We weren't a big group - a bakers dozen in all - who had "met" on the internet through a website called the International Preppers Network - we were the Canadian contingent of course. Each of us came with different skills and abilities, lots of questions and admittedly some fear of the unknown as well. This is the internet age and cross-country or cross-continent communication is all the rage but meeting someone face-to-face has more risk to it. I could comment and say - how sad that we've sunk so low that meeting with a stranger has to be such a big deal. However - we all braved the unknown and what we discovered was beautiful.
We met at a conservation area and were thankful to have the use of a picnic shelter for the day as it did rain off and on. The weather was warm and muggy and the mosquitoes were in their happy-place eating us alive until one very smart prepper pulled out the new OFF Powerpad Mosquito Lamp - It worked really well and reduced the bugs to almost nothing. They are definitely on my list!
With so much in common from our shared interests we started the chit chatting right away - in fact we had to rein in the conversations long enough to eat the wonderful potluck meal. Lots of laughter and fun and great conversations about building a chicken coop without giving up the man-cave, how to raise rabbits for meat and ear muffs, the basic needs of being prepared for an emergency, life in your community, how to grow garlic and how not to grow garlic and what mylar bags are used for. Later we shared what we wanted to learn next on our prepping journey and opened the conversation for others more knowledgeable to give us some advice.
We talked about canning and did a canning swap - I can't wait to try out some of the new jars of food I brought home. We brought some things to barter and had some good-natured conversations about whether some homemade buns were worth 3 or 4 mylar bags? or who wanted the homemade salve the most and what they were willing to trade for it. We traded for cookbooks, sewing needles, an Esbet stove, homemade soap, homemade buns and of course toilet paper!
There was a demonstration on how to make home made deodorant and we talked at length about how to make homemade laundry soap. The tips flew as new friendships were made and old ones more deeply established.
Later in the day a nature walk was organized to look for plants that could be used as food or medicine. I admit to staying back and huddling around the mosquito lamp as the bugs LOVE me but in the meantime I had some really great conversations with some others who stayed behind.
If you've ever thought of going to a meet but chicken'd out I want to encourage you to give it a try. Please do be wise and meet in a public place and use common sense but don't let your fear stop you from attending. You may find what I did - a great learning opportunity and a group of new like-minded friends.