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”

The $9 Leather sheath: Quick, easy, and actually good!

So today I finally went for it and made a leather sheath for my Sykco Dog Soldier.

Making a leather sheath is something I’ve wanted to do for many years. Seemed simple enough yet when watching tutorials and looking at all the stuff needed for leather work, the techniques, time… it kind of gets overwhelming.

Well, today I just went for it. Did a sheath the most simple, straight forward way possible. I expected very little given the basic method and tools used yet I couldn’t be happier with the results. Yes, I bought a cheap leather tool kit but didn’t use any of it, other than some of the waxed thread.

All you really need for this project is some thick leather, 2 or 3mm thick. I got some buffalo leather. It was 9 bucks shipped and the colour was pretty 🙂 .

Keep in mind this isnt by any stretch of the imagination the correct way of doing this. Its more of a redneck/ Jerry-rigged approach to it.

1)You should make a paper template although to be honest I didn’t bother and marked on the piece of leather the shape of the blade. Buy one that is at least 4 cm wider than the knife itself. Mark up to what point you want the sheath to cover the blade and where you want the belt loop to end up. I just did the best I could with the piece of leather I had, given that I use rather wide, riggers shooting belts daily in my pants. Leave about 5mm for the welt, meaning the piece of leather that goes between the two layers.

2)With the knife wrapped in plastic film, I placed the other piece of leather under the faucet and got it soaking wet. Once softened I placed it on top of the knife and moulded it with my fingers and using a spoon to mark the curvature of the grip. I gave it about 10mm overlapping the grip, over the choil and the finger guard so as to hold the knife in place. This would save me from having to use any snap buttons which I didn’t have.  I also placed a hair dryer and left it pointing towards the formed leather for it to dry up and harden.

3) On the bottom leather piece, the one I draw the shape of the blade, I soaked a bit the top section of leather that folds to form the belt loop and kept it down in place with a couple clips. I also used some sand paper on the section I would later glue and sew, so that the leather glue got a better grip on the surface. Once glued I kept it in place for a few minutes until it dried, then used an electric drill to drill a few holes with the smallest drill bit I had. I didn’t use any fancy stitches, just made an eight figure knot to keep the end of the thread in place, passed the thread to the end and then back on the same holes. I know this isnt the way you’re supposed to do it but oh well.

4)Now that I had my belt loop ready, I glued the welt to the bottom piece (sandpaper on the area before the glue), then glued the top one with the knife form on top of it and kept the three players in place with several clips. Before gluing check if the knife fits just keeping the pieces in place with the clips. This should give you somewhat of an idea of how it fits. Once glued and with the clips keeping everything in place I let it try for another 15 minutes or so.

5)Now I drill the holes along the edges, leaving a drain hole at the bottom of the sheath. I measure four lengths of thread per side of the sheath and sew all the way, then back the other way using the same holes. You’re supposed to use a technique using two needles but I just did it this way making sure everything was nice and tight. When I was done I hammered the thread to flatten the stitches.

6) I used a Dremel to sand down the sides, then using the hair dryer and some beeswax I worked the sides of the sheath, rolling a wooden handle to even and flatten the sides of the leather sheath. The wax presses and flattens the leather, keeping it from coming apart.

And that’s it. Not the best most sophisticated way of making a leather sheath but its cheap and relatively fast. Give it a try!

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”

More questions about Bitcoin

Message:

Hello, Fernando. I was wondering more & more about Bitcoin, but I can’t find too much clear information about it- everything starts in the middle & doesn’t seem too concerned about telling you how not to get snagged-up with it (ex: looking like a drug dealer or a money launderer). Would you people tell me some more about it? I would hate to miss a good investment, but I don’t even get how it IS an investment- it doesn’t seem like there’s any company that distributes it, so how can there be any stock? And why not just make your own?

A-

Hello A,

Again, I’m no Bitcoin expert by any stretch of the imagination but I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

Bitcoin is a currency, a virtual one at that but some Bitcoin does not make you a drug dealer any more than having a roll of 20s in your pocket makes you one. Don’t let the mainstream media agenda intended to stigmatize Bitcoin get to you. In any case, ALL large financial groups are into Bitcoin at this point, so don’t feel bad about doing it yourself.

Second, it is not an investment. Investments generate profit. Buying Bitcoin will only get you… Bitcoin. Like gold, it can go up or down and you selling at the right time may leave you with a profit but it’s a currency, not an investment.

Finally, you CAN make your own. You can mine Bitcoin with your computer. The problem is that by its own nature Bitcoin is HARD to mine, meaning you need a lot of computer power to mine it so that its profitable and compensates the electric power you are using to generate it. People used to buy mining computers to mine Bitcoin and many still do. How profitable it is today is hard to say. All I know is that you need some initial investment for the mining computers and electric power better be rather affordable where you are.

As I said before, I think Bitcoin is extremely interesting but it’s not on the same line as gold and silver, which have been around for thousands of years. Can it be the gold of the future generation? Maybe, but don’t put into it anything you can’t afford to lose. That would be my advice.

As for buying Bitcoins, I suggest you do a lot of google and reading first. Chances are you’ll end up in Coinbase or maybe Localbitcoins. No, I don’t have any association of any kind with either one, they are just some of the most common names that pop up.

Good luck!

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”