Small E&E hidden Kit?

TIHK Handcuff Key
First of all I just want to say your book was an eye opener and got me away from the fantasy of Patriots.
I have been revamping my EDC and came across this product:
I was wondering if you had heard of it, effectively it is a universal key to handcuffs, I was curious if you thought this would be a valuable edition to an edc.
You talked about kidnaps in Argentina and you also mentioned criminals getting body armor. I was wondering if they got other equipment such as handcuffs, was it more common for them to tie their captive or use a form of handcuffs?
Again thank you for sharing your experiences in Argentina, it has really helped me instead of relying upon things such as Patriots and lights out for my source of prepping.
Thank you for your time,


Hi Chirs, thanks for your email.
 Actually, I used to keep a small polymer cuff key and scalpel blade on the inside of my riggers belt, held in place by a bit of gorilla tape. The idea was to have something to open cuffs or cut cord used to tie me up during a robbery or kidnap. Given how common express kidnappings are in Argentina it does make sense.
A polymer cuff key and a small blade can be easily taped to the inside of a thick belt, it doesn’t bother you at all and should you ever need it, it will be there. I haven’t used this cuff key in particular but I would be afraid of losing it if it was just clipped somewhere being so small and all.
Somewhere else along the belt you could put a small ziplock bag with another piece of duct tape, holding a couple quarters and a couple 20 USD bills. 

“Don’t kill my grandpa, I’ll give you mi toys”.


“Don’t kill my grandpa, I’ll give you mi toys”.

The pleads for mercy by his grandchild weren’t enough to save 74 year old Victor Granada, shot through the heart last night during a robbery attempt in his residence located in La Matanza, Buenos Aires. The two robbers also shot Victor’s 36 year old son who is now hospitalized in critical condition. According to the mother’s child, Mr. Granada´s grandson told the robbers ““Don’t kill my grandpa, I’ll give you mi toys” when they threatened to kill his grandfather.

It seems that word got around that Mr. Granada had property for rent and had received payments for it recently. Turns out that the tip was inaccurate and he had no money to surrender which may have angered the criminals.

Both criminals, one armed with a handgun and the other one armed with a knife, managed to escape after shooting both men and stealing a few valuables.

Consider the following:

*They entered through the main door, quickly forcing the security metal door. In 99% of homes, doors can simply be kicked opened. (and 99% of people thing their door is MUCH stronger than it actually is)

*Loose lips sink ships. They went after them because they knew the guy had property up for rent and thought there was rent money there. Don’t tell others about your business, lie if you have to but anything that sounds like money can be the cause of your doom in a violent society where crime is out of control. Most people just talk about everything and have no regard about these sort of things. As the world keeps moving, you better adapt before you end up learning the hard way.

*They just shot the old man, no mercy was shown so learn to expect none, same for the son. Which brings me to the much mentioned moral debate of killing in self-defense. It seems that putting down one of these animals scars you for life, that you live in regret and see their faces every time you close your eyes. Ah, Hollywood can be so sentimental. Brutal honesty moment here?  Maybe that´s the kind of thing people debate about in SoHo NY while sipping green tea. In the “conurbano” of Buenos Aires there’s no such philosophical ponderations, we know perfectly well that you do the world a favor by ending the evil lives of these walking scumbags.


Dog/Park Safety



I’m a longtime follower of your blog… good stuff my friend, keep it coming!

I lived in Portland Oregon around 2004 and there was a vicious dog attack

where a young child was being attacked (I believe there were 2-3 dogs) and

then an older woman tried to help her and she was attacked as well. If I

recall correctly it took several other people to finally chase off these

dogs.  Both the child and woman sustained serious injuries, hers taking a

long time to heal.

Since then I’ve kept a can of bear spray in the glove box for just such an

occurrence. This kind of pepper spray shoots about 30 feet and has the

capacity to address multiple threats.  It’s available at most sporting

goods stores.  I carry this when hiking on my waist belt and keep it handy

when camping.

