Summer Camp For Grown Ups: Survival Expert Rick Austin Hosts Prepper Camp

Best selling author and off the grid living expert Rick Austin and a dedicated group of preppers have been busy “herding cats” for several months in order to pull off perhaps the most hands-on self-reliance event ever hosted in the United States. Prepper Camp™ will be held the picturesque North Carolina hills and could easily be dubbed a summer camp for grown ups. Sure, there will be plenty of the sit down, listen, and take notes style presentations at Prepper Camp, but Austin urges attendees to come prepared to stretch both their minds and their muscles – and to dress accordingly.

Austin, also known as the “Survivalist Gardener” has been featured on a plethora of television shows geared towards a preparedness audience. Austin and his wife will be featured on Doomsday Preppers this season. The premiere of the hit NatGeo series airs tonight.

Rick Austin recently sat down with The Inquisitr to discuss Prepper Camp and why folks should attend the September event. In the interest of full disclosure, I accepted Austin’s gracious offer to host a power grid discussion at Prepper Camp. The event will be held at the Orchard Lake Campground in Saluda, North Carolina September 12 to 14, 2014

IQ: How is prepper camp different than the dozens of other preparedness events scheduled around the country for the summer and fall?

Rick: As you know, I, and a few of my prepper friends, are hosting what we hope will be the best preparedness event/experience in the country this September – National Preparedness Month, which we are calling- Prepper Camp™ and by ‘best’ I don’t mean the largest. I mean the best in terms of quality and content.

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.

And all too often vendors are the primary speakers. Just because someone is paying for a booth to be at a show to sell products, does not necessarily make them the best speakers or teachers/instructors in matters of preparedness and homesteading…Far too often, those vendors are just taking the stage to sell their stuff. Not that selling stuff is bad, but when that is the primary motivation, it is doing a disservice to the attendee- who is honestly coming not only to buy stuff- but most importantly to become educated… When you understand that 90% of people who attend these events are beginning preppers, looking for guidance and information, you understand that the best event in their eyes, provides them with the best information.

So when we created this conference we started with different goals. We are not promoters, trying to capitalize on the latest sales opportunity in a growing “market”. Instead, we are all primarily living the preparedness lifestyle, and we feel that we have a calling to help others do the same.. So the educational part of it is key.

And maybe it is exactly because I spent 30 plus years as a marketing guy, that I also understand that if you give the “customer” – attendee, what they want, then everyone else associated with the event, speakers, vendors, sponsors, event organizers, etc., also gets what they want. That is why our goal is to provide the best possible experience for the attendees. Because if we do, we will get the people that the vendors want coming to their tables and that the speakers want to speak to.

By providing our attendees with a quality event that provides a tremendous opportunity to obtain preparedness information and resources, along with actual hands-on training, Prepper Camp™ will be seen by a vast number of quality consumers, that will provide our vendors with revenue, and our sponsors with positive promotion of their brands, before, during and after the event.

So this three-day event will be a highly educational and immersive event for preparedness-minded people. We have 30 of the best speakers/instructors in their respective fields, and over 40 scheduled classes.

A lot of what we are educating people about is giving them skills that go way beyond just buying stuff. I have said time and again, people have to get out of the ‘consumer’ mentality that they can just purchase stuff and think they are prepared. What they really need are skills that can’t be taken away, so that they can survive, no matter what the situation is – with or without supplies.

And unlike events held at convention centers, Prepper Camp™ will be held at a beautiful and scenic campground where attendees can actually camp, cookout, make fires, and experience preparedness in a natural setting – imagine that!

So, whether it is for the day, or for the entire weekend, Prepper Camp is a total immersion event in preparedness, survival, camp craft and homesteading skills

IQ: You had to turn away some very reputable experts, writers, and trainers from Prepper Camp because of space and time limitations. Why do you think the interest in being involved in the event was so overwhelming?

