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


Archive for the ‘Magazine’ Category


The Whole Sheebang!

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Dear Dave & Staff at BWH,

I am writing to inform you of a major oversight on my order for The Whole Sheebang. You failed to include a warning label or note stating “Contents will cause sleep deprivation, loss of work productivity and social withdrawal from the family. From the minute I received the box of anthologies and books, I can’t put them down.

I read Starting Over by Jackie Clay in one sitting and have not been able to stop from there. My wife stole my Backwoods Home Cooking book before I even had a chance to look at it. My sons each grabbed an anthology and I find them now in every room of the house including the throne. I’ve issued strict orders, not to be used in place of TP.

The articles are educational, thought provoking and inspiring. Last night I read issue #29 and I’m going to ask both my sons to read “You have to learn to shovel crap before you learn to be the boss”. This article should be required reading by any individual born after 1990.

I don’t agree with all the written commentary but I do agree that you are producing the best damn self-reliant living magazine on the market. Keep up the excellent work and please consider my suggestion.


Kurt Carlsen

PS.  Do BWH paper subscribers have the ability to download the kindle version for free or are we required to pay the  $1.99?

Glad you like The Whole Sheebang. Sorry, but only Kindle subscribers can download the Kindle version. Amazon’s rules, not ours.



Great magazine

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I just had to comment on the latest issue. You guys just keep getting better and better!

I first found your magazine via internet 4 years ago and often printed up some of the articles to take home to read to my husband. When I lost him 3 years ago I have been thru a depression and purchased your latest issue last Monday and have not put it down yet! It is inspiring and comforting at the same time. The balance of articles is impressive and I have now dug out the other 3 issues I could purchase and have re read them as well.

When I can purchase a subscription, I plan on your magazine first because I can use the information for so many things.

Thank you for reminding me of goals!


Janie Edwards
Waco, Texas


What a magazine

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Just received my first copy of backwoods home.  I had no idea that there was a real magazine publisher left.  It was refreshing to read very fine articles without the magazine slant to the far left (or right).  I and my wife loved it, and you can guarantee on my renewal.  Can’t wait for the next issue.  Please, please, keep up the great work.

Phil Jones


Jackie Clay-Atkinson

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I have just discovered Backwoods Home and am thoroughly sold on this magazine. The articles by Jackie Clay-Atkinson are wonderful. I can’t say enough good things about them. They are clear, concise, down-to-earth, sensible solutions and information for those of us with some experience and newbies alike! I have gained more usable information from them than many books contain.

I will be subscribing to your magazine and plan on giving 2 gift subscriptions…one to our public library and one to my daughter.

Thanks so much!



Ron Paul

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I was very pleased to see Ron Paul’s name on the cover of the latest issue as well as the articles!

Keep up the good work.

Dan Dzak


Thank you

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I just wanted to say thank you for all your wonderful articles.  I found your site to be quite helpful and love reading everything.

I grew up in 4-H and we raised lambs every years.  I have always been into horses.  But with the economy and market the way it is other avenues have to be taken to keep the farm afloat.

I have had my own farm for last 6 years in Virginia and am looking to get into raising a few cattle to sell for meat and your articles are quite helpful.

Please keep all this information coming.  Love it!

Michele DeVinney Schmoll, P.I.


Back Issue Index

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
Dear Dave,
Recently I was looking for an article from your magazine, from last year, that I had misplaced. Thanks to your back issue index, not only did I find the issue and article, I was able to print it out!
Thank you very much for your well organized website! You folks sure go out of your way to help your customers. I’ve been a subscriber since your SECOND issue, and will continue to be!
Again, thank you,
Pat Gordon
Vancouver WA

You guys are amazing!

Friday, June 17th, 2011
Dear BHM Staff,

I have been waiting YEARS to be able to purchase the “Whole Shebang” and just last week got the opportunity to do so. I have so many things to thank you for; the fast shipping and delivery, the AWESOME assistance and friendliness of Rhoda, the staff member that took my order over the phone, and the quality of the product delivered. There was NO disappointment when I opened the package just all of the wonderful, helpful info that I had been so eagerly awaiting. Every time I had to return your magazine to the library it pained me as I wanted to be able to re-reference and re-read so many great articles and recipes and design plans. And last, but most certainly not least, to be able to FINALLY have one of Jackie’s books after so long of a wait…

I just simply can not put into words how excited I am to finally have a ‘permanent’ fix of BHM arriving every other month in my mailbox. I am sure that unless something drastic happens I will be a life long subscriber.

Keep up the fantastic work and never change like some others have. Everyone’s ideas and expertise are so wonderful that even an ex city girl like me can get in the homesteading groove and do more to raise my family better.

Thank you for making it so easy for my family and I to learn and become more self sufficient!

Rhoda, thanks so very much for all you did! You made my day with your wonderful attitude, enthusiasm and the above and beyond service you provided!



PS My 13 yr old daughter thinks I’m a ‘dork’ because I did a little dance when the box showed up today. Who cares; it is worth it! :-) Besides, I know her head will be stuck in the magazine and books too.


