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Thread: My plan and my questions...

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    Default My plan and my questions...

    Hello everyone. This is my first post on the site. This post, along with finding many answers to many questions exploring the forum, is why i joined this site. I would like to briefly explain where I'm from, why i want to move to Alaska, my vague plan on how i intend on going about it and some questions for those of you who already live there.

    My name is Kent and I'm from tobaccoville North Carolina. Its a moderately rural area for the southeastern "lower 48" as i see you guys always refer to it as. Basically, I've never lived anywhere as cold and remote as Alaska. But when I was 17 my family went on a cruise to Alaska during the summer. It is hands down the most amazing thing I've ever laid my eyes on. Ever sense i first saw Mountains coming out of the ocean and hiked up one in Jeuno and found a freaking lake on the side of a mountain i realized that Alaska is the coolest place in the world.

    I joined the Marine Corps the next year. When i was on a navy ship one deployment a guy had shown me this famous dick prennoke documentary. That documentary planted the seeds of the living off the land in the middle of nowhere fantasies that are continuously recurring thoughts. I got out of the military in 2011. To put it as short as i can, i do not understand modern America and find it to be a pathetic way to live. I got into following politics, which lead to history, which lead to many many many hours of thinking. Given the current events and state of America i have lost faith in Western civilization, in the sense that it wont be recognizable in ten years. I want to leave this modern world and live in an America that is more like the America that my understanding of history has made me admire. I see Alaska as being that place.

    I do not have much money at the moment, just a few grand in the bank. I went to school as a machinist and am currently working 2nd shift as a machinist. I'm renting a room from a friend right now so i have the ability to save some money. I have a 2wd 2.7L Tacoma, which i will have to trade for something more suitable. I would like to move to Alaska by next summer. My goal is to have a suitable truck, as little material items as possible and at least 12 grand in the bank, but would like to have 15. as far is saving money goes i think that that it is doable given my current pay and expenses. I do not know much about the state in the context of legitimately planning on living there for the rest of my life but i know Anchorage and Fairbanks are the two biggest cities. Between those two cities and the surrounding areas I'm sure there is someone somewhere who needs a machinist. At first i rent something somewhere and work. During this time i get to know the state, get used to the climate, meet some people and ultimately begin to create a more long term plan. I feel that there is no way for me to legitimately have a solid plan while living in North Carolina. So this is where my plan ends as of right now.

    Please tell me what you find stupid about my plan, anything at all, the plan, my attitude about the whole thing, whatever you see as a flaw based off what you have read above. But please do not tell me that I'm not serious or i don't want it bad enough, you don't know me or understand my outlook on this civilization. I feel like Alaska is the only place for me, as crazy as that might sound. This is something i have to do or I will go insane. This is a recurring dream of mine that has been going on ever sense the cruise when i was 17.

    Some questions that i need answered for me to continue to develop my plan...

    I intend on locking down a job prior to moving, how easy is it to find work in Alaska? Machining is the trade I'm currently doing, but i don't have a problem with work of any type.

    How expensive is it to live for someone renting somewhere as I will be at first?

    How much money would i need to get land, tools, help, etc. to begin my own homestead? I'm not looking for a modern home. I want to have a fireplace/stove to keep me warm, have a garden, raise some animals for food, have enough water to take a shower from time to time, a front porch with a rocking chair and a super cool dog. Electricity would be nice but i would imagine that my foundation for surviving an Alaskan winter shouldn't rely on electricity so this isn't a primary focus at this point in time.

    How many acres would i need?

    For the Alaskans who live/lived in the "bush", as i hear it referred to, what does the word "neighbor" mean to you? Do neighbors tend to rely on each other?

    How much government regulations and/or permits am i going to have to worry about?

    How many people living in rural Alaska are not native Alaskans?

    How far is a "General Store" type store from your average rural Alaskan home?