Rick: We have some of the best preparedness experts in the country speaking at this event. Many are people that I know through being on the speaking circuit across the country, or who I have interviewed for my radio show.

And some found out about Prepper Camp through their friends who were speaking at this before we ever did any publicity for it. Those people thought it was a great idea, so they wanted to speak too!

These guys and gals, just want to be part of it, and be able to share information with others who are at the top of their field. The response from possible speakers has been overwhelming. But unfortunately we are maxed out with available classes and speaking spots. As it is, even if you attend a class every hour during the event, you will only be able to attend half the classes we are offering in the three days.

IQ:What type of hands-on courses will be offered during the three-day event?

Rick: We anticipate having six different classes scheduled at the same time at various locations seven times throughout each day. We will even have night classes, outside in the dark, for things like night land navigation, as well as training on using night vision goggles and thermal/ infrared equipment.

IQ: Will you be featuring the presenters on your radio show before Prepper Camp so potential visitors can learn more about their expertise and course details?

Rick: We will feature some of them on upcoming shows, but it would be impossible to do all of them before the Prepper Camp opening. Since I do one show a week, and since I have over 30 speakers, it would take 30 weeks to do all the shows!

But because I try to interview the best survival and preparedness experts in the world for my show, I have already had a number of these speakers on my past shows. And since all my shows are archived on the Preparedness Radio Network, people can get a taste of what many of the speakers are about before they come to Prepper Camp.

IQ: What should Prepper Camp visitors “know before they go” in reference to the event venue and the courses?

Rick: It is relatively easy to get to from I-26 in North Carolina, but there is a very small town you must go through and there are a number of back roads and curves to get there.

Many will be coming for the day, and sleeping at home if they are local, so there will be a lot of traffic getting in each morning. We may even have to provide some off-site parking and shuttle people in. We are already taking a large number of reservations for this event and anticipate a huge response from all over the country. We also anticipate a tremendous amount of day traffic, in addition to our campers, which we will be primarily traveling from the Charlotte, Atlanta, Asheville, Greenville/Spartanburg, Nashville, and Clemson metros.

So if attendees are going to be staying with us and camping for the weekend, they need to come in by Thursday night and set up. There will be no time, and it could be very problematic, if they are trying to come in and set up on the day the event goes live on Friday when all our day trippers are driving in.

Also, we may or may not have ticketing available when this article goes public, whether we do, or we do not, people should go the website and sign up for more information [give us their email address] on the main page. This way they can get all the updates, and they will be the first to be notified when tickets do go on sale.

By the way, we do expect to sell out. As part of our goal to make this the best preparedness event, not the biggest, we are going to limit attendance so that people will be able to get into the classes they want to see, and so that it won’t be uncomfortable for campers.

There is also going to be a limited number of the normal campsites available, so if people want to camp with us, they will have to make camping reservations after they get their event tickets, and the first people to get tickets will have the choicest sites. We have also made arrangements with the campground that if people, still want to camp, but we are out of the normal campsites, there will be primitive camping available where many will still be able to get the 24-hour a day experience without having to stay in a hotel and drive back and forth every day, although it will be a lot more crowed camping with a lot of people in some open areas. So be prepared and buy tickets as soon as they are available.

Other than that, people should bring guitars, banjos, harmonicas or any other instrument that they may want to play around the campfire/ or do some jamming with fellow campers. Make sure you bring your bug out bag, your bug out vehicle, and your camping stuff. You will learn a lot, and this should be fun!

IQ: Will there be a vendor area at Prepper Camp as well?

Rick: Yes, there will be some great vendors at Prepper Camp, and they will be set up outside under their own tents and will be selling just about everything you would need for prepping, homesteading and survival. The speakers will also have their own areas where people can meet them, talk to them, ask them questions, and get signed copies of books, etc. from them – if they happen to be authors-which many of them are.

IQ: What do you see as the primary concerns both prepper event attendees and presenters are concerned about in 2014?

