If you’ve ever even simply casually investigated disaster preparedness and survival, you probably already know how much “prepper” information exists online. You can bone up on the basics of weathering both natural and manmade “SHTF” scenarios and order the necessary tools and supplies—all over your computer or smartphone. (And hey, we like to think our Mountain House blog has some useful resources along both of those lines…)
That’s all well and good, but there’s much to be said for reinforcing that web-based learning and provisioning with some hands-on and face-to-face activity. That’s the virtue of a high-quality prepper expo or survival expo, good examples of which can be found all across the country.
Drawing folks from all walks of life, these gatherings see experts share knowledge, practitioners swap advice, and vendors sell wares—all in the name of being ready in the event of a grid failure, a severe storm, a flood, or any other disruption, as well as generally adopting a more self-reliant mindset and lifestyle.
A Sampler Pack of Survival Expos
These prepper conventions and doomsday expos range in size from small county-level affairs to major regional exhibitions, and we won’t be able to present an exhaustive list of them. Here, however, are a few standout examples from different corners of the U.S.
(1) National Preppers & Survivalists Expo (Gonzales, LA)
The National Preppers and Survivalists Expo fills its two days with loads of exhibits, high-level classes, and other resources for anyone interested in emergency preparedness, homesteading, and survival. This year’s hits March 4 and 5.
(2) SGK Emergency Prepper Expo (Fredericksburg, VA)
The SGK Emergency Prepper Expo puts the focus both on emergency preparedness as well as all-around sustainable living. The next SGK Emergency Prepper Expo falls January 28 and 29, 2017 at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center.
(3) Prepper Camp (Saluda, NC)
Prepper Camp takes place in a bushcraft-friendly setting: the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina. It’s an immersive experience, what with the cookouts, fishing, swimming, music, and other rustic fun augmenting the demos, lectures, classes, and vendor stalls on hand. The 2017 Prepper Camp runs September 15 through 17.
(4) Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo (Dimondale, MI)
One of the premier prepping happenings in the Midwest, the Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo offers lessons from the experts on everything from assembling a 72-hour kit to taking care of Fido and Fluffy during a disaster. This year’s run-through happens April 1.
(5) Sustainable Preparedness Expo (Grants Pass, OR & Spokane, WA)
For the past several years, the Sustainable Preparedness Expo has been held in multiple locations; in 2017, it’ll take place May 21 in Grants Pass, Oregon and October 1 in Spokane, Washington. This survival expo focuses on off-the-grid self-sufficiency and disaster protocol.
(6) Preparedness Expo (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Put on by the American Red Cross, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and El Dorado Broadcasters, this prepper convention provides attendees with the know-how to respond to all sorts of cataclysms, although it puts special emphasis on the kinds of disasters San Luis Obispo County residents might be most likely to experience. (For instance, “THE BIG SHAKER!”, a 24-foot-long hydraulic trailer, simulates an temblor of 8.0 magnitude.) The 6th Annual Preparedness Expo takes place March 11, 2017.
(7) PrepperCon (Sandy, UT)
PrepperCon markets itself as the “ComicCon” of prepper expos, and it certainly goes above and beyond to incorporate a bit of fun and entertainment into the proceedings: from celebrity appearances to a prepper-themed fashion show. The Hurricane Simulator, meantime, gives you a firsthand taste of a Category 3 tropical cyclone’s punch. This year’s PrepperCon falls April 21 and 22.
(8) Full Spectrum Preparedness Expo (Topeka, KS)
The Full Spectrum Preparedness Expo has the classes, lectures, and supplies needed to ready yourself for whatever contingencies might be coming down the pike. This survival expo—which also proudly aims to foster a sense of community among Sunflower State preppers—will take place March 25 and 26 this year.
Whether you’re a veteran prepper or somebody who’s just now realizing the importance of readying oneself for garden-variety emergencies and once-in-a-lifetime disasters alike, doomsday expos and prepper conventions can provide valuable instruction, tried-and-true survival equipment, and plenty of opportunity to touch base with likeminded enthusiasts. Any of the above prepper expos are well worth checking out, and remember that there are plenty of others.
Turn to Mountain House for Prepping Tips—and Provisions!
Meanwhile we hope you’ll explore some of the other Mountain House blogposts dedicated to emergency/disaster preparedness—whether prepping on a budget, building a storm shelter, or properly storing food for emergency use. They make good background reading ahead of an emergency preparedness expo. And don’t forget that Mountain House’s Just In Case…® 14-day Emergency Food Supply kits make ideal provisions for your bug-out bags and other prepping reserves: This compact and stackable stockpile includes a delicious diversity of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for one person (totaling 100 servings). Like other Mountain House products, the 14-day kit hits a homerun with a killer combination: the longest shelf life in the industry and mouthwateringly good preparations—from Granola and Blueberries to Chili Mac with Beef to Chicken Teriyaki. (Hey, who said emergency rations had to taste like cardboard?)
Whether or not a prepper convention’s in the cards for you this 2017, we wish you luck in whatever disaster preparedness you engage in over the coming year: It’s worthy work, no doubt about it.