On Wednesday SHOT Show offered what they called a “Pop-up” – a separate floor/ballroom of products/companies making only a one-day appearance. I think it’s a cheaper option for smaller companies which can’t afford a full-week position on the regular show floor.
I only had about forty minutes in between appointments but I made a quick pass-through. The main items that caught my eye fall roughly into the “Prepper” category.
The first table that caught my eye was an MRE provider called MRE Star out of Sarasota Florida. They offer cases of “military grade” meals – both with and without heaters, and “civilian” packaging of the same components. They also offer microwaveable tray meals. Their brochure states that they can customize large orders and can also do full day ration units. The rep said he could send me some meals to taste-test, so stand-by on that one.
The next table that grabbed my attention was a company called SilverFire. They provide biomass-burning gasifier backpacker stoves, all the way up to base camp level chimney stoves, pizza ovens, and a variety of off-grid cooking options.
The thing that really grabbed me though was when the rep pointed out photos of Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria. Apparently FEMA provided generators for which there was no fuel. But donated SilverFire stoves provided cooking ability and boiled drinking water – which ran off of the abundant blow-down and scrap wood found virtually everywhere after that disaster. I’m going to be looking further into this company’s products as well.
Another item which I was excited about was the Harvest Right home freeze-drying unit. I have some experience with home-canning, and also with a dehydrator (in fact I brought my own home-dried jerky and fruit leather for SHOT snacks), but this is a whole other ballgame.
Although even the smallest home freeze-dry unit isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, it opens up whole new vistas of food storage possibilities. Those of us who like really NICE guns probably wouldn’t even bat an eye at this price point.
I’m not sure how many cases of heavily salted and preservatived MRE’s you’d need to NOT buy in order for this unit to pay for itself, but figuring that into the calculations makes sense. Plus, you’d have recipes that you actually LIKE. Would you rather go through the zombie apocalypse eating bland corporate manufactured food, or would you rather eat your wife’s chili recipe made with your own venison? See what I mean?
The final item that I found interesting isn’t technically a “prepper” item as it requires electricity, but I liked it because it was no-fuss, no-muss. And wouldn’t you like to have to tasty home-smoked sausage and turkey to include in the recipes that you freeze-dry for Armageddon?
This is a new electric smoker from Bradley Smokers that isn’t even on the market yet, but will be coming out shortly. If I understood the rep correctly, it is Bluetooth capable and can store up to 500 recipes for programmable heat settings changes.
I have not yet ventured into the smoker world (maybe after my first deer), but this looks like something I could handle. With the programmable settings and the pellet/wood automatic feeder – it doesn’t look too high-maintenance. What do you experienced smokers think?
Sallying forth into the Thursday of SHOT Show…