Review of the Self-Reliance Expo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, by L.K.O.

Following two previously-mentioned Self-Reliance Expos in Denver, Colorado (September 16-17, 2011 (see the SurvivalBlog review here) and Salt Lake City, Utah (October 7-8, 2011), the National Self Reliance Organization (NSRO) began it’s 2012 season with another weekend expo in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Returning Vendors

This expo again showcased a variety of enthusiastic and friendly survival, self-reliance and preparedness vendors and presenters. Many of the companies there are loyal SurvivalBlog advertisers. I enjoyed meeting many new vendors in person for the first time as well as those who had been at the September expo as well.

Among vendors returning to the expo with new offerings, Pantry Paratus added a new cheesemaking line to their existing product roster. Chelsea Green Publishing added several new titles to their books on sustainable living, including The Art of Fermentation, The Natural Building Companion, The Holistic Orchard, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. And of course our friends at Backwoods Home Magazine has added new issues which will now join the ranks with their extensive and popular back-issue inventory.

Other returning vendors included: American Preppers Network (self-reliance education), AquaPail (gravity-fed portable water treatment systems), Daily Bread (food storage, including freeze dried), DoTerra (d?TERRA essential oils), Emergency and Disaster Prep (food storage products for all types of personal crisis & disasters, backup & emergency power systems), EnerHealth Botanicals (cocoa, coconut milk, meal powder, etc.), FalloutX (radioactivity mitigation), Forge Survival Supply (Survival Cache gear), G & R Foods Inc. (nutritional powders, storable/canned foods, shredded cheeses), Humless (compact portable pure sine inverters with a generous assortment of output connectors), Life Sprouts (sprouters with a diverse assortment of sprouting seeds), LPC Survival (water filtration, storage and many other survival products), National Geographic (film crew for ‘Doomsday Preppers’ episode interviewing exhibitors and presenters), New Millennium Concepts (water purifiers), Project Appleseed (Revolutionary War Veterans Association, marksmanship clinics), School of Natural Healing (herbalist education, courseware), Shelf Reliance (food storage, racks, emergency kits), Solar Gadgets (solar phone chargers, flashlights), Sun Oven (solar cooking appliances), Ullrich Insurance (broker for various insurance companies), and UV Paqlite (reusable glow sticks).

New Vendors

I counted 39 new vendors, compared with 24 returning ones, so the NSRO expo venue is definitely growing and gaining momentum. In the arena of Alternate Energy, Lighting and Fuel, new vendors included ARC Solar Systems (compact portable power systems with a flexible PV component that rolls up into a storage cylinder slightly larger than a sleeping bag), InstaFire (storage fire starter/fuel), GO Solar (portable solar power systems), SoCal Flashlights LLC (Olight Brand Flashlights), and Survival Bottle (Instafire, flashlights, Legacy food storage, water bottles).

Currency and Exchange exhibitors included Ann Haney Ministries (Living In Abundance Couponing and Swiss America (precious metals).

In the Education, books and media category, we saw new exhibitors Colorado Springs Preppers (a local prepper network; also see American Preppers Network for more self-reliance education), Doom And Bloom (medical preparedness; Survival Medicine Handbook), The Survival Mom (book, a variety of survival products, online classes), Equip 2 Endure (Survival training courses, books), Richard Two Elk – Digital Video (Recording, editing, DVD authoring), Sea Cadets (Naval cadet programs), and Survival Quarterly Magazine (Survival magazine and DVDs. The magazine is edited by Karen Hood, the widow of the late Ron Hood).

Food, Food storage, stores, and distributors were represented by Everest Mountain Foods (freeze-dried and other foods), Freeze Dry Guy (Emergency Prep, Survival Food, Dehydrated Food, Camping Food, MREs), Grandma’s Country Foods (foods, spices, milk, preparedness, storage containers, kitchen appliances, contract packaging), JarBOX (canning jar storage systems), Mace Enterprises, LLC – Legacy Premium – Lindon Farms (long-term emergency food storage; 801-369-8887. This brand is carried by several SurvivalBlog advertisers.), My Patriot Supply – Matt Redhawk (heirloom seeds/seed vaults, water, fire, food, survival gear, canning, books), Nova Chocolate (long term storage chocolate), Nutriom (Ova Easy storage eggs – low temperature process), The Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association (local, regional and national apiculture resources), Ready Reserve Foods (emergency preparedness products, disaster survival food and water supplies, ammo. Author’s note: these folks have a long track record; their “squirrel logo” cans have been part of our family food storage for decades), Texas Ready (Liberty seed banks), and Tower Garden/Juice Plus (aeroponic vertical gardening system).

The new Health and Medicine vendors were AED Everywhere – Cardiac Science (Automated External Defibrillators), Austere Medical & Practical Preparedness Project (AMP-3 Medical kits & specialty gear), and Washington Homeopathic (Homeopathic remedies).

Shelter and Real Estate entries expanded with Cedar Log Systems (custom designed cedar log homes), Crazy Woman Realty (Buyer’s Real Estate Agent), Growing Spaces (Geodesign Greenhouse kits – Author’s note: I helped assemble one of these well-made kits for a friend many years ago who knew of my previous experience as an owner-builder of a (now-defunct brand, Cathedralite) dome home kit, in the 1970s. In addition to these and the monolithic domes noted below, (permanent and temporary) geodesic shelter companies such as Pacific Domes and DomeGuys International are worthy of consideration), Monolithic Domes (dome homes), Security Disaster Shelters (Single and Multi Unit Disaster Shelters), and The Shed Yard (Storage sheds, gazebos, garages).

In the Weapons and Defense department, there was OD Green Ammo Supply (303-941-8233), Hickman Rifles LLC (handguns, rifles, shotguns, custom weapons), and Snake Blocker (knives, clothing, DVDs).

The next scheduled Self-Reliance Expo will be in Dallas, Texas, July 27-28, 2012; a worthy pilgrimage for anyone within driving distance. Other expos will held be Hickory, North Carolina (September 14-15) and Mesa, Arizona (October 26-27.) The upcoming Dallas expo is featured here.

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