Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Tips for Living in Alaska - the small things few ask about

  1. #1
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Tips for Living in Alaska - the small things few ask about

    We have a lot of major issues covered on hundreds of threads here. What about the minor, smaller issues? Add what you know.

    First - You will be wanting a block heater on your vehicle engine. That has been discussed in detail here. You will need an extension cord that is cold rated to power that block heater. While you are at the store, buy two cords. Why? Because when you are new to the idea of plugging in your car every day you will come home one day and see that someone has stolen your cord! Actually nobody stole your cord. You forgot to unplug it and drove off that morning with it dragging on the ground to eventually be yanked off when you turned a corner and drove over it. Sometimes the cord will be sitting in your driveway, or just down the street. Other times it is lost to the snow banks of time.

    I bring this up because over the last week I have seen three brand new cords hanging out in the middle of various streets across town. When you see a beat up, electical tape spliced cord without original plug ends on it is when you know one of us old timers was in too much of a hurry to leave home that morning.

    You will also be wanting a good outdoor timer for the block heater.

    Second - Everybody is concerned about freezing to death up here. Yes the Arctic and Sub Arctic are cold places to live, but you won't be living in a tent the whole time so the cold is not going to kill you as soon as you step outside the house. The real issue you will have to adapt to is the midnight sun. Its June and the sun is shining in the morning and the evening, and at night time. What? It is much harder for a number of folks to adapt to the summer daylight hours than it is to adapt to the cold. The winter darkness is another issue on its own. Both problems can be handled over time, but the first summer could suck much worse than the first winter. Start taking your vitamin D now. Everyone north of Seattle should be dosing daily.

    Third - Alaska is the largest state in the Union. It has fewer miles of roads, paved other otherwise, than a small east coast state. We might have more miles of road than Rhode Island, but I doubt it. Alaska does not have the agriculture and forestry history that created the demand for the majority of roads in the States. We also do not have the population to drive the need to be connected. Small planes serve the state transporation needs. Some folks still want a road to Nome, though. So, you can't drive all over the place like you can in the States. You can still take some epic road trips though. You'll just be repeating them every few years.

    Fourth - If you have a dog, come spring you will be cleaning up an amazing amount of dooty from the yard as it melts out of the snow. No matter how much you scoop up during the winter you will still miss a lot of it. When it snows a few inches every week you kind of forget about getting out there on dooty duty and come spring its just a mess. And your dog is running through it and then coming inside and walking all over your house with that "mud" on its feet.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Third - Alaska is the largest state in the Union. It has fewer miles of roads, paved other otherwise, than a small east coast state. We might have more miles of road than Rhode Island, but I doubt it. Alaska does not have the agriculture and forestry history that created the demand for the majority of roads in the States. We also do not have the population to drive the need to be connected. Small planes serve the state transporation needs. Some folks still want a road to Nome, though. So, you can't drive all over the place like you can in the States. You can still take some epic road trips though. You'll just be repeating them every few years.

    So very true, we have the least amount of infrastructure but the road trips are AWESOME!

    Fourth - If you have a dog, come spring you will be cleaning up an amazing amount of dooty from the yard as it melts out of the snow. No matter how much you scoop up during the winter you will still miss a lot of it. When it snows a few inches every week you kind of forget about getting out there on dooty duty and come spring its just a mess. And your dog is running through it and then coming inside and walking all over your house with that "mud" on its feet.
    Too funny, even worse since most of us have more than one dog!

    The biggest thing to remember is a Therma cell or other mosquito avoidance solution!

  3. #3
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,243

    Default

    Save your money for a remote start for the wife.
    Get used to having sleeping bags and winter boots in the back of the car.
    Learn about black ice.
    If below -35 remember to not turn off the car before plugging in.
    Learn that a lot of businesses in the lower 48 think Alaska is a foreign country.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  4. #4
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Learn that a lot of businesses in the lower 48 think Alaska is a foreign country.
    Lots of people in the lower 48 think AK. is the abbreviation for Arkansas......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default Tips for Living in Alaska - the small things few ask about

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Lots of people in the lower 48 think AK. is the abbreviation for Arkansas......
    No joke!!! I had Arkansas state taxes taken out of my first check when I hired on with an out of state company.

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Lots of people in the lower 48 think that Rhode Island is the capital of Massachusetts. Or an island off the coast of New York. Really.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Circle, AK.
    Posts
    616

    Default

    use blue foam insulation for your outhouse seat!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    Get something, AK ID, drivers license, utility bill so you have evidence of having moved here with intention of staying for your PFD and hunting license verification.

    If you do use a toilet seat at -40 and happen to get any... brown stuff on the seat, don't try to clean it off untill it freezes. Otherwise where ever you wipe it it will stay instantly.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  9. #9
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,986

    Default

    Another tip for winter outhouse use, is the portable toilet seat, kept by the wood stove...very handy when -40 Though on one occasion it was the hot seat, and had to be waved around in the cool air so you could sit on it without burning your @$$!
    "Grin and Bear It"

  10. #10
    Member power drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Down wind of 2 Glaciers
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    If your Shaving cream freezes don't set it to close to the wood stove!

  11. #11
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    1,135

    Default Tips for Living in Alaska - the small things few ask about

    Do not leave hard liquor on the porch when it's -50, and drink it immediately....


    Saw the results, not pretty.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Don't try to change it to the L-48
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  13. #13
    Member Scorpion8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    SE-AK
    Posts
    242

    Default

    Don't drive in the AK winter like you did in CA. Just because you went out and bought that vaunted Lexus SUV with AWD, and it handled those terrible San Diego winters just fine, don't think or assume that it will handle AK winters while you rush around like you're in I-5 rush hour. If you're smart, you'll carry the tow strap for some AK'er to pull you out of the ditch you're sure to end up in.

  14. #14
    AniWahaya
    Guest

    Default

    Brush up on vocabulary i.e. bunny boots, alder brush, trail etiquette, cabin fever. Respect Alaska and Alaska's people because we cherish our way of life. Know how to build a fire in any condition. Oh, and if you ever run across a sign that says, "trespassers will be shot," they aren't kidding.
    Never enter a bar full of drunk fisherman fresh off the boat and brag about your college education! Ha, saw someone make that mistake once..

  15. #15
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    It snows frequently. It is easier to use a push broom for floors to get the snow off your car than to use one of those plastic stick sweeper snow and ice scrapers. Push brooms can also be had fairly cheap, sometimes even cheaper than a plastic stick scaper sweeper.

    You will want one dedicated to snow removal. Using the garage floor one with the oil, and dirt will not leave you happy with all the streaks on your windshield.

    Also get one of these telescoping brushes to keep in your car. It will snow while you are at work. It is much easier to push the snow off side to side than to sweep with one of those stick brushes.

    OR you can just use a credit card and look like a buffoon driving down the road looking through that little hole in the snow drift on your hood. You won't be alone in that choice.

  16. #16
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    You are driving a truck with a half ton to three quarter ton payload. Would it kill you to use that truck to carry a two pound shovel? That shovel could come in handy when you high center your truck on a snow berm. However, I know you perfer to kick at the snow berm with your running shoes.

    Make sure you put your winter tires on your little sedan before it snows. They might not help out when you are high centered on 10 inches of wet snow in a parking lot, but they will help you stay moving on the road.

    Carry at least an avalanche shovel in your trunk. It will dig you out faster than your bare hand or your little ice scraper.

    Keep a pair of winter gloves in your little sedan. And a hat. That way when you are digging your little car out of a parking lot with your little ice scraper you won't have to worry about having to stop to thaw out. Your toes in your nice leather loafers are another issue.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •