From time to time, I see requests from people asking for magazine suggestions, which ones are worth getting and which ones are only passable. Given the popularity of disaster readiness today, it only makes sense that there is a plethora of choices on the newsstands today.
At the time of this writing, here are the prepper or homesteading magazines I personally enjoy. These are the ones I pick up when I see them or have subscribed to in the last couple of years. Links direct to the magazine’s website, if available, or to their presence on Facebook.
American Survival Guide
One of my favorites, ASG has become one of the premier prepper magazines available. Published nine times a year, it is the closest we get to a monthly magazine. ASG generally contains a great mix of informative articles alongside product reviews.
A spinoff from RECOIL magazine, OFFGRID is quickly becoming very popular and for good reason. Their articles are excellent and present a great overview of several aspects of preparedness.
Backwoods Home Magazine (BHM) has long been a favorite for both aspiring and current homesteaders. In the last few years, they’ve been adding more and more prepper-themed articles as well, most notably several on alternative energy.
Back Home isn’t nearly as well known as most of the others on this list and I often wonder why that is. Back Home is an excellent resource for those who truly strive to live a self-reliant lifestyle.
Mother Earth News
Many people have lamented how much MEN has changed over the years. Back in the day, it was THE resource for those looking for information on living off the grid and getting back to the land. Those who read it back then have said MEN is a “sell out” and now caters to the gentleman farmer set. I don’t know how true that actually is but I find at least one or two articles worth my time in every issue.
Self Reliance Illustrated
Another favorite of mine, each issue of SRI is jam-packed with great information of interest to preppers, hikers, and anyone else who believes sitting in front of a campfire with some friends beats the hell out of anything on TV any day of the week. Largely reader-written, these folks have been there and done that.
New Pioneer really sort of bridges the gap between preppers and homesteaders. There is a ton of information in each issue that is of interest to each group. Overall, the focus is on living a self-sufficient lifestyle as much as possible.
Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Similar in scope to Backwoods Home, Countryside has also been around for quite some time. Here’s some inside info you’ll probably not see elsewhere, at least not yet — Countryside is about to add an entire section of their magazine devoted to disaster readiness. Check out upcoming issues and you just might recognize one of the contributors to that section.
Another favorite of mine, this one comes out twice a year. It is published by the same folks (Harris Publications) that do New Pioneer. Excellent magazine, chock full of great articles from cover to cover.
As with Self Reliance Illustrated, Backwoodsman is largely reader-written. Unlike SRI though, the quality of the writing itself really is all over the board. I’ve read some truly excellent articles as well as some that were considerably less than stellar. What is consistent, though, is the level of experience and insight being shared. These folks will certainly do to ride the river with, if you know what I mean.
Many of these publications have rather steep cover prices, often in the $9-10 range. However, most of them also have subscriptions available that result in dramatically cheaper prices per issue. Assuming you can’t afford to just buy each and every magazine that catches your eye at the supermarket or bookstore, what I suggest is checking your local library to see if they have, or can order, a few back issues. If that isn’t an option, leaf through an issue or two at the newsstand and decide if the magazine might be worth your time. Different strokes for different folks, magazines I particularly like might not be your favorites and vice versa. Pick one or two titles and see about subscribing. Back issues often make for great resource material to have on hand, y’know?
Also, something else to keep in mind is that any magazine runs on advertising. Meaning, it is the sale of those ads that pays the bills. Therefore, you cannot expect to see a high quality publication that doesn’t have any ads in it, not unless the publisher is made of money and is just looking for a tax write off or something. With all that said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, more often than not, at the information to advertising ratio in the above listed publications.