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Letters and email from readers about Backwoods Home Magazine and the BHM website


Archive for April, 2009


Designing and living in small spaces

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Dear Claire,

I loved your very insightful yet practical article: The Art of Living in Small Spaces. I have been pondering down sizing to a mobile mini cabin since the first time I saw one on the Internet.

I am currently down sizing from a 2,300 sq ft home to a 1 bedroom apartment. I want to visit one of the mobile cabins to see how it feels inside.

I live in Phoenix, AZ and it’s hot as hell here, so I haven’t yet located anyone living in one that I could visit. I have seen cottage/mini cabin packages for sale at Lowes Home Improvement that look very similar to the cabin pictured in your article. If I purchased one of the cabin packages and attached an under carriage with wheels, added insulation and what’s needed for living, could this realistically suffice as a place to live, similar to the cabin pictured in your article? Please give me your thoughts on this.

I can send information on the cottage/mini cabins from Lowes if that would help to explain what I’m conceptualizing. The best part is, if I could make this work, I could help other people to replicate mini mobile housing at a low cost.

Considering all of the Boomers and people losing their homes, this could help a throng of people if it’s feasible.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I appreciate your time, wisdom and insight.

Renee Friedman


The idea of a tiny house built on a flatbed or other mobile platform is a great one. In fact, the first of Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny Houses (the houses that illustrate my article) was built exactly that way. Because the local building code wouldn’t let Jay construct a house as small as he wanted on site, he just put it on wheels!

I’m familiar with the Lowes “Katrina Cottages.” The smallest of those would still be too big to go mobile, and would be too expensive even if you could manage it. (A trailer would be more exonomical.) However, if Lowes or any other source has a shed kit or cabin kit small enough, I don’t know any reason you couldn’t build one on a mobile platform. Or design your own.

Of course, just as with trailers and boats, the key to comfortable small-house living is having tons of clever storage — which is going to add both weight and cost as I’m sure you know. Still, with the right materials, the right size, and the right wheeled platform, your idea could be nicely workable, though probably not as economical as you’d like it to be.

Thanks for the thoughts, and good luck.



Old tires article

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


Great article on using old tires.

Here in California I have seen them cut creativly and used as play equipment, cut and turned inside out and hung on chains for swings made to look like animals, and they make a great sand box for the little ones.

In south america I saw them used as fences with rebar uprights.

Thanks for the great article



Feedback on articles

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Hello Editor,

I have read all articles under Animals section and those are very useful articles.

I got enough information to have homestead farm in the future.

Keep up your good work.

Best Wishes,



Thoughts on ammunition

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I know a lot about Massad Ayoob back in the early 1980’s. The article “Thoughts on ammunition” had several statements about the cost of ammunition. I have to be honest here, there is definitely a shortage and availability of handgun ammunition. For instance, for 2 months now,I go to my local  Wallmart  store to purchase .45 auto ammo. They can’t keep it in stock! The Counter person  that I know because I go there once a week says that as soon as they get there pallet load of ammo in,that customers come in and buy the whole thing. He said a customer came in and bought all 5000 Rounds of their .45 acp ammo in one shot. He also said they won’t get any more in for 7 to 10 days and even longer. When its put out on the shelf it won’t last more than  day. Needless to say I started to go to another Wallmart in a nearby town (Madera, CA) and also the Wallmart in (Clovis, CA), I live in Fresno, CA. It’s all the same story! The ammunition that is stocked at the few gun shops around, they want almost double the price. I can’t see paying 45 to 50 bucks for 50 rounds of .45 acp ammo for plinking! In fact some gun shops aren’t buying any ammunition because they say there is hardly any profit in it anymore!

Now I do 100% of my ammunition shopping at places like (They carry police contract ammo not available to the public locally, but can be Legally sold to the public through the internet because it was a police contract that was cancelled). The round is called Federal Premium HST Tactical and Federal LE Hi-Shok Ammo.  HST Ammunition is some of the best Expansion ammo I have ever encountered and when its available,you jump on it!.

Ammo Bank

Unfortunately, even as I write this, these big online ammunition dealers don’t have stock in some of the most popular calibers. .45 acp, .357 Mag, 9mm, are in big time demand.  Try finding some good .223 Remington ammo in 1000 Round cases that isn’t penetrator-tipped bullits.  It’s [difficult] to find this ammo. Even at the local gun shows, they don’t have much to offer, because they carry such small amounts now. I soon found out why. Because these people travel to show to show on a circuit, they have to only put out certain amounts of ammo so they will have some at each of their shows. One vendor who I talked to and a family friend said that he can’t stock enough supply to feed the demand and if he sold all of his ammo at just 1 show, he would lose out on the money on the rest of the shows because it’s the ammo that brings people to his booth and it’s his bread and butter. Basically it’s being rationed because they just don’t have the supplies currently at this time..

Note: If you have noticed, a brand called PRVI out of Russia is now making a lot of ammo that is cheaper than what our ammunition manufacturers sell their low line brands for. Interestingly this is some accurate and good ammunition from my own personal test. It’s all brass-cased, reloadable, non-corrosive primer and of decent quality. Their match grade.223 is some good shooting ammunition, so is their .45 and other calibers. There are some other connected brands from Russia called Brown Bear, Wolf, Silver Bear. While these work, there has been problems like Red Primer sealant build up, bad quality and primers installed backwards on rounds.

PRVI  is now one of my go-to brands But guess what is going to happen now? Huge amounts of money will be taken away from domestic ammo manufacturers which will end up using lobbyist pressure to limit importation of this ammo because they want the sales and of course profits. Secondly, they will tax us to death on ammunition and make new laws to cause drastic increases and new tougher regulations that will make it more difficult to buy, sell and have legally! California is having a very hard time and I fear there is good reason for this.

I believe there is a bigger picture to all of this and it comes down to control.


Rick Schreiner



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