Hump Day Camels

It’s Wednesday — time to get your personal security in gear! This week: an expert looks at “going to the ground” in a fight, and why you should consider grappling in your training; easy ways to blend in with the locals while traveling; how to decide between a rifle or a shotgun to protect your home; why a bug out trailer beats a bug out bag; cardless ATM thefts are on the rise; understanding the difference between when you can shoot and when you should; and how to make your smartphone far more secure than it is right now. Enjoy — and please share with your friends, family, and coworkers!


“I’m not a martial arts expert, but I watch a lot of videos”

I’m glad Cecil Burch is out there to comment on the silly martial arts stuff which floats around the internet. You can find lots of shooting instructors saying things like “don’t let the fight go to the ground”, but as Cecil points out the ground can be your friend or your enemy — depending on whether you understand how to use it in the fight. As Cecil says, your unarmed defensive skills really should have a grappling component!


Being the grey man (or woman) overseas

Traveling overseas is a wonderful way to meet people and learn about other cultures. Unfortunately tourists are regularly targeted for a wide range of crimes, up to and including kidnapping and murder, simply because they’re seen as easy targets. Be very clear: I’m not saying other countries are seething hotbeds of crime, or that you shouldn’t travel because it’s dangerous. I am saying that the smart person does his or her best to lower their victim profile both at home and abroad — it’s just that blending in here is different than anywhere else! Here’s a good article explaining what unique American styles stick out overseas, and what you should wear instead to look like a local.


The age-old question: shotgun or rifle for home defense?

Our former Vice President famously suggested a double-barreled shotgun as the only thing anyone needed for home defense. Of course he’s not even passingly familiar with the subject, but lots of people in the defensive shooting world are of the opinion that the shotgun is the best tool for defending yourself and your family. What are the considerations when trying to decide between the shotgun and a defensive rifle? Check out this Personal Defense Network video for some answers from Rob Pincus!


Bug out bag? How about a bug out trailer instead?

While many people disagree with me, I’m not generally in favor of “bugging out” in the face of a disaster UNLESS your home is physically damaged to the point that it is unsafe. If that’s the case, and if a lot of other people are in the same position, you and your family are quite unlikely to survive by heading to the hills with your bug out bags (BoB). As many people who’ve been through all kinds of mass casualty incidents have impressed on me, becoming a refugee is never something you should choose to do. I’m of the opinion that a fully stocked and maintained travel trailer is actually a better survival proposition for most people, as it gives you safe housing that can simply be left in your driveway. If the roads are packed because everyone else is leaving, you can be snug and secure in your travel trailer! Apparently I’m not the only person with this opinion, as this article shows. (Just to be clear: if the roads are so packed you can’t take your travel trailer, you’re not going to use a vehicle either — and that means the situation is quite dangerous to anyone without hard shelter. If your house is destroyed, I believe you’re far better off sheltering in place in your trailer.)


Cardless ATM fraud? It’s the latest way to empty your bank account.

I must admit to being a little impressed with the ingenuity of some criminals. The latest is cardless ATM fraud: using a mobile app to gain access to your checking account. With the increase in mobile authorization features at ATMs, you can bet this kind of crime will be on the rise. Read this article from Krebs On Security to learn about cardless ATM fraud and how it’s done.


Knowing when not to shoot is as important as being a good shot

In the defensive shooting world we spend a lot of time teaching students how to make their shots faster out of the holster. What we don’t spend a lot of time doing is teaching people when NOT to shoot, and even less time teaching people when they should just turn and run in the other direction. This article from Greg Ellifritz illustrates why running to the sound of gunshots is often a very bad idea — even if you’re a police officer. If his thoughts aren’t sobering, you probably aren’t thinking deeply enough about the issues.


Creating stronger smartphone passwords

Your smartphone is as valuable to a criminal as your wallet — with the amount of personal information contained in the things, it may even be more valuable. The person who has access to your smartphone has access to your communications and, if you’re like most people, to your finances as well. You should make your smartphone as hard to break into as possible, but that also makes it more difficult for you to access as well. Where is the sweet spot, and what’s the best way to increase the security of your phone? This article is specific to the iPhone but the concepts talked about are likely valid for any make of smartphone (and for your computer, as well.) Important reading!

– Grant

P.S.: Are you serious about using a revolver to defend yourself and your family? Then you need to take my Threat-Centered Revolver course, coming up in Phoenix in just a few weeks! Here’s more information on the course, and here’s a link to sign up!

Opening photo by Backpacker – (CC0 public domain)


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