    As of right now I'm not even worrying about finding a Women to do this with me. Women in North Carolina don't want to move to Alaska and live in the wilderness. But are there women who want to do such a thing who are living in more populated areas that I could potentially meet? The reason I ask is I hear Alaska is populated by many more men than women.

    What areas/regions of the state are ideal for something like I'm envisioning?

    What topics do you recommend i study? Do you have an books to suggest?

    I hope this wasn't to long. I have a thousand questions but i suppose that that is a start. Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to hearing what those of you who reply have to say.




    Kent

  2. #2

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    I can't provide much in the way of details as they pertain to living off the land up here (I live in Anchroage), but just some general thoughts.

    First off, I think you have a good approach, better than many we see on here asking about relocating. A lot of people want to go from urban "somewhere" down south directly to living off the land in "nowhere" Alaska. That is almost impossible unless you have a lot of money up front, a ton of experience, and about as much luck. Your first plan of wanting to move up here knowing that you will spend some time in a more urban area, renting and working while you do more "boots on the ground" research about the next steps is a great start. That will make your ultimate plans a thousand times easier and much more realistic.

    Alaska has a lot of seasonal work in the mechanical and construction industry. I can't speak specifically to machining, but I would imagine that it would translate fairly well into working for one of the many construction contractors at least seasonally (spring/summer/fall) which could help you work into a full time position elsewhere. Having a skill like that will do you well, so you are in a good position.

    Truly living off the land up here is extremely difficult. Very few people/groups/communities can even come close. With the seasonal weather patterns, it is difficult to expect to grow enough food to cover you the rest of the year. There is "farming" in some specific areas, but not really a lot of it in areas that most would consider remote.

    "Average" or "Typical" really don't mean a lot up here. The state is huge and depending on specifically where you want to go or what your preferences are in any number of things, what is "average" could change dramatically. You will really have to see it for yourself when you get up here and try to figure out what draws your attention.

    Just about any option is going to cost a good amount of money one way or another. Land on the road system isn't going to be cheap or else everyone else would have already gotten it. Land off the road system can be far cheaper and really beautiful, but also comes with a good bill for whatever you end up needing for access (ATVs, airplane, boats, snowmachine (snowmobile to most lower 48'ers), etc...). Realize that none of those will typically work year round, so you would need to have multiple options and also note that there could be times of year that none of those options work due to the specific conditions.

