MOAP, the mother of all prepper events, will be taking place in North Carolina in September. When Prepper Camp was launched three years ago, it was the first event of its kind and is still the ONLY all hands-on preparedness “expo” in the United States.

A wave of equal parts serenity and excitement wash over you no more than five minutes after you pull into the Orchard Lake Campground in Saluda, where Prepper Camp is held.

The amazing feeling of finally being in a flesh-and-blood (not online) community of like-minded fellow Americans is overwhelming – in a good way.

Prepper Camp is the brain-child of Rick and Jane Austin and several other prepping pals. The all-star line-up at the self-reliance three-day prepping event each year is unrivaled. I counted myself very fortunate to be invited to host a power grid preparedness class the first year of the self-reliance event.

Once word got out about the camp, Austin was so inundated with requests from highly qualified experts in homesteading, survival, bushcraft, and preparedness to be part of Prepper Camp that he had to unfortunately turn the volunteer instructors away.

If I absolutely had to choose a favorite part of Prepper Camp that first year, it would be having the honor of introducing the keynote speaker – Dr. William R. Forstchen, who wrote One Second After. Not only did Bill delight and educate the crowd, but he even got engaged at Prepper Camp!

“Our goal was to create an event that we would want to attend. We have obviously traveled the country and been a part of numerous other preparedness events. But it just seemed that too many of these shows are held in expo centers, and there is often far too much focus on making the show all about the vendors and selling stuff,” Rick Austin said when detailing the motivation behind creating the hands-on self-reliance camp.

Unlike far too many prepper expos, Prepper Camp is not merely a sea of survival vendors with a few indoor presenter booths mixed in. If you get a ticket to the camp before they are all sold out (tickets typically sell out by early summer), go prepared to walk, sweat, get rained on, flex muscles you had forgotten about, and have a blast while enhancing your survival skills.

If you are musically inclined, by all means bring your banjo, harmonica, or guitar. Socializing each night is not mandatory, but you wouldn’t want to skip out on a single moment of time with the prepping strangers who almost immediately feel like your long-lost old friends.

The 2017 Prepper Camp will be held September 15-17. There are a limited number of cabins and camping spots on site. A nice little camp store provides all the basic essentials, and concessions are available on-site. There is also an outdoor prepper mall of types with many great, reasonably priced items to add to your stockpile of survival gear.

There will be eight classes offered each daytime hour with a grand total of 56-64 classes during the three-day hands-on survival event.