Rick: Relative to the world? Everything. Relative to Prepper Camp? It’s is outside – so it could rain. We do have buildings and we will have tents for some of the classes, but since it will certainly rain at some point in any survival situation, it could certainly rain at some point during the three days of Prepper Camp too – but then again, that’s all part of survival.

IQ: The new season of Doomsday Preppers is about to begin. Will you and Survivor Jane be involved in creating inexpensive at-home versions of the preps again this year?

Rick: No, they did not ask us to do that this year, primarily because we had a conversation with the producers last year where we had recommended that they start featuring preps that didn’t require huge bank accounts to complete. So they took our advice and this season is going to show more ‘every day’ preppers with preps that don’t require a fortune to do and preps that everyone should be able to do. It will be more educational and hopefully – less sensational.

And I will be on the show this season, where my Secret Garden of Survival will be featured, as well as my Secret Greenhouse of Survival. So this year, people in TV land will get the opportunity to see the garden and the greenhouse with their own eyes. Hopefully the editors they won’t leave too much on the cutting room floor, and people will have a good learning experience from it.

And there will be some huge surprises revealed to the entire preparedness community, this season. Survivor Jane will also be on the show this year. She was very hesitant about being featured on the show in the past, because as a prepper, it always seemed a little ridiculous to show the world all your stuff. But since this season is about teaching people survival skills, she agreed to do it, and she will be showing a lot of preps that come right out of her book, including all kinds of personal hygiene things you can make with food storage items. Hygiene is going to be very important in any TEOTWAWKI situation, since bad hygiene will lead to infections and disease, all of which could kill you and potentially your entire prepper group.

Prepper Camp Classes

  • Here is a list of some of the classes we have been working on for Prepper Camp:
  • Archery- a critical skill to have in a grid down situation where you want to maintain “silence”
  • Basic Disaster Preparedness – for beginners
  • Beekeeping
  • Blacksmithing “On the Cheap” – too often blacksmithing requires a heavy investment in equipment, this does not.
  • Bugging Out By Boat
  • Bug Out Bags -What REALLY should go in them)
  • Butchering
  • Cache Class- When, Where, and How
  • Camp Cooking
  • Canning/Pickling/Preserving
  • Cheese Making
  • Chemicals for Prepping- What to have for fire starting, water purifying and defense.
  • CPR
  • Dehydrating Basics and Beyond
  • Dutch Oven Cooking
  • Edible Plants
  • Emergency Medical Kits
  • Essential Oils (Using and Making)
  • Exercise in Extreme Environments and Confined Spaces
  • Fire Arms for Bug Out Survival
  • Fire Arms Safety
  • Fire Starting
  • Grinding To Make Flour and Nut Butters
  • Ham Radio
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Home Defense
  • How to Make Your Own ProBiotics
  • Hygiene Products Made From Storage
  • Knot tying
  • Lifesaving (in the Water)
  • Navigation (Day and Night)
  • Night Vision and Thermal Optics
  • Nutrition After a Disaster
  • Off Grid Water Systems
  • Preparing for a Financial Crisis
  • Preparing Food Stores To Taste Good- “Prepping with Big Flavors”
  • Primitive Fishing
  • Rain Water Collectiion
  • Retreat Water Systems
  • Secret Garden of Survival- How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest
  • Secret Greenhouse of Survival- How to Build the Ultimate Homestead & Prepper Greenhouse
  • Smoking Meats
  • Solar Power
  • Solar Cooking Do’s and Don’ts
  • Survival First Aid
  • Survival Groups- The Do’s and Dont’s
  • Survival Mindset- Your Will to Survive
  • Suturing
  • Tanning Hides
  • Tracking (Animals and Humans)
  • Water Filtration

IQ: Is Prepper Camp a family oriented event? What activities will be available for children?

