My favorite magazine of all time has to be Backwoods Home Magazine (BHM). I’ve never met the people who produce this magazine, but I can say for sure that they are of my tribe. We have the same mind set. The same aspirations.

Articles in BHM include writings on many diverse topics including:

  • Homesteading
  • Self-Reliance
  • Renewable Energy
  • Prepping
  • Gardening
  • Livestock
  • Firearms
  • Homeschooling
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Water Collection
  • Community
  • …and so much more

The current issue, at the time of this posting, is the January/February 2017 issue. It blew me away, and inspired my wife to strongly suggest that I write this post because there are so many articles relevant to our focus here on, including pieces about:

Bugging out in place.
Prioritizing preparedness when money is tight.
10 foods to forage in winter.
Grid-down battery devices.
Build a stove pipe wood stove.
Build a wood-fired water heater.


Ask Jackie Clay
One of my favorite recurring features of Backwoods Home is the Ask Jackie Clay section where a woman (named Jackie Clay) answers a fairly large number of random questions sent in by readers each month. All questions are taken seriously, and answered with humor and expertise. This issue covers 18 questions, including: where to find parts for a 1948 Ford tractor, canning organ meats, and re-canning previously canned pears into pear butter. Jackie has been a homesteader for most of her life, and lives a lifestyle of self-reliance with family in Minnesota. In each issue of Backwoods Home, people ask Jackie random questions that are answered with humor and expertise. Sometimes the answers include fun stories added by Jackie too.

Irreverent Jokes
The Irreverent Jokes area is another monthly favorite. With every issue, I know I will have a good laugh while reading them. Here are a few jokes:

What’s the difference between a hippo and a Zippo? One is really heavy. The other is a little lighter.

It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of the little Irish pub. An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.
A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.
“Fishing,” replied the old man.
“Poor old fool” thought the gentleman, so he invited the old man to have a drink in the pub.
Feeling he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whiskey, the gentleman asked, “And how many have you caught today?”
“You’re the eighth.”

My girlfriend thinks that I’m a stalker. Well, she’s not exactly my girlfriend yet…

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Hunting flies,” he responded.
“Oh! Killing any?” she asked.
“Yep, 3 males, 2 females,” he replied.
Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell them apart?”
He responded, “3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone.”

Selective Advertising
Even the advertising in Backwoods Home is appealing because they are really selective about who advertises in their magazine, keeping products and services ads relevant to self-reliance. That means that I actually enjoy looking over the ads. And there aren’t so many of them that they interfere with the great articles.

Magazine Back Issues
After you finish reading your first issue of Backwoods Home magazine, you will likely want to see more. Fortunately there are plenty of back issues available. BHM has been around since 1989, and they’ve covered pretty much every self-reliance/homesteading topic imaginable. Every back issue of the magazine is available for purchase on Amazon, and there’s a complete list of articles, organized by issue, available on their website. You can browse each issue’s topics online and see what is interesting to you.

Article Anthologies
Another option when it comes to getting a hold of additional Backwoods Home articles are their anthologies. Each year BHM compiles the most popular articles from that year and publishes them together in a paperback book. Currently there are twenty four anthologies available on Amazon.

If you don’t like the idea of having paper books taking up space in your home, you’ll be pleased to know that every issue of the magazine is also available as an ebook. Additionally you can get future issues in an electronic subscription.

Digital Products
Backwoods Home Magazine
Though not available on Amazon, Backwoods Home magazine has several CDs available on their web site, the best of which is their anthology DVD that has every article from BHM’s first twenty four years (in .pdf format) for a really great price. All of Backwoods Home’s digital resources are reasonably priced, and a great resource for homesteaders, preppers, gardeners, homeschoolers, and anyone else interested in a lifestyle of self-reliance.

The folks that produce and write for Backwoods Home magazine are real people, interested in helping their neighbors. Their tribe. Sure, they need to make a living, so they don’t publish and distribute the magazine for free, but they don’t overcharge for the great content that they provide. They really seem to be publishing this magazine to help, inspire, and educate their readers. I appreciate that, and I think you will, too.