Parks that have fenced in dog areas for people to use will still have

people who think it’s okay for their dog to be unleashed elsewhere.  My

two boys are naturally fearful of dogs that come right up to them and I

always keep in mind that animals can be excited by fear.

With this in mind, I have stood between them and dogs off the leash

several times without it escalating by using this method:   We usually

stop in our tracks, I step in front of the boys and I give the owner a

look that if they don’t get their dog back it’s going to get hurt.  One

hand is holding my boys back behind me and the other hand is near my

pocket knife.  This stance shows the owner that I’m concerned and ready to

react.  If the dog gets near I would do exactly as you did, especially if

it’s ignoring a command from its owner.

Dogs are a threat and so are strangers hanging around playgrounds watching

kids.  I always take an assessment of who is there and if they have kids

associated with them or if they are just watching other people’s children

which makes me a little suspicious.  There are often homeless people

sleeping in parks and camping there too, usually a short distance away

from facilities but out of site.  It’s surprising where they are able to

set up unnoticed.  These things can’t be controlled so being aware and

ready to react is all a person can do.

When I go to the park/playground with my family in summer months I carry

my Glock 23 in a little red fanny pack that also holds a water bottle(half

full or empty to keep weight down.)  This never gets a second look.  It

holds the gun and 2 spare mags and I can climb all around without issue.

When it’s not so hot I go IWB or OWB with jacket.  Spare mags are handy in

a pocket.  Quick enough for me and keeps weight off the waist.  I totally

agree with you that it’s imperative to have a gun large enough to shoot

accurately and with significant capacity.  Learn to shoot AND carry the

same gun you use for home defense!

Hope this info is helpful for other people like myself who frequent parks

with their children.  Many people live in condos or apartments and don’t

have play space available without going into public where there are

unknown people and animals around.  These things I mentioned are just some

of the basics that I follow to keep my family safe.

You’re welcome to share any portion of this with whomever you’d like but

please exclude my name if doing so publicly.

Thanks again for all your hard work in sharing your important messages.



Hi R, thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

I think the same way as you do. Unfortunately it’s the people that are the true problem, not the dog, but we have to sometimes act a certain way to protect ourselves and our family because of their lack of respect.

I have a dog, in fact I just walked it not 30 minutes ago. I kept it on a short leash and even crossed the street when I saw two young girls coming my way and my English Bull Terrier showing too much interest. If I put myself in their position I wouldn´t want a strange animal that is almost as big as I am, definitely stronger and with big teeth jumping and pulling towards me. Out of respect for others, I keep a good distance, keep the leash short or even cross the street if I feel its called for. These people that simply let their animals run loose, not worrying if the dog bites someone or not, let along worrying if it scares a  kid or even a person that just happens to not like dogs as much as them. The way I see it there’s just no excuse for that, and a half rational person knows its simply disrespectful to others, even dangerous.

I’ve heard different reports about spray for dogs. In general it does work very well. Dogs having such a sensitive nose, it will react to OC spray. In some cases with certain terrier blood breeds like Staffys, English Bull Terriers,  American pit bull terrier and Dogos Argentinos, when blinded by the rage of the fight they don’t react to OC at all. In fact I know of many cases where even shooting the animal wasn’t enough and entire mags where shot into them. I know of a Dogo that took all 7+1 rounds of 45 ACP before dyeing (still killed the person, in this case a carjacker) and similar cases with Pitt bulls. It seems that terriers with a fighting instinct are very tough when driven like that.

You’re right about strange people in the park. Sometimes a homeless person is just that, but others its people with mental problems and it wouldn’t be the first time  a person living on the street pushes someone into the bushes of a park to abuse them.

People that look out of place too, maybe adults looking at the kids play but don’t seem to have kids of their own that justify their interest would be another sign to watch for. Perverts can be founds everywhere in the world, there’s really no place safe from that sort of crime.

I like your choice of gun too, cant go wrong with Glock. I carry a bottle of water as well. My kids often need a drink so its one of the things I clearly use the most of my EDC bag.


