Friday, December 8, 2017

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”

Monday, December 4, 2017

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
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”

Friday, December 1, 2017

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”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

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 4x4 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 4x4 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)

  • 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)

  • 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”