What You Need to Know About A Prepper Convention

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced prepper, prepper conventions are a great way to get more information.  At the convention, you’ll find people who share in your lifestyle.  You’ll also learn about new gear and tools that can make your life easier and increase your chance of survival.

What You Need to Know About A Prepper Convention

Prepper conventions are a great way to learn and grow.  You’ll find people with a wide range of skills, and you can gain valuable knowledge by spending time with other like minded people. 

What You Need to Know About A Prepper Convention

Although most people think that living as a prepper means every man for himself, that’s isn’t the case for conventions.  Many preppers enjoy coming together to learn new techniques and gain valuable knowledge about survival and other important life skills.

What Is a Prepper Convention?

Prepper conventions are large events that are held annually.  They usually have respected experts who speak at the events so you can learn about new techniques and ideas to use.  There are usually vendor tables with gear and equipment so you can learn what’s new.  It’s a great way to see the equipment before you buy it, and sometimes you can get great deals.

However, the best part about attending a prepper convention is that you’ll meet like-minded people and families that you can learn from.  Although you may not live close to each other and may have different goals and needs, you can still learn from each other and help each other grow.

What Is a Prepper Convention?

Although you may be looking for a prepper convention that is specifically for preppers, there are only a few of these held in America.  However, there are several conventions for emergency preparedness and homesteading that will have a lot of overlap with prepping.

The following are the larger conventions related to prepping, survival, and homesteading.  These conventions often attract thousands of people from surrounding states and even all across the country.  However, you can usually find small prepping conventions that may not have as many vendors and exhibitors, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find valuable information there.  

Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo

The Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo is held in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, in September each year.  It’s not one of the most well-known prepper conventions, but it is a great one to attend. 

This convention has information about communications, gardening, cooking, first aid, and more.  It has a variety of topics that will appeal to preppers of all levels.

Although it is a smaller expo, there are several training classes and demonstrations available.  There are also vendors so you can see new products and tools.

Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo

Prepper Camp

Prepper Camp offers peppers the full prepping experience in the Appalachian Mountains. .  It features living off-grid, homesteading, camping, survival, and preparedness.  It focuses on hands-on training with demos so you can learn more than you can at just a speech.  

Other expos and conventions provide information from speakers, but Prepper Camp lets you do things.  You’ll learn from the experts who not only tell you about it, but they also show you.  You’ll also get to participate and gain valuable experience.

Lodging isn’t an issue because you can camp on site.  You can also hike and boat while you’re there.

Survival, Gun, and Outdoor Show

The Survival, Gun, and Outdoor Show is held in Rock Island, Illinois.  It’s a large convention with 100s of vendor tables.  You’ll find gear and equipment for prepping, defense, fishing, outdoors, and more.  

In addition to vendors, there are seminars and classes for attendees to learn more about preparedness.  

Survival, Gun, and Outdoor Show

PrepperCon

PrepperCon is held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It covers first aid, survival, prepping, gear, defensive training, and food storage.  There are just under 100 presentations and classes offered.  They have trusted experts who have extensive knowledge to share.  This is a family-friendly convention, and many people bring their children.  

Sustainable Preparedness Expo

The Sustainable Preparedness Expo is held in different locations around the country.  It focuses on self-reliance and preparedness for natural disasters.  Although the focus is on survival, it teaches valuable life skills for preppers and homesteaders.

Homesteading Life Conference

The Homesteading Life Conference in Missouri is geared towards homesteaders, but there’s a lot of overlap for preppers and survivalists.  It focuses on day to day life rather than a disaster.  You’ll learn how to grow food and how to preserve the food that you grow.  It also has information on off grid living, herbal remedies, and how to protect your homestead from predators.

National Preppers and Survivalists Expo

The National Preppers and Survivalists Expo is held in Jacksonville, Florida.  It is a two-day event where attendees will get hands-on experience for survival skills.  It has classes and lectures about survival and emergency preparedness.  

Prepper Convention Books

Prepper Convention Books

These prepper conventions are sprinkled throughout the country, so you may not find one close to you.  However, there are several smaller shows in many areas of the country, so do a quick Internet search to see if there’s a smaller show near you.  

If traveling isn’t an option, then you might consider looking at books and other resources for prepping.  Although you won’t get to talk to other people like you do at a convention, you will be able to gain knowledge from home.  

You may also want to read homesteading or prepping blogs.  These blogs are written by people who are living this life, and they will have tips and tricks as well as general knowledge to help you learn and grow.

