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


Archive for the ‘Website’ Category



Monday, January 30th, 2012

Hey there! I’m a former subscriber who only stopped because I could not afford to renew my subscription, but follow you regularly (several times a week) on my work computer.

I adore Jackie Clay. Some day I’m going to get brave and really pressure can instead of only doing boiling water bath. Hooray Jackie!

But I have to say, I’m going to vote for Ron Paul. If I only write his name in on a ballot, I’m going to vote for him. In spite of the fact that he may eliminate the Social Security that I have contributed to all my working life (since age 18, against my will), and that will leave me darn near penniless unless I can continue to work. I now have nothing else to support me in my “old age”, but that’s okay, and do you know why?  Because the rest of his ideas and ideals MAKE TOTAL SENSE…..

I also am NOT going to “absentee ballot”.  Big scandal in 2008 in my precinct when it was discovered NONE of the absentee ballots had been counted!!!!!!!  And we had presidential and senatorial races going on!  The Clerk said “they didn’t have the people to count” so none of them were counted until weeks after the closing of the races, and of course by that time it didn’t matter squat….. I thought of adding to the stink that was raised…..I was going to volunteer to help count…but didn’t. I am now sorry I didn’t. I might still just do that this year.

Again, I would be a subscriber but I just don’t have the money. I had to drop my health insurance because it more than doubled. I’m paid by the line for my work, production, and it’s basically all I can do to keep my house payments up and certain other bills/expenses paid. I’m not whining, really. At least my company keeps work here in the US instead of sending it “globally”. And I am blessed to be still able to do this worik (I’m a medical transcriptionist).

Back to my original intent – VOTE FOR RON PAUL………I feel he is the ONLY one who can help us, if it’s just not too late.

Kathleen in IL


New nomads

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Hi Claire!

I came across your blog on Backwoods Home Magazine online as a place that had linked to my website, “The New Nomads”. It took me forever to figure out where the link to me was, but after much mindless clicking, encountered the right spot. I had misused the word “monkeywrenching” in one of my blog posts about Scotland (I had) and you were using my post as an example of your frustration about lack of genuine monkeywrenching. I was hoping for a more flattering link, but I am incredibly happy about finding you and your writing anyway! In the moment.

I am working on a book about the voluntary nomadic lifestyle as a way of living outside of the system. I am planning a three year experiment of living that way myself in order to research the possibilities, meet people doing it, and of course, to have a good time. Both you and Backwoods Magazine appear to be chock full of information and potential leads for my project and I am about to dive into the archives and check it out! if the project seems like anything you’d be interested in or interested in receiving updates about ~ or ~ if you are inspired to share anything with me you know about the subject, please let me know!

Here is a link to my site  (with no further misuse of the term “monkeywrenching” :) ) and to my project on Kickstarter.

Cheers and thank you for fantastic information and writing! I feel like I have struck gold!

Kimberlie Dame


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



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!)


Keep Up the Good Work

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Dear Backwoods Homes Magazine:

Thank you so much for your wonderful magazine filled with useful common sense down to earth lifestyle ideas.

I am a farm boy at heart who has grown up in suburban areas. As a youngster I have fond memories and experiences growing up on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and adventures on my uncles rural farm.

Growing up I remember my parents planting and harvesting a wonderful garden. Our home was landscaped with several apples trees, cherry trees, grape vines and a large strawberry patch.

When we left Iowa we moved to New Mexico and Utah before settling down in Colorado where we ended up in suburban areas and lost our country roots.

After high school and college and marrying 2 city girls I divorced in 2006 and decided that it was now my turn, so I purchased  a small ranch home on 5+ acres with great passive solar exposure and a water well. While my dream would be to have a section of farm land my career as a financial consultant, and alimony payments for 5 more years, has required that I live close to a metropolitan area with a higher cost of living. Three years ago with my office building of more than 10 years was sold and my lease expired so I decided to move my office home. I finished off my walk-out into a wonderful office space for me and my administrative assistant as well as adding another bedroom and bath plus a laundry room and large pantry and after 3 years I have recouped my costs in saved office rent.

In the last three years I have substantially improve my home by making it more energy efficient by installing an efficient wood-burning stove, caulking the air gaps, adding extra insulation and my most recent purchase, a wind generator, which is being installed as we speak. I also converted my 3 stall horse barn into a greenhouse and the fenced coral into a 40 x 65 ft garden area and planted 2 additional apples trees, a cherry tree and 2 peach trees and hope to add additional fruit trees each year. My new down to earth country bride and I have filled our pantry and freezer with canned goods from our garden and wild game. We now have a food supply that could last us 1-2+ years and expanding.

