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Thread: What's living in the AK bush really like? what's the hardest part?

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    Default What's living in the AK bush really like? what's the hardest part?

    Hello All, my first post here. Currently on the east coast. Always wanted to live off grid, and in the AK bush. But, first I must ask those who've done it, what's it actually like? What are the biggest differences between that and regualr city/suburban living? What are the greatest hardships and difficulties do you encounter being off-grid - especially in AK?
    Also, is it really true the weather there gets to minus 60 below 0?? If so, how long does it stay like that, and are there any places in AK that don't get that cold?
    Thanks all in advance for any info!

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default some places it's warm

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    are there any places in AK that don't get that cold?
    SE ..... the banana belt !!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by muskeg View Post
    SE ..... the banana belt !!!!!!!
    Yes, but is there enough land to live "remote" there? The SE panhandle looks like it's a real tight squeeze between the Canadian border and the ocean. Almost like it's not really part of the continent, but a bunch of little islands clumped together. My guess is you'd need a boat more than a car to get from one place to another?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Yes, but is there enough land to live "remote" there? The SE panhandle looks like it's a real tight squeeze between the Canadian border and the ocean. Almost like it's not really part of the continent, but a bunch of little islands clumped together. My guess is you'd need a boat more than a car to get from one place to another?
    Along the southcentral coast is much more temperate as well. Judging by your questions you should read the thread i've linked to below. There's a lot of good information in there.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=39834

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    The true limit is what do you need.If you just need to stay dry,warm and have water it ain't to hard.If you need lots of liveing space,elec,running water etc its alot harder building and money.One man can get by fine with a 8'x12' cabin,oil lamps,sheep hearder stove and a water source.Add a dog for company and night heat in bed and you got it made

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    The true limit is what do you need.If you just need to stay dry,warm and have water it ain't to hard.If you need lots of liveing space,elec,running water etc its alot harder building and money.One man can get by fine with a 8'x12' cabin,oil lamps,sheep hearder stove and a water source.Add a dog for company and night heat in bed and you got it made
    Personally, I'd actually only need just that - to stay dry, warm, fed and hydrated. I'd be fine with an 8' x12' cabin, oil lamp, stove and pump well. Where I run into trouble is 1) in order for me to maintain the income source I have now, I need satellite communcation, and 2) having rarely worked with my hands, I am not much of a "handyman", although I could always learn, it may be one heck of a learning curve going it alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfslęd View Post
    Along the southcentral coast is much more temperate as well. Judging by your questions