When you’re prepping, there’s always new information to learn.  Attending a convention is a great way to learn from experts through talks or through hands-on demonstrations.  In addition, you’ll also be able to browse vendor tables to see the latest tools and equipment available to purchase.  

Attending an expo is also a great way to get to know like-minded people.  Although these people may not live close to you, you can exchange information and keep learning from each other long after the convention is over.

Other articles you may find helpful:

Prepping Your Arsenal for Personal and Home Protection

Prepping Your Arsenal? We all know that we are vulnerable to crime in our day-to-day lives. Staying prepared with the necessary tools and knowledge is the key to successful personal protection. Stocking up a proper arsenal for personal and home protection can be complicated, but there are some basic guidelines you should follow when deciding what items will best suit your needs.

Prepping Your Arsenal for Personal and Home Protection

When the SHTF, you will be more than happy that you have taken a few measures to prep your arsenal so you can protect not only your loved ones but everything else that you have prepped.

Stocking Up a Proper Arsenal

I’ve broken this down to five separate tips to try and keep it simple for you. Bear with me as some of these seem like more than one actual item.

Choose Guns with Common Calibers

Picking guns with commonly available ammo is a much better choice than choosing something obscure because you may not be able to find more of it around if you run out. Why is this important? Having a gun that you can use to protect yourself is important but being able to actually find ammunition for that gun if need be will make all the difference.

Even it if gets to the point where you have to swap with people to get more ammo – having a rare kind of caliber will make it difficult.

The last thing you want to do is to advertise that you have guns, have ammo, or even worse, that you are out of ammo and can’t protect your home.

Buy Sturdy, Quality Guns

If this is a hobby or something that you really want in order to protect yourself from day-to-day crime, then buy guns that will last for years and not need to be replaced every few months.

Prepping Your Arsenal

Try to buy guns that are made from quality materials and not cheap plastic or other breakable components. Your life may depend on it in the future, so you want a gun that is going to work when needed without breaking down easily.

Get Some Diversity in Your Arsenal

One gun won’t always do everything you need, preferably you’ll have at least three: a shotgun for hunting and defense, a rifle for ranged defense and larger game hunting, and a pistol for times you can’t carry a long gun.

The shotgun is the one weapon that you should have in your arsenal if possible.

Shotguns are great for self-defense because they can go through doors, locks, and other obstacles with ease – but also because of their widespread shot and how easy it is to hit someone at close range with them.

The rifle would be a perfect choice too as it can take out most of the smaller games and then have enough ammunition to be used for self-defense.

The pistol is a good weapon if you’re going into areas where long guns are not allowed, but it should never be your only choice because they don’t do as much damage as other weapons like shotguns or rifles would.

Prepping Your Arsenal

Don’t Choose Something Underpowered

Trying to fight off attackers with birdshot or a .22 rifle isn’t impossible, but using something like buckshot and a 5.56mm is much easier.

The first shot you take should do enough damage, and the criminals will know this as well. They’ll also know that they can’t get away with stealing your belongings because if it comes down to it, you would be ready to fight back or make a last stand.

Get Plenty of Practice

All that firepower is wasted if you can’t hit your targets. If you have no experience shooting, start off on a .22 and work your way up, then practice plenty with the guns you own to get a feel for them.

You should also practice regularly to make sure you are still on target and can use your firearms when needed to protect yourself.

If you don’t know where to practice, find a range or shooting club near you – some are even open to the public. A good place to start is to ask the gun shop that is selling you the weapon.

Often those places have someone who can give you hints and tips on how to use, clean, and shoot that weapon.

Prepping Your Arsenal

Proper Arsenal Maintenance is Key

Storing firearms and ammo improperly can result in them malfunctioning more often or even not working at all, which would be deadly in a sudden defense situation.

To prevent rust or even worse, you’ll want to make sure the guns are stored in a dry and cool place. Storing them inside of safes is also a good idea as it will keep children out of them more easily without needing an alarm system. Make sure that all your ammo storage containers are locked up if they have keys so that children can’t get into them.

If you don’t want to be tempted by the gun, then store it away from where you sleep. Storing guns and ammo together is never a good idea because that way they are more likely to get stolen or taken as well.

This should be your first step in preparing for personal and home protection – but you need to do more than just that! Stocking up on other weapons, ammunition, food supplies, medical equipment is all important too so make sure you take care of those as well!

If you follow these steps, you’ll have a proper arsenal for personal and home protection.

Other articles you might find helpful for protection and preparation if you liked prepping your arsenal:

Five Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

When you’re in survival mode during an emergency, it’s hard to think about ways to keep the kids occupied and entertained, but it’s essential. You don’t want your children to feel any more stress than they already do because of everything going on around them. 

