This last week or so I have been traveling in Utah to visit family. While there, I was able to visit four different companies that deal in preparedness products. I dropped in on all four companies without any notice to see what I could learn about their operation.
The first company I visited that sells preparedness products was Emergency Essentials, now to be fair I dropped in at one of their stores not there headquarters. This is a store I have been in before and have always received good service. Today was the same; the employees were able to answer questions and appeared to know their products. They have an excellent display of water filters that you can actually use. In a few minutes, I was able to pump water through about eight different water filters. My wife has arthritis in her hands and this was particularly helpful for her. One filter stood out as being the easiest to operate, after doing a little more investigation on this filter if everything still looks good, I will write a post on it. This is one for her bug out bag.
Overall, my experience there was good. We purchased a few items, including some of the new MRE side dishes and desserts. I want to try these and see how good or bad they are.
The next store we visited was Eden Valley Farms one of the new companies in this market. We just happened to find them by accident when we saw their sign. Stopping there, we met one of their owners and were able to talk to him about their products. I identified myself as the owner of a blog and we talked about his products and others. He started out by telling me how everyone else’s products were not equal to his. He attacked everyone from Mountain House to Wise.
We then talked about his products and I asked him what the residual oxygen content of his packaged foods was. He stated 0-oxygen content, that he uses nitrogen flush. (Nitrogen flush has been abandoned by most companies, in favor of oxygen absorbers or a nitrogen preservation system in which a vacuum is drawn prior to insert the nitrogen. No company to my knowledge has achieved 0 oxygen). I asked him if he had this laboratory tested and he said no.
His food is packed in Mylar bags, he contends that this is a better packaging system than #10 cans. One thing that I noticed was that the serving sizes on the packages I looked at were 50 grams. Now I don’t understand metrics and have no real idea what size this serving is. (According to the internet this is about 1/3 of a cup.) His products do not contain any meat. His prices seemed high, for instance they list 200 servings of strawberry cream of wheat at $349.00. After looking at his products and talking with him I could not recommend his products at this time.
The third store I went into was The Ready Store. I went to their headquarters which also contains a small outlet store. The overall selection of long-term food storage products that they carry seems good. Here I identified myself and asked if I could talk to someone who could tell me about their business. The young lady at the front desk said the only person I could talk to was not there, although I could see many other employees coming and going.
The young lady at the front desk also ran the outlet store. She had very limited knowledge of the products and was anything but helpful, actually close to just plain rude. Even though I did buy a couple of water filter cartridges that were heavily discounted, I will not go back.
The fourth business that I visited was Goal Zero. Now they have an outlet store at their headquarters and if you live near them or are visiting the Salt Lake area I recommend you go and see them. They have great discounts on new and refurbished products and the young lady that dealt with us was very helpful and had lots of knowledge. I have one of the old Gobes that will no longer hold a charge and she showed me how to change the battery which will fix it as well as several of their other products. It is a simple task. I spend more money here than at any other store on this trip.
A member of their marketing staff also spoke with me and provided me with a copy of next year’s catalog. Hopefully I will be able to do some reviews on new products they have coming out next year. I was impressed with this company and the level of knowledge their employees have. This is the second recent contact I have had with Goal Zero and they have both been good. I recommend them and their products.
I hope my experiences gives you some insight in which companies that sell preparedness products, you want to deal with.