    Others can surely give you some better ideas with regards to rural living and what can and can't be done when trying to live off the land. There are some good threads on this forum already you should look through if you haven't already. Good luck.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Look to boat repair type work and the best place now is Wrangell Island. Semper Fi 8652 1965 1969 phone number 907-874-2262
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    anchskier thank you for a reply. it means more than you know. Simper Fi Amigo Will and i will be getting a hold of you very shortly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kent15 View Post
    anchskier thank you for a reply. it means more than you know. Simper Fi Amigo Will and i will be getting a hold of you very shortly.
    Drop me a PM too. On phone so no long response now. I'm in the bush. Neighbors? Sure. I live in a village with about 200 people. But you can only access our village via airplane or a very long boat ride in the summer. Maybe snowmachine in winter since the Iditarod does run 20 miles away.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My suggestion to you is to first plan an Alaskan vacation.
    Plan to visit each area you are considering moving to. Then when you are there talk to locals. Pick up the real estate pages and/or the local paper to find out what a place will cost.
    Go to the store and price groceries. Look in the want ads and find out what a snowmachine,ATV,Boat costs locally.
    Make some friends who might let you stay with them until you get on your feet or if your plans fail and you need a hot meal and a couch for a few days while you sort things out.
    I have seen people who were broke and got stuck here with no money,no friends and no job and hadn't a clue what to do next.
    Getting a job before moving to AK is very difficult. The reason being is way to many companies have gotten burned by those wanting to live here who move out the first winter when it gets below zero and stays dark most of the day.The company is out an employee and must hire and train a new one.
    Dick Proenneke was a talented man who lived in a different time.
    A time when you could build a squatters cabin for cheap on land you didn't own and get away with it. He also had a lot of help from Babe Alsworth by means of discounted flying services to bring him supplies.
    He also did not spend most of his winters here. The first one he did. Then he spent them outside with family in Iowa.
    His cabin is very small and he lived a simple life most today could not comprehend or live with.
    He made money making films for the national park service and a few odd jobs now and then such as when he and his brother recovered an airplane that had flipped in the lake and he was paid by the insurance company.
    He still had many supplies shipped in such as flour,beans,rice,oats etc.
    Please read both of his book and watch all of his videos. There are several videos and my dad owns them all. I think he has 4 or 5 of them. They give you a little more insight into the man and how he lived.
    I understand what you are after. But without a lot more research you are doomed to failure.
    Use the search feature here to learn a lot more.
    Read our hunting and fishing regs online. That will give you some insight into what you can hunt and fish legally and what it will cost you.
    Buy some Alaska books by others who have done what you desire and learn from their mistakes.
    $15,000 is a good start. But you will need much more just for a piece of remote property. So little of remote Alaska is privately owned. It will suprise you how hard it is to find a good remote cabin with decent hunting nearby.
    Start out living and working somewhere on the road system and then decide if remote living is for you and your budget.
    You will need some income every year from something.So plan for that.
    I'll cut it short for now.
    Good Luck with your endeavor you will need it.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    My suggestion to you is to first plan an Alaskan vacation.
    Plan to visit each area you are considering moving to. Then when you are there talk to locals. Pick up the real estate pages and/or the local paper to find out what a place will cost.
    Go to the store and price groceries. Look in the want ads and find out what a snowmachine,ATV,Boat costs locally.
    Make some friends who might let you stay with them until you get on your feet or if your plans fail and you need a hot meal and a couch for a few days while you sort things out.
    I have seen people who were broke and got stuck here with no money,no friends and no job and hadn't a clue what to do next.
    Getting a job before moving to AK is very difficult. The reason being is way to many companies have gotten burned by those wanting to live here who move out the first winter when it gets below zero and stays dark most of the day.The company is out an employee and must hire and train a new one.
    Dick Proenneke was a talented man who lived in a different time.
    A time when you could build a squatters cabin for cheap on land you didn't own and get away with it. He also had a lot of help from Babe Alsworth by means of discounted flying services to bring him supplies.
    He also did not spend most of his winters here. The first one he did. Then he spent them outside with family in Iowa.
    His cabin is very small and he lived a simple life most today could not comprehend or live with.
    He made money making films for the national park service and a few odd jobs now and then such as when he and his brother recovered an airplane that had flipped in the lake and he was paid by the insurance company.
    He still had many supplies shipped in such as flour,beans,rice,oats etc.
    Please read both of his book and watch all of his videos. There are several videos and my dad owns them all. I think he has 4 or 5 of them. They give you a little more insight into the man and how he lived.
    I understand what you are after. But without a lot more research you are doomed to failure.
    Use the search feature here to learn a lot more.
    Read our hunting and fishing regs online. That will give you some insight into what you can hunt and fish legally and what it will cost you.
    Buy some Alaska books by others who have done what you desire and learn from their mistakes.
    $15,000 is a good start. But you will need much more just for a piece of remote property. So little of remote Alaska is privately owned. It will suprise you how hard it is to find a good remote cabin with decent hunting nearby.
    Start out living and working somewhere on the road system and then decide if remote living is for you and your budget.
    You will need some income every year from something.So plan for that.
    I'll cut it short for now.
    Good Luck with your endeavor you will need it.
    Thanks for the words of wisdom

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    Kent15:
    I responded to your question under the ATV section. Please know that many of us live here because we simply don't want to be anywhere else, so your expressing your feelings is completely understood. I have lived many places and countries and I never felt I was 'home' until I moved here. It is a place I can't imagine ever leaving and I have met some amazing and wonderful people here. I live in Anchorage as that is where my wife and I work, but we own land in the valley and spend as much time as possible that direction. There are so many beautiful places here, and many different climates and difficulties. You seem to have a very open attitude about what you are willing to do to go after your dreams so read as much as possible, do google searches, take advantage of those who have offered advice and get after it! As far as the hardships of getting here and starting over, and any naysayers- simply adapt and overcome. Thank you for your service and welcome to Alaska in advance.
    BEE

