Texas Avid Outdoor Expo, 2022

   09.30.22

Texas Avid Outdoor Expo, 2022

While not as large as Overland Expo, Texas Avid Outdoor Expo is more intimate and austere. No hotels are nearby, and the vendors camp in their booths. (Yes, I know some do at the other shows, but this one, all vendors stay on site).

Good day everyone and welcome to a new installment of AllOutdoor's Off-Road and Overlanding series brought to you by onX Offroad--mapping software for all your adventures.

We were fortunate enough to get invited to the show by our friends at Hammer Performance–a custom shop in Sunland Park, NM.

Booth spaces were less organized and more “organic” at this event.

I have avoided attending large organized events and shows for most of my history playing in the off-road space. As I have become more involved in the community aspect, I have come to appreciate the interactions with vendors and the public at shows. Honestly, I didn’t even know some of these small regional shows existed. Which is a shame–Texas Avid has been putting on a show for several years.

The show was only a couple of days–Friday, September 30th, and Saturday, October 1st. I got in late on Thursday, linked up with Lance Levine (and his crew from Hammer), and did the small amount of setup I needed to do–mainly deploy my newly upgraded Conqueror UEV-490 Trailer and put out my table so I could huck my first aid kits.

At night, after the show closed, vendors set up propane fires and unfolded camping chairs, making dinner and drinks. Other vendors would wander in and out of camps and hang out. It was a very relaxed and open atmosphere.

We were joined in our camp by a very large Stitch. Or maybe a giant furry smurf. Either way, hanging out after a long day of interacting with the public brings out all the fun.

While small, the show still had a large education component and classes continuously running, free for all attendees. We even taught a session on the boring side of medicine, “Hydration, Nutrition, and Hygiene”. A couple of other instructors presented the sexy stuff, like bleeding control and patient assessments.

Apollo’s Forge was doing “Stop the Bleed” training and CPR demos.

The vendors at the show ran the gamut from large project builders to freeze-dried food vendors (like Circle JM Farms with spicy freeze-dried skittles–it’s a thing–try it if you get the chance), to large retailers. While there weren’t as many vendors and the show was shorter, the feel was a lot more intimate, and the participants were able to spend more time at each booth.

I think the other vendors bought more freeze-dried food than the public did.

You are pressed for time at big shows like Overland Expo, trying to see everything and hop in sessions and demos. Learning more about the products and services was much easier with a smaller number of vendors and sessions. And you could actually see everything.

Following are some other pics I took of the event. Having attended a smaller show, I plan to attend more–there are a lot of regional and community differences that are worthwhile.

Classes were relaxed and more intimate. It was a “bring your own chair” event.
There is one in every group. In this case, Lance of Hammer Performance stepped out for a few, and one of the workers filled in for him.

 

One of the benefits of camping in the booth is being able to make your own food. This was my first time using my Omnia stove (that Regena Kowitz of Trail Recon pointed me to). The cinnamon rolls came out great.
The booths were much more spread out, so the attendees were not as densely packed. There were no booths that appeared empty.
Booths had a lot of different things going on. Unique trailers and retail and training could all be going on at the same time.

 

There were some vehicles on display, just like at bigger expos. But you could spend more time chatting with the owners.

 

Technology has come a long way. You can now get a super portable, battery-powered, air conditioner from Zero Breeze.

 

Apollo’s Forge Training Institute running demos and teaching wilderness medicine.

 

One of the days of the training schedule. Topics ranged from medical to comms to trip planning. All of the sessions were well attended.
Home away from home. Trailers in booths draw people in that are interested and are a common way to bring new traffic to a booth.

 

Running Starlink was a necessity for managing sales at booths. Plus, satellite internet is just cool, especially when it is just running from a battery.

 

This young entrepreneur capitalized on the hot, dry weather and was selling water.

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Avatar Author ID 94 - 1017829888

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Before that, he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie,” and assaults 14er in his sandals, and engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming copious water. To fund these adventures, he writes all manner of content (having also held editor positions at several publications) and teaches wilderness medicine and off-road skills. He hopes that his posts will help you find the gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it (and the training to use it). Learn from his mistakes--he is known (in certain circles) for his curse...ahem, ability...to find the breaking point of anything. You can follow him at https://linktr.ee/docrader.

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