usaprepares.com had what was billed as the largest prepper expo in the country this weekend in my little town in central Missouri this weekend. I got the missus to go along with me today, which was really cool. It was mostly a lot of exhibitors with all their stuff laid out, a lot of demos, and a lot of ways to spend money (which I brought none of). Some cool things I saw which I will probably look into: 1) The Aqua Pail; a small bucket with a lid with holes in it, filtration media inside, and a hole in the bottom. The idea is you place the Aqua Pail over a water container, pour dirty water in the top, and it comes out the bottom filtered. Looked legit. Didn't catch the details, but at $75, I would expect that it would hook you up with a lot of clean water. 2) FreezeDryGuy....a dealer in freeze-dried foods, mostly Mountain House, but was surprised (pleasantly) to find that he sold the old LRRP meals that used to be in the old MCI rations. They are still being manufactured, and although the price was a little steep ($132 for 20 meals), it was some nostalgia, and for that, I may buy a case or two in the near future (although I will shop that around). Anyway, I tried the Mountain House freeze-dried cooked chicken and was thouroughly impressed, and WILL be buying a couple cases of that for the pantry. 3) Kodiak has a magnesium/flint firestarter that my wife was very impressed with after finding out that she too can use one lol.....lasts for 20,000 strikes, and when it wears out, either mail it in or find them at a local gun show and they replace it. 4) Of course, there were some "out there" people with all kinds of different healing solutions and whatnot, but one thing that caught my attention was someone selling these gel-filled vinyl packs with a small metal disc in them. You bend the disc once, and an exothermic reaction heats the pad and you can use it to soothe aches and pains. When it cools, it solidifies and you restore it back to liquid form by boiling it for a few minutes. Doubles as a cold pack simply by freezing it. Missed many of the seminars, as I was out hiking yesterday and drinking with friends lastnight, but there was one where an ER doc taught everyone how to suture a pig's foot (hands on for $65), and another on how to effectively vacuum seal all kinds of gear. Saw a wood gasifier in operation on an old Ford F-250. The Emberlit stove.....expensive, but wow. Look it up. A guy tried to convince me that the only silver it is sensible to buy is bullion.....I guess it will just be an endless debate. No one will know the answer until....well, you know. The expo was also part gun show, as well. I didn't talk to anyone about the ongoing ammo shortage, but someone was selling 20-rd boxes of Wolf .223 for $30. Also saw a box (not a brick, but a BOX of 50 rds) of .22LR for $25.....nothing special, either, just plain-jane 40gr. PMC 115gr 9mm FMJ.....$30 per box. This, perhaps more than anything, makes my stomach lurch some, because more than anything right now, I really want to know a straight answer on WTF is going on. I know there is hoarding going on, but is that all there is to it, or is the theory of government drying up the supply something that holds water in light of the fact that national-level anti-gun legislation can't be passed through? And if the government WERE placing huge orders, wouldn't some of the manufacturers be leaking that (unless they are under a gag order)? Anyways, stayed for a couple of hours, had fun. Wished I had more money---could have spent quite a bit and come out a lot closer to my prep goals. One thing I did find out is that I have a long way to go. It was pretty humbling. It's coming through again in July.