Showing posts with label hiding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hiding. Show all posts

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Syria, Anonymity in a Connected World and Life

Meant to write a good gear review today except all of a sudden it is 9 o'clock in the evening. I'm tired physically and emotionally. Been talking to lots of folks about lots of things. Maybe something will pan out but who knows. Talking to lots of folks for every deal that actually pans out is part of life I guess.

Been thinking about Syria. If there is a positive side for us getting involved I can't really see it. The talk about arming the rebels has increased. Honestly I am ambivalent about the whole thing. Don't know anybody who lives near there so whatever happens is fine.

The concept of anonymity has been on my mind lately. Stuff ranging from the easy Wally World throw away phone to getting a storage space, utilities or maybe even a short term place to stay without anybody being the wiser. I think it's important to be realistic. Things have changed a lot since the widespread use of computers and even more since 9/11. You can go ahead and toss all those 90's era Paladin Press Get Yer Fake ID in 4 Easy Steps books into the recycling bin. Beating a simple database search or official inquiry is probably a lot more realistic than evading the full force of a first world government, particularly if that government is the US.

Other than that not a whole lot is going on. About to end another work week which is nice. Looking forward to maybe tossing a few rounds downrange. The ammo situation seems to be getting better so I've been able to replace at least enough to shoot a box now here or there. Catching up on some sleep will be nice also.

Anyway that's what is going on here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lizard Farmer talks breaking contact and evading in the case that your home/ retreat/ compound/ bunker is overwhelmed. Lizard Farmer's words do not need to be rehashed but I have a few things to add. First I cannot tell you what would sort of situation would make you need to pull a runner. It is all METTC (mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time, civilians) dependent. Since I do not rely on acronyms I will spell it out in plain English. If you have a stone house that would stop anything short of an anti tank weapon with 600 meters of standoff and 12 shooters all of whom can ring 12" steel all day and night long at 600 meters and are being attacked by 4-5 goblins your situation is very different than a family with 2-3 shooters in a wood framed house that will not stop a .22 with 50 meters standoff being attacked by 8 goblins. I cannot say exactly what your bail out criteria should be but you would be well advised to put some thought into it. Second this is a reminder about the importance of caches. You don't want to die valiantly in place defending the doomstead. That is just really stupid. Either gather your tribe and take it back later or go someplace else, at least you and yours will still be alive.

This brings us back to caches.You are a lot less likely to do something stupid fighting an untenable situation and get your family killed (or worse) if all your food, weapons and equipment are not in the basement. Knowing there is ample food and equipment in caches or alternate locations will make the hard decision to abandon your home easier.

Anyway please do check out the excellent post from Lizard Farmer.

Brigid wrote about home defense and it is solidly worth checking out. Some stuff has been covered here or elsewhere and some is new ground.

In putting together this post I stumbled into an old guest post Dispersing for a Bit that was written by a man who made his living chasing down folks who did just what he writes about for a long time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Disappearing For A Bit: A Guest Post By The VP of Awesomeness

[ TOR here real quick. Today's post is brought to you by the VP of Awesomeness. He was a bail bondsman for a long time so I solicited his thoughts on this topic. My comments will be at the end in italics.]

Ok, let's face it, bad things happen to good people. I learned that shortly after I started by Bail Bonds business... I've seen people get in trouble and have to "disappear" for a short time. Just a couple points to cover in case this ever happens to you.

Always try to be the "Grey Man". Avoid the lifestyle bumper stickers at all costs. The ones that were successful at hiding, all drove average vehicles, wore nothing that would stand out and did nothing to draw attention to themselves.

Cash is king, while I do have some gold & silver put back, on the run or short term bugging out, use only cash. Split it up in your gear, don't keep it all on your person. Now the only exception to this that I've seen, that actually worked, was a Money Card. The woman was running from a violent relationship, her sister was putting money on a Walmart prepaid card, which works like a Visa for the most part, but you really have to trust the person applying the funds as they may have access to the card history.

