First Words: July 2021

Our New Title Expands Our Commitment to You


At American Survival Guide, we take pride in our legacy, which we believe identifies ASG as the country’s- perhaps the world’s- oldest self-reliance and preparedness-based magazine. We’ve been dedicated to bringing information and advice about preparing for, and surviving, all sorts of challenging situations to our readers since the 1970s.

Our deepest roots go all the way back to the original seed publication, Shooter’s Journal, which first hit newsstands in 1978. On the global level, that was a stressful time, because tensions between the United States and the (then) Soviet Union were coming to a head, causing great concern among wary folks who were determined to survive the fallout, both figuratively and literally.

Over the next decade, often affectionately called “the Reagan Years,” the term “survivalist,” was popularized to describe folks who knew they had to make their own preparations to have any real level of security if a shooting war broke out and nuclear missiles filled the skies.

In response, the magazine’s branding adjusted to the times to increase its relevance and expand its appeal to a wider audience. During the ’80s, there was a succession of title changes. Beginning with Shooter’s Survival Guide in 1981, the following year saw the title change to simply Survival Guide. Finally, as “American exceptionalism” came back into favor later in the decade, the magazine’s name was again changed, this time to American Survival Guide. (Are you still with me?)

This banner stuck, even as the magazine transitioned through two new owners and the relative calm of the 1990s. In 2000, yet another owner changed the name to Self Reliance Journal, which survived one year … until the magazine saw another name change to Backwoods Home Magazine. It was this title that graced the cover of the last issue- because the magazine was taken out of production, hunkering down until its return a decade or so later. Somewhere in there, even the moniker for much of the magazine’s readership changed from “survivalist” to the more mainstream term, “prepper”.

“As the world continues to evolve, we will keep pace with it. We feel the times call for a small but important update of the magazine’s title that better reflects the interests of our growing readership…”

In 2011, American Survival Guide appeared on newsstands once again, and the title remained unchanged … until now.

As the world continues to evolve, we’ll keep pace with it. We feel the times call for a small but important update of the magazine’s title to better reflect the interests of our growing readership. So, next month, you will receive the first issue of American Outdoor Guide magazine.

As we broadened the scope of our content over the last several years, we were grateful to hear from readers who appreciate being able to find more information they need on a wider variety of topics. We’ll continue to add more subjects to our 1,000-plus online article library so you’ll be even better served by your trust in us going forward.

We’ve recently made other changes too: We increased the size of our fonts and sourced new paper to improve readability. We beefed up the cover to make it more durable and we blew up the format of the magazine and enlarged our photography to enhance visibility of important details.

Rest assured that you’ll still be able to rely on the skills and advice from the expert writers you’ve come to enjoy and respect, and we’ll add new resources as needed to provide you with more ways to be more self-reliant, confident and prepared for the challenges that continue to come our way.

We’ve always been happy to hear your suggestions for topics we haven’t covered or that you’d like to see discussed in deeper detail. Several of the articles we published recently were the result of such requests.

Now, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that we appreciate your feedback and suggestions and will review each of them as we prepare our plans for future issues.

“The bottom line is that we look forward to serving you better for many years to come.”

The bottom line is that we look forward to serving you better for many years to come. As we shrug off our collective COVID-19 yoke, know that your friends at American Outdoor Guide remain vigilant for solutions to challenges we need to be ready to handle.


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the July, 2021 print issue of American Survival Guide.


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