Brainstorming: Homesteading website

Here’s an idea I’ve been kicking around for awhile. I’m inspired by the number of folks here who have a LOT more in common than just wood gasification. Most of us are pursuing a simpler life, to varying degrees. I see a lot of gardening and solar and old tractors on here, which is interesting - this community could have evolved very differently, say into custom hot-rod builders, or SHTF prepper types. We see them come and go, but they are not the core group here. (I’m biased of course, because it’s exactly the journey I’m on currently.)

Given our larger common interest in, let’s call it “homesteading” (I know that term has issues…), I’m wondering if there’s a version of DOW that is more explicitly homesteading focused, with woodgas being one aspect of that.
If you would be interested in this, let me know. Here are some brainstorming ideas on how such a site might work.

  • A large educational library of free PDFs and other general info on a variety of homesteading topics
  • Paid Membership levels that support the site and provide certain perks, like access to how-tos or specific groups
  • Content creators making quality how-to educational stuff (some paid, some free) - possibly getting paid out of the membership fees?
  • Personal blog style pages, to post about your homestead journey
  • Discussion forums with several categories
  • In-person classes or gatherings, sponsored or not

Ideas are welcome, this is not something I can commit to building at this stage. Just looking for ideas and feedback.


Something I have noticed on Youtube lately is the sheer number of folks with homesteading channels. They are clearly trying to supplement their income and fund their dreams partly with content creation. Youtube is a harsh master, but some of them are making it work.

If we were to build something like this, there might be some cross-pollination there, for example if a homesteader wanted to create a tutorial series on some topic they are really good at, then post it with us here, they would be able to continue the Youtube videos and cross-promote on both sides. If we were successful here, they might end up making as much or more from subscription content as they ever did with ad-supported Youtube videos. There wouldn’t be much downside to posting content here, just taking the time to create some exclusive how-to videos, and the potential upsides could be large.

This is not a new idea, there are plenty of online educational platforms, like Udemy or Masterclass. In fact that might be a better place to set up shop - but having a homestead focused site would bring a community together, which I don’t think you get on more generalized sites.


This is a excellent idea Chris. For me wood gas is just one aspect of being a self sustaining, emancipated human being. I try and be respectful that DOW is drive on wood first and foremost and hope to not steer us too far off that topic with my other types of self sufficiency posts. I will be very interested in seeing your ideas fleshed out.


This is what makes the DOW so valuable to me. Some of the Youtube and blogging folks do an excellent job. That said, I’ve spent a lot of time watching the first part of a video, or reading half a blog post before I figure out that the content doesn’t contain much (or worse, it’s wrong). I’m sympathetic; it’s a big job writing and filming, and I realize a lot of “viewers” are looking for entertainment as much or more than for information. I guess it’s okay to tap that market, maybe, sort of, but learning is key for me, so reality and accuracy is more important than the entertainment. Because DOW selects for doers, it filters out an awful lot of noise just by its nature.

I’m interested in all these things, and supportive of Chris’s suggestions. It would be great to cover these other topics in depth, with the quality of DOW. I’m just not sure how to do it.

Thanks Chris and Wayne, and all you folks that make DOW so important.


That is the idea of Thrive Off Grid LLC.

TOG is not a gasifier manufacturing company it is my own distribution company and it buys the units from TES llc. The intention of TOG is to offer everything related to off grid and comunity support via its forum. Thrive Energy Systems LLC is the actual manufacturing base. I want to turn TOG into an Off Grid Super Store and the forum is supposed to cover all that is related to off grid;; hunting, fishing, camping, homesteading, gardening / permaculture, off grid energy / solar panels etc. The plan is once we have the funding I will buy panels, inverters, batteries, fishing / hunting gear, survival hardware / items and anything that we can think of that would be viable to offer. It will have its own Youtube with more profesional content and I wont be the face of that. Im way too ugly for that :slight_smile: We want to attract poeple not scare the heck out of em.

