Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Venezuela Collapse: State employees now work 2 Days a Week

Una calle con tendido eléctrico en el sector Catia en la ciudad de Caracas, Venezuela. Las consecuencias del fenómeno climático El Niño ha llevado al país a una grave crisis energética. EFE
Corrupt dictators rarely do well but the case of Venezuela sure is an extreme one.
Basically nothing works in Venezuela. Due to high levels of corruption and considerable stupidity by the thugs currently running the country, even basic services have become true luxuries over there. The government took over most aspects of the country’s economy and managed to ruin even the most resilient industries. There’s no fresh milk and fresh produce are extremely hard to come by. People have to wait in line for hours to get basic staples at supermarkets. The rolling blackouts are becoming more common, lasting now 4 hours a day instead of periods of two.
Due to the energy crisis, public non essential civil servants will work just two days a week. The mandatory leave used to be imposed on Fridays. There’s no school on Fridays as well.
Survival Tip: Which parts are “spared” from the blackouts? The fancy part in downtown Caracas (the capital) where most government offices are and where there’s the most tourism. As always, when a country suffers, its protects its own nucleus.
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”.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Survival Footwear: Salomon Quest 4D Forces

A bit disappointed with my Merrells (interior fabric broke in less than 6 months) but I have high hopes for my new Salomon Quest 4D Forces. Reviews are excellent, it’s often mentioned as one of the best choices in light hiking boots, usually along with Asolo Fugitive and Lowa Renegade II.The Quest are very comfortable, provide excellent support and although I haven’t used them nearly enough all reviews mention how durable they are.

What’s survival footwear by the way? Think of it this way: If your car breaks down and you have to walk a few miles back home. If there’s a disaster and there’s debris and broken glass to navigate through in your usually nice sidewalks, if you have no choice but to walk across uneven terrain or along paths and muddy trails to reach safety, if you have to stick with whatever’s on your feet right now for a few days or a few months. What would you rather have? If you think of it this way, you’ll be selecting what you wear with a different perspective and making the best of whatever dress code you have to work around.
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 21, 2016

Real EMP effects on vehicles?

Most survivalists have a problem with keeping things real. Too often they let fantasy get in the way and at times it isn’t that easy to tell fantasy from fiction.
EMP threat would be a good example. Elector magnetic pulses do occur, they are very much real and they do cause serious problems. But if you ask preppers and survivalists what would happen if a nuclear device was detonated above North America many of them would reply with significant confidence that most electronic devices would be affected by it and that cars would immediately stop running unless they were several decades old and didn’t have computers on board. Since pretty much everything has a computer in it these days, everything from cellphones to cars would stop working and we would be going back to the stone age overnight. Well, as common as this belief is, its far from accurate.
The following link explains actual tests of how EMP affects both running and non-running vehicles.
Its far from what most people think. A couple important points from the research linked:
1)All cars that weren’t running when hit by the EMP  were not affected and ran when turned on.
2)Only 3 out of 37 vehicles hit with EMP stopped running.
3)About one car in twenty may expect damage that requires a mechanic for repairs.  Two out of the three cars that stopped running due to thee EMP would run normally once turned on again.
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”.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gold, Rolex and Cash after SHTF

