Review of Self-Reliance Expo, Denver, Colorado by L.K.O.

I recently spent a day at at the Denver Self-Reliance Expo. It was held September 16-17, 2011. The expo showcased a variety of friendly and enthusiastic survival, self-reliance and preparedness vendors and presenters. Several of the companies there are loyal SurvivalBlog advertisers. It was great meeting many of them in person for the first time. Just one example was meeting Dave Duffy of Backwoods Home Magazine. I had been reading his columns for many years, so it was about time!

In the arena of weapons and security, vendors included 5280 Armory, Hilltop Safes, Smart Product Technology (underground security pods), On Sight F.A.S.T. (FireArms & Survival Training), and Blue Line Security.

Alternate Energy exhibitors included UVpaqLite (featuring Tooblite reusable glow sticks and flat packages that provide sheets of light after exposure to daylight or even significant artificial light), Solar City (a full service solar provider in a similar market as CitizenRe), Peak Candle, 4EverLight, Humless (compact portable pure sine inverters with a generous assortment of output connectors), Solar Gadgets USA (iPhone and phone chargers, flashlights), Emergency Prep, JMI Wind Energy (2KW 6-blade 3-phase generator with super-strong magnets) and HVAC companies like Cooper Heating & Cooling, Costco, AccuTemp Heating & Air, Mountain View Mechanical, and Lennox.

Food storage vendors were represented by Ark Ready, Shelf Reliance, Vital Food Storage, Down To Earth Seeds (non-hybrid, open pollinated, GMO free, heirloom seeds), Grandma’s Country Foods, Daily Bread, The Honey People, Soup For Supper, Amanda’s Salsa, G & R Foods Inc., Simply Canning, and Grab N Go Food Storage. All the (generous) samples were remarkably tasty considering their intended extended shelf life.

Berkey Water / New Millennium Concepts, Tanks 4 Less, AquaPail, and Free Water Systems were the featured water storage exhibitors. Kitchen and food storage equipment vendors included the vibrant new company Pantry Paratus, as well as Tattler Reusable Canning Lids, and Daily Kneads (bread-making classes)

Stoves and oven vendors included Eco Zoom, StoveTec, Volcano Grills tri-fuel (propane, charcoal, wood) portable stove/grill, Can Cooker and veteran solar cooker Sun Oven with a live demo outside in the sunlight in addition to their indoor booth.

In the Health and Herbalism department, there was Dr. Christopher’s School of Natural Healing, EnerHealth Botanicals (cocoa, coconut milk, meal powder, etc.), dTERRA Essential Oils, and Life Sprouts (sprouters with a diverse assortment of sprouting seeds.) On the other end of the preventioncure spectrum, FalloutX featured three different products for mitigating the effects of minor, moderate and acute radiation exposure.

LPC Survival, Forge Survival Supply, and Farris Survival filled the Store/Distributor category. Denver Tent and Trek Light Gear‘s comfy hammocks provided outdoor gear. HayWireKlamper offers a handy strong wire-binding system and My Healthy and Clean Solutions demonstrated anti–microbial (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral) sanitizers; an interesting approach to sanitizing without VOCs, alcohol, etc.)

In the education, books, and media category, we saw (giving away informative sample DVDs such as Experts Speak Out), Chelsea Green Publishing (books on sustainable politics and living), justly popular Backwoods Home Magazine, International Institute of Natural Wellness Education, The Prepper Podcast Network, Prep Simple, DoctorPrepper / PreparednessRadioNetwork, the American Red Cross, the PathFinder School, Sierra School of Survival, Project Appleseed, Jack Spirko’s SurvivalPodcast, and stations KHNC, KLZ and BYUtv. National Geographic had a film crew there interviewing exhibitors and presenters presumably for a Doomsday Preppers” episode for their network programming.

Vehicles (quads, ATVs, including side-by-side models) were represented by Sun Enterprises and Quality Silver Bullion appeared to be the lone precious metal/coinage entry.

Other vendors included Handy Sharp (knife sharpening), Home Depot and broker Ullrich Insurance. All in all ,the expo was a small but well-rounded trade show with something for everyone.

By the way, the next scheduled Self Reliance Expo will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 7th & 8th. Anyone that lives within driving distance shouldn’t miss it.

– L.K.O. (SurvivalBlog’s Central Rockies Regional Editor)