Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Argentina’s “Strongest Man” stabbed to death by scavenger

Alan Garay (43 years old) was a 260 pound “strongman” that won competitions both in Argentina and Spain. He could lift 880 pounds, pull 15 ton trucks and lift cars with little problem, but that didn’t save him from getting killed two days ago in the province of Mendoza, Argentina.
After an argument with Fernando Pezetti, a 50 year old cartonero (paper and trash scavenger) over trash left on the sidewalk next to his house,  Mr. Garay got into a fight with the man, easily overpowering him and punching him in the face. As Garay left, the scavenger produced a knife and stabbed him twice in the torso. The neighbors called for help but Garay was dead by the time help arrived.
Garay had lived in Madrid for ten years and had recenlty moved back to Argentina. He worked security at night clubs and at times was part of security details of international celebrities.
Lessons Learned:
1)Don’t get into a fight if you can avoid it.
2)Don’t EVER underestimate your opponent, even if you’re literally the strongest man in the country going against some random 50 year old hobo.
3)Always assume your opponent may be armed, NEVER turn your back on him.
4)Knives are ALWAYS lethal weapons. They don’t jam, they don’t run out of ammo and its practically impossible to pry one away from an attacker without losing a few fingers.
5)Again, just don’t get into fights, ESPECIALLY against someone that has nothing to lose.
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, May 4, 2015

EDC Knife: Kershaw Lifter vs ZT 0350 vs ZT 0566

I read with interest your recent report on the Kershaw Lifter, and as I own one, could not agree with you more about it's strength, versatility, and price -- especially price! I am no knife expert, but the good things about the Lifter are easy to see.
I thought, because I also have several other "Kershaw" knives, among them the ZT 0350 and the ZT 0566, that I would compare them in photos, thinking that it would perhaps be of interest.

I got to cogitating as I looked at the Lifter and the 0566 at how really similar they are. The Lifter is not as sleek, to be sure, as the 0566, but it is a very close comparison. It is also a bit heavier. I even began to wonder if Kershaw/ZT had not used the Lifter as a prototype for the 0566. I didn't contact Kershaw for an answer, so am just guessing. There are lots of similarities.

Anyway, I've included three photos with embedded text to highlight the differences, and threw in the ZT 0350 as another comparison, just for reference, along with a FN 9mm double stack magazine for sizing reference. (Everyone has one of those, don't they?)
For the price, as you say, the Lifter absolutely cannot be beat. (Though I have to admit that I carry the ZT 0350 with the Elmax blade. Just me. A knife nut. Wonderful blade!)
Thanks again for very the informative web site.
Take care,
Hi J,
That’s a nice comparison, thanks for sharing.
When it comes to the Kershaw Lifter its obvious that the big price saving was in the blade steel and country of manufacture (China). They also saved on the finishing job, you see more straight lines and harder angles compared to the somewhat similar ZT0566 geometry. No jimping on the blade and such, all those things are extra steps that cost money. Other than that, the design is outstanding and for the price it’s a very well put together folder.
Of course S30V and ELMAX are by far superior. The Lifter uses 3Cr13 steel for the blade, about the cheapest budget knife you can find, while the other two are some of the best performing super steels. Again, when it comes to top brands such as Zero Tolernace, if you have a knife that costs 20 bucks and another that goes for well over $100, there’s usually a reason for that.
Now, if you’re working with a 20USD budget or you want a knife you wont be feeling bad about if you snap the blade or (more likely) you end up losing it, then the Lifter is clearly one of the best choices.

Although I do like the ZT 0350, I find the blade too wide for my taste, not enough of a tip. Of all three the ZT0566 is the one I like the most. Outstanding ELMAX steel, Speedsafe assisted opening system, frame lock, great Hinderer ergonomics and blade geometry.
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, May 1, 2015

What Greece Faces if It Defaults

The New York Times is doing its share of drama regarding Greece’s economy by comparing their situation to the Argentine economic collapse of 2001:What Greece Faces if It Defaults.
It's an interesting read, and a lot of it is accurate, but what the article forgets to mention is that the greatest problem Argentina had and still has wasn’t trying to get rid of the IMF and refuse further foreign-imposed austerity, but doing so while having corrupt politicians and corporations that stole the profits and negated the benefits of many of these measures. This is exactly what every “Peronist” government has done in Argentina, from Juan Domingo PerĂ³n and Evita to Cristina Kirchner. Every country, from USA to Canada and United Kingdom, has regulations that benefit their own economy. At times it was more intense so as to allow local growth and development, later on being relaxed in some areas so as to allow it to compete with the rest of the world.
There’s nothing wrong with making the well-being of your own population the main priority, above the well-being of investors. That is, as long as it´s done in a responsible manner rather than looting the country yourself.
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, April 30, 2015

The Top 10 Things you need during a Disaster

Ruinas. Rescatistas buscan cuerpor humanos entre los restos de un viejo edificio derrumbado.  /EFE
Although its impossible to know exactly what each individual will face during a specific event there are some recurring issues in most large scale disasters. Looking at the recent earthquake in Nepal as well as the volcano eruption in Chile, clearly there are certain things people desperately need. Even looking at terrorist attacks such as 9/11 its not hard to extrapolate and imagine what could happen when large urban structures collapse, parts of a city is shelled and people end up killed, injured, left without a home and displaced.
1)A cellphone

