Yurt Magic — Building an Enchanting Instant House

By Claire Wolfe Issue #76 • July/August, 2002 I awoke last night to a circle of moonlight reflected on a wall. It was so vivid I could almost see the dark-and-light patterns of the moonface in...

Make your own firestarters

By Claire Wolfe Issue #129 • May/June, 2011 I bought an old house last summer and inherited lots of the former owners' stuff — some of it good and welcome, some strictly landfill-fodder. Among other things that...

The art of living in small spaces

<!-- The art of living in small spaces By Claire Wolfe -->By Claire Wolfe Issue #92 • March/April, 2005 Long ago, I read that to live in the country you must have the soul of a poet, the dedication...

Circle of friends

By Claire Wolfe Issue #111 • May/June, 2008 Hardcore survivalists cherish what I call the "George Romero Scenario." It goes like this: The proverbial poop has hit the propeller. Cities collapse into chaos. But we, the...

The state of freedom in America

<!-- The state of freedom in America --> By Claire Wolfe Issue #149 • September/October, 2014 The world is becoming less free. In the Middle East and Africa, Islamist fanatics try to bring back the Dark Ages. Europe stagnates...

Moving on: A small town can be a haven during a depression

By Claire Wolfe Website Exclusive • September, 2010 One day last summer, I departed Last-Chance Gulch and the high desert, a U-Haul trailer bobbing behind. I aimed for my beloved Pacific Northwest where a friend had...

Kick the credit card habit and learn to stash cash

By Claire Wolfe Issue #107 • September/October, 2007 My friend Jeanie, a professional woman, whips out her credit card at every spending opportunity. Wal-Mart expedition? Credit card. A week's worth of groceries? Credit card. DVD rental?...

Turning a $10,000 House into a Home — Part 1: Salvaging the Wreck

By Claire Wolfe Issue #155 • September/October, 2015 December 2012. Welcome to my house as I first saw it. The door opens onto a dirt-floored room. It's not a garage, not a storeroom, not a laundry room,...

Learning to love the high desert

By Claire Wolfe Issue #120 • November/December, 2009 Earlier this year, the dogs and I got taxed out of Cabin Sweet Cabin. With a little help from our friends, we packed a small trailer with our...

Homemade bread: a metaphor for life

<!-- Homemade bread: a metaphor for life By Claire Wolfe --> By Claire Wolfe Issue #113 • September/October, 2008 My parents never actually bought Wonder Bread; I got my fix only at friends' houses. The breads that entered our little three-bedroom,...

A view of self-reliance from a more timid perspective — A woman’s opinion

By Claire Wolfe Issue #94 • July/August, 2005 My fellow Backwoods Home writer Jackie Clay is a domestic wonder woman who can do anything from can kumquats to butcher an elk. Not me. Unh uh. No way....

Simplifying simplicity

By Claire Wolfe Issue #117 • May/June, 2009 In the bustling 19th century, Henry David Thoreau urged us to "simplify, simplify, simplify." In the even more hectic 20th and 21st centuries, writer, philosopher, and frugalista Wendy McElroy...

Winter in the High Desert — Understanding the music

By Claire Wolfe Issue #121 • January/February, 2010 My old friends from the Pacific Northwest think I don't love them anymore, now that I've moved far away to the high desert. It's all a misunderstanding. One after another,...

Activists on both the left and the right spotlight a broken federal government

By Claire Wolfe Issue #97 • January/February, 2006 On October 28, 2005, 400 citizens of Vermont met amid the pomp of their capitol building and voted to secede from the Union. The media, to say the...

10 traits for better living

By Claire Wolfe Issue #151 • January/February, 2015 It's a mystery why one person can be poor but still proud, independent, and reasonably content while the guy next door is merely content to slide into a...