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.
National Preppers & Survivalists Expo(Jacksonville, FL) 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 expo hasn't been planned yet, so keep an eye out.
Self Reliance Expo(Denver, CO) This is a family-friendly event focused on educating and empowering citizens on becoming self-reliant with a focus on preparedness, survival, sustainability, and homesteading. With more than 100 exhibitors showing off their wares and services and over 20 speakers on multiple stages, there's no shortage of activities here. The Self Reliance Expo takes place on September 22-23, 2018
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 2018 Prepper Camp runs September 28th, 29th, & 30th.
Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo(Birch Run, 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 September 29, 2018.
Sustainable Preparedness Expo(Undetermined) For the past several years, the Sustainable Preparedness Expo has been held in multiple locations. This survival expo focuses on off-the-grid self-sufficiency and disaster protocol. Unfortunately, they have indefinitely postponed all future expos, but sign up for their mailing list for updates.
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 a temblor of 8.0 magnitude.) The 7th Annual Preparedness Expo takes place March 10, 2018.
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 is already over but returns April 26-27, 2019.
Family Emergency Readiness Expo(Howell, MI) Here's a great one for those of you in Howell, MI. This free expo includes tours of a survival flight helicopter, tactical vehicle and command center, and various other rescue vehicles. There are a number of speakers to educate your family on how to handle an emergency and there are plenty of exhibitors. This event takes place on Sep 8th, 2018.
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 opportunities to touch base with like-minded 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 blog posts 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 home run 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.