Prepper Camp 2017 Presenters

  • Alan Kay — Season 1 winner of ALONE on the History Channel.
  • Rick Austin, the Survivalist Gardener — a preparedness, homesteading, and off grid living expert. He is the author of the bestselling Secret Garden of Survival: How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest. Rick is also the author of Secret Greenhouse of Survival: How to Build the Ultimate Homestead and Prepper Greenhouse and Secret Livestock of Survival: How to Raise the Very Best Choices for Retreat and Homestead Livestock. 
  • Matt Sirni — a preparedness consultant, wilderness search and rescue expert, firefighter, and EMT.
  • Jane Austin — the founder of Survivor Jane and #Preppertalk. Jane is the author of the books What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How to Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared, Where There is No Cosmetic Counter and the 1st revision: Survivor Jane’s Guide to Emergency/Survival Hygiene: A Prepper’s Cookbook for Making Personal Survival Hygiene Products. Because infection and germs are the #1 cause of death in a disaster situation, hygiene, in her opinion, is one of the most overlooked areas in preparedness.
  • Jennifer Elswick — worked in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief since 1992. She specializes in helping and teaching others about long-term food storage from basics to beyond. Jennifer touts the benefits of canning, couponing, and home food storage as well as commercially prepared freeze-dried and dehydrated food options. Jennifer has been featured on The Secrets of a Survivalist radio show, The Doctor Prepper radio show, Surviving on Shoestrings, and Real Food.
  • Skinny Medic — YouTube star and full-time paramedic. “You never know when you will be the first responder,” is the theme of his classes.
  • Scott Hunt — Practical Preppers and Engineer775 YouTube channels.
  • Nick Wallace — Remnant Canine 360’s lead trainer, coming from a Military K9 training background.
  • Dale Stewart — known worldwide as an explorer, naturalist, conservationist, adventurist, and host of the radio show Natures Edge.
  • Macca — former Special Operations soldier and security adviser to international companies and agencies around the world. Macca is also the owner of Southern Son Outdoors, a tactical survival training business.
  • Richard Cleveland — the founder and director of Earth School. He is a former lead instructor at Tom Brown’s world famous Wilderness Tracker & Survival School.
  • Forrest Garvin — former US Air Force Airman who served with the 317 MAC and JSOC SOLLII out of Pope Air Force Base. Forrest is a survival instructor, NRA instructor, HAM operator, and Krav Maga Apprentice Instructor.
  • David Shipp — an active constitutional political advocate and a member of the Tea Party, the Sons of Liberty Riders, and Oathkeepers.
  • Dr. Warner — founded the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI) and is its director. Dr. Warner has had a lifelong interest in religion and its effects on history.
  • Suzanne Upton — a North Carolina native homesteader and second generation prepper. She grew up in a large family with acres of gardens, harvesting and preserving food as naturally as possible.
  • Michael — has been involved in Aquaponics for over eight years.
  • David — the owner and director of training for Wolf-Fire Firearms and Survival. His multiple tours in the US Army & US Air Force afforded him the opportunity to learn both marksmanship skills as well as survival skills working as an instructor with the ERT (Military SWAT), SERE (Survival, Evade, Resistance, and Escape) Instructors, and CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) Teams while stationed overseas.
  • Meredith Leigh — known as the “Butcher Girl” and will be teaching about whole animal butchering, charcuterie (curing meats), and making sausage.
  • Andrew Pitts — a blacksmith eager to teach others about blacksmithing on a tight budget.
  •  John MacEntryre Allen — an accomplished rabbit keeper who will also be sharing his no-sew hammock-making, knot tying, and cold smoking skills.
  • Grannie Pam — an expert in food preparation, food storage, canning, lacto-fermentation for the production of sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles, dehydration, cheese making, and working with sourdough. She is the author of “Grannie Pam’s Favorite Recipes” and “Grannie Pam’s Prepping With Big Flavors.”
  • David Bennett — will teach a communications class, handheld radio class, and ham station class. He will also be involved in the Prepper Camp Radio FM Station/Announcements.
  • Jonathan Glauser — the creator of Mountain Well-Being and a leading expert in the field of colloidal solutions and natural health.
  • Ross Powell — heads up the Survival Solo 401(k) division of the company. Ross was raised in San Antonio and graduated from the University of Texas. Commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1982, Ross served as Communications Officer, Missile Officer, ship board Legal Officer, and Intelligence Officer. 
  • Omer Causey — a political activist and grassroots organizer for conservative causes, including the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. Most recently, he has become the founding organizer of The Liberty Convention Initiative.
  • Paul Munsen — the president of Sun Ovens International and will be offering solar cooking instruction.
  • Tim — the owner of the Old Grouch’s Military Surplus, a traditional old-school military surplus store that specializes in real military surplus. Tim is also a US Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and recently retired from the US Army Reserve as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. Tim has also been a ham radio operator for ten years and has been involved in prepping since he was a teenager.
  • Melissa Williams — offering primitive cooking and dutch oven cooking instruction.
  • Fred Nichols — has been interested in beekeeping and other natural practices for most of his life. He was a crew chief in the Air Force and is now the owner and operator of Green Hill Bee Supply.
  • Keith Iton — the managing partner at Addai Investments. Addai Investments is a retailer of gold and silver products, from bars to rounds to coins.
  • Scott Moore — a world class archer, trapper, and tracker. He founded Wild about Christ Ministries in 2007 and recently incorporated as W.A.C. Outdoors LLC to continue his passion for sharing his love of archery with all those who want to learn.
  • Craig Douglas — specializes in radiation survival, a topic even “seasoned preppers” know little about. Nuclear war, dirty bombs, nuclear power plant accidents, and other radiation incidents are quite survivable with just a little preparation and prior planning, costing very little.
  • Samuel Culper — a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst.  He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan on intelligence missions and now runs Forward Observer, a company that provides training and intelligence solutions for SHTF preparedness.
  • Karl Warkomski — the director of Prota Culture, LLC, a manufacturer that specializes in bioconversion technologies utilizing Black Soldier Grubs. He also co-owns Tar River Trading Post, LLC, a company that distributes survival gear and homestead equipment. Karl has an off-grid, 68-acre farm in a rural section of eastern North Carolina. In his free time, he and his girlfriend enjoy spending time managing their crops and animals.
  • Don Heres — a 30-year veteran of the Fire Service, serving both as a career and volunteer responder, retiring as an assistant chief. Don has held positions with the NC Office of the State Fire Marshall, where he acted as the lead instructor for the Hazardous Materials Certification Program and as the hazardous materials coordinator for Wake County Emergency Management. As the owner of Hazard-Risk Management Associates, he provided safety and HAZMAT response training to many industries, including pharmaceutical companies, nuclear power plants, and the US military. Don and his wife, Liz, have recently formed Escape 2 Survive to offer education and innovative survival solutions to the preparedness community, law enforcement, and the military.
  • Dr. William R. Forstchen, keynote speaker — New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen has a Ph.D. from Purdue University with specializations in military history and the history of technology. He is a faculty fellow and professor of history at Montreat College. He is the author of over 40 books, including the New York Times bestselling series Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor (coauthored with Newt Gingrich), as well as the book that should be in every prepper’s library,  One Second After. It’s a story that may be all too terrifyingly real… one in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war in one second, a war that would send America back to the Dark Ages — a war based on a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse. It’s a weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication, One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second.

