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


Archive for August, 2010


First time review

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Hi everyone at Backwoods home!

I just received my first editions of your magazine and Emergency Preparedeness guide. I could not put them down. I absolutely love your ideas.

What caught my attention to order this was the [Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide]. I had just taught a class on Emergency Preparedness at our church. Also our local sherrif Department heard about what I was doing and asked me to speak at a local neighborhood watch meeting. This just happened to be right before the “500 year flood” that hit our area .(Nashville and Hohenwald, TN).

I wanted to let you know that your book is so much more detailed than what I got from the FEMA website. Although they have good information. You had the info that I was looking for, like [preparing for bombs and nuclear attack], food storage, and long term survival. I am glad to know that I am not the only one out there that thinks about these things.

I have basic survival preparations: kit, plan, info, chickens, garden etc., but you have certianly lit a fire under me! I have sent info to all my family and encourage everyone to be prepared. I will definately tell them about you guys.

I am reading your magazine cover to cover with great excitement.Thank you for your work! There are lots of people who don’t give these things a second thought.

Keep up the good job!

David Carroll


Massad’s ‘Big Boomers’

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I’m a bit more traditional then Mas. [Big boomer guns by Massad Ayoob; Sept/Oct, 2010]

My beside the bed rifle is a Rossi model 92 in 45 Colt, loaded with ten 300 grain cast slugs. I think of it as 45-70 lite.

The handgun for flash lighting around the house is a S&W mod 25 45 Colt filled with Speer Gold Dots. Yes, I realize that I’m not real imaginative sticking with a 45 Colt for after hours socializing.


Jim McCool


Why do I study self-reliance?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Why I do study self-reliance, alternate gardening, homesteading, or what ever you want to call it?

I was chatting with a friend earlier and she said there is nothing good going on, I had to strongly disagree. You and I, my Chicken Little friends are very positive. We are doing and learning things everyday. We study how to grown fresh vegetables in the dead of winter, with only the heat of our compost; making our own dirt. We put up food so when things go wrong we can give a hand up instead of needing a hand out, be it a lost job or a flood. Some of us believe like our mascot “Chicken Little” the sky is falling, but until then we will plant our gardens, convert to solar and wind power, put up our food, and learn a million things that are positive and we will make Mother Earth a better place.

So my wild eyed friends remember when you pick that fruit off your tree, help that child plant his/her first tomato plant, pick that salad out of your garden, or sharing the extra from your garden with someone in need. YOU are being positive and have the right to smile about it.

Thank You for Your time,

Mike Saucer


Building and stocking your pantry

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Just had to comment on this article in the September/October 2010 issue: it is not really necessary to use two-by-x lumber; one-by-x will do nicely if it’s braced properly and there is no more than a four-foot span between supports. I always add at lest a 1″ x 2″ support edge at the front and back of each pantry shelf. I have also built shelves using front-to-back bracing but I have to admit that doesn’t seem as good.

The author experienced a collapse of a set of metal shelving. I have to wonder what gage the metal happened to be. I have had great success with the heavier-duty metal shelf units, and with office-type storage cabinets. The light-duty metal shelving sold in many hardware and discount stores is weak and flimsy; as a 67-year-young disabled veteran I do not have much strength in my hands, but even I can bend one of those 18-gage shelves!

Currently, our “pantry” consists of a built-in closet-style shelf set about 28 inches wide by 24 inches deep, where we keep the canned meats and sauces; a nice tan steel office cabinet with a locking door where I keep boxes of cereal, pasta, and other goods (I cover the bottom of this one and the backs of each shelf with fresh bay leaves each spring), and a nice 24″ x 36″ Edsal industrial shelving unit that holds canned goods, jellies, jams, and jugs and bottles of water and juices. The metal units have flanged shelves and are 12-gage steel. Over the years I have collected gallon jars and popcorn tins to hold wheat, barley, millet, whole oats, tapioca — and of course sugar. We do not store flour; in our climate even with the best of care it tends to turn rancid. We swap for or buy honey at the farmers markets as we need it. We have two chest-style deep freezers: an 18-cubic-foot in the barn and a smaller five-cube here in the house. Excess non-perishable foods that won’t be affected by heat and cold are stored outside in an old mobile home in four more office cabinets and two sets of shelves built of 1″ x 6″ and 1″ x 10″ lumber. We use the deep-mulch method to preserve cabbage, potatoes, rutabagas, and turnips over the winter, and simply rake back the straw covering or the snow when we need a root vegetable or a head of cabbage for a meal. We have a cold frame for spinach, chard, and other hardy, leafy greens.

