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Shopping for the Apocalypse

What good will money do anyhow?

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Shopping for zombie knives, Chinese riot gear and radiation pills gives a whole new meaning to what retailers have called Black Friday.

In fact, preppers, survivalists or garden-variety nut jobs envision spending many days perusing scores of online end-of-the-world retailers hawking Mayan wall clocks or Armageddon underwear. When retailers say, "Everything must go," this time, they may really mean it.

"You really can't tell a prepper by looking at them," said Dan Turrittin, owner of Boise Army Navy, Boise's go-to location for survivalist gear. "We've probably always had them among us. Let's face it, most people are just one step away from having all of their camping gear and being a full-blown prepper."

Turrittin should know. As the owner of the landmark store for two years and employee for 25 more, he's lost count of how many men and women he's helped put together a bug-out bag for when the big one drops.

"Take a look over here," said Turrittin making his way to what has become known as the bug-out aisle.

"We thought about putting together a bag, but most preppers like to make their own. But we still offer some suggestions."

A bright yellow "What In Your Bug Out Bag?" sign stands over bins of first aid kits, pack axes, duct tape, kerosene lanterns, matches, mess kits and MREs.

"My guess is that with the bag included, you could put together your own supply for maybe $200 minimum," said Turrittin.

But for every serious prepper, there's also someone that is, let's just say, off the boil.

"We have some bleeding zombies for target practice, and this particular knife is from our zombie line," said Turrittin, pointing to a $50 Ka-bar blade that was more machete than knife.

Armageddon is apparently recession proof, or at least as close as any business can be.

"We sure weather some bad economic times, certainly more than others have," said Turrittin.

He's hoping that the end of days is later, rather than sooner. Business is that good.

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