IF you decide to travel with a firearm, I would keep it limited to something compact and easily hidden. While I would MUCH rather have an M4 and a chest rack full of mags, I keep it to a quality handgun & mags VERY well hidden.

Prepaid cell phone. If you find yourself in need of communicating, this is the ONLY way to go. Even then, use it enough and "they" can track it. Keep it short and sweet.

It really helps to have some sort of GPS in your vehicle, getting lost can lead to all kinds of problems. Follow the traffic laws, more people are found by your average traffic cop doing his job than by Hi speed warrant teams.

Unless you a have very deep pockets, you're going to need a source of income, and having a job on the books will not cut it, if you plan on staying free for any amount of time. So it's more often than not, it's going to be something in the building trades. Now, with the Job Market being what it is, unless you have usable skills, you may have some trouble finding something.

Find out where the Day Labor's hang out, you will be with a bunch of Hispanics, but if you are Legal & speak English, you should have a better chance at finding something. Something else that has worked, find a construction site and offer to do clean up afterwords. Salvaging cans and scrap metal is an option too. Just keep in mind you're trying to stay alive and free, not trying to compete with Donald Trump.

Keeping your expenses low. Living in your vehicle can be done and is being done a lot more than most people realize. Staying in a hotel will eat up funds and assist in getting you found. The successful one's I've spoke with, most were Van Dwellers, shopped as places like Aldi's and live cheap. I've added a link to a guy who lived successfully in his little Toyota Pickup for quite awhile to give you some idea's..

Use common sense, keep your head low and be the GreyMan...
Use common sense, keep your head low and be the Grey Man..

There really isn't much else to say. One significant point I just want to rehash is to think about who is looking for you. The implications are significant because who is looking for you (how they look) plus their motivation and resources/ reach will dictate how you need to act. 

I can not help but reiterate that having a functional vehicle with up to date tabs  (registration) is essential. Nothing flashy but the turn signals/ lights/ etc need to work. Also it is worth noting that having a valid license and insurance card is essential. Unless there is a warrant for your arrest if you have the right basic paperwork all but the worst traffic violation (driving 100 in a school zone or hitting someone) is handled with a simple ticket. Don't have that stuff and your likely going to face arrest and have your vehicle impounded and things will likely go downhill from there. 

Personally I think everyone should keep some cash around. For an average person a months worth of cash expenses is a good start and not a bad finish. If something weird is going on that is plenty to take a sudden 10 day vacation, particularly if you keep expenses down. Lets face it some lifestyles and jobs are a bit more prone to potential problems than others are. For a person with more risk having a higher percentage of their total assets on hand in physical cash would be prudent. 

When it comes to guns a good pistol with some mags is probably the way to go. Keep in mind that you are worried about basic self protection, not fighting off zombies. In a case extreme enough that your disappearance is going to be lengthy having a cache with some firepower would be wise. In many areas of the US even if a cop asks if you have a gun saying "Yeah I have a Glock/ 1911in my  backpack/ trunk (depending on the region)" will not raise suspicion. However having 2 semi automatic rifles, a shotgun, a sniper rifle and a carbine sitting on the back seat might cause problems. 

When it comes to communicating with friends and family it really depends so much on who is looking for you. If anything short of a widespread law enforcement search or  heaven forbid men who have  split their adult lives between the back woods of FT Bragg and the 3rd world then a quick pre paid call to tell Momma that you will be away for awhile but are safe would be fine. 

I like the van/ truck idea. 

Edited to include: Three more things jumped out at me while pondering this through the day. 

First is about essential prescription medications.  I am not highly informed on this topic but between meth maggots/ the abuse of prescription drugs in general, insurance and computers I do not think it is not so easy to discretely purchase meds these days. This is yet another reason to have some extra lying around, at least a 30 day (and ideally 90-180 days) supply. 

The last two are really just a bit more explanation of my thoughts on the "Grey Man" concept. I am sorry but aside from loitering around alleys and other obvious non typical behavior the biggest thing cops seem to profile is appearance.  While certainly not always the case often scum bags dress like scum bags. Having a normal average appearance with decent clean clothes helps a lot. If you want to avoid police scrutiny instead of looking like a member of Pantera or somebody on the Discovery Channels gang special look like a normal clean cut guy. The sort of boring guy you won't look twice at or remember seeing. 