Five Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

It’s vital to try to make things feel as normal as possible when you don’t know what to expect or what can happen next. Check out these five ways to keep kids occupied and busy during any survival situation.

Five Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

Even if you’re limited to what you have available for your children to use, there are still several great ways to keep children of all ages occupied.

1. Give Them Something to Read

Provide each child with something to read. A good book that isn’t too long or too heavy can keep children entertained while broadening their minds and helping them improve their reading skills. 

Choose the Right Books 

The types of books you’ll select will depend on the ages of your children. If you have younger children who aren’t great at reading, you can always grab a kid-friendly magazine for them to look through. Kid-friendly magazines often have bright and colorful animations with large text and smaller words that are easier for little ones to recognize. 

Reading is Relaxing

If your children are spending time reading books, it can take their minds off everything. It’s good to have something that can put them in a better mood and leave them feeling a bit happier instead of stressed and anxious over being in survival mode and dealing with life-threatening situations.

Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

2. Give Your Kids Some Simple Tasks

Make your children feel like they’re more useful by providing them with a list of simple tasks to complete. These tasks allow the children to get involved in doing things that can help with survival and improve everyone’s chances of getting through a challenging time.

For example, you may want to send two of your children to gather a bit of firewood that you’ll use at the end of the night to start a campfire. Once you have the fire set, you’ll get to stay warm and prepare food over it. 

Keep Kids Occupied During Survival: Small Tasks are Welcomed

Some of the other tasks that your children may have no problem completing would include gathering different types of food to bring back to you for inspection. You can look through the items they’ve brought back and make sure everything is safe to consume.

Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

They can help with washing any of the food found with water if you have it available. These small tasks provide kids with something to do while making them feel good about being helpful.

3. Bring Along a Few Toys

While you don’t want to overpack because that can hold you back, you should bring along a few toys for the children to play with to stay busy. It brings a slight sense of normalcy to the situation.

Don’t bother bringing toys that operate with batteries because you don’t want to waste the batteries you’ve collected on the toys. You might end up needing those batteries for flashlights in the future.

Toys to Bring Along 

Some of the best toys to bring include dolls, crayons with notepads, coloring books, puzzles, and board games. These are items that won’t require you to use batteries to keep your children occupied. They can use the toys to stay busy and play alone or with one another when there is time for them to do so. Let each child bring a toy or two of their choosing with them when you’re leaving home.

Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

4. Play Some Basic Games With Them

Try to play some basic games with kids that can take their minds off of being in survival mode and leave them smiling and laughing. You can play I Spy and 20 Questions, to name a few of the games that are easy to play without any supplies. It’s a great way to bond with the children, forget about the things happening around you for a few minutes, and spend a few hours while together. 

Play Games Together 

Not only can you play these games with the children and make it a family ordeal, but you can also teach them how to play these games with one another. It can spark some creativity in their minds, encouraging them to come up with even more fun games to play together to get the time to pass a lot faster. Make a list of any games you can come up with together, and then try to play those games for at least two hours per day to kill some time and keep busy.

5. Remember Some Riddles to Keep Them Thinking

Try to think about some of the riddles you were taught when you were a child and then teach those riddles to your children. When you were a child, your parents may have told you a few riddles to put your brain to the test and to see if you could come up with the correct answer. 

It’s something you can pass down to your children, asking them some of the same funny and exciting riddles to see what they come up with right away and a few minutes or hours later. Some riddles are tricky enough to get children thinking for lengthy periods. If they’re worried about trying to solve a tricky riddle, it can take their minds off everything else.

Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival

When you’re in survival mode, you’re going through a lot, but the children are experiencing it all with you. Making the experience as normal as you can for the kids is important. The best way to keep things normal is to develop different ways to keep your children occupied. You can get them to lend a helping hand with some survival tasks, such as collecting firewood and scavenging for food. 

However, you can also give them time to read, play with toys, and even meditate. Get creative when dealing with any survival situation. You’ll get to temporarily take the trouble off your children’s minds and leave them feeling more optimistic about what can happen in the future.

Like Keep Kids Occupied During Survival? Try these articles for kids:

The Firestarter Tool We Like the Most

When looking at survival gear, a good Firestarter tool should be at the top of the list. Being able to start a fire can save your life during a survival situation. You can use the fire to keep away bugs and predators, boil water, cook food, and stay warm. However, you can’t always carry around lighter fluid and a lighter.

