Monday, March 18, 2013

National Preppers & Survivalist EXPO Review


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National Preppers & Survivalist EXPO Review

Downtown Nashville was host to the National Preppers & Survivalist EXPO over the weekend at the Expo Center. After a lengthy drive to Music City from our eastern retreat, we were anxious to view the show.  Having timed our 10:30 arrival for just after the crowds, we were surprised to see a huge crowd inside the gates of the Expo Center and cars slowly traveling up and down the lots in search of a good parking spot.

I was piloting our E350 War-Wagon through the fray when I noticed a line of perhaps a few thousand people stretching across the lot and around one of the largest buildings in the complex. After a few choice words about the length of the line, we noticed a forgotten area of the parking lot and were successful in parking  the van.

We weren't parked too far from the full-sized outdoor display of Triton Shelter Technologies' beautiful underground shelter. Glancing back at the line as we made our way to the shelter's entrance, I realized that the long line was for a gun show going on in the next building at the same time as the NPS Expo. The day was getting better already.

Triton's shelter was an eye opener! What a nice job they've done building an underground RV. As I stood inside the center living area I wondered why I even live on the surface of the earth when I could have one of these.

We made it out of the shelter without spending any money and cut through the gun show line to the entrance of the prepper expo. After filling out the raffle forms we started our tour of the show.

There were far fewer people in the prepper show than outside in the gun show ticket line, so we had both the room and the time to get a good look at all the booths and exhibits. There were the booths you'd expect with knives, packs, food, seeds, water purifiers and other typical prepper gear, as well as a couple more underground shelter dealers. My wife found some tomato seeds she'd been hoping to find and some reusable canning lids all at a very reasonable price. I was able to meet some local preppers and learn about some of the local groups, too.

We were able to take it all in in about 2 hours time. Unfortunately, the public address system being used by the guest speakers wasn't the greatest, and they could not be heard from the last row of seats where we sat for about 15 minutes straining to hear what was being said. It was clear that all of the scheduled talks would have had the same acoustical problem throughout the day. In the two hours we had spent there, the crowd had become a bit bigger and getting around was becoming an issue with so many people standing in the aisles taking it all in.

For us, it was time to go. On the way out we passed the Doomsday Preppers casting booth and noticed that there doesn't seem to be any shortage of preppers who want to show the world what they have and where they keep it.

For those who took the time to set up a booth and work the show, thank you! We both enjoyed it. Hopefully it can be better planned next time to include a meeting room with a suitable public address system for the keynote speakers who deserve a bit better than what was there.However, all said it was a great show. The skies were sunny and clear making it a perfect day, and with free admission and only $5.00 to park it was very affordable. I'll be looking forward to next year's show.

As we walked back to the parking lot, we noticed the gun show line was still as long as it had been earlier. I was grateful that guns were not an item we were lacking in.

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