Rick: Children under 15 will have to be supervised, but there is a tremendous number of things they can do at this location, that obviously include the traditional camping activities, but we also have other things they can do as a family of just as kids. The families will have the opportunity to see live displays and try out different equipment in the field, like numerous stoves, water filters, camping equipment, bug-out bags, night vision, and infrared equipment.

Unscheduled Family Activities:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Ropes courses (lower and higher)
  • Obstacle Courses
  • Zip Line
  • Conflicted Games
  • Zip Line
  • Swimming
  • Water Slide
  • Fishing
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboats
  • Canoes
  • Jon Boats
  • 9 hole 9 iron Golf
  • Skate Ramps
  • Soccer Goals
  • Badminton
  • Playgrounds
  • Horse Shoes
  • Field Sports
  • Hiking Trails
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Fidget Ladder
  • The Palmetto Trail
  • Pool Table
  • Ping Pong
  • Carpet Ball
  • Air Hockey Table
  • Shuffleboard
  • Twister Climbing Wall

Popular Education Internet Radio with American Preppers Radio on BlogTalkRadio with American Preppers Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

IQ: Is the campground and event area handicap accessible?

Rick: Yes, but it is a campground after all so some things are handicap accessible and some things are not, there are hills, water hazards, and woods.

Prepper Camp Speakers

Rick Austin

Rick Austin is known as the Survivalist Gardener, and is a preparedness, homesteading and off grid living expert. He is the author of Secret Garden of Survival-How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest which is now the #1 best selling book in garden design. Rick is also the author of the Secret Greenhouse of Survival, How to Build the Ultimate Homestead and Prepper Greenhouse.

Rick has been featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Castle, Doomsday Preppers, as well as the documentary film Beyond Off Grid and Mother Earth News, Off The Grid News, Survival Based and Survival Life. You can also hear Rick on his radio show Secrets of a Survivalist where each week he talks with the world’s best survival experts that share their own secrets of survival.

Dr. Bill Forstchen – Keynote Speaker

New York Times best selling 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 forty 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.

One Second After is a story which may be all too terrifyingly real, a story 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 will send America back to the dark ages. A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse – EMP. 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. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future… and our end.

Survivor Jane

Jane is a former city-girl turned prepper. She is the creator and editor of the disaster survival and preparedness website. It has become her mission to help educate others on how to better prepare themselves by sharing her experiences and research in easy to understand “girl-talk” on topics of disaster survival and preparedness.

As an additional outreach, Survivor Jane created the hashtag #PrepperTalk on Twitter which has turned into the largest prepper pommunity on Twitter; bringing preparedness-minded people from all over the world together to share their ideas, suggestions and information on preparedness. She is also the author of the newly released book Where There is No Cosmetic Counter, a first of its kind book on emergency and survival hygiene – which in her opinion is one of the most overlooked preparedness needs.

Eugene Runkis

Eugene’s skills include survival and bushcraft, primitive tool and weapons, bow making, primitive pottery, survival trapping, Boat and Coricle Making, modern and primitive trapping, camo and concealment, stealth, evasion, escrima, and martial arts, bush medicine, black smithing, mountaineering and orienteering, primitive basket and bowl making, wood burning and dugouts, stone works, woodlore, bushcraft, carpentry, welding, machining, and much more! You can see more of Eugene on Destination America’s hit show Hillbilly Blood and his YouTube channel.

Dale Stewart

Dale is known worldwide as a naturalist, explorer, adventurist, conservationist, and host of the syndicated radio show, Natures Edge. He is also a published author, speaker, and educator who still seeks that next great challenge. He has devoted much of his life to exploring the planet’s remotest rivers and living with and learning from indigenous people he met along the way.

Dale’s world travel led to the development of his most in demand training programs dealing with “staying safe and secure.” He is an evolutionary mindset facilitator known for developing a new, fast and effective way to transmit awareness to clients in a matter of hours, which would otherwise take decades to experience. Dealing with fear is one of his many specialties. His security training programs have been presented to members of the US State Department, CNN, FOX, and MSNBC news crews, special operations command, corporations, law enforcement, and private citizens the word over.

