Helping customers become more self-sufficient and prepare for the unexpected is the mission of The Bunker, owner Sharon Kuhlman said.
The Leander store carries camping, hunting and survival gear to accommodate a variety of situations, from weekend camping trips to severe weather events or man-made disasters, she said.
Kuhlman said many of her customers come in because they want to see the products in person and ask questions rather than buying them online.
Liberty Hill resident Joe Spiking said he and his son buy many of their camping and hunting supplies at The Bunker and appreciate Kuhlman’s expertise.
“[She has] good knowledge of all her products,” Spiking said. “She doesn’t just bring stuff in and hope to sell it. If you ask her a question, she knows what [the answer] is.”
The store specializes in premade and custom bug-out bags, which are backpacks containing survival supplies such as water packets and filters, nonperishable food items, an emergency blanket and other necessities. Kuhlman said people often keep these bags in their vehicles or offices.
The Bunker offers a variety of products for storing, filtering and treating water when regular supplies are unavailable, Kuhlman said. She recommends keeping at least a three-day supply of commercially bottled water on hand as well as some longer-term solutions.
One popular item, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, can filter 264 gallons of water, which would last up to 10 months for a single user, she said.
“You can take [the Life Straw] literally out to a puddle, drink out of the puddle and it will clean it for you,” she said.
She said one customer favorite is the BioLite CampStove, which burns small pieces of wood for cooking while converting that energy into electricity to be used for charging personal devices, such as cell phones.
Kuhlman said she aims to offer competitive pricing on all the products in the store, including ammunition for firearms. The Bunker does not set limits on the amount of ammunition a customer can purchase at any one time, she said.
“We want people to be able to purchase what they want,” she said. “I believe that we also have the right to do that as citizens.”
Spiking said many stores will limit the amount of ammunition one can buy in certain calibers.
“It’s nice to know that if you’re going to go out for a weekend [of shooting] and you need to get more than two boxes, you know exactly where to go,” he said.