So what's with all this talk about survivalism anyway?
Welcome! If you have arrived at our website, you are obviously interested in the "Survivalist / Prepper" movement that is now becoming mainstream in this still great country. And there are reasons to be worried, as many are. We live in unprecedented times, unlike any other.
Your arrival here is probably no accident, and you may be like many that have heard that Voice on High telling you to "go ye and prepare!".
But the question is: "What are you/we preparing for?" The answer is -- For Anything! Natural disasters, man-made disasters, food supply disruptions, uncontrolled inflation, and economic collapse - and this is just the short list.
However, one can easily assume that those in the "Survivalist/Prepper" movement are a worrisome lot. Far from it! Rather, we are a segment of society that has taken the mindset of the Nation of Israel - which is to live your life day-to-day, but to always be prepared for anything. Taking this mindset actually takes the worry out of thinking about the future.
The Arizona Survivalist / Prepper EXPO's were introduced as a method to bring all interested Survivalists and Preppers together, while at the same time introducing those businesses that cater to this ever expanding community, a chance to demonstrated their products and ideas.
The way we look at it, the more citizens of Arizona that are prepared for a major event, then the better off we as a "whole" will be. There is strength in numbers, and when we can get more folks to stock up on basic food staples, water, medical supplies and firearms, then we at least have a fighting chance to protect this great State.
What you can expect to see at our EXPOs:
I took a bit of criticism for the naming of the 1st ANNUAL ARIZONA SURVIVALIST SHOW, that was held on May 19th, 2011 - a show that had much success for everyone involved, I might add. Some said that I should have, or they wished I had named it the 1st ANNUAL PREPPER SHOW, or EXPO.
However, there is a bit of history behind the naming of the show. Indeed, I struggled with the two terms, "survivalist" or "prepper". In fact, I played around with several different names before I settled on the name I did. But in the end it came down to a website called SurvivalBlog.com, hosted by James Wesley Rawles, author and owner of the website noted. He is someone that I consider as the Grand-Father of the Survivalist / Prepper movement, at least in this present day. I am sure there were others ahead of him that were equally involved, but Rawles seemed to really make tremendous strides with his website, and considered to be the best on the internet in regards to survivalism and prepping.
Regardless, in the same vein that Rawles calls his site "SurvivalBlog", rather than "PrepperBlog", which I am sure there is one out there somewhere, I in turn took that same gutsy approach to the naming of our first event.
And it did not fair well with a few. Trust me, just the word "Survivalist" conjures up fears and visions of crazed, long haired, bearded freaks, wearing camoflauge clothing, carrying an AR-15, and doing nothing more than robbing and pillaging the country side. Even those that I was working directly with in setting up the first event, had their misgivings about the term. And to make matters worse, at least for me, the incident of the so called "survivalist" in Washington State that killed his young family, and then "holed up" in his so called survivalist bunker weeks before our first show, only served to reinforce their opinions.
Granted, naming the show as a Prepper event, may have relieved some of those fears and concerns of the uneducated masses. But then again, maybe not. I mean consider the fact that National Geographic lovingly calls their movement related show "Doomsday Preppers" in order to stir up the hysteria, rather than some more germaine term such as "Future Preppers" or "Concerned Preppers".
But there is one thought that crossed my mind. Are those of us that are involved in this movement going to continue to let the media dictate who we are and how we are named? True, a few sick and psychotic individuals that called themselves survivalist, did terrible and horrendous things. As have many others throughout history, such as politicians, pastors, teachers, law enforcement officers, as well as others.
But I ask this question of those that took issue with the naming of our event -- "How long will it be before some sick and twisted individual that calls themselves a "Prepper", goes out and does something really insane like kills his or her family? Then what are you going to start calling yourself after the media demonizes the term "Prepper"?
Regardless, in order to entice more folks to attend our events and to appear more movement friendly, plus the fact that it just makes good business sense for all involved, we added the term "Prepper" to the naming of our events. And mind you, this move was not to appease the naysayers or the media, as we still boldly left the term "Survivalist" in. But rather, we added the term "Prepper" in order to reach out to those of you that prefer this label.
Basically I leave you with this one point. Quit letting the media dictate who you are. It's hard enough just trying to explain the whole movement to your friends and family without the media's skewed labeling. True, we did give in a bit and changed the name of our events. But this was for those of you that are involved in the movement, and no-one else.
Lance Baker Founder and Promoter of the ARIZONA SURVIVALIST / PREPPER EXPOS