Scott Hunt

Scott Hunt is a sustainable living design engineer and the owner of Practical Preppers LLC. He specializes in off-grid water and energy systems. His expertise in mechanical engineering combined with good old-fashioned know-how gleaned from experience “on the farm and in the woods” has enabled him to draw closer to that goal of a fully sustainable lifestyle.

If he isn’t installing a prepper system for a client, speaking at a conference, consulting via the phone, then you will find him in his shop tinkering on the next cool project. Scott has worked for the last four years as a consultant for National Geographic on the shows Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Castle. Scott has also appeared on the Sportsman Channel’s America Unplugged.

Find out about Scott’s new book Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness, attend his book signing and get his new DVD Home EMProvement at Prepper Camp.

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Joe Alton, also known as Dr. Bones, the Disaster Doctor, is an M.D. and Amy Alton, also known as Nurse Amy, is an advanced registered nurse practitioner and a certified nurse midwife. They are the authors of the #1 Amazon bestseller in survival skills, disaster relief, and safety – first aid called The Survival Medicine Handbook; a guide for when medical help is not on the way. They have just published a brand new 560 page 2nd edition to their book about survival medicine.

The Altons are also contributors to magazines like Backwoods Home, Survival Quarterly, Survivalist, and Self-Reliance Illustrated. Their own website, doom and has over 300 articles on medical readiness and is one of the top ten survival sites, according to The Altons also designed an entire line of medical kits to deal with issues you might encounter after a catastrophe, and produce instructional DVDs to teach skills that might be useful in times of trouble.

The Altons are popular speakers throughout the country in their role as survival medicine experts. Their mission is to give the average person the knowledge they’ll need to keep their family healthy in any disaster.

Charley Hogwood

Charley Hogwood has many years of experience in the military as a reconnaissance scout and infantry squad leader where his job was to train and lead people of various skill levels and personalities in a multitude of missions in the field. After leaving the service Charley has spent many years in project management and business development. His work has been primarily in the field of utility infrastructure.

Charley holds several state certified construction licenses, has 35 FEMA certifications and a certificate in emergency management. He took his passion of preparedness to work by creating Personal Readiness Education Programs where he trains people in the ways of survival and preparedness.Through this experience he wrote the first book ever written on the subject of developing groups in survival. Now he travels and speaks on how to build survival groups and how to fix one that isn’t working.

Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill is one of the foremost preparedness and off the grid living writers in the U.S. She also often covers political topics from a Libertarian point of view. Tara is the host of a prepper radio show, the creative director for Prepper and Shooter Magazine, and a writer for Off The Grid News, Survival Life, Survival Based, eFoodsDirect, The Inquisitr, and Yahoo News. She also runs a social networking training and posting service for others in the prepper community.

Rich Davis

Rich Davis is a local business man best known for providing financial intelligence. Davis is the Founder of BEST FQ and is the manager of a non-traditional asset portfolio. The overall strategy is to invest in real assets specifically clean water, agricultural and farm land, precious, base metals and minerals mining, energy, and timber. Subsequently, his clients are seeing a far greater risk adjusted rate of return on their investments than the traditional equity markets. As a way to give back to his community, he started hosting Charlotte Back to the Basics events to promote awareness and preparedness. They have hosted seven events to date.

Jennifer Elswick

Jennifer Elswick and her husband and have been working in emergency preparedness and disaster relief since 1992. When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, our hearts cried out to help the victims. Since then, emergency preparedness has been a way of life for us. People need to have a little more of everything stored to get their family through these occurrences; These events can happen at any time. Whether job related,it is weather related, etc.They have formed an amazing network, or prep family you might say, that has brought them to where we are today.It has been wonderful journey that has blessed us for over 20 years.

