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  1. Allow me to introduce myself. I am a 30-something average American living/working in Fantasyland USA, helping people come to Fantasyland and spend their hard earned money for some family memories. For the first 6 years of marriage, my wife and I tried living the American Dream, keeping up with the Joneses and to many around us we are the Joneses. Yet something didn’t feel right, we like the country were gaining a mountain of debt and our assets were dwindling. Our idea of a survival plan, was none. We didn’t need to be prepared for a hurricane, as long as we had rum we were Prepared/ready. About a year ago I saw the show Doomsday Preppers, at first I thought these people were kooks, and my wife thought I was even kookier for watching the show. Just like a train wreck you keep watching, and after a few episodes these kooks were making some sense. So I start having conversations with my wife about the “what-ifs,” and every conversation came to the point that we would retreat to the farm. (For some background the Farm is a tract of land near the TN/Kentucky boarder that her parents live at.) That was the end of the conversation, after some thinking how were we going to make it to the Farm, let’s see traversing 800+ miles of interstate through 4 states and 2 major metropolitan areas and 2 tanks of gas. Suddenly in case of a true emergency the farm was looking further and further away from a viable option in a SHTF event. So we started talking about a what if for home, we are still in the very beginning stages of the preparing for whatever may come. I’m not paranoid that a zombie apocalypse may take over, but the threat of Hurricanes is real, and the economy is very real. So we have started a small raised garden to flex our gardening thumbs, the basics like Tomatoes, cucumbers, Peppers and herbs. Would love to do more, but we live with a nice HOA that likes to govern EVERY thing we do in and around our house. For food storage, we have started to buy an extra can or two of vegetables every time we go to the grocery store. These stocks are building steadily, need to start looking at getting cansolidators. We like a lot of Americans have bought our first firearms since December. We have both gotten a few well researched pieces but most importantly going to the range 2-3 time a month and getting training for them. We are proficient in each other’s weapons, and have 4 very common calibers between the pieces. We haven’t started doing drills in the house yet, but we have at least planned out the logistics and code words for someone unwelcomed in the house. So we have been slowly putting together the Bug-in plan. Now for the inevitable Bug-Out plan. As a kid, I was never in scouts, never a camper, my parents idea of camping was at the Ritz where you could see the mountains. I luckily have a mind that is always planning and figuring things out. I do have the ability to MacGyver many things, heck I rebuilt my 1970 beetle from the ground up without ever using a manual, before I had my license. I know I need to learn basic survival techniques, watching YouTube is not learning, it is understanding a concept but not learning. I am looking at taking a survival course, anyone have experience with any in Florida? I was looking at a 2-3 day with Byron Kerns in the Ocala National Forest. As far as Bug-out bags I have been researching 150 hours plus on them. I have seen every prebuilt kit imaginable, most laughable, from either what is included or the ridiculous price expected to buy them. I have built many an Amazon shopping carts (did you know you can only have 55 items in the cart), and ended up getting 2 prebuilt packs as a starting point to my wife and I’s BOBs. We went with modified bags from Uncle Bobs Bug Out Bags, and lots of items to add in the next few months. My bag is currently about 10% of my body weight before water, and I expect with water and the rest of my items for it to be about 22%-25%. I will do a BoB dissection in the next month or two for the forum once I have most my items together. I constantly have to remind myself that Prepping is not a sprint but an ultra-marathon. I welcome any opinions or pointers, and will take all in to consideration, just may not follow it all. I do thank you in advance for welcoming me and accepting me in the forum, this place seems a lot nicer than other places around the webs.