The Firestarter Tool We Like the Most picture of a roaring campfire

We found a survival fire starter kit that is small enough to keep in the glove box of your vehicle, and is light enough to haul in your bug out bag. Better yet? It is a name we trust for great quality: Gerber.

The Firestarter Tool We Like the Most

Since 1939, Gerber has masterfully hand-crafted knives, tools, and equipment, in the Portland, Oregon facility – pioneering an industry and honoring a heritage. Local ingenuity and American spirit collide within these walls – where iconic products are born, tested, and shipped worldwide.

What is the best fire starter tool?

A simple firestarter tool can start fires even in damp, unfavorable conditions. A firestarter works by running a metal striker over a ferrocerium rod, creating sparks. These sparks will not only dry out damper wood, but ignite dry wood. This is important is you have ever had to try to camp when the ground is wet.

These are better than a firestarter brick, firestarter cubes, firestarter nuggets, and even paracord – which doesn’t really do a good job of starting any kind of campfire.

Just check out this video on how paracord doesn’t really work well:

The Gerber Bear Grylls Firestarter is one of the best firestarters on the market, especially for the price. The Gerber firestarter comes in a compact, waterproof container that pulls apart into the striker and rod.

The rod has a black coating that has to be scratched off before any good sparks will fly. The first few strikes won’t produce very good sparks, but once it’s been broken in, it will give off consistent, powerful sparks.

That is important to know as many people never take the time to scratch it off and when they have to put it to the test? It doesn’t work correctly. Take the time to make sure your tools are really ready for their intended use.

To use this firestarter tool, firmly place the sharp end of the striker against the rod. Then, quickly pull the rod towards you. This should give off a nice spark after a few tries.

The kit also actually has instructions for signaling for help. It includes the Morse code for SOS, the Alpine rescue signal, and hand signals to signal for air help. The SOS and Alpine rescue signals can be done with the loud rescue whistle on the lanyard. It is right on the handle of the tool!

The SOS signal is 3 short bursts of the whistle, 3 long bursts, and then 3 short bursts. Allow around a minute for a response, and then send the signal out again. The Alpine rescue signal is to be used in the event of mountain emergencies and consists of six bursts, all with 10 seconds in between them.

After the signal, allow a minute for a response. A response will sound like 3 bursts, and should mean that they’re contacting rescue services for help. Inside the end of one of the handles is a waterproof compartment for tinder, with a cotton ball already inside.

I know it seems funny, but the sound of a whistle can carry a lot further than the sound of a human voice AND it can’t go hoarse from overuse.

Now, let’s talk tinder. You can fill the rest of that bag with whatever tinder you choose to pack, though cotton balls are a great tinder. Optionally, you can rub some petroleum jelly on a cotton ball, which will make it burn longer and hotter. I keep those in a ziploc baggie so it doesn’t mess up the rest of the items in the the glove box and emergency bug out bag kit.

When starting a fire, the sparks should land on the tinder, and once the fire starts, you should pile on kindling to keep the fire going, and eventually larger pieces of wood to burn as fuel.

Before you know it, you are toasty and ready to whip up that supper. If you are camping, we love these foil meals, meals on a stick, and even cast iron skillet meals.

I know that might not be practical in a real emergency situation. You may find yourself with a paracord animal snare and roasting a fresh rabbit over the fire, or just boiling water to pour over your MRE.

Whatever you end up eating, having a great fire is the important thing. And with a good firestarter tool, you should be ready to go!

Paracord Survival Bracelet DIY and Other Paracord Uses

Most people have heard of a paracord survival bracelet, but very few people know all that paracord can actually do – and WHY you would even want to have it on you!

Paracord Survival Bracelet DIY and Other Paracord Uses

If you’ve met someone dedicated to the outdoors or survival, the chances are high that they had something made from paracord on them. Paracord is any survivalist’s best friend because its uses are practically limitless and it’s extremely tough.

All About Paracord Emergency Uses

As long as you know how to tie a few good knots, it can replace anything from worn-out strings in clothing to dog leashes. Paracord is also extremely inexpensive, so it’s a great idea to add some to your bug out bag.

It’s my personal opinion that these 5 knots are the most important for learning how to make great paracord bracelets and paracord crafts.

Paracord Planet sells high-quality Type III 550 Paracord at an affordable price. The main reason outdoorsmen love paracord is that it’s extremely tough in all conditions. The 550 in the item’s title refers to the amount of weight it can hold with one strand before snapping: 550 pounds.

