August 2014 – The Modern Survivalist – Ferfal
The August 2014 Featured Website of the Month is The Modern Survivalist run by Fernando Aguirre a.k.a. Ferfal. As I continue to study preparedness and what a SHTF might look like, I think Ferfal has some of the best ideas. His ideas come from his own experiences when he and his family went through the economic collapse of Argentina. Barring a Mad Max scenario, his advice and books are some of the best for those living in the city. You can catch him on his website and his popular Youtube channel. I’m very happy to present The Modern Survivalist and Ferfal as the August 2014 Featured Website of the Month!
Summarize the focus and purpose of your website. – My website is The Modern Survivalist, I write about real-world modern survival and disaster preparedness. Everything from natural and man-made disasters, current events, personal protection to security, finances, health and personal disasters. I like writing and distilling survival knowledge from actual events. I believe that if it happened before it may happen again and that if something worked for an individual or group of people it is likely to come in handy to others should they have to deal with similar circumstances.
What made you decide to start a website? – I’m from Argentina and lived through the economic collapse of 2001-2002. That first-hand experience was of value to others in the survival community so I started to write about it.
When the crisis started I tried to be as well prepared as possible. I bought several survival books, read many online articles and ended up reading a lot about building shelters and starting fires with sticks. That didnt help much. The “urban survival” books weren’t much better, usually a transplanted version of the wilderness survival literature.
I started writing about what I was learning, what worked and what didnt. I wrote a lengthy essay that was very successful called “Thoughts on Urban Survival”. I found myself posting a lot on forums and people would often email me asking about topics I had already written about. One day someone suggested that I should start a blog so that’s what I did. At first it was simply a way of keeping everything I wrote in a same place as reference for others and myself. In 2008 I finally published “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”. This would be the manual I wish I had myself back in 2001. In it I explain what worked for me, what didin’t and various lessons learned on urban survival, security and economic collapse preparedness.
How long have you run your website? – I’ve been blogging for six years but I have been active in various survival forums since 2000.
How much time do you spend dedicated to your website? – I spend at least four hours a day writing and researching for The Modern Survivalist. On the days I do videos for the The Modern Survivalist youtube channel I may spend another hour or two, maybe even three depending on the length of the video and how long it takes to get it right. Answering emails, writing and working on other projects takes up what’s left of the day.
What is one thing you really like about your website? – That we talk reality rather than fantasy. There’s enough “end of the world as we know it” stuff floating around. People get easily caught in fantasy scenarios and believe things would work out a certain way when the truth is that it wont. But they see it on movies or read it in a novel and think that’s real-world preparedness. One of the classic misconceptions is thinking that bugging out equals camping with a rifle and vest full of magazines. Cant think of a single individual that found that useful during a real disaster. Or that if the entire country goes down because of war or long-term widespread anarchy the best strategy is to head to a retreat and fight off the rest of the world with your gang of merry survivalists. Now the problem is, this just doesnt work in the real world. When there’s widespread anarchy and violence bugging in is the best way of getting killed. You eventually run out of food, supplies or luck. 90% of the cases its the last one that runs out first. It just isnt a long term solution to a long term problem. South African farmers suffered the shortcomings of the “fortified bunker” strategy maybe better than anyone else. I met some of them. They were alive because they didnt stay unlike thousands that kept fighting until they eventually got killed or kicked out of their own homes. Similar stories are ongoing right now in various parts of the world where there’s widespread violent conflict, places like Syria.
What is one thing that you want to change about your website? – I’d like to have a more simple format. It seems a bit too crowded and overcomplicated at times.
Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows. – Well, I dont keep any secrets from my wife so I cant think of anything she wouldn’t know of. But something most people wouldn’t know about me is that I used to paint (on canvas) a lot when younger and kept doing it until not that long ago. I won a couple of local prizes and an international one from United Nations. I still do sketching and watercolors every now and then.
Other than your site, what is your favorite non-preparedness websites to visit? – I check out Rotten Tomatoes often so as to have an idea of what good movies are floating around. Other than that, its either survival forums or news websites that I visit the most.
Do you have anything (projects, special posts, redesign) in store for the future of your website? – Yes, I’m looking to simplify the layout of The Modern Survivalist. Make it more simple.
What were the three books you last read? (Be honest) – Well, being completely honest the last one I finished reading was my own because I just published it. Its called “Bugging Out & Relocating”. Before that I read Philip’s “Modern School Atlas” as part of my research. I also read “Titanic Survivor” by Violet Jessop and Stephen King’s “Joyland”.
What would you like to say to readers at the Prepper Website? – That preparedness (or modern survivalism as I like calling it) is not about wasting money and time preparing for unlikely events but about being ready and addressing those things that are more likely to happen in your life first, making a risk assessment based on your own circumstances and location. If you’re not ready for growing old and getting sick, if you’re not ready in case you lose your job, if you don’t take care of your body and look after the relationships with your parents, wife and children, if you’re not ready for a blackout, snow storm or burglar, then there’s a good chance that worrying about stopping exconvict bikers and wondering what you’ll bring into “Barter Town” after “TEOTWAWKI” is a big waste of time.