Over the last year I have routinely sent my clients and friends the link to your website (and have received very positive responses from them).

While I am not able to totally live the way I dream of, I have been able to create a some what self-sufficient lifestyle southeast of Denver and share the concept with everyone who will listen.

You inspire me, keep up the good work.

Warmest Regards,

Jerry L. Gruber


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



Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I want to thank you for being there.

My mother hen hatched 3 chicks. Both her and  my first experience with this. I was so excited. When I told people at work they looked at me like I had just landed from Mars.  It is nice to read your magazine and blogs and know that I am not alone in this world.

Other people  out there still get excited about first chickens, tomatoes and wonder what to do with all that zucchini.

Thank you again.

Rebecca Boitnott


Great magazine

Thursday, May 20th, 2010


You guys have a great magazine, dare I say the best!  I like every part of it. I like John Silveria, Massad Ayoob, your editorials, and all the wonderful info I have learned.

I canned meat because of your magazine, never thought I would do that. I have a Libertarian viewpoint like a few of you do, and wish more people did. I read “Can America be saved from stupid people”, and no I don’t think it can, without some type of revolution, bloody or peaceful.

I read your articles online and in print, I’d say your magazine is the easiest to find, and use in all media formats.

Thanks and keep up the great work!!

Todd Lange


Self-reliance, not self-indulgence

Friday, May 14th, 2010

From the backwoodshome feedback page:

“We are especially interested in reading your non-political letters that talk about how you live your self-reliant life, including tips for other readers.”

Well, I am especially interested in reading a non-political magazine that talks about how I can live a self-reliant life, but that doesn’t appear possible with backwoodshome. Going from goat selection and wild edibles to the tea-party movement and supreme court ruling is jarring, at least to this reader who finds politics (of any ideology) extremely tedious. It’s annoying enough to turn on the television and be inundated with political talking heads, but to not be able to escape politics even in a magazine about self-sufficiency… I should hope that becoming self-reliant is a noble endeavor regardless of political affiliation. Everyone has strong political opinions, and you also happen to have a magazine capable of dissemination to a wide audience, but is it too much to ask that you save your political angst for letters to your own local editors, and focus on self-sufficiency?

I enjoy reading your magazine, but the political messages are souring the milk!


Pete Weisdepp

Pete, you don’t even subscribe to the magazine and you’re complaining about its content? Should I change the content to suit someone who is reading it for free?

Why don’t you just stop coming to the website?



Thank you!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Mr. Dave Duffy,

I want to take this time to thank you for working on and/or creating this website.  I am a currently a stay at home mother of two toddlers with a third baby on the way. My husband and I are a young couple with mature dreams of owning our own property, living off the land, and helping others.

Currently we are finding it hard to make money and thinking on what we can do different. We moved to NC from NY in hopes of a better economy after we graduated college. With his degree in Anthropology and mine in English we somehow found ourselves unemployed and more mouths to feed. After researching ways to make money and coming across your website my hope and dream have been replenished. I want to thank you for doing what you do. I am blessed to have come across it.

The story of the couple making money from home and homeschooling there children touched my heart. I want that and am not going to give up.


Mindy L. Scott


Backwoods Home Magazine

Monday, November 9th, 2009

I really love reading your site and I am seriously considering placing a subscription order – the thing is, my homestead is a boat.

I have a 26′ sailboat here in Oregon City I am refitting for a live aboard.  There are many of the articles that are easily enough adapted to life on the water – but I am curious if there are other people who are taking to the water rather than the land.

I’d love to see some articles for the occasional boat dweller that would suit the theme of your publication.

Anyway, thanks again for such a great site and look for my money order in the not too distant future.

Dovid Smith
Oregon City, OR



Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I just wanted to say nice website.

I was drawn to come over and look at Backwoods Home Magazine in honor of William Cooper.




THANKS and a Question about wood stoves

Monday, August 10th, 2009

First let me thank you so much for your articles and archives online. My wife and I are on a limited income and online and your special edition on “Gearing up for an Economic Squeeze” have been our guidelines and encouragement!!! THANKS! My how Jackie has helped, too!!!!!

We started, way back when, your plan on starting our emergency food pantry on $10.00/week and man, has it worked good. Big Lots and other stores that have canned goods, sometimes for as low as $ .25 a can, toilet paper overstocks, toothbrushes at 2 for a buck, etc., have now expanded out pantry to near a years supply. We watch expiration dates religiously and rotate things weekly!

