Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster here but have been lurking around the forum for some time now - I've finally mustered the courage to make this post, so if you are reading this let me sincerely thank you in advance. After much introspection and careful thought I've decided that I want to take steps to work towards living a subsistence lifestyle, as much as that is possible, in Alaska. It's a tough challenge, no doubt, but one I believe is absolutely possible to overcome, with a little help. That's why I'm here today before you...I know that many people venture to Alaska with romantic ideas about living off the land and that many, many fall short, and while I too in truth have similar dreams, what I realize is that a change like this doesn't come overnight, or easily. I'm aware of my own shortcomings but know that by the grace of God and resolute determination I may overcome them and see my dreams turn to reality.
My name is Brad, I'm a 30-year old computer technician and network administrator born and raised in Wisconsin who loves spending time camping and backpacking with my German Shepherd, Gemma. I am a white, Christian, pro-liberty-minded man of modest means interested in self-sufficiency, preparedness, and simpler living. What I may lack in knowledge make up for quickly with my determination and willingness to learn - I'm always trying new things and firmly believe that one's education never really stops. Having just crossed the 30 mark, I feel strongly that I am at a proverbial fork in the road ... My whole life I've been raised around hunting, fishing, and the outdoors...yet I can't help but feel out of touch with nature in my fast paced and increasingly unsatisfying lifestyle of fast paced technology. As I look at my dog Gemma, I can see that look of defeat in her eyes and it tugs at my soul, having resigned herself to a solid daily meal and a weekly trip to the dog park to chase the occasional errant city-squirrel... while I know she's healthy and fairly content, she deserves so much more. I owe it to her, I owe it to myself. I feel a bit like a man whose been mistakenly born into the wrong century. These days, I believe there is a serious disconnect when it comes to where all our food and goods come from. If, God forbid, something should happen to our supply infrastructure I firmly believe most people would be up a creek with no paddle... and rather than be a victim, looking to outside sources to take care of me I've decided that I need to learn the skills NOW that I don't currently have, so that I can take care of myself and my family if that day should ever come. Even if that day never comes, I want to live a life that is more genuine, more real than what I have been so far. After giving it much careful consideration, My goal is to work hard towards getting a small patch of wilderness in Alaska to call my own -- nothing major, just a simple and modest place where I can begin a new life outside of the big city and all its trappings, for better or worse. Not being exceptionally wealthy myself, and currently living in Wisconsin, it seems like a foolish idea to by over-the-counter land sight unseen, a better plan would be to get up there first, make sure Alaska is really for me, and start researching property locally when I can get boots on the ground. By the grace of God perhaps my words here will touch someone and that they in turn may help me to find my first few steps in this unknown place. The first step has been acknowledging my dream and setting a concrete goal to strive towards. Rather than procrastinate I've decided that there is no time like the present - this must be done...I don't want to be 70 years old, looking back one day with disdain and regret, wishing I just just taken a chance to follow my dreams. If not now...then when? I want to live life to the fullest, and earn that right by way of my own sweat, blood, and tears. Winter camping in Wisconsin is something that I do for fun, but I understand fully that it takes on a whole other meaning when doing it in -40 degree temps in the heart of bear country, where you and yours are for all effective purposes 'on the menu'. I have no illusions about this, but I DO have much a learn and a willingness to do so humbly. Having lived in Wisconsin my entire life, I feel that I am more prepared than most may be for dealing with the harsh reality of sustained -40 degree temperatures and all that comes with it. Mushing and training a team of dogs has long been a dream of mine. I have no delusions about the difficulty of life up North, nor do I expect a free or easy ride. I know that I may fail, but I believe I can succeed, and while asking for help like I am today is very humbling for me I also know that I must swallow my pride and do so in order to set myself up for the best possible chance at success. I think it's equally important to have a solid backup plan - that said, I'm not going down without a fight, and I'm not going down without expending every ounce of my being to make it work.
Ideally, I'd like to meet someone who either has a cabin that could benefit from a respectful 'sitter', a landowner who could use another strong young back in exchange for letting me pitch my shelter there (A 16ft Sioux Indian Tipi w/ Stove), or someone who simply has a small plot of unused land that I could caretake for them while I gain a foothold in this new place. What supplies I will use/need I will mostly be bringing with me, including food, medical, firearms, hand tools, appropriate clothing, fuel, etc... which I've been storing for the last several years and have about a 24 month supply of to ease my transition. My German Shepherd female will be making the trip with me as well, but she is exceptionally well trained and behaved. I am deeply respectful of others and will treat any land that I may graciously be granted access to even better than if it were my own. I believe that most people my age lack a certain dignity that used to be commonplace in society, but is waning fast. I consider myself a pretty good cook - I'm also an avid writer. I get along very well with other people and have no problem with strangers. I am far from a material person and I need very little to actually be comfortable and content. I really enjoy composing music in my free time on any type of instrument, also I enjoy fishing and hunting. I am not a substance abuser, nor do I have any criminal record to speak of. I am very skilled with Electronics and technology, although I suspect the need for that type of skill is not as great in the Wilder parts of the world. That said, I am a quick learner and never a quitter, willing to do what it takes to survive and contribute. I have been spending all my free time of late getting my 'ducks in a row' for the move, but what I need now is to establish a few friends up there in Alaska with similar mindsets who can help me land safely when I arrive. This is a really important piece of the puzzle, and one that I have to figure out before I can begin this new chapter in my life. I can do anything I put my mind to. I don't particularly care about electricity or amenities... I fully expect to be hauling and splitting wood. Rather than come to Alaska and work behind another desk, I'd rather spend that time and energy towards a thankful landowner, and to further my goals.
If you have made it this far, thank you, and God Bless! I encourage you to please reach out to me if you have any words of advice or think you help me on this journey in some way, big or small. I promise you it will be very appreciated by one man and his Shepherd. Thank you for your time,
Brad in Wisconsin