Practical use of Body Armor?

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Fernando
I am debating between traditional Kevlar body armor and plate carrier
with steel. I would be curious to hear your opinions on body armor
selection.
Thank you for the outstanding website and videos. I highly recommend
your work to practical minded persons.
Best regards
Manny
Hello Manny,
I think body armor makes a lot of sense. It used to be that people thought you were crazy for even bringing it up, but now its catching up little by little.
When crime is really bad out there, believe me, there’s many times in which body armor can be very important. My friends in Argentina, those that are “like minded”, they also understand the importance of armor and would go into a lot of trouble to procure it. Its not very realistic to think you’ll be the only one doing the shooting in a gunfight. Just like with owning a gun for defense, you need to own armor as well, and do so before someone is kicking your door down.
During high crime yet “normal” times, you’d use you BA in specific circumstances. Going to pick up large amounts of cash from the bank, visiting or traveling through bad parts of town for some reason, meeting up with strangers and when attending shooting classes where the risk factor is considered high due to people shooting in groups, sometimes finding yourself in a situation where you have to trust a stranger with a loaded gun right next to you or shooting as a team. Even beginner classes can be dangerous. My advice is to take body armor to all shooting classes.
Organizing a neighborhood watch or standing guard on your own after some disaster like a hurricane, storm or earthquake are good examples of body armor being good to have.

External Vest Chest protector body armor color black size M-XL By Best Security Gear (M)

External BODY ARMOR (Goldflex- Made in Israel)

Your armor would be kept near by in your bedroom. Even for the popular “bump in the night” noise that needs to be inspected, just like you grab your gun and flashlight you should get used to putting on your armor as well.
My advice would be to start with an external vest level IIIA with soft panels adn rifle plate holders.

The model pictured above does include the soft ballistic panels (kevlar, goldflex, etc), not rifle plates. This means it will stop most handgun rounds but without the rifle plates a rifle round wont be stopped.

These are a bit harder to conceal but the carrier is more rugged and you have the pockets for plates. You can still carry it somewhat concealed under fleece or jacket and when you can you can expand by buying some panels. This set up would work well for those situations where you want to conceal it, but wont need to do so on daily basis, and when you want to wear it externally and include the rifle plates for more protection.

VIP Concealable Vest Chest protector body armor vest color black size M-XL By Best Security Gear (Black, XL)

VIP Concealable BODY ARMOR (Goldflex- Made in Israel)

The concealable vest does have a place as well, but it is usually better for those that plan on carrying all day and need the extra concealment and comfort, while sacrificing durability and the pockets for plates.

Another option would be to go for a Plate Carrier and stand alone plates. These will stop rifle rounds, but the plates alone cover a small area and provide less protection than the plates+soft panels.

CONDOR  Modular Operator Plate Carrier Black

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”.


Thermoelectric Gear for Off-Grid Situations

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Ferfal,
Thanks for your blog and book, I really enjoy them and have found lots of fantastic information.
I would like to share these two innovations with you.
I am a European and have no affiliation with the company that makes them.
The first is the Ecofan

Caframo Limited Ecofan Ultrair

Ecofans for Woodstoves  generate their own electricity from the surface heat of your wood stove and circulate warm air throughout the room, increasing your comfort.
It is a fan that turns by the heat that the woodstove produces. Instead of letting the heat go up to the ceiling it directs it in the room and lets you have a feeling of warmth a lot faster.
I got one from a friend to try out, I put it on the stove and directed it to my wife, without her knowing it. Suddenly she felt something was different, looked at the stove and said without hesitation: “What is that, I want it!” My wife couldn’t live without one.
If you have a woodstove it is a very good upgrade.
The other item is the Joi light

Caframo Limited JOI Candle Powered Lamp

You can have electric light without using batteries. The Joi Light uses the heat produced by a tea light candle to let several LED shine. The light burns as long as the candle burns. It shines brightest in a room with a cool temperature. If used in a heated room the light is strong enough to read by if used as a desklight.
Please don’t use my name and emailadress.
thanks
J-

Hello J,
I’ve seen some of these before and I think its very interesting how they turn heat to electricity.
To be completely honest, I don’t think the Joi light makes much sense at all. To use a candle to get a bit of LED light sounds awfully impractical, even more so at such a high price. For something like that, (small scale) long term off-grid illumination, I’d go for something like the WakaWaka Lamp that uses solar power, has good battery capacity and works nicely as a lantern. All at 1/5 of the cost of the JOI and it doesnt need candles to work. So far, I’ve been using a Waka Waka Power unit and it still works as advertised, which is rare with most of these products.
The fan for the wood stove does look nice. I see how it might help send hot air in a specific direction and help increase the heating radius. That it uses power generated from the same stove is a nice solution for off-grid situations.
These products remind me of the BioLite Wood Burning Campstove.

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove

The Biolite stove uses the same heat of the stove to power a fan for the stove and recharge electronic gadgets. I’m not fully sold on the idea though. Again, a more simple solar panel like the Waka Waka Power seem like a better, more simple and light weight solution but reviews seem to be pretty favorable for the BioLite. Then again, the WWPower is a lanter/charger while the Biolite is a Stove/charger. Two different creatures.
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”.


