Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Welcome to my new sponsors

I'd like to take a moment to welcome two new sponsors to my blog. I had the pleasure of meeting both of them at the Denver Self Reliance Expo. The first one is LPC Survival. If you've ever been to a survival blog with direct banner ads then you've probably seen one of their banners. For years they've supported several of the survival blogs in the prepping community. I'm happy to be the latest one on the list. They sell several different Berkey water filters and the parts to make your own (you did see my DIY Berky bucket filter post that I did sometime last year, right?) if you don't want one that's made out of nice, shiny stainless steel or that has a built in LED lighting system. They also sell everything from Wise food storage survival buckets (keep an eye out for an upcoming review) to emergency seed banks. Go check out their site, have a look around and patronize them if you find something that you need.

Forge Survival Supply is another new sponsor. They had one of the coolest booths at the show by far. Why? Because they were selling a wide selection of those cool survival tools and gadgets that we all love to play around with. Crank GMRS radios? Check. Knives that don't suck? Check. Ultralight 4 season bug out tents? Check. Hell, they even had a collapsible grappling hook. So what stands out about the products that they're selling? They're not junk. They don't sell anything without testing it first and they review a lot of their products on their gear review website Survival Cache. Thanks to them I finally got to put my hands on a Fallkniven F1 before buying. It's the survival knife that the Swedish Air Force has issued to their pilots since 1995. Look for the review when I finally get a chance to put it to good use. Check out their site when you get a chance. They're good guys who have good taste when it comes to survival gear.

I still have room for more banners so if you're interested in advertising feel free to shoot me an email at artyboy at gmail dot com. I'm cheap, I've been around a long time and I'm not going anywhere. I'm also selective. I only take on advertisers who sell quality products and who take care of their customers (my readers).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Denver Self Reliance Expo was a hit

So this weekend the Denver Self Reliance Expo was held at the Denver Western Stock Show Complex. It surpassed all of my expectations. Granted I didn't expect much. I'm not even sure what I expected, exactly. Regardless, at the end of the day I was impressed by everything. Everyone was very professional, friendly and willing to make a deal. I managed to pick up some needed preps at a good price, I met some great people in the prepper community, I got some great ideas for future posts and I even landed a couple of sponsors. I will welcome them all within the next few days in dedicated posts.

The majority of the booths consisted of storage food. "Survival buckets" were the most popular item for sale by far. You've probably seen them before. They generally consist of several packages of individual, freeze dried entrees sealed in mylar, packaged in lightweight, space saving buckets. There were also a lot of vendors selling #10 cans of everything from freeze dried fruit to eggs to mountain house entrees. Besides the typical fair that you'd expect from a preparedness expo there were a couple of standout products.

The 40 day/night preparedness pail was the best "survival bucket" at the show as far as I'm concerned. It contains a 36# assortment of organic, vacuum packed, dried whole grains, beans and other necessities. It also includes a meal supplement that they call "enerfood". It's a dried powder that contains most of the essential nutrients that you're body needs. Even if you're not in an emergency situation a tablespoon of this stuff every day will be extremely beneficial to you. If you are in a prolonged emergency situation and you're down to nothing but your five year supply of beans and rice you'll wish you had something like this to ensure that your body keeps getting all of the nutrients that it needs. Would you prefer to choke down a super compressed multi vitamin ever day that's made out of a bunch of stuff that you can barely even pronounce (and barely digest) or would you rather mix a tablespoon of powder made out of easily recognizable, easily digestible organic herbs into every meal? I thought so.

Another standout food storage solution was Life Sprouts. Sprouting is something that I've always encouraged preppers to look into. Life Sprouts will show you how to do it right and provide you with the products to ensure success. They've been around for about 20 years so I'd say they know what they're doing. They've got good prices on seed that's produced especially for sprouting. Check them out if sprouting is your thing or you're interested in trying it out.

There were plenty of other really cool booths there with original ideas. There was a company selling NBC shelters that they can build under your garage floor. I've looked into several different designs and that's the first one that I've seen that may actually make sense for someone with limited space in an urban environment. If you're an engineer with knowledge on NBC shelters feel free to rip this one apart for me. The solar oven booth was cool, too. They had a few ovens set up outside when I showed up with some bread baking. It seemed to be making good progress. I'm confident that the $20 solar oven design that I have in mind will work just as well, though. I just haven't gotten around to testing it. Maybe I'll hold off until we get a nice, cold, sunny day this winter. Amanda's Darn Good Salsa was a definite winner. If you can find it you should give it a try. You can also just order it from her website if you want to take my word for it. There are plenty of flavors to choose from.

I could go on all day. I'll be mentioning some other vendors in future posts. Overall, it was a great couple of days and it was nice to see my wife get excited about preparedness for once. If stuff like this is what it takes to get the masses behind it then I'm all for it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Self Reliance Expo in Denver

This weekend the Self Reliance Expo is coming to Denver. Adult tickets are $9 ($7 if you're a senior or you preorder online). Kids 12 and under are free. It will be held at the National Western Stockshow Complex on September 16th and 17th. It's open from 10-8 on Friday and 9-6 on Saturday.

Dave Canterbury from the Discovery Channel's "Dual Survival" series will be the keynote presenter. Jack Spirko, the host of "The Survival Podcast" will be speaking as well. There will also be several workshops going on throughout the weekend. You can read all about those on the website. Of course, there will be several exhibitors offering everything from firearms to kitchen appliances. If it relates to preparedness you should be able to find someone who's selling what you're looking for. There's also a casting call going on for the National Geographic channel's upcoming prepper reality show. I have no idea what the details are behind that but I'm sure they'll fill you in if you're interested.

I plan on being there Saturday morning to check it out. I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's good to see that there's enough interest in preparedness to warrant a major expo. There's another one coming up in Salt Lake City October 7 & 8 if you can't make it to this one. I'll be posting up an after action review sometime next week so keep an eye out for it.