Reader’s Experience and Lessons Learned

1 comment


I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and have begun implementing a few of your suggestions.  Even with the little I have done so far, an incident last night showed me just how valuable a little bit of preparedness is.

At 4AM my wife shakes me awake and whispers, “I think someone may be in our house.”  I jumped out of bed, fumbled around a bit for my 9mm Glock, then though, “Oh crap I need a flashlight!”  Obviously what I needed was a tactical flashlight, but those were in another room.  However, what I did have was a keychain LED I started carrying after reading your blog.  Not much, but at least I could see.  I then proceeded to check the house.  Thankfully it turned out to just be our cat making some noise.

Even though it was a false alarm, I was glad I knew the basics of how to handle it.  Also, I knew that if it came to a fight, I at least had some knowledge of how those go down.  Nowhere near as good as actual training, but better than nothing.

Here are my lessons learned:

ALWAYS keep a tactical flashlight with my gun

Install a light where I keep the gun that comes on automatically when I open its container so I’m not fumbling around with a loaded gun.  I’m thinking one of these magnetic switches wired to a AA battery and a red LED.

Buy some JHP ammo.  I did not enjoy having to worry about overpenetration from my FMJ rounds.

Sleep in something I can clip a knife and a reload mag to.

Secure my doors and windows better.  It was hard to feel like I had fully proven that there was no intruder when there are so many EASY ways in.

Make sure my wife knows that if she thinks there is a problem, wake me immediately.  I later found out she had been awake for 10 minutes worried that someone had broken in but thinking it was probably the cat and therefore did not want to wake me up.  I told her what I read on your blog, that she has to wake me any time she thinks something is wrong because even though 99% of the time it will be nothing, that 1% could be life or death.  I will gladly trade a little lost sleep for the safety of my family.

Also, before I read your blog I had kept my gun with the magazine removed.  Now I keep it with the magazine in but no round chambered.  This is because my wife is absolutely not ok with having a round chambered before we go through Front Sight.  However, I was quite thankful last night that I at least had the mag in because finding both the mag and the gun in the dark and getting the mag in correctly would have taken a LONG time.

Of course, most of these are things you have said over and over.  They made sense when I read them, but now I am quite motivated to actually do them.  Even the few changes I have made over the past few weeks in both preparedness and mindset helped tremendously.  If this had happened a month ago, I would have been fumbling around with a magazine in the dark, blundering about the house with no light, and still convinced that a round or two of FMJ 9mm will put down an intruder no problem.

So in sum, thanks for writing this blog!  My family is and will be safer because of it.



Hi John, thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

You’re correct in assuming that time can be a significant factor. Sometimes you have more of it, sometimes its just a matter of seconds! A bad guy just kicking down the front door and walking inside can be in your bedroom in a matter of seconds. You’re reaction has to be as fast as possible. As soon as you’re conscious, WLL YOURSELF INTO MOVING, jumping out of bed, picking the gun, in your case chambering a round and get ready to face any intruder. Sometimes we hear something and just freeze. That’s our gatherer/pray instinct kicking in. Like a deer we straighten our head and listen to see if we hear that noise a second time, a very typical instinctive reaction. On the other hand, a predator would charge the noise the first time. What we have to do is will ourselves into developing a predator reaction in which we quickly move to fight instead of freezing.

Should you stay put and defend your bedroom instead? I prefer to first and foremost react as if the potential threat was already attacking, think worst case scenario. If later I decide that its better to go pick the kids and get them to the master bedroom, confront before the breaking in is completed, the variations are infinite, but in my opinion the key is avoid freezing and move, react to the potential threat as fast as you can.

About gun, mag and flashlight, you might want to look into getting a load bearing vest with molle attachments for those as well as a holster, even better, make the vest one that includes body armor panels. That way you just get up, put your vest on, and all your stuff AND boy armor are already on you.

