Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson Reveals...

Spy Secrets That Can

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Get Out Alive

Mailbag Monday

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One of the most important things in my opinion is clean drinking water. Which do you think is better, purification tablets or a water filter?

-From Casey M.

Answer: The question of filtering water vs. treating water really depends on what your situation is.

Basically, if you are drinking water from a mountain river then the water is probably pretty clean and you could simply use iodine tablets.

However, there are a few different reasons why I prefer using a water filter to get fresh drinking water.

First and most importantly, in a survival situation, chances are that I would be drinking from a dirty water source that may have floating bugs or other nasty things.

If I just treat the water with tablets, I’m still going to have the floating bugs and other dirt.

Second, iodine tablets take at least 30 minutes to treat the water before it’s safe to drink.

In a survival situation I want to be able to stop and drink water immediately at the source because I may need to keep moving.

Overall, I think a filter provides the best way to provide clean drinking water and I would own multiple filters to be safe.


My wife and I both use wheelchairs when we leave our home. Do you have any self-defense advice for those who are not very mobile?

-From Chester R.

Answer: I would say carry a weapon if you can, whether that’s a gun, knife, taser, tactical pen, etc.

Next, I would say to always fight back like crazy and punch the living daylights out of anyone that tries to attack you.

Of course, have good situational awareness and make eye contact with anyone who might be sizing you up, so they know you will not be an easy victim.


I want to make my house as least appealing to criminals as possible. I have thought about putting up signs that say “beware of dog” or “trespassers will be shot.” Do you think these signs make people stay away or does it make me a target?

-From Nate W.

Answer: I would put up the beware of dog sign, I would put up no trespassing signs. However, I wouldn’t put up the “trespassers will be shot.”

If you put up the first two signs I think that lets people know you mean business and is a good deterrent.


I want to get a revolver for concealed carry. My gun store is recommending the S&W 442 .38 special revolver. They say most customers who carry revolvers get one of these. Is this gun good enough to stop a bad guy?

-From Garrett L.

Answer: I like the gun and I own one myself. However, it is a hard gun to shoot well and has lots of recoil. So, I would definitely try it out first before you buy it.


I’m a new AR-15 owner and I set up a tactical vest with multiple magazine holders. I want to keep my vest ready to go in case I need to bug out during an emergency. Is it okay to leave my AR-15 mags loaded and on my vest? Will the magazines work as they should even if they sit for a long time?

-From Oliver G.

Answer: It’s hard to say for sure if the spring will weaken because there are a lot of factors that come into play.

First, is the magazine a quality brand? Or is it a cheap aftermarket mag? Also, moisture, corrosion, dust, and other factors can affect how well the spring works.

If you are using a quality magazine such as Magpul, and the magazine is stored in a clean, dry place, then it could last many years even if loaded.

In theory, a quality spring should last thousands of cycles before it goes bad. But, you will be able to tell if the spring is bad if it’s too easy to load ammo.

If you’ve got quality magazines and store them right, I would have no problem leaving them loaded for years at a time.


What are your thoughts on polymer guns? Do you think it’s important to buy guns made from metal or is polymer good enough?

-From Neal R.

Answer: With the way modern handguns are engineered, in my opinion, you can purchase a quality firearm whether it’s metal or polymer.

A lot of it comes down to personal preference and I own both metal and polymer guns.

I know that some people will knock polymer because they say it won’t hold up however, unless you live in extreme cold, polymer should hold up when using your firearm.

Many governments buy the polymer handguns because they’re cheap and easy to operate.

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