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    Jeesh Kent, Alaska isn't a foreign country. We used to be kinda unique, but now, on the road system anyway, Alaska is pretty much like anywhere else USA... but with better scenery. Visit! You don't even need a passport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Jeesh Kent, Alaska isn't a foreign country. We used to be kinda unique, but now, on the road system anyway, Alaska is pretty much like anywhere else USA... but with better scenery. Visit! You don't even need a passport.
    It's kinda like a foreign country. Good thing the road system covers very little of the state :P

    I think i will have to visit for the purposes of finding work. I imagine if i can sit down and talk with someone after a year of planning and saving money that i will be much more likly to land a job.

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    I am a machinist as i said in the OP. I was taught by a REALLY good tig welder how to mig and tig. I only have about 25 hours behind both so im not an expert but i picked it up pretty quickly and really enjoy it. Also was taught fabrication, the right way. An by right way i mean being anal are everything being square, like triple check everything before and after tacking and after beads. Like really anal about it all. But my stuff looked nice for a beginner though. Anyways, if i were to use the last of my GI bill to get welding certified how much more valueable would this make me?

    I ask that because down here with most jobs youll be doing one or the other. I would imagine in Alaska having someone with multiple metalworking trades is a lot more valueable than it would be down here. Am i correct in this assumption?

    If so then can anyone tell me if i should focus in mig or tig for alaskan work. I would imagine mig. Stick welding would probably be very common in such a state as well. But then again i really have no clue.

    Let me know your thoughts

    Thanks
    Kent

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Kent15:
    I responded to your question under the ATV section. Please know that many of us live here because we simply don't want to be anywhere else, so your expressing your feelings is completely understood. I have lived many places and countries and I never felt I was 'home' until I moved here. It is a place I can't imagine ever leaving and I have met some amazing and wonderful people here. I live in Anchorage as that is where my wife and I work, but we own land in the valley and spend as much time as possible that direction. There are so many beautiful places here, and many different climates and difficulties. You seem to have a very open attitude about what you are willing to do to go after your dreams so read as much as possible, do google searches, take advantage of those who have offered advice and get after it! As far as the hardships of getting here and starting over, and any naysayers- simply adapt and overcome. Thank you for your service and welcome to Alaska in advance.
    BEE
    Thanks for the response and motavational words.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    The welders that work on the slope where I do weld Stick,Tig,and Mig. If you can't do all three really well and have your pipe and/or structural certifications then they aren't likely to hire you for welding.
    Our weld shop has I believe a .4% failure rate with their X-Rayed welding. That's world class performance.
    I'm sure other places such as structural welding shops in town have lower standards.
    With the price of oil where it is I'm not sure if they will hire anybody anytime soon though. We have a lot of people here already and if the price of crude doesn't pick up as predicted well.....
    Lots of places do hire welders though. I think the oilfield pays the most but there are other options.
    "GOOD" experienced welders are hard to come by.
    I would think if you were up here you could find work as a machinist or something related.
    Pick up a copy of Alaska Busines monthly magazine each month.
    Every month is focused on a different industry in Alaska. They have contact info for all the related businesses.
    Go through it and check those businesses websites for job listings.
    That's how most big businesses hire people nowdays is through their websites. Tune up your resume and start applying.
    Living here gives you a much better chance but it can't hurt even from down there.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    More threads on this please!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Jeesh Kent, Alaska isn't a foreign country. We used to be kinda unique, but now, on the road system anyway, Alaska is pretty much like anywhere else USA... but with better scenery. Visit! You don't even need a passport.
    You do if you are driving up.

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    I was thinking the same thing..........but was not 100% sure on current requirements. Last time I was over that road it was largely gravel & mud.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    You do if you are driving up.

