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Thread: Choosing a remote property

  1. #1
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Default Choosing a remote property

    Hey all,

    The CT household is looking at remote properties for the purpose of having a recreational cabin. We're still in the process of figuring out what we want this cabin to be, but it's looking right now like something that is off the grid a good ways. Would likely be accessed in the summer and fall a couple times by plane, and in the winter by snowmachine.

    I've been hitting all the available online sources for remote properties and see a lot of lots (hehe, typed that without thinking how awkward it sounds) that fit the bill. But in my desire to have it all, I'm stumbling over the notion that I should be able to access the property by boat in the summer. I can foresee the potential to need to haul in bulky cargo when the ground is thawed, especially if we end up building rather than buying an existing cabin. I'm not a pilot and have no problem hiring an air taxi, but even a Beaver has its limitations.

    Did many of you cabin owners build solely by what you hauled in on the snow and/or flew in to the site? Any thoughts on the cost vs benefit of having a third means of access? Or is this one of those situations akin to construction projects, you can have it fast, good, or cheap. Pick two.

    I appreciate everyone's perspective, as you've all done it. I'm still dreaming.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    It is generally much easier to bring in materials by freight sled than anything else! Cheaper too.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  3. #3
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    It is generally much easier to bring in materials by freight sled than anything else! Cheaper too.
    I don't doubt that, and I've already got a snowmachine capable of heavy towing. I'm already penciling in freight schedules in my mind should I choose to build.

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    CT check your PMs.

  5. #5
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    CT check your PMs.
    Got it. Did you get my reply?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Got it. Did you get my reply?
    No, I did not.

  7. #7

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    Just my experience, but Remote Property ownership is NOT all that people "Dream" that it will be. In fact often is more of a "Nightmare".

    This is extracted from my "about me" if you click on my user name: Built three homesteads. First in the Clearwater Country, near Windy Creek (Off the Denali Hwy.) in the early 70's. The second on Lake Clark, across and down the lake, from Port Alsworth in the mid 80's. The third on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, started in 1999. Had a hunting Lodge in King Salmon, Alaska

    I have also owned other cabins in remote areas, like Safari Lake over the years.

    Where I live now, I can (and often do) go weeks or months with no human contact, I can walk out my back door and in about 30 steps be in wilderness that I have never in 16 years seen another set of footprints, or any human sign that was made with-in the last 116 years. I go to Anchorage for supplies three or four times a year. Most of what I buy is ordered off the internet and delivered to the bottom of the logging road I live on.

    My point is that every time you go to your remote cabin, you never know what went missing, so you need to take all basics every time, including toilet paper. It seems everyone needs to do the remote cabin dream at least once. I sure need too. I just want to point out that in my experience it is not all it is built up to be today, compared to 50 years ago.

    It is an adventure.......but I wish that I had just put all my time and energy into this location. Please note: I am not trying to pee on your dream, just trying to help with other options. You don't have to be remote to be off-grid in Alaska.

  8. #8
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    No, I did not.

    This explains why...

    hogfamily has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.

    Edit: Er, didn't mean to sound like a jerk. You might want to clear out your inbox some.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    This explains why...

    hogfamily has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.

    Edit: Er, didn't mean to sound like a jerk. You might want to clear out your inbox some.

    Blame it on the robot!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  10. #10
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    AGL4now,

    I appreciate you sharing your considerable experience. Your point about taking nothing for granted is a good one, and I think it's important to keep in the forefront of one's thoughts at all times in Alaska.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Ok CT inbox cleared out.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Blame it on the robot!

    Most likely it was Ken...

  13. #13
    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    This explains why...

    hogfamily has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.

    Edit: Er, didn't mean to sound like a jerk. You might want to clear out your inbox some.
    No worries! No offense taken.

  14. #14
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Oh right! The robot, now I get it. Hehe, that''s a pretty fast uptake for me. PM en route.

  15. #15

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    I agree with Music Man, By bringing in the winter you can take right to the construction site rather than load on a boat and then when you get there unload and carry cross country over roots and what ever.

  16. #16

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    My wife and I bought remote property with small cabin about 4 years ago and we love it. It is only about 13 miles or so from the nearest highway but those $440 summer flights just get to be too expensive. We are now mostly going to the cabin during the winters when we ourselves can snowmachine into the cabin without hiring a charter flight. These last few winters have not cooperated very well weather wise though. Too many freeze and then thaw cycles all winter. We get back in to the cabin and then a thaw comes and we have to head back out again cutting our trip short due to worry about developing overflow and open water issues. We are inland away from any rivers and that is good.......and bad. Once we are there in the summers it is great to be far enough away from any rivers so that we don't have to put up with the noise of frequent boat traffic plus the overhead air traffic as well. During the winter, not being on a river is also good because there are only a couple people who use our trail other than us instead of a river where it is a major travel corridor. On the otherhand it would be nice in the summer to have a cheaper option for getting to/from the property such as a large cheap to operate freight canoe instead of those expensive charter flights. Just some of our thoughts. Good luck.

  17. #17
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. My wife and I are thinking that the cabin will be a week-at-a-time type of destination rather than for weekend outings. If that's the case then I hope I would be willing to shell out the shekels for those flights in and out. But I can see the advantage of having an alternative such as a freighter canoe to get in and out in the summer.

    At this point in my thinking process my ideal cabin site would be on a lake with a small creek to access it. The creek would be challenging enough that it would screen out the big boats and less persistent travellers. Winter access will of course be via snowmachine. I can see some weekend trips in the winter, as well as the winter freighting needed to construct.

    Now if I could just get the State to part with that perfect parcel...

  18. #18
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Water front property is great but the water front has been changing a lot.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  19. #19

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    CT, The perfect parcel most likely is not out there .Remote property is like life in general there is a up side and a downside we just try to work it out so that there is more on the upside rather than the other way.Cabins are a lot of fun but they are also a lot of work ,like keeping up another house but the Ace hardware is not just down the street. There is a old saying that if you want a friend buy a boat if you want to see who your friends are build a cabin. Good Luck and have fun.

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    Default Something else to think about

    I think a lot of people want to build their own cabin but aren’t really builders. They get started but it quickly becomes a chore they’d rather not do and many never finish. If you want to build your own, it’s best if you are one of those individuals that suffers from “build-it” disease. If you haven’t already built a shed, deck, remodeled the bathroom, etc. at your home in town, then think about whether or not you really want to build a cabin.

    Buying an existing cabin can be both cheaper and more enjoyable in the long run if the thought of construction brings more dread than excitement.

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