With the current way of the world, more and more people are choosing to leave the societal norms behind and go against the cuff. There is no greater place to be the best version of yourself than in the mighty last frontier. Up here you have more land than anywhere else in the nation and fewer human inhabitants, which makes it the perfect piece of paradise to live in a raw and rugged environment without worrying about the qualms that come along with the concrete jungle lifestyle.
When you get set up property, you’ll be able to hunt, fish and gather to your hearts content – with survival being your only care in the world. Sounds refreshing, huh? We think so too, but these tips are key to getting down the long road without too many hiccups.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Choose the right piece of land.
Location, location, location. Study, consult, talk to locals, go to the Fish and Game offices, know your subsistence rights in that specific territory and be sure to always visit the land before making the purchase. You want to know what you're getting into because living this lifestyle will be one of the biggest commitments of your life. And it doesn't come easy!
2. Make sure the remoteness of the location fits your comfort level.
If you like creature comforts and being within convenient driving distance to town, consider choosing a location that isn't so hard to get to. Alaska is the biggest state in the nation so you shouldn't have any issue finding a slice of land that is the perfect fit for the life you want to live.
3. Consider how you will access your humble abode.
If you aren't on the road system, you'll likely be accessing your property by snowmachine, boat, plane or ATV. If you live across a river, it will be a combination of a boat in the summer and a snowmachine in the winter when the river freezes. This now creates a bucket load of variables. Like, is the river completely frozen and safe for you to cross? You must study the land and always think about the worst case scenario because the last frontier is viciously unforgiving. One wrong move and you could be dead in a flash.
4. You have to have H20 to survive.
If you aren't by a river or a good steam where you can get water easily, consider a rain catch system. Also, a water filtration system or a good pot to boil all of your water is key to escaping any sort of sickness.
5. Remember the wild temperature swings of the last frontier.
And plan accordingly. Always try to stock up on food, firewood, etc. for at least a week or two weeks out. Because when a storm hits, you aren't going anywhere fast.
6. You must be okay with being alone.
It definitely takes a certain type of person with a very particular state of mind to be able to stay sane living off the grid. Books are a great way to escape into another world and detach a bit from the loneliness that might come about.
7. Learn to love and respect every aspect of nature.
The thing with living in the middle of nowhere is that, you're in the middle of wildlife territory. This is their land first, so respect that and choose your battles wisely. Sometimes you'll be stuck inside because a moose and her two babies are outside your front door sunbathing. Other times you'll be kicked out of your favorite fishing spot because a 1,000 pound bear beat you to it. Remember to just go with the flow and always put your safety as the #1 priority.
8. Let nature be your alarm clock and your night cap.
Although you'll sleep a little less in the summertime, you'll be so floored by the thought of trekking through a land that isn't completely frozen and desolate that you won't even remember to sleep. As they always say, you can hibernate in the winter just like the bears do.
9. Plan on bulk shopping because getting to town takes fuel and braving the storm.
And fuel isn't cheap! Make sure when choosing your off-the-grid home or when building that you account for enough food storage space because you will surely need it. You won't want to go to town more than once or twice a month, max.
10. Tap into your green thumb and grow as much food as possible.
It's amazing what you can grow with a little TLC. Put the grocery store's produce section to shame by fixing up some raised beds with delicious greens. Hint: make sure you have a protective barrier because the moose will want to help themselves.
11. Find a hobby that makes you anxious to get out of bed in the morning.
Living off the grid, you'll likely combine your hobbies with purposes that serve your lifestyle. So things like snowshoeing, snowmachining, hiking, etc. make it easy to also hunt, trap and gather along the way.
12. Renewable energy should be your new best friend.
Solar panels might be a pretty penny up front, but they'll pay for themselves before you even know it.
13. Ditch the gym for a good old fashioned daily wood chopping workout.
With Alaska's very harsh winters, you'll need to chop wood very regularly to stay warm. The smaller your living quarters, the easier they are to heat and the less amount of wood you'll need. Consider that when building.
14. Get used to pooping in the woods. Yes, you better learn to love that outhouse baby!
Because that good old fashioned flush won't come as easily as it did in the land of cityscapes.
15. Living off the grid isn’t as cheap as you think, so consider working a seasonal job.
Alaska is the best place to live off the grid because our thriving tourism industry makes it quite easy to work seasonally (5 months) and take the rest of the year off. So long as you're budget conscious, this makes living off the grid a very achievable lifestyle.
16. Last but not least, learn to hunt and gather.
It doesn't get more organic than sourcing your food from the land, so whether it be fishing, hunting, berry picking or mushroom gathering - build it into your routine at the tip top of the priority list. Because you must eat to survive.