All that works for us. We’ve been here for 22 years, most of those as subscribers to Backwoods Home. We appreciate the articles and the letters from readers, and always get a chuckle out of the Irreverent Jokes page.

Your faithful subscriber,

Joyce Eikenberry


“Learn To Stash Cash”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Howdy Claire,

I pray this finds you well and healthy.

I always enjoy your articles whenever I run across them and this was no exception.

I was thinking about the value of nickel and copper when you mentioned it. I usually roll my coins stashing the nickels and pennies in an ammo box and trading the rolled dimes and quarters for rolls of more nickels and pennies at the bank to throw into the ammo can. I always pay for things with a larger bill and try to never spend coinage but add it to my collection. I like your idea about stashing the smaller bills in envelopes for the various and sundry expenses that arise. Thank you.

Since the fed has been putting the RFID strips in [Federal Reserve Notes] you can be tracked by any store with a reader at the entrances and exits. This isn’t universal yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes so. I like to withdraw a large sum of cash from the bank, go home and send the bills six or  seven at a time for a minute or two through the microwave oven. It fries the RFID chip and renders the bills useless for tracking my comings and goings and expenditures. I realize many products have RFID chips in or on them somewhere but at least it is now more difficult to trace the purchases to me. I have also purchased reader proof insulated envelopes for my debit cards. I even use them for reloadable Dollar General, grocery and restaurant cards. While it doesn’t make me completely invisible at least it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing SOMETHING to stay under the radar.

Thanks again and God bless,

Dick Crockett


Series on water

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010


The three-part series on Emergency and backwoods water treatment was excellent! [ Emergency and backwoods water treatment: Part 1 – Issue 122, Mar/Apr 2010; Emergency and backwoods water treatment: Part 2 — “The practice” – Issue 124, Jul/Aug 2010; Emergency and backwoods water treatment: Part 3 — “Taking it to the field” – Issue 125, Sept/Oct 2010 ]

Tim Thorstonson is to be commended for its preparation, as it is so comprehensive and so useful in these times.

William R. Rick-Brigham



Saturday, August 21st, 2010


About a month ago I bought The Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook. In the online catalog I saw what, to me, promised to be a whimsical and possibly spotty-useful resource.

As of today, since I tend to read two or three books at a time, I’m not even a quarter of the way through. I was taken from the beginning by the quality of your writing, your style, your great and biting sense of humor, your obvious depth of knowledge and experience, and the strengths of your conviction and your passion. And your orneriness. This is a powerful read.

This is not a book of whimsy, either. It is very well thought out. Pursuing more of your writing brought me back to Backwoods Home Magazine. While I’d been there before it wasn’t something I dwelt on much but I see now what a great resource it is.  Hardyville is great stuff.

Despite my observation that I am waaaaay ahead of the average Great American Ostrich in understanding the times and our history I have learned a lot from you, a different approach, and I wanted to thank you and encourage you. So thank you. Your spirit is appreciated.

Best wishes,

Bob Gleason


Acorn article ‘Harvesting the Wild’

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Hi there.

I wanted to let you know that I absolutely LOVED the article by Jackie Clay on acorns. It is the most thorough piece I’ve found on acorns! I am now so psyched about my ‘volunteer’ oak tree and can’t wait to leach.  ;)

So happy I happened upon your website. I’m looking forward to exploring it more!

North Hollywood, CA


Great website

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Just wanted to drop a short line.

I happened across your magazine articles online while researching alternative energy.  I wish you were a little easier to happen across. More people need to see what you’re working on.

Great info on the articles I’ve had a chance to read.  Keep up the great work, I’ll be referencing you in my classes from now on for sure.

Mike Dieckman



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