File:Gold Bars.jpg
I read the portion of your site devoted to the Rolex watch and the supposed value of the watch.
For the last so many decades I have been dealing in vintage watches.
Couple of points. It’s a ladies watch and ladies watches are much less in demand on the resale market than men’s watches are.
Also, there is no set price for vintage watches. It’s kind of what you can get. It’s not the stock market where the prices are posted for anyone to see.
Also, Rolex are a mass produced watch. Replicas are very good and not many people can spot the difference unless they have some experience in the field.
Best thing to have for emergency is gold. Bullion gold. Such as Maple Leaf coins or some other 999+ gold coin. Also, one should buy bullion gold coins in a minimum of 1/4 ounce size. Smaller than that there is a premium that the buyer never never gets back when they sell to a dealer.
Gold, as you well know is a publicly traded commodity with published, both print and on the net, prices for buying and selling.
Preppers are a funny bunch. Lot of silly ideas and full of conspiracies and fantasies about how they will cope/live in a difficult environment that they foresee coming our way.
They may be right about the future but I suspect few of them are prepared.
Btw, I have purchased your book and read it at least twice.
Be smart and lucky amigo.
All the best.
Thanks James, you bring up some excellent points.
As I said before it all comes down to how much you’re paying for it. There’s always a price. A buying price. A selling price (which usually offends those on the other side of the counter when they are the ones doing the selling) and there’s a price just too good to walk away from.
I would be very cautious about buying anything I don’t know well, for example in my case watches. I have a pretty good idea of what guns cost. I know a Colt Single Action Army has a certain value that no gunstore will refuse to pay for given the possible resale value, so I have a pretty good idea of what the “too good” price is. As you say though, it is better if you have a fixed, unbiased price for the specific item so that’s why gold and silver are so appealing. There’s no debate regarding their given price each day. Then again, there’s even less of a debate when it comes to a wad of cash. A couple thousand dollars in 100 USd bills is still pretty compact, and you don’t need to sell it fist to use it as you would with gold or silver. This is why the first savings you put aside for a rainy day, those should be hard cash.
“But cash is useless during an economic collapse”. No, no its not. Especially during the first few days and weeks, it may lose its value but it does so slowly. At the same time the shortage of cash, in spite of the economic collapse, creates an environment where cash is king. During this first period of time, cash gives you leverage even if it loses value. In the case of a strong currency like the USD, its even less likely that it will become worthless or lose significant value overnight.
Then yes, if you want to put aside something “economic collapse proof”, that’s when you go into precious metals.
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 14, 2016

10 Things to Love about Diesel BOV

So I had my diesel Honda CR-V for a couple months now. After a few days of getting used to it, I can say I now love the thing.
1)Stupid amounts of torque. 251 lb-ft, which is 90 lb-ft more than the gasoline version of the CR-V. On 1st gear, without touching the gas pedal (sorry, diesel pedal) it crawls up a steep hill on its own. It also has much better towing capacity in case you want to bring more stuff along with you. For the kind of off road capability you may be looking for in a BOV, where you want to crawl slowly but steadily through off road terrain, and then get yourself on better roads as soon as you can, diesel works great.
2)Cheap to drive. Diesel is itself cheaper than gasoline and it's more efficient when it comes to MPG. I haven’t done the math but savings of about 30 to 40% are about right.
3)Much safer fuel, both during car accidents and storage. Its not flammable like gasoline. An ignited match thrown into a glass of diesel gets extinguished while gasoline blows up. For someone into survivalism it is much safer to store diesel than gasoline. Diesel fuel does not evaporate as easily as gasoline, so it is much safer in accidents too.
4)Diesel lasts much longer than gasoline when stored. You don’t need to rotate your fuel storage nearly as often.
5)Diesel engines are more rugged, reliable and have a longer lifespan.
6)More range. Given how efficient diesel is it can go more miles per gallon. During an emergency this is a key aspect sometimes overlooked in favour of offroad capability and engine size. When all you have to work with is whatever is left in your fuel tank, MPG matters a great deal.
7)No more sparkplugs. Sure, you have glowplugs instead, but those last much longer and are less likely to have issues.
8)Diesel smells better. I at least like it better although I guess its personal taste.
9)Fuel options during SHTF. Around here every gas station that has gas has diesel as well one right next to the other, but beyond that there’s a number of other options as well if you have to get creative, from mixing it with a bit of vegetable oil to white spirits, using kerosene or heating oil. You don’t want to do this often and you sure have to check before trying how much you can push the limits with each specific diesel engine, but it sure is more tolerant than gasoline ones. Navy, Army, Marines and NATO allies, they all use diesel (JP-8). You can use commercial aviation Jet A-1 fuel in your diesel. Tanks? Yes, diesel as well.
10)Turbodiesel. Ahh! It’s nice to hear the engine road when you step on the gas, but hearing the soft whistling sound made by the turbocharger when driving is freaking awesome.
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”.