Id love to hand over the keys to the forum and you can do what you will. Wix forum sucks and I dont have time to learn a new platform.

Plus owns the #1 google search for “gasifier for sale” at the moment


Hello Chris, thank you for your effort and work, well, I have been participating in your forum for a while, most of my contributions are of a technical nature, which directly relate to the preparation of wood and the use of only this to drive an internal combustion engine, this should also be basic the thread that unites us here. We can send texts and images directly to your database, and we use YouTube for videos, is there a possibility to store videos here as well, without YouTube?


This is a very good point. We have to make the distinction between entertainment-grade content and educational-grade content. Youtube has us beat for entertainment - you can fall down that rabbit hole and never be seen again. It is expressly designed for entertainment, and to keep you watching just one more video…

There is also a lot of educational content on Youtube, mostly because it’s a free platform. I host all DOW’s instructional content on Youtube for that reason - it’s free. But having the videos embedded in our own site is not benefitting Youtube at all. Our videos are not monetized, nor do they lead to more videos on a sidebar.

The point I was making, is that content creators might enjoy doing both. They could put educational content here, and entertainment content on Youtube. Of course there will be some cross-promoting going on, which is desirable on both ends.

For an example of the type of educational content creator I’m thinking of, check out Eric The Car Guy. He runs his own website as well, and nearly all his content is instructional. Very well produced, concise, and not far off from what I’m after… just on a different topic.


Not at the moment. Technical implementation of streaming video platforms is very difficult, and I honestly don’t want to take on the burden of “homegrown” solutions. If we proceeded with this idea I would prefer to find a video hosting platform that was better suited for embedded / restricted viewing than YouTube. I know Vimeo has a premium model that allows for paywall viewing. I’ll look around at options.

For the moment, none of the videos anyone posts on DOW are how-to paid courses, so hosting on YouTube is a perfect solution.


I am a techno-neanderthal and wouldn’t have the first clue how to set up a site. I know that Vimeo censored content questioning the plandemic. I view content on Rumble and Brighteon but they seem a little hard to navigate. I like Telegram.

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Hey guys.
Think back how many have come onto the DOW and later commented how peaceful and respectful it is.
This is in comparison to other internet forum experieces that they have had.

For years I subscribed to the BackwoodsHome magazine. Bought their books.
Well . . . in their transition from the founder Dave Duffy and his close selected pals to his newer younger generation kids they set up an online forum too. Were trying to gravitate to no-more-bimonthly paper publications. The forum quickly turned into a mess. I’d joined. I followed looking for any woodgas users. None. Thought about activating some topic lines. Reading more the activity there, it was just too much a free-for-all, wild-wild hot mess.
They had to shut it down and backtrack to on-paper publications. Huh. I guess I should resubscribe. Busy, busy, busy. I keep forgetting.

The success of the current DOW is much to do with what it does not have. What it does not allow.
Debates turned to soapboxing, flamings, cage-matches.

Even so here, have had to set some current topics into a no-no we just do not want to talk about that here.
COVID. Vacinations. The Ukraine war.

Other topics here tread edge for growing divisions. Fracturing. Going away mad’s.
The Charcoal insistent versus raw wood users.
Religious affirmations.

Chris you do this; you or someone will have to be the very active proven fair handed Administrator with the willingness, daily time, and power to quell the Insistent. The best-system missionary types. The Entertainer fools. The bored with their life’s, holes pokers.
Otherwise the here-is-what-I-am-doing-achieving-acceptable-results types will just walk away.

I saw the wind taken out of the sails of the MicroCoGen forum done by just two guys. One over controlling, biased by his prejudices. The other allowed to intrude with his only PV-Solar Green-Spin drums-beating, onto others projects and topics. Being a couch-potato always there able to jump on newbies, with his, my-ways-the-best greeter.
I became like others, long term vested, a walk-away in disgust.