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    Kent Thank you for your service. Have been following your posts in all the different forums with interest. You've been blasted pretty good by the usual nay sayers, but you've also gotten some pretty good advice. Rather than a long winded reply, I'd suggest you go to each of those foums where you've posted, and read other posts going back a year or so. All of your questions have been asked and answered, time and time again. Unfortunately, that's primarily why you got hit pretty hard with the negative replys. Alaska is many things to different people. To answer most of your questions. Yes you can garden anywhere in Alaska, just depends on how much time and $$$ you want to invest. Yes, you can grow livestock in Alaska, again it depends on how much time and $$$ you want to invest. There is wild game to hunt and fish to catch, depending on how much $$$ you want to spend, and how far you want to go. BUT it's all do able. Or most of us would be somewhere else.

    Free advice is usually worth about what it costs, So, here's my advice to you. I'm 76 yrs old. I put 21 of those years in the USN. If I was a young, single, 20 something yr old man, who owned a nice pickup and had a couple dollars in the bank, and I wanted to go to Alaska, I'd get my passport, buy a recent copy of the MILEPOST, gas up my truck and go.

    Good Luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    The welders that work on the slope where I do weld Stick,Tig,and Mig. If you can't do all three really well and have your pipe and/or structural certifications then they aren't likely to hire you for welding.
    Our weld shop has I believe a .4% failure rate with their X-Rayed welding. That's world class performance.
    I'm sure other places such as structural welding shops in town have lower standards.
    With the price of oil where it is I'm not sure if they will hire anybody anytime soon though. We have a lot of people here already and if the price of crude doesn't pick up as predicted well.....
    Lots of places do hire welders though. I think the oilfield pays the most but there are other options.
    "GOOD" experienced welders are hard to come by.
    I would think if you were up here you could find work as a machinist or something related.
    Pick up a copy of Alaska Busines monthly magazine each month.
    Every month is focused on a different industry in Alaska. They have contact info for all the related businesses.
    Go through it and check those businesses websites for job listings.
    That's how most big businesses hire people nowdays is through their websites. Tune up your resume and start applying.
    Living here gives you a much better chance but it can't hurt even from down there.
    Im going to check out that magizine. Wow, .4% failure rate with xray testing sounds pretty intense. Sounds like yal really know what your doin up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    Kent Thank you for your service. Have been following your posts in all the different forums with interest. You've been blasted pretty good by the usual nay sayers, but you've also gotten some pretty good advice. Rather than a long winded reply, I'd suggest you go to each of those foums where you've posted, and read other posts going back a year or so. All of your questions have been asked and answered, time and time again. Unfortunately, that's primarily why you got hit pretty hard with the negative replys. Alaska is many things to different people. To answer most of your questions. Yes you can garden anywhere in Alaska, just depends on how much time and $$$ you want to invest. Yes, you can grow livestock in Alaska, again it depends on how much time and $$$ you want to invest. There is wild game to hunt and fish to catch, depending on how much $$$ you want to spend, and how far you want to go. BUT it's all do able. Or most of us would be somewhere else.

    Free advice is usually worth about what it costs, So, here's my advice to you. I'm 76 yrs old. I put 21 of those years in the USN. If I was a young, single, 20 something yr old man, who owned a nice pickup and had a couple dollars in the bank, and I wanted to go to Alaska, I'd get my passport, buy a recent copy of the MILEPOST, gas up my truck and go.

    Good Luck
    Yeah i don't have a problem with people telling me to look for the answers because they are already answered somewhere, but there have been a handful of instances where people become hostle and insulting, which i find a little rediculous. A guy on another thread had already reccomended milepost. It should be in the mail now.

    I was talking with a guy on the phone and he was saying that Wasilla seemed like a good place to start looking at for what I'm trying to do. What are your thoughts on that area?

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    If you want to get your welding cert. Seward has AVTEC and has a welding cert. program. Might check it out.

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