Again, thanks for sharing, take care,


Video: Pregnant Woman Shot

1 comment

This happened yesterday in Buenos Aires, Castelar.

10.07PM  a young couple arrives home. The pregnant woman “keeps an eye” on things, while the husband parks the car in the garage. A criminals rushes in, struggles with the husband and shoots the pregnant woman. She’s in critical condition, the baby died today.

What went wrong here? First of all, this is Argentina, ok? Its not a normal country. I’ve blogged about this more than enough I believe. In normal countries there is crime, but its not this bad. In Argentina, every morning, “sabes que salis, pero no sabes si volves” (you know you leave, but you dont know if you will make it back).

Some of the mistakes made in this case.

1)Some of my friends in Argentina, they don’t enter the car to the garage. They prefer to leave it outside and make a quicker entry to the house. This is standard procedure for many.

2)The wife was obviously looking around when he was entering the car to the garage. It was clear to me that she knew well it was a dangerous moment. Problem is, what could she do if someone did come after them like it ended up happening? Just looking doesn’t work when there’s actually dangerous people out there. The way I did it was parking with the gun ready, looking yes, but ready to throw lead in their direction if something like that happened. You drive in, gun drawn and in your hand, looking around expecting these bastards to come after you. That´s how you mentally prepare yourself. That’s how instead of being surprised, you have a target to shoot.

3)The husband struggled with the attacker, and the attacker instinctively did what we often do it training: Use the “sacrifice” hand to create distance and keep the adversary away from our weapon. The husband then does another mistake, instead of keep going at him, closing distance and trying to get control of the gun, punch or kick him, he hesitates and stays back. That’s when the criminals puts a round into the chamber and instead of shooting the husband, does what his natural evil nature dictates and shoots the pregnant woman instead. Notice how in this case, if the husband had at least grabbed one of the criminals hand, he wouldn’t have been able to rack the slide and put a round in the chamber. If he had continued fighting, he could have stopped him from shooting at all. For this same reason, if you carry a firearm, you NEVER carry in condition 3, empty chamber.



Home Safe

1 comment

Hi FerFal.  I’ve been reading your blog for some time and I don’t remember coming across any articles regarding safes for your home.  I have a friend who is seriously considering buying a safe for $2500 to protect his valuables in the event of theft, tornado or fire.  He plans to have it bolted to the wooden sub-floor inside his home.  I asked him why it costs so much and he said that the salesman at the safe store showed him photos of cheaper safes and how poorly they are made.  For example, he was showed cross-sections which show how cheaply the insides are put together on less expensive safes, even ones costing $1000.  He doesn’t want to mess around with an inferior safe that can be easily opened.

My friend is not rich and he has lots of other things he plans to purchase for a potential collapse.  Also, I should add that his house is in disrepair and needs a new roof, doors, etc.  Is it a good idea for someone to spend so much money on a safe, and if so, where would it rank on the priority list of things to purchase before a collapse?


Friend in the USA

SentrySafe 1.23 Cubic Feet Combination Fire-Safe, Medium Grey

Sounds like your friend has other priorities and that he could get by nicely spending much less and putting that money to better use.

I think that as important as it is to have a good safe, a) any safe can be eventually opened with common power tools b) It can be opened within seconds… when a gun is put to your head!

I know of cases where cheap little safes were smashed out of the wall with an axe and just taken and others, most often, people being forced to open the safe at gun point.

A safe has to be big enough and solid enough so that its not easily broken or carried away, yet at the same time you should have plans in case you’re forced to open it.

A possible solution that I’ve recommended often was having a small second safe, very well hidden, where you keep most of your values and the bigger one is just for a smaller amount of jewelry and cash, etc. After being forced to open it few criminals will believe you have a second safe hidden somewhere.

There was this school teacher in Argentina, he was brutally beaten during a home invasion so  he would tell where he was hiding the money. After telling about a couple spots they continue to beat him asking for more. After the criminals left and right before dying, he managed to tell his family about a gold coin hidden in a flower pot and another cash stash.


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