean and are extremely safe. Kerosene is one of the safest fuels you can store.

4)Its compact. If you have little room around to spare and nowhere to stockpile cords of woods then this is the way to go.

5)It can be used in any type of building. Kerosene heaters are used all over Japan in both houses and apartments. No complicated or expensive installation is requires.

6)It can be used for cooking and lighting besides heating. The models with flat tops can usually warm up, even boil water placed on top of them on a pot. The model shown below also has a glass body and can double as a lantern.

Dyna-Glo WK11C8 Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater, 10500 BTU $97.72

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”.