For communication with loved ones after the disaster, either using the phone, text or scrounging some wi-fi in various locations. Smartphones can be used to look up maps, get plane tickets, rent a car or hotel reservations on line, gather news, keep copies of important files, just to mention a couple of the most common uses. A waterproof smartphone with an impact proof case would be the ideal combination, something like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. If your cellphone has an incorporated FM radio though, remember that these usually require headphones to operate given that the phone uses them as the antenna.
During the Calbuco volcano eruption last week(it erupted today for the 3rd time) people rushed to buy face masks and bottled water. Conveniently, these have gone up in price five to ten times compared to pre-disaster prices. Gas was also in great demand. After the earthquake in Kathmandu, survivors faced the problem of not having enough money to buy food, which was for sale in nearby markets. Yes, cash is king. It gets you food, supplies, transportation and puts a roof over your head, sometimes along with a comfortable bead and minibar.

Another common theme found in both the Calbuco volcano eruption and the earthquake in Nepal. In the case of the volcano eruption, people pretty much have to live with their face mask on. In the case of Nepal, its needed first due to dust caused by the falling buildings, then by the debris being moved while rescuing people and finally due to the smell of rotting corpses. In these cases a simple face mask is better than nothing, a proper respirator is nice to have and a proper full face respirator would be ideal.
3M 7162 Full-Facepiece Spray Paint Respirator - Organic Vapor

Again in both cases water is a top priority. Volcano ash contaminates it and damaged the supply of tap water and the earthquake busts the infrastructure as well. You need water, and you need it fast. In a matter of hours people can become “hungry” for water.
5)Water Filter

Sometimes there’s water, but it just isn’t safe to drink. Here is where a filter is worth its weight in gold. In the case of the Berkey Sport, you can have both in the same bottle.
Ideally you would have a good fixed blade, a saw, an axe, a pickaxe, a crowbar, a shovel and power tools. If we cant have all of the above, a large multi-tool usually comes to the rescue nicely. Models like the Leatherman Charge, Wave and Surge have nice sturdy blades, cut through wire with little effort and even have pretty acceptable wood saws for emergency use.

7)First aid kit

A first aid kid in mandatory for dealing with small wounds. You can increase the life saving capability of  a comercial one by adding a CAT tourniquet and hemostatic gauze.
Useful for searching for victims, signaling for help and basically moving around the disaster area at night. Models that use common AA batteries may be easier to keep running if the battery offer is limited in the area. Headlamps are particularly useful because they liberate a second hand.
The whistle is one of the best ways of signaling for help. It is far more efficient than shouting and it can be heard from much further away. Many people trapped under the debris after the earthquake sure would have liked to put one to good use.

A litte tip: For years now I've kept a small whistle with me at all times by attaching one to my EDC light. (before you even ask, here's the link )
10) A Bug Out Plan
What people need most of all, is a Bug Out Plan. A place where they can find safety and a strategy to get there. When you no longer can stay in your main place of residence you will need an alternative. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, friends or family you can stay with for a while will do, at least for a short or medium term. Ideally, you would have options within your same city, within your same State, in other parts of the county and even abroad. In the case of Nepal, Kathmandu has seen extensive destruction and many people are looking to relocate elsewhere in other cities although many of the nearby towns and villages have been hit as hard or worse. In this case, some people may even consider leaving the country entirely if that’s an option. In the case of Calbuco eruption, the plume of ash affects a wide area as well, including entire towns and cities making it necessary to move away from the ash plume.
You need a plan to get yourself and your family to a safe location. The family needs a contingency plan in case members are separated when the disaster strikes, selecting rally points and having means of communication. You will need means to get to your Bug Out Location and a planned route to get there.
These are the topics I address in “Bugging Out and Relocating”, precisely for this type of event when staying in the disaster area isn’t an option.
Bonus Items
Maybe not making it to the top ten, but definitely must-haves as well:
The footage of people desperately digging through the rubble with their bare hands makes it awfully clear how important it is to have work gloves in your disaster kit. You may need them to dig through rubble to help neighbors, maybe your own loved ones. In some less dramatic situations, you may need them to work in repairing your home or finding belonging to salvage if the destruction was comple
2)A gun
Although most people do try to help one another during disasters, its also true that a small minority may try to take advantage of the lack of law and order. You don’t need a ton of “guns and ammo”. A handgun is compact, concealable and portable enough and it can provide a significant amount of peace of mind.
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”.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nepal: Man survives 82 hours under the rubble by drinking his own urine.

A man that survived 82 hours under the rubble of a collapsed building in Katmandu was finally rescued.
Rishi Khanal, 27, was in the second floor of his hotel when the earthquake hit. As the building partially collapsed around him, his foot was caught under the rubble. Rishi Khanal managed to survive by drinking his own urine. A French rescue team heard the noise he made banging against the rubble and saved him three and a half days later.
Lessons learned:
If trapped… save your own urine, because you never know. Have a good, multimode flashlight with you at all times. Take the time and attach a whistle to its lanyard. A whistle is MUCH more effective than shouting and crying out for help.
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”.