Although I don’t consider myself much of a prepper or survivalist similar to those you may see on TV, I’ve been interested in preparedness and survival since years before it became “trendy.” When I heard about the Mid-Atlantic Emergency Preparedness & Survival Expo (MAPSE), I decided that it would be worth a Sunday visit.
Based on the information provided on the MAPSE website, I anticipated quite a few vendors as well as a few lectures and classes of interest.
I have some qualms with the prepper industry and it’s scare tactic marketing and I wasn’t surprised to see a few vendors there with overpriced products that they tried to scare you into “needing.” However, there were quite a few vendors there that were actually selling quality useful products. Noteworthy vendors included:
- Advanced Survival Training
- Backwoods Archery
- Doom and Bloom
- Project Appleseed
- School of Natural Healing
The first lecture that I chose to attend was Dr. Joseph Alton’s “Survival Medicine: When Help is Not on the Way.” It was an hour-long lecture/class on survival medicine basics. Overall, the lecture was fairly basic but I did pick up a few new tips to augment my medical training. I will likely purchase his book “The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help Is NOT on the Way.”
My wife attended Dr. Tom Stoner’s “Anthrax, Smallpox, Dirty Bomb: Major Medical Concerns That Threaten Our Existence and How to Prepare for These.” I opted not to attend this lecture as I spent years as a weapons of mass destruction response technician.
While she attended Dr. Stoner’s lecture, I attended Tim MacWelch’s “The Survival Priorities and Their Relevance to Bug Out and Survival Gear.” Tim is a survival instructor for Advanced Survival Training and was clearly a subject matter expert. He provided an excellent lecture that was both informative and entertaining. I spoke with him briefly after his lecture concerning my biggest weakness in bushcraft – identifying plants and trees. Fortunately for me, he will be teaching a few classes on this subject about 20 minutes from my house later in the fall.
I spoke briefly with Brian Alsip of Backwoods Archery. We discussed bows and bowhunting and discussed him working on my bow after this season. As I previously posted, I really need a new string and I’d like to upgrade my arrow rest, sites and quiver.
Overall, the MAPSE was a worthwhile visit. Most of the vendors were selling quality useful products. The lectures were definitely the best part of the expo. They were informative and useful (if I had had more time, I would have attended quite a few more of them.) I don’t know if or when the next expo is scheduled but I will definitely try to attend again. If I find out about one in the future, I’ll post it here at SmoothingIt.com so that if you are in the area, you can check it out.