Going along with the "Grey Man" theme DO NOT BREAK ANY LAWS YOU ABSOLUTELY DON'T HAVE TO! Think about it. You have gone to great lengths to disappear for awhile.  This is not the time to enjoy a nice cold roadbeer or punch the loudmouth jerk at the next table or try and get some weed. in a strange town or whatever. The "Grey Man" follows the rules, all of them, all the time, or at least it seems like he does. This is part of why he is so boring and nobody is interested in him.

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Please give the VP some kudos for being nice enough to share his knowledge with us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Review: The International Fugitive By Kenn Abaygo

Awhile back a wonderful reader (If I had a fan club he could be the VP of awesomeness or something) sent me a Glock mag and a bunch of books. A couple days ago I picked up The International Fugitive by Kenn Abaygo  from the stack on my end table. The VP of awesomeness was a bail bondsmen for awhile and said he learned a few things from this book which got my attention.

Like a lot of Paladin Press books this was a pretty quick read at 144 pages.  There are chapters on crossing borders, traveling by water and ground as well as air. It talks at least briefly about traveling in basically every way possible on every continent. Some of the stuff was pretty obvious but there were a lot of real gems. Towards the end it touched on citizenship issues as well as finding a place to settle down and getting a job.

This book was enjoyable for multiple reasons. It got me thinking about stuff I have never considered. Mostly how decent normal folks could find themselves in a situation where vanishing forever is probably the best course of action. Admittedly most of us will not end up in that situation but who knows what could happen. If Johnny "Knuckles" Giordano was after me because I happened to see something on a Sunday drive then getting out of the area where he has reach would be essential. Also keeping a low profile for the foreseeable future would be prudent.

It is very important to consider who wants to find you when choosing how to disappear. Knuckles Giordano might be big Mojo in his neighborhood and even the region. However the odds that he has border guards in Blane, Washington on the payroll are infinitesimal. While a lawyer who is chasing you to get money for something (rightly or wrongly) may ask a relative where you are they are not going to stick their head in a vice like Knuckles might. Then again a lawyer might be more skilled at finding you through various innocuous databases and information pools.

My only real criticisms would be that the author seems to either be 100 years old or have somewhat embellished his experiences. Also it is worth keeping in mind that the book was written in 1999 so a lot of things have changed. For instance I laughed heartily when he suggested Zimbabwe as a good place to go in Africa! Lots of stuff has changed but that can easily be verified via numerous up to the minute resources. Probably more importantly the profusion of computers and sophisticated tracking have probably made international travel a lot more difficult for those who need discretion.

Another good think the book mentioned that was interestingly reinforced by the Crotch Bomber about a month back is to look for weak points. For instance getting onto a plane in NY and flying to Paris with anything less than perfect papers is probably impossible. However if you flew from Mexico City to Serbia then traveled by private boat to Italy you would be in the EU and instead of being a victim of first world airport scrutiny you would be free wheeling in the EU. [Please don't tear my example to shreds, I didn't research it for an hour. Just came up with it off the top of my head.]

I enjoyed this book and it got me thinking about some interesting stuff. While it isn't the first book I would suggest for preparedness I think most people would say it is worth the $15 or so it costs. Who would get something out of this book? People who think they might need to drop under the radar would be well advised to pick it up and likely the others in the series. If your situation is tenuous enough that keeping a wad of running money and maybe even building a fake identity (it is illegal, blah blah blah) and acquiring a vehicle registered to said person is worth the time, expense and risk then reading this book certainly is. Most of us however are not in that situation. Maybe we want to have some options for discrete travel or just find the topic interesting.

Also those who have considered moving out of the US and becoming ex pat's would get a lot out of this book. It talks about many out of the way, enjoyable, discrete, and safe areas where the dollar goes a long way.

I seriously doubt anyone will regret reading this book.

Thanks again VP of Awesomeness
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