Is BHM still available on the newsstand?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011


Is BHM still available on the newsstand? I know it used to be, since that is how I got interested in it. I have been a subscriber for a few years now. You would reach more people and get more customers if copies of the magazine were out there.

Best regards,

Jack Kavanaugh

Jack: We put about 12,000 copies on the newsstands, mainly in places like Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.. We restrict it to that small number because the sell-through on the newsstand is only about 35%. The rest of the magazines are destroyed. It’s an expensive way to attract new readers, plus the distribution companies often go bankrupt, burning the publishers for payments.



Your magazine

Friday, May 13th, 2011


I want to thank you for sharing all this info on the web

The articles have opened my eyes — and now I will prepare — for who knows whats coming down the pike  —-  with all our country’s debt.


Jeff Winn


Gold Beach Gestapo

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I’ve been getting Backwoods Home for many years. And I really wanted to come to Gold Beach.  I even went so far as to plan a trip this year by Making my own bio diesel to make the trip.

After reading [issues] #128 & #129  I realize that I don’t have all the equipment to make the trip.

I don’t have an on board attorney.
I don’t have a radar jammer.
I don’t have a passenger to keep watch on other vehicles.  ie cops
I don’t have a measuring device to make sure I stop at stop sign with my front bumper even to the stop sign.
I don’t have a glow in the dark or florescent orange seat belt to make sure the Gestapo can see it.
I don’t have a permit to transport my bio diesel in Oregon, I’m sure the Gestapo would want to check after he smelled my exhaust.  It smells like french fries and not donuts.

I did check the web for speed traps and sure enough Gold Beach is on the list.

Sorry I can’t make the trip this year, but maybe in the future when you get rid of the Gestapo.

By the way do they were the Nazi swastika?? And have nice shinny black boots??

I have even had the thought about moving there.  Sure seems like a real nice place, but I don’t want to have the watch my back all the time.  Sure wish you all the luck in getting things taken care of so you can enjoy Gold Beach.

Thanks for hearing my side.

Robert Widmar


Tsunami/Earthquake issues

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

To the good folks at BHM,

I hope that all of you came through the recent tsunami in good shape. You have previously done some stories on tsunami preparedness in Gold Beach. How did those plans hold up in the face of the real thing? We are hearing very little about how Oregon and Washington fared and the California reports seem unbelievable. (No injuries in California and two million in damages yet we see news photos of 250-500 thousand dollar boats capsized or sunk at their moorings in marinas.)

The news from Japan seems to show that the Japanese programs worked. Sendai (closest city to the epicenter and struck by a 30″ wave) has a population of close to one million and Tokyo has about 30 million people, yet the national estimates are 500 -1000 dead and 2500 injured. Incredible. Would the US do as well?

I’d like to see some articles on the US preparedness plans (official ones). We in Arkansas worry about the New Madrid fault and we are having swarms of small quakes near Greenbriar, Arkansas. If the New Madrid lets go, Memphis, Tenn will probably be devastated and will draw most aid efforts leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. Sound familiar?

I’ve been a subscriber for a while and wish I’d bought a lifetime subscription back when you still sold them!  Keep up the good work.

Scott Timmons
Hensley, Arkansas


The tsunami waves from the Japanese quake were small on the Oregon coast with light damage, except for some boat and dock damage in local harbors. The local tsunami sirens worked as planned. My family evacuated to our mountain home, in accordance with the plan we’ve had in place for a few years. We are well prepared to hang out at our house for months in the event of any emergency.

I’m very impressed by the Japanese people in the wake of this catastrophe. I think the people in my area of Oregon would behave the same. If need be, I could shelter and feed another 20 neighbors at my mountain home, and I think others in my area would be similarly ready to assist their neighbors.




Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Hoping the Tsunami sweeping across the ocean leaves you all safe and dry. Been thinking about you and your staff all night.

Jamie Allen

Thanks for the concern. We’re fine. We closed the office and the family evacuated Gold Beach. No damage in GB but we’re pretty wary.



So sorry to hear about tidal wave at Gold Beach!

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I hope you are all well at my favorite magazine!

I read every issue cover to cover and I think that you are all like family.

More than family, because my family does not share all the views that I share with you.

May your survival mind set have protected you from this disaster.

And, of course, we all wish the best for the people in Japan and others that suffered this disaster.

Douglas S. Basberg



Monday, January 31st, 2011

I first ran across BHM’s website several years ago when, sick to death of the city, I started dreaming of just running away. Needless to say, it didn’t happen (but then, military deserting isn’t my style). But, I went on and on about the magazine, and I confess my husband did think me quite daffy… until I made him read it. We’ve been hooked ever since; I even take along an anthology or two on car trips, because if I’m not driving, I’m reading them aloud (and my 2-year-old always wants “another one”, so rest assured you’re getting an early start on him!). Both of our families have done their share of living off the land, and we’ve been “studying up” to do some of it ourselves.

Now, we’re just 3 weeks from moving “back home” to rural AL, purchasing property from my grandmother that my family has owned for generations, and all of the BHM anthologies (and the subsequent self-reliance library that I’ve grown from the recommendations thereof) have their own boxes, which are in the “pack last / open first” group. The more I read, the more impatient I am to get to it!