Here’s a sampling of the classes that will be offered during Prepper Camp 2017:

  • Active Shooter – Trauma and Triage for the Wounded
  • Aquaponics 101
  • Archery for Survival and Preparedness – Part 1
  • Archery for Survival and Preparedness – Part 2
  • Beekeeping (Natural Beekeeping Techniques)
  • Big Flavors – Good Tasting Food Made from Your Prepper Food Storage
  • Blacksmithing “On the Cheap”
  • Brew Beer, Wine, Mead and Distill Alcohol
  • Bugging Out by Boat
  • Butchering, Preparing, and Preserving Meats
  • Buying Prepper Supplies and Retreats – Using Your 401K!
  • Canning Basics – Water Bath and Pressure Canning
  • Charcuterie: Curing Meats and Making Sausage
  • Cheese Making – From Food Storage?!?
  • Cold Smoking to Preserve Meat
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Dehydrating for Food Preservation
  • Dutch Oven & Camp Cooking
  • Emergency Communications, including Ham Radio
  • Fermenting To Preserve Foods
  • Food Storage
  • Getting Home After a Large Scale Event
  • Gold & Silver – What You Need to Know!
  • Handheld Radio Operations
  • Hammock Making (Without Sewing!)
  • How to Build A Medical Kit
  • How to Operate Your Handheld Ham Radio
  • Intelligence Gathering
  • Islamic Agenda – Why Do They Hate Us?
  • Knots – Only Need 8 But Which Ones?
  • Map and Compass Basics
  • Military Surplus – What You Really Need to Know Before You Buy
  • Night Vision and Thermal Optics (night time class)
  • Preparedness Basics and the Biggest Mistakes People Make – with Survivor Jane
  • Principles of Blacksmithing
  • Primitive Wilderness Survival Skills
  • Raising Rabbits – The Natural Fed Colony Approach
  • Radiation Preparedness
  • Respiratory Protection and Survival: Your Options
  • Retreat Water and Energy for Your Shelter
  • Sausage Making
  • Secret Garden of Survival – How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest
  • Secret Greenhouse of Survival – How to Build the Ultimate Homestead & Prepper Greenhouse
  • Secret Livestock of Survival – How to Raise the 10 Best Choices for Retreat and Homestead Livestock
  • Selecting the Correct Firearms for Your Defense
  • Self Defense – Personal Protection Class
  • Self-Reliance for Your Animals: Raising Black Soldier Grubs
  • Simple, Quick Shelters
  • Solar Energy Systems – How to Decide Which One is Right for You
  • Spy Craft 1
  • Spy Craft 2
  • Stopping Runaway Government and Taking Back Our Country, Article V – The Liberty Convention Initiative
  • Sun Oven Cooking & More – Using the Sun to Be Prepared for Emergencies
  • Surviving Alone in The Woods
  • Survival Mindset – Your Will to Survive.
  • Tactical Survival Training: Awareness, Escape, and Evasion – Plus Basic Survival Techniques
  • Training Your Dog to Be Part of Your Survival Team
  • Trapping and Hunting for Survival
  • Threat Analysis
  • Wild Edible Plants/Survival Resources – Nature Walk & Talk (Wild Edible Survival)

Here is a quick look at the 2016 camp…

If you are ready to register, you can click here to head over the Prepper Camp registration page.

Image courtesy of YouTube Video