We have also paid off every credit card except one, and paid off all other bills. Our one remaining card has a balance of $150. Our only bills are a car, our home, and insurance premiums.

Thanks for the encouragement, advice, and articles to guide us!!!!!!!!

Now a quick question. We have a basement in our house in northern Ohio. We have a small natural gas heater in the basement and a fireplace gas log in the fireplace upstairs. But, if we loose power or are in a real bad emergency situation where gas would not be affordable or available, I want to put in a wood fired cook stove in the basement. It SHOULD provide some heat as well as cooking ability. Do they require the same vent/flu as a wood fired heating stove? Do they give off as much heat as I think? (I am also putting in a (down spout fed) water holding tank in the basement, a Bison hand pump on our well, and working on a pumping system to keep water in a tank in the attic where it can gravity feed our bathroom and a sink in the basement.)

Thanks for your advice!

Richard & Marlene Lodwick

Yes, they do. Wood-fired stoves, whether for heat or heat/cooking, come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You’ll have to shop around. Venting, both for air intake if you have a fairly closed up space, and for smoke exhaust, is essential for safety. A damper will allow you to control the amount of heat they give. Search our website for helpful articles, and go onto our website’s Forum to discuss your needs with others.

Editor, BHM


Your website

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

I wandered to your site somehow, and find it absolutely amazing.

I have two cast iron fry pans, which I love. I plan to try the 200 degree seasoning method. I do clean them with salt and a nylon scrubbie and they are wonderful!

That was a pleasant article, but the one about civil unrest I found quite disturbing, mostly because it put into words things I have been thinking about for some time.  I also have read something about how the United States is currently divided into five districts with special military units and directives for each area, should the citizenry get out of line.  Pretty frightening stuff.  We personally are sure not prepared to deal with something like this, but have started to work toward putting in a wood stove, and stocking up on emergency supplies.

Again, thanks for addressing issues that most people don’t want to think about—but should.

I will visit your site often.

Brenda Halverson


Your website

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


I just wanted to tell you that your website is amazing!

I have been to web sights trying to figure out what to store and how to prepare for whatever may come our way as we are also wanting to move away from the east coast and the city life.  Your site by far is the best.

You have a great variety of subjects. I don’t think there is anything you have missed.  This is a great service.

I don’t have a lot of time and feel that computers are time suckers but I do come to visit you once a day to glean a little.

Thanks for everything!



Thank You

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I would like to thank you for the information on this site. I find it very usefull, and will subscribe to the magazine after I return to work.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks again.

Randy Palfi


Your Website and Magazine

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Dear BWH,

Tonight I entered a forum called “KountryLife” that I frequent mostly. There someone mentioned your magazine so I just had to call up your website. Your website is AWESOME. I fell head over heels with your magazine so I just had to have a 3-year  subscription.

I can’t wait till I get my first issue. I’m not much into ordering magazine subs but I was so pleased with reading all your website I know I will have many hours of enjoyable evenings reading your magazine.

Thanks to all of you.

Billy D. Logan
Hitchcock, Texas


Thank you

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Just found your site and I must say Thank You!

Wow, I was beginning to think I was the only one out here in the hills with a serious lack of patience for being surrounded by supremely self-absorbed, consumerism driven lifestyles and their perpetuators. What a breath of fresh air you, your contributors and members are.

I value the backwoods self-sufficient lifestyle and am looking for like-minded souls to share tips and trials with, which I believe I have finally located.

My mountain man was killed in a car crash almost 2 years ago and he was my soul mate and partner; he slaughtered, I processed. We made a good team. We milled our own wood, raised or hunted our meat and had some good times. I didn’t realize how much I relied on his expertise at butchering and hunting until he was gone. I now raise our son alone and am trying to pick up his skill set that I can pass down to our son as his pa would have if he was still around.

I thank you for the opportunity to get back to where we were and become self-reliant again and through this knowledge pass on what will be needed to survive in this world and not lose the art of being a man in this mamby pamby culture of men’s manicures, soft hands, and white collars.

Trying to honor the heritage of our forefathers and pioneers who would not recognize this land or its inhabitants or fathom how we survived!!! It’s a wonder, just look at the panic when the power goes out and the deaths, people have no concept of how to survive without modern luxuries… pathetic.

Blessings and kudos,

Kara Cunningham



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