Peter Carroll

Peter Carroll is a prepper, paramedic, EMS instructor, American Heart Association instructor and an extra class amateur radio (Ham) operator. He has been a paramedic supervisor and area manager for an ambulance company and now he is striving to help train and prepare the public for emergencies, teaching them to be self reliant. He has many years of EMS experience. Carroll has been a prepper and homesteader for over 15 years, and the last five years in a leadership capacity in a mutual aid group where they focus on self reliance.

Grannie Pam

Grannie Pam is 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.

Vincent DeNiro

With a Ukrainian mother and grandparents who escaped from the Nazi’s in WWII, Vincent DeNiro’s family had to be preppers to survive. Vince learned history, politics and preparedness skills from his grandparents who came to America. Now Vince is the editor in chief of Prepper and Shooter Magazine and has over 31 years of experience working in the firearms and defense industries. In fact, Vince led the effort to defeat of the first “assault weapons” ban in the U.S. in 1989.

And Vince also worked as a weapons armorer for Hollywood and worked on over 50 movies. Vince will discuss bugout gag and the items that are contained in the pack, as well as what to listen to on shortwave radio, firearms for bug-out survival – types to have, laws, the Second Amendment, herbal remedies, the car kit, and NBC kit.

Donna Miller

Donna Miller was raised on the Gulf Coast and grew up with little to no skill of anything remotely domestic or self-sustaining. Shortly after marriage her husband Joseph felt called to prepare their family for life to be ‘different’ by the time the kids were grown. More than 25 years ago they began their preparedness journey. Donna doesn’t really call herself an expert but a rather a facilitator who shares what she’s learned and encourages others to jump in!

Donna is the hostess of three radio shows: Surviving on Shoestrings on The Survival Mom Radio Network, Your Preparation Station on the Preparedness Radio Network and Encouragement in the Kitchenon Blogtalk Radio. She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, North Carolina. Miller is an adjunct instructor for Frontier Christian University. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House, the Always Ready Store and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine. Through each endeavor they hope to offer readiness and simple living tips to spread the message of preparedness through faith, family and fun not fear.

Skinny Medic

Skinny Medic hosts a popular YouTube channel and is a full time paramedic. He has been in 911 EMS for 12 years. He posts videos that can help you in a wilderness situation, or in a situation where you have little to no medical help.”You never know when you will be the first responder,” the Skinny Medic reminds America.

Samm Simpson

Samm is a truth seeker, a follower of Yeshua and a GMO educator. She spent thirty plus years as a radio, television writer, producer, director, host in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and Florida. Her most recent project was as associate producer and assistant writer for the documentary Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives. In 2006 she ran for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 10th District.

These days, Samm believes that boycotting GMOs is one of the most pro active stances we can take against the multi-faceted beast we face. She also sounds alarms with music, while writing poetry and digging holes with her tiny flock of chickens as they build up the soil ‘s micro-flora. Her main focus for many a year has been as the primary care giver for her adult disabled daughter.

Tony Haney

Knot tying has always been one of those key outdoor skills that many take for granted. A good knot can save lives and save valuable time. But you have to know how to tie it. Ropeman will teach the most important Spractical knots that everyone can use even in everyday tasks. Tony Haney a.k.a “Ropeman” has been tying knots and working with rope, since he was very young. His passion for knot tying grew over the years and now he helps others learn the ropes.

Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams is a lover of history and the old ways of living. Her ancestors came to America in the 1600’s and she is a proud member of Daughters of the American Revolution. Several years ago Melissa Williams began volunteering as a docent at Rural Hill in Huntersville, North Carolina participating in teaching living history of the 18th century. There she learned hearth cooking and campfire cooking.

She also volunteers as a docent at Hart Square in Catawba county where there is the largest collection of historic log cabins anywhere in the world. I dress in 18th century period clothing and enjoy hearth cooking and sharing history with visitors. “Being an avid prepper, I made it my mission to learn to live without electricity and to become proficient with the skills our ancestors survived on,” Williams said.