Argentina: Gunpoint robbery caught on Tape

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Hey Fer Fal, I wanted to send you this link which shows a robbery attempt captured on a go-pro. What are your thoughts on how this went down? Seemed like the robber used a motorbike, just like you warned about.
One thing that is particularly interesting is that it’s in broad daylight and with lots of other people around. Also the robbers persistence is notable as well. Does this robber fit the “look” of the typical thief? Do you think he’s killed people before?
– Scott
Hello Scott,
Yes, I’ve seen the video. This happens every day in every city of Argentina, pretty much all day long. Impossible to say if he’s killed before, maybe he did, although in general once they start killing they become like animals and can’t seem to stop themselves from shooting next time they encounter resistance.
As you see it happens on broad daylight, even when surrounded by people. I’ve literally lost count of how many of these similar incidents I’ve seen first-hand, which now that I write it down, sounds pretty depressing. But you would be in a train station, just walking or waiting for a bus and someone pulls a gun out and robs someone or snatches a bag and jumps on a motorcycle and takes off. One that I remember well took place is a train station, at rush hour, packed with people. The guy just pulled a pistol (I think it was a Hi-Power 9mm) and robbed the guy he as pressing against. The criminal took forever to push his way out of the station, with everyone packed like sardines.
Some interesting things to note:
1) The victim has NO idea how lucky he is to be alive. These days, you’re very likely to get mugged and shot even when you give them everything. Resisting, like this guy did (seems without knowing) is just begging to get shot.
2) Nothing is worth getting shot over. At that point, give up the bike and bag. Again, no idea how lucky he is to be alive. I know several people that got shot for a LOT less than that, even after giving up everything.
3) The robber was asking for his backpack (la mochila! Sacate la mochila!) while the guy kept repeating “amigo! Amigo!. Not knowing the local language can get you killed. Not a good idea to go to dangerous places in general. At one point the criminal asks surprised “ Do you want to get shot?”
4) Motorcycles. At one time it was estimated that half the bikes driving around with two males on them in down town Buenos Aires were criminals. It came close to get banned by law to have two men drive in one bike in the capital district. It is by far the most common transportation for criminals. Its fast, easy to go on the sidewalk with, easy to escape from police and you naturally wear a helmet that covers your face making you harder to ID.
5) The criminal didn’t care about people but he didn’t want to have too much attention either, and he wanted to get it over with fast. Daytime doesn’t bother them, nor do nearby witnesses, but time does. It has to be fast. Also, notice how he keeps the gun visible but down and to his side, so as to make it less visible from a distance. You see this done pretty often.

At the end of the day, its good not to be exposed to that on daily basis any more. When crime gets that bad, you have to consider relocating somewhere safer.

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”.


Fall/Winter Preps: 10 Tips to Get Ready

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In spite of being one of the most predictable events you could think of, winter season still catches thousands by surprise each year, including more than a few preppers and survivalists. Winter is just around the corner people, and its again time to sort out our preps so as to be ready for it.
1)Get your house in order. Organize your fuel supply, pump septic tanks, clean chimneys, service boilers, clean up gardens, take a good look at larger, nearby trees that may damage your home if they fall. Insulate pipes and exterior faucets. Several layers of plastic can be used. Remember that leaving a faucet dripping a little can avoid freezing. Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
2)Service your vehicle for winter. Check tire pressure and liquid levels. Change your car emergency kit if you have a different loadout for winter.
3)Plan for blizzards and blackouts. Buy a generator before you actually need one. Now is the time, not when people are stealing each other’s generators from their front porches at gunpoint. Yamahas are great but Westinghouse, Champion and Wen do a good job as well while being more affordable. When you buy a generator, but enough generator to cover the initial starting (surge) wattage. Get your generator serviced if you have one already. Check your jerry cans (invest in quality metal ones) and refill those that are empty.

Westinghouse WH7500E Portable Generator, 7500 Running Watts/9000 Starting Watts
4)If you don’t need electricity during blackouts and you can get by with an alternative form of heating, seriously consider getting a kerosene heater. They are more efficient for heating than running a generator, they are affordable, safe and rock solid reliable. People that aren’t comfortable with kero heaters tend to live by Mr. Heaters.

Sengoku CV-23K KeroHeat Convection 23,500-BTU Portable Kerosene Heater

Sengoku CV-23K KeroHeat Convection 23,500-BTU Portable Kerosene Heater

5)Get plenty of batteries, LED flashlights and lanterns. High lumen output flashlights are convenient for carrying around, but for blackouts you want lanterns which flood a room with light. Remember that headlamps are the best way of doing chores around the house when there’s no power. Energyzer headlamps are affordable and they work well. Get a NOAA Weather Radio so as to receive weather warnings and updates. Little Tip: Get a string of Christmas LED lights. The ones that use AA are great for blackouts. They last for days, put out a nice light that floods a room nicely and they even manage to look somewhat cheerful during a blackout.

American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger - Red (ARCFRX3WXR)

American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Turbine NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger

6)Check your food supply. You need food that has a long shelf life, requires little fuel and water to cook, and your family (most of all your kids) will eat without much trouble. It is true that even kids will eat pretty much anything when hungry enough, but it can be stressful for everyone to get to that point.

7)Have alternative means of cooking your food. Camping stoves usually work well, but when you don’t need light weight camping equipment the larger models that have a burner and run on small gas bottles are an affordable optionPortable Butane Gas Camp Stove Camping Burner Range

Portable Butane Gas Camp Stove

8)Make sure you have enough salt and snow shovels in the areas where they are needed. Remember to take it easy when shoveling snow: Heart attacks while doing so are one of the main causes of death linked to winter hazards every year. Injuries after slipping on black ice are another classic of the season.
9)Don’t forget your water supply. You need to keep at least some of it inside so that it doesn’t freeze. Blackouts and frozen pipes could leave you without water fairly easily and its important to stay hydrated when fighting cold temperatures.
10)Stock up so as to minimize travel or avoid going out entirely if required. Car accidents are one of the main causes of death during winter storms.
FerFAL


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