Mike Williams lives in rural Clearwater and he wants to be prepared in case his power goes out.
Williams was one of many people who stopped by the Survivors Preppers Expo March 2 at the National Sports Center. The expo was designed to provide alternative energy solutions, weapons and self-defense training and non-perishable food supplies for those who want to be prepared for any emergency whether it be on a large or small scale.
Canoeing through the Boundary Waters is a great place to get away from it all, but it can be dangerous if you are not prepared. Rudy Rogers showed people how they could make their own bow and arrow to hunt for wild game and how to make a bowl out of cedar or clay from the earth to eat your food out of.
Rogers used an ash tree for the first bow he ever made. Debarking a slippery elm stave can work well for the string. Cherrywood or dogwood are good to use for the arrow shaft, but obviously you need to make it as straight as possible. Silica rocks can work for the arrow point.
“There’s a sense of empowerment from being able to use what nature provides you,” said Rogers, who is an independent businessman who runs the site theurbanabo.com.
There were no firearms at this expo, but people could sign up for basic or advanced permit to carry firearms courses with the Defense Combat Applications Group.
This business works with law enforcement agencies and civilians on how to defend themselves in case they are attacked. It has courses on how to survive in the wilderness or an urban environment. In one session, Wade Holmgren and Ryan Voss showed counterattack moves if you are armed with a knife or gun and someone attacks you. They demonstrated how a gun may not always beat a knife if you do not know what you are doing.
C.C. Military Surplus offered selections as long-term storage food packs, backpacks, flashlights, gas masks, knives and machetes. When asked what their most popular product has been, one of the workers at the booth said the knives and machetes followed by the backpacks.
As he checked out the C.C. Military Surplus booth, T.J. Upchurch of St. Paul said it was cool to have a show like this available.
“It’s about personal responsibility,” Upchurch said.
Honey is a great source of nutrients and it helps the digestive system. It can clean bacteria from a cut, said Jettie Olsen of Discount Bee Supply, who was at the expo to teach people about beekeeping.
Besides a large supply of honey, beekeeping provides wax that can be used to make candles, lotions, lip balm and small figurines, Olsen said.
Williams was checking out the solar panels to find out more about alternative energy options in case his power goes out in the country. He has a well and electricity is obviously important for the refrigerator. Williams has been lucky so far because the longest he has been without electricity is a couple of hours, but he wants to be prepared.
“I want to take care of myself and my family,” he said.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org