She teaches campfire cooking at the Charlotte Back to the Basics events and enjoy serving up tasty campfire cuisine while allowing those who wish to get involved learn by doing! Williams is a marksmanship instructor with the Appleseed Program.

Brian Adams

Brian Adams is the founder of Carolina Prepper U, a group focused on sharing emergency preparedness knowledge with interested parties in the upstate of South Carolina.

Brian started “prepping” over 15 years ago while in leadership roles in business, developing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans. He has taken the lessons learned during that time and applied it to personal and family prepping.

In recent years Brian has joined the Spartanburg, SC County CERT program and is a member of the Search and Rescue Team. Brian is also a HAM radio operator and has taught classes on many aspects of prepping.

Brian makes his living helping small and mid-market businesses develop and implement Business resilience programs via his company

Omer Causey

Omer Causey is a lawyer who for 34 years has represented government bodies, as well as people and companies doing business with the government – in court and at the negotiating table. He is soon to publish a book on the history of martial law in the United States from the Colonial Period to the present.

He is also 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, which is advocating and organizing for the calling of a Convention of States under Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing amendments that would limit the power and jurisdiction of the national government. He is committed to the proposition that such amendments are the only practicable way to rein in the out-of-control Washington political establishment and restore the system of federalism intended by the Founders.

Richard Walsh

Richard Walsh is a “common man” prepper. “I can’t really remember a time I did not have a preparedness mindset. I have built a lifetime of trial and error when it comes to preparedness. I love The Lord, love my family, love my friends and try not to take life too seriously. Sometimes a good laugh will turn the tide on a bad situation. I don’t prep cause I fear, I prep so my loved one never need to fear. The past few years I have been sharing my whit and wisdom speaking at prepper conferences hopefully helping others learn with a laugh or two,” Walsh said.

Jamie Guined

Jamie Guined currently serves as an Exercise Scientist with the University of Houston supporting research in the Exercise Physiology & Countermeasures Project and the Neurosciences Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

As an active member of the spaceflight community and industry, Jamie serves as the Exercise Science adviser to Mars One, CapCom for the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station where she also served as Commander for Crew 138 during the 2013-2014 field season, and the Business Development Officer for Astronauts4Hire.

Jamie also founded LAUNCH Fitness & Human Performance, a pioneering company that bridges the gap between the commercial spaceflight and aerospace medicine industries and the fitness industry.

Andrew Pitts

Andrew Pitts has a cost effective way to build a forge which overcomes the obstacle of cost, when trying to do the job of a blacksmith. Andrew shows us a more primitive way to build tools with his class- “Blacksmithing on the Cheap”

Andrew is a craft artist living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He has a degree in Professional Crafts-Jewelry and maintains a focus on forged jewelry, handmade knives and custom blacksmithing. Drawing on the problem solving skills developed over a decade of work as a locksmith, he employs the art of metalworking to address the needs of clients. Living in the mountains has given Andrew an increased responsibility to provide for family and friends in time of need. Teaching and passing on what he has learned is one way he hopes to help others.


Macca is a former sergeant in the SASR, a member of TAG east security force for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Numerous deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa and South east Asia in combat roles and then later as security trainer and advisor to indigenous forces. Along with military deployments he has also been attached to government details providing security for dignitaries. “I specialize in highly confidential one on one and family security awareness courses,” Macca said.

Trish Deer

Trish Deer has been in the Wellness Education field for 12 years and holds a certification in Health Ministry. Frustrated and overweight after years of eating the standard American diet, Trish had a number of health problems. After discovering that food was the problem, she also discovered that food was the cure. She began her comeback to wellness. Trish is the owner and operator of Bread of Life, grinding fresh organic grains in order to provide homemade breads with nutritional excellence to local residents. She also teaches a variety of classes to help her students understand the importance of proper nutrition and its effects on the body. Among these classes are Nutrition 101, Probiotics 101, Juicing and Smoothies, Transitional Cooking, Bread Making, Home Canning, Dehydration Fun, and several Essential Oil classes.