Internet groups there are more ways to go wrong, sideways than not. So far the DOW is working for Practicalist’s, the Doers.
Steve Unruh


DOW already has everything going for it in its topic selectuons. There are people on here that are regularly participating and they do not build gasifiers. I really like this learning from the other topics that are being used here. We already have a great platform going with its policies set up and in place I say start a new thread on homes of grid or homesteading that is like the WK premium site. It all goes hand in hand and we can include the full membership to go into the site to support it. One membership to DOW pays for both.


What he is proposing has much greater potential as it would not be as a specific domain such as “Drive On Wood” and directly related content to gasification. This is looking in from the outside. We all that are here are looking in from the inside. So we know these other topics are exist. But if you never came here you are most likely are going think this forum is specific to vehical gasification installations and most likely wont even enter the site or even check it out. Even the small engine guys dont come on here because many do not know small engine and stationary is also supported. Very little of the the off grid, prepper and homesteading comunities even know gasification exist. So finding this is actually very limited. My own estimate based on FB groups is that maybe at most is about 5% that have any clue of gasification.

Nothing stopping Chris from implementing everything that makes this site great into the next.


What we don’t want is this…
Obviously, this is an entertainment video. This example is from an endless click bait parade of “naked homesteading” videos.
I would like videos or lessons that really go in depth.


This is true we do look from the inside out now we are members. When I first stumble on to this site I had no idea it was about wood gasification. If the DOW site had on the front page that would direct you to the other topics like the word (homesteading) or (off grid living) I would have check these topics out too.
I was building HHO units like you Matt. I built a beautiful Joe Cell but it would not run a ICE. Lol.


I think what he is posting is too broad for the group expertise, we have people interested in the topics, some going down that path, but our expertise is more gasification. There are a ton of websites for homesteaders.

However, expanding from just driving on wood to encompass more uses of wood gasification could be made more apparent. I mean ‘Same site new look’ has been up on the front page for 2 years, and I don’t think friday night video chats have happened for at least the last 10 years. small engines aren’t included.

What we are missing are the normal influx of people looking for gas alternatives because of high prices. I don’t know whether that is because of EVs, and solar. Or whether because the far left created a social divide by attaching social justice and social change to the energy policy. Or whether it is simply people don’t know about it.


Did anyone here ever belong to Homesteading Today. A huge homesteading site where if you were inexperienced or asked a question at least ten people immediately wanted to tell you why you were an idiot. I joined Northern Arizona wind and sun forum. Same thing. Just wanted some information. Got smacked around like a step child. After that I joined a homesteading site that was an off shoot from HT. At first it was great. Tons of projects and shared info. Then the members closed the open forum so they could feel safer discussing political subjects. New members had to be brought in by existing members and vetted. As the years went by people either died or moved on, many went grey, now it is just a few old and sickly geezers talking about their backyard gardens and aches and pains. I never convinced any of them that every thing they say on any forum is monitored. Big brother knows all. DOW has been the first site I have ever visited or belonged to that freely shares information and is only interested in helping new comers find a niche and fit in while cataloging a massive store of vital information.
We have managed to keep certain derisive boundaries at bay and wisely so. Still, the world is in turmoil and the folks that are becoming aware that their programming has led them in to a cage are desperate for some way out. Lifestyles based on independence is the only answer.
If government is involved, avoid it.
If government supports it, reject it.
If government says it’s safe, it’s not.
If government says it’s true, it’s false.
If government endorses it, question it.
If government says you need it, you don’t.
If government owns it, it’s probably stolen.
If government regulates it, it’s stifling freedom.
If government funds it, there’s a hidden agenda.
If government calls it progress, it’s likely regression.
If government is the solution, you are asking the wrong question.

Too radical? I don’t think so. We as a group have a totally impressive array of knowledge related to self sufficiency. Very little of it involves taking the easy way out. Driving on Wood, electrical power by producer gas, building structures, growing food, all hard assed work and not doable without doers to show the way and possibilities. Isn’t that what we are all trying to do for each other?