I do want to thank you all, though, for making this more than a self-reliance magazine. I’ve read through several (most of which I learned of through you, anyway), but they’re cut and dried… Your staff has a personality (and a large dose of sarcasm seems to be a prerequisite) that makes the articles both informative and entertaining–now you’re doing double duty! Still, the more I read, the more I get to know all of you, and the more I want to read more. Though we’re definitely cutting back lately, this subscription is in no danger of getting dropped, ever.


(p.s. Tell Jackie that since I’ve learned to can from her, she should finish up the next book so I have more ideas for how to use it!)


My subscription story

Thursday, January 27th, 2011


I have been reading your magazine, as well as a few other “self reliant” magazines, for many years now.  I usually pick them up in a local bookstore, near where I work.  I have just recently decided to cut down to just one magazine!  This has nothing to do with the downturn in the economy, just a matter of streamlining.  I feel that Backwoods Home gives me more information on more diverse subjects, than the “others”!

With the decision made, I went with your “whole Shebang” offer!  I want to thank Rhoda for making my  ordering very easy.  While talking to her, I gave her my story.  No, it does not start with “once upon a time…”, but MY determination to not only try to help myself, but help others as well.

While placing the order with Rhoda, I remembered reading about people who could not afford their subscriptions anymore.  I told her I would like to pay for someones sub. and she asked if I wanted to pay for one or two years.  When she said that, I asked to cover one year for two people.  Rhoda went on to tell me she would put them down as “Gift Subscriptions” and that each one would be at a much reduced price.  I asked that if they were at a reduced rate, then can I cover four subscriptions.  She said that would be “OK”!

Now let me clarify things here:  I am not rich, I lost over 45 percent of my retirement in the stock market crash, My house and the rest of my retirement and savings are going to my soon-to-be EX-wife, BUT, by the grace of God, I AM still employed!

I live in a medium sized city on the Long Island Sound, and have been working at the same place for over twenty years.  I worked for a mid-sized Pharmaceutical Company, that decided to sell it’s manufacturing and research facility, and move to New Jersey.  Well this was when everything was starting to look bleak with jobs moving out and businesses closing.  We all thought this was the end for us, the job we had was gone, but it had been many great years!

We had been told {grapevine news stand} that there were at least two mall chains looking at our property, and we would be let go.  As it turned out, there was this “unknown variable” waiting in the wings!  One of the “great bastions of Liberal/Progressive thinking” bought not only the property, BUT hired on “only” about 20 of the former 2000+ employees!  I happened to be one of those twenty or so people!

SO not only did I not lose my job, I also got a raise!  So it is with this “extra” that I wish to bless someone else!

Thank you for allowing me to pass at least this part of my fortune along to other people!  I can only hope it will inspire others out there to do the same.

John S.


Canned bacon

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Great article on canned bacon.  Very informative and worthwhile to us avid canners.

Would appreciate follow-up articles on canned cheese and butter.


Jerry Mangen


Something missing in your magazine these days

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Hi Annie & Gang,

First off, Happy Holidays!

I’ve noticed that you are missing element in today’s world, whether it be homesteading or not. HOMESCHOOLING. While I have no kids of my own, I’ve noticed more and more on all the message boards I belong to (including yours ;)) that you really don’t delve deeply into homeschooling. Maybe an article here and there. I know you have only so much much space and do appreciate that, but more and more in the forums I see more and more parents asking for help in getting started homeschooling their children. What curriculum do others use, how to incorporate preparedness in HS, etc.

With more people getting into the self reliance lifestyle, I think that if you could add more about HS, it would be so helpful to the beginners out there.

Yours is the only magazine I choose to subscribe to.

Happy Holidays!

Cecilia Calvin


Finally found you

Monday, December 13th, 2010

What an absolute joy to have found your magazine. All the times we have been in Gold Beach and never new you were there.

You see for those who don’t know Gold Beach we go there to get ‘abrated’. One just stands and faces the ocean and the wind and sand take off a couple layers of skin. AAAAh  feels so good.

Thrilled with your magazine. Have subscribed  and won’t stop.

Next time we are in town will pass up coffee shop and stop in to visit.

Excellant, excellant publication with excellant writers.

Did I say excellant too much?

Citrus Heights, CA


Great Magazine

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

My Sister-in- law, Barbara Blackmore referred your Magazine to us. What a Holiday Gift.

My Wife and I started trying to be self-sufficient 2 years ago. We saw the direction this Country was heading and wanted to provide for ourselves. Your Magazine, and my passion, are one and the same -teaching people to do for themselves. We’re opening a small raw Milk Dairy in the spring of 2011. Our hope is offering people a choice for fresh foods. We have Pigs and cows also.  One day there will be very little food at the supermarkets so we each need to provide for ourselves and help our neighbors to do the same.

Sorry to ramble on, but this is my passion. Thanks for your time. Happy Holidays and God bless you and yours.

Jim Graham



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