The Arizona Survivalist Prepper Expo at Tim’s Toyota Center. – Photo courtesy of Arizona Survivalist Prepper Expo.
PRESCOTT VALLEY – The word “survival” generally evokes images of toothless rednecks sitting in a hole atop cases of ammo clinging to their AR-15 assault rifle chewing on canned beef jerky while awaiting government troops to arrive. That is if you believe the image projected by the media and Southern Enriched-by-taxpayer-dollar Law Center.
While the scenario of government troops played out at the Bundy Ranch, recently, survival does not necessarily mean an encounter with government troops. We do not even have to use our imaginations to come up with alternate scenarios. The people affected by Katrina thought the government would take care of them. The people of Bellemont probably did not wake up expecting a tornado to rip through their town. The people of Oak Creek were probably not expecting a camper—or group of campers—to carelessly light a camp fire when we have had the driest season in recent memory. The list goes on. Survival preparedness is useful for any natural or man-made disaster or accidents in the home requiring medical attention.
On a more mundane level, many of these same products can be used for camping and fishing trips. Family picnics or gatherings in the home. Or just general everyday use, such as water filters and medical supplies.
Northern Arizona Gazette visited the Arizona Survivalist/Prepper Expo (Facebook) at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley on the 31st. After being passed through the efficient security personnel at Tim’s (who weren’t alerted to my coming), I got to get a look inside. The exposition run by Lance and his wife Lisa and a minimal staff feature not only the vendors, but guest speakers as well. Their mission is to provide vendors and information to assist citizens of Arizona in preparing for natural or man-made survival situations.
The booths at the exposition were not all about survival. A couple of politicians had booths as well as Arizona organizations. The Arizona Citizens Defense League which fights for Second Amendment rights had a table to provide information and sign up new members. The Prescott Valley chapter of the Young Marines also had a booth to sell excess supplies and raffle tickets for an M-14. Their efforts benefit their organization as well as Wounded Warriors and Toys-For-Tots. As an aside, one of the adult supervisors of the group stressed that the Young Marines is not a recruiting effort. It is an educational effort that teaches team work and discipline among other useful skills.
The recent Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan highlights the danger of living near a nuclear power plant. Many speculate not only that the dangers of the initial disaster were minimized in the media, but that the effects of the release of nuclear matter by the disaster could be felt for years to come. Owner Mike Peters, employee Allison Truong and Customer Liaison Ezra Child were on hand to display the Ultimate Bunker which can be built with protection against any such disaster in the United States. Ezra explained that the same capability can be used for people living in a forested area. Northern Arizona recently experienced the Slide Rock Fire. The air filtering system can be used to eliminate smoke in the bunkers.
The Ultimate Bunker can be used as a home as much as a bunker. Some have built homes underground simply because the temperature is a constant all year. Hydroponics or aquaponics systems may also be added.
Tim Ralston of Gear Up in Scottsdale. Featured on National Geographic Doomsday Preppers. – Photo courtesy of Arizona Survivalist Prepper Expo.
Tim Ralston of Gear Up has been featured on National Geographic Doomsday Preppers. We learned about him through an interview on Coast-to-Coast AM with George Noory. He was featuring his Crovel tool. Having seen one up close I can say that it is pretty impressive. Tonight I even saw one being used on the National Geographic show Diggers. They are solid tools built right here in Arizona. I would be glad to take a review model and put it through the paces here in the mountains of northern Arizona. Unfortunately time constraints did not permit an interview, but Tim is really a personable man and sat talking with people on a variety of topics. His counterpart at the booth was just as enjoyable to speak with.
There is also a local source of non-GMO seed in Chino Valley called Terroir Seed. As I understood it, they do not have a store, but you can order seed through their web site.
Another item which interested me was battlefield acupuncture. Dr. Michael Austin was at the expo from Tuscon to introduce the technique to northern Arizona. A variety of acupuncture techniques have been used by military physicians since 2001 to combat pain without drugs. The particular technique he is interested in teaching utilizes small needles in the ear which he considers safer than the traditional method with large needles in various parts of the body.
The bottom line is that if you want to see the latest in just about every survival possibility in one location, these expositions are well worth the $10 admission for the entire event. It is as much a learning experience as a buying one.