Drive on Wood is large enough now that it requires some expertise to find out basic essentials of making wood gas and operating machines with it. I think it would be better to limit input here to things more closely related to that line of thought and linking to a new site expressly devoted to other forms of self sufficiency. Either way, I am happy to be a part of this group. I believe it is one of the most valuable on the web.


Can you post some links to what you’re thinking of? I haven’t found what I’m proposing anywhere yet. If it’s already out there, no need to reinvent the wheel.

I should stress that this idea is not meant to supplant DOW, only (possibly) exist alongside it. This website and community is perfectly functional as-is, and I’m not trying to rock the boat.

This whole topic was just to see if there was interest in a more homestead-focused site, given the amount of discussion around that.


I have been involved with this subject for a long time. There are no homesteading sites that operate like DOW. There are a few that have excellent information available but are also heavily geared toward survivalist subjects. More than enough. Lord knows I’m a big fan of guns and ammo storage and religion should be a personal subject. Politics? I made my case up a few posts. Growing and storing food, methods of procuring water, building and tools. Things people have always required on this planet to survive and thrive. I didn’t understand that was Matt’s intent with TOG. Still one way or another I hope this happens because I have a lot of information I would like to share without further diluting DOW.


Well expressed your thoughts now ChrisKY.

Would I join and participate? Probably not. That’s just me. I’m not anti-organizational as such.
People are who by their participation actually what condone all human social organizations.
It is just so hard to avoid the devout strident Believers, the Manipulators and power/contol-hungry in organizations. Small Town governments and Churches too. Been worn down by both too, too many times.
I’d rather just read and agree, or disagree with the book.

Still I and the wife do, and have been organization members and supporters.
The cub scouts and the Grange for me.
Cub Scout pack master for the wife; the v.p. of the Women Auxiliary of the VFW ; the Grange kitchen and children’s fair staff for her also.
Four-H has some very nice programs with values taught for the children we would join and support too. FFA does good works also for young becoming adults.
Organizations of community service. Declaring they are all about community service; and practicing non-denominational.
I can’t exactly say non-political as the Grange and the VFW do have legislative lobbying arms.

Anyhow. Here’s a not hot button name for a set-up you may try:
Steve Unruh (not a lurking couch potato. guardian of a dog with bladder cancer wanting out often. and with my own acting up prostate)


I think the DOW model is hard to beat. Let’s say we are trying to define the DOW. The central theme is pretty narrow and easy to focus on. It’s also easy to exclude unwanted topics because they aren’t directly related making internal combustion engines run on wood.
I read the DOW rules awhile ago and seemingly have forgotten them. I use common sense. Don’t swear, and don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Then I tone that down by 50%.
A homesteading website would have to be vary broad in scope. Very hard to stop keyboard warriors from destroying it because of all the agenda surrounding the various topics. I don’t know how homesteading could be limited in scope, enough to make it a productive website/forum.
DD-WRT forum is productive. It forces people to follow rules inorder to get help.
The TinyCore forum is terrifying in how horrible any request for help is treated by experienced members.
Chief Delphi (the First Robotics Forum) is very broad, in scope, but heavily moderated. Bad behavior is not allowed. There is some gentle sarcasm directed toward team members who ignore the requirements surrounding building the robots.
Biodiesel Infopop was a productive forum with flaming and bad behavior, but also very helpful people. It was broad in scope, and covered a lot of ground. It was like Reddit.
I think it would be interesting to build a trap. Have a paywall (steep price) for a section of the forum where rules were more relaxed and people could rant about their hair brained ideas. I wonder if people would go there and commit online suicide by losing all restraint.
I remember Mr. Sharkey’s House truck forum. He heavily moderated it and anything he didn’t like was arbitrarily removed, then he just closed it. I suppose heavy moderation is required but who? I would think it’s a full time job.
My conclusion is that I would be interested. I would be a member. I am a homesteader.