Fred Nichols

Fred Nichols has been interested in beekeeping and other natural practices for most of his life. Fred grew up in a small town in Maine, and was a crew chief in the Air Force. Today, Fred lives a preparedness lifestyle, attends to his honey bees, collects honey and builds and sells alternative style bee hives and equipment.

Jim and Cindy Thompson

As co-owners of Fortress Management Group, Incorporated Jim and Cindy are the driving force behind the Life Changes. Be Ready! Preparedness Events, where some of the most renowned survival, off the grid living, and self-reliance experts in America share their expertise. LCBR latest event is the Summer of Survival Webinar Serieswith world leading experts on virtually every area of preparedness and self-reliance.

Jim Thompson was raised by parents born in the Great Depression, being self-reliant was part of everyday life for Jim. Spending summers on an uncle’s dairy farm in Eastern Ohio, Jim was exposed to all aspects of raising, growing and processing all the food you consumed daily. Jim holds NRA Certifications of Chief Range Safety Officer, Range Safety Officer, Rifle Instructor, Shotgun Instructor, and Pistol Instructor.

Cindy Thompson is a Management Professional with 20 years of business and event management. In the world of preparedness, Cindy is passionate about teaching women of all ages not only about situational awareness but also about self-defense through the use of firearms. Cindy’s professional training as an Exercise Physiologist explains why she is very adamant that physical fitness is a vital part of every woman’s ability to defend herself. Cindy attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, obtained her hachelors degree from Furman University and her master of science degree from the University of Arizona. Cindy is an NRA Certified Instructor for basic pistol and the Refuse to Be a Victim program.

Richard Cleveland

Richard Cleveland is the founder and director of Earth School, based near Asheville. He is a former lead instructor at Tom Brown’s world famous Wilderness Survival School in New Jersey. Richard has also trained and studied extensively with Charles Worsham, a gifted tracker and teacher of life. Other teachers he has studied with include, nationally renowned Cherokee herbalist David Winston, flin tknapping experts Dr. Errett Callahan and Jack Cresson, as well as bow makers Jim Hamm and Scott Silsby.

Richard teaches programs throughout the United States and has also led programs in Australia. He has taught survival and self-reliance skills to Navy Seals and civilians alike. His Survival School has been featured on cable TV shows, local news channels and various publications. During the past 21 years Richard has taught nature awareness and survival skills to thousands of people of all ages. He is an avid outdoorsman, fishing guide, writer, public speaker and a self-trained naturalist.

Scott Moore

Scott Moore obtained his first bow at the age of 9, Scott cut his teeth as a bow hunter pursuing small game in the hedges and corn rows of central Ohio. Harvesting his first deer in 1975 with a 45-pound recurve bow, Scott now draws from an experience base of 38 successful hunting seasons and has harvested over 100 big game animals. Competing in tournament archery from 1976 till 1987, Scott has held many local and state titles, and competed on a national level in 1987. Opening Scott’s Archery Shop in 1987, and operating the Savannah River Archery Shop and 3D range from 1990 till 1996, Scott has coached hundreds of people to become successful archers and bow hunters. Founding Wild about Christ Ministries in 2007 and recently incorporating as W.A.C. Outdoors LLC, Scott continues to share his passion for archery with all who are interested in learning.
Matt Gibson

Matthew Gibson has been active in the electrical industry since 1997. Matthew has vast knowledge and experience sizing and installing various types of generators Propane, Natural Gas, Diesel and Solar. Besides being an extremely creative and talented electrician Matthew is also proud to be a NRA Certified Fire Arms Instructor specializing in Basic Pistol and Tactical pistol shooting.
Matthew’s family has extensive experience as electricians, carpenters and land developers. This has afforded him a unique view of all aspects of the construction industry.

[Featured Image Via: Shutterstock]

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