Paracord emergency uses

This makes it almost impossible to break by just pulling on it, so people use it to secure their items without worry. For example, if you have a crab trap in a river and want to secure it to a tree right next to the water, you can tie the paracord around the tree and to the trap, and won’t have to worry about currents or larger animals taking it away.

You can create a web out of it and make fishing nets – just in case your fishing line/hook isn’t doing the job for you. Although the inner threads can be used as a fishing line too.

You can also use the paracord to make snares for catching rabbits, coyotes, and other animals. The Type III in the title refers to the fact that the 7 strands that make up the cord are each made of 3 even smaller strands, which makes the cord MIL-SPEC, or military standard.

Learn to Make a Basic Snare Trap out of Paracord or Wire so that You can Stay Alive in a Wilderness Survival Situation.

Paracord is great for securing cargo. When you are bugging out, you might have more things on board than you normally carry and it can help secure that canoe, few cases of water, or even a pet kennel in the car.

If you are making a quick shelter, you can use paracord for lashing together poles. That helps make a frame to pop a tarp over, or even use to keep your food out of the reach of bears, etc.

Have a hammock you want to hang up? Paracord to the rescue! You can lash that tarp OVER your hammock and not only be off the ground, but safer from the elements. There is nothing worse than camping out when it is wet or when it is cold.

Need a line to help someone up a cliff, out of a ravine, or help pull them out of a current that is stronger than originally thought? Paracord is great for assisting with water rescues.

Paracord is fantastic for first aid! If you’re severely bleeding and can’t make it to a hospital immediately, a paracord can be used as a tourniquet. It can also be used to lash together sticks for a makeshift splint. In a pinch, it can even work as a sling for a strained or sprained arm. There are actually a lot of first aid uses for paracord!

In a pinch, you can use those inner threads for sutures. This would be a last resort as it is NOT sterile, and there are better options for closing a wound.

You can even make a travois out of paracord if you need to haul a wounded or unconscious person from one location to another.

Let’s talk about securing your environment… you can create trip lines with it or even a poor-man’s alarm system with empty cans.

Catch someone looting your site? Paracord makes fantastic handcuffs in comparison to duct tape. What you actually do with your prisoner depends on you…

These handcuffs are easy to make – should you find that you need them

As for a Fire Starter? Not so much – make sure you pack your waterproof matches or a fire starter.

Paracord uses

This paracord can also survive all kinds of conditions. It’s impervious to UV damage, mold, water damage, and heat up to 470 degrees Fahrenheit. You won’t have to worry about it giving out because it rained, or because it’s been sitting out in the hot sun for days on end.

If you’re going to be spending most of your time outdoors, the last thing you want is something that can’t stand up to the weather. If the shoelaces on your waterproof shoes gave out because of wear, you can replace them with paracord and keep your shoes fully functional.

When bugging out, you may have equipment failure of some sort – so paracord can come in hand for fixing broken straps or belts.

Have a dog? You can use paracord to make a dog collar, or even a dog leash.

Dubbed the “lazy man braid” by Bruce Grant this interesting braid is fast, easy and looks great.

Paracord comes in tons of different colors, designs, and lengths. Paracord Planet offers hundreds of different options – ranging from camo to neon orange to straight black. So if you’re using your paracord for shoelace replacement, you can make it look totally normal if you had colored shoelaces. You can even teach your kids how to tie knots and make bracelets with bright colors to make it more enjoyable.

It can be handy to take unique colored paracord and turn them into “wearable art” so you have it handy when the situation arises. Bracelets, lanyards, keychains, and so much more!

Paracord Projects

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular paracord projects that help keep it at your fingertips:

Paracord Survival bracelet

There are several different kinds of paracord bracelets to make, but my favorite? The Mad Max. It uses ONLY paracord, no additional clips etc., so it is quick and easy to dismantle when you need to use it. Here is a great video on how to make it:

Make a Mad Max Style Paracord Survival Bracelet

paracord survival bracelet with a compass

Some people prefer the watch-style paracord bracelets that have a compass built in to them. We found a video lesson on how to make them for you:

How to Make a “Watch Style” Paracord Compass Survival Bracelet.

Paracord Lanyard

It can be easy to wear paracord around your neck and have it hold your keys, a whistle, or even mace – whatever you wish to have at your fingertips.

This is a tutorial for making a basic paracord lanyard.

Paracord Keychain

We always take our keys with us and this simple keychain can give you enough paracord for an emergency. This video shows you how to make one in less than 2 minutes!

SUPER EASY Paracord Keychain in 90 SECONDS using the cobra knot

The bottom line? Paracord is great to have handy – no matter how you choose to package it.