Camping & Survival

Is Urban Survival Urban Hype?

Today we feature blogger Fernando “FerFal” Aguirre from the blog Surviving Argentina who writes on the “hype” of some “urban survival” classes.

Some of the stupidity being sold as preparedness and survival skills these days is amazing. The amount of trash is too big to go through all of it. Survival is on the spotlight these days, especially urban survival, and there’s an entire market for it. Seems that these days being thrown into a trunk and learning how to pick handcuffs is one of the most valuable skills to be learned, and most of this is coming from people who don’t know much about realistic survival situations, they eat all of this up like hot chocolate fudge.

People want to be Jason Bourne. Its cool, sounds great and the market appeal is terrific.

I loved the Bourne movies, people. They’re a blast… and it is just a MOVIE! Sorry if I burst anyone’s bubble.

Where to start? Picking handcuffs and being thrown into trunks?

Kidnappers don’t throw you into trunks guys.

They seat you between two other guys in the back seat and if you move, you get shot. Why throw you into a trunk where you can make a lot of noise whenever they stop (that thing called traffic) and alert everyone near by? The only cases I know of people who managed to escape managed to speed away before getting caught, a couple jumped out of the moving vehicle (and got seriously hurt, unlike TV ) because the kidnappers didn’t plan right where everyone would sit and set the door on childproof.

One neighbor that got kidnapped, he escaped by bending the metal sheath roof of the shack where he was held and escaped from there.

Now serious kidnappers, they’ll chain you to a bed and have someone watching over you all day.

Newsflash folks: if eight guys seize you with intentions of kidnapping, you are going nowhere, you won’t pick your way out of anything.

Instead of worrying about opening trunks you’ll never be thrown into unless you’re a movie star and picking handcuffs, worry about not getting caught, because that’s worth the time and money invested.

Fooling alarm systems, I mean who comes up with all this? Who convinced people this was useful… other than for thieves? Oh, yes, I could come up as well with some far fetched scenario that will never occur even if I live 1000 years.

At the end of the day you’ve practiced a bunch of “cool” secret agent tricks, you feel like “The Jackal” with your disguises and fake IDs, but you spent your time and money on something of almost no value in much more realistic, more likely situations.

There are skills worth learning, starting a car without the proper keys may as well be one… AFTER you learned the other 200 or so skills that would prove more valuable and are much more likely to be needed and used.

Want to learn a valuable urban survival skill?

  • Learn to shoot
  • Learn to fight
  • Learn CPR (visit your Red Cross Chapter or your local hospital)
  • Learn to navigate and know your location and the surroundings like the palm of your hand
  • Know your own culture or the one of you AO and network for friends.
  • Learn defensive driving
  • Have REALISIC plans.

Most of all THINK. It’s something so rare these days. People wouldn’t do ½ of the stupid things they do if they followed that simple advice.

What I’m saying here is, all skills may come in handy on day and are worthy in their own way. Leaning to build a canoe using fire and stone tools is a honorable skill, but is it a skill worth my time? Freeing yourself from a knot maybe be useful one day if mugged in your home, but how worthy is it to someone that doesn’t know home and personal security safety measures, or defensive gun fighting and doesn’t practice daily concealed carry? Classes that teach you what you see in action movies, leave those to actors and stunt men, and put your money and time to better use.

About the Author – Fernando “Fer-Fal” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” (available for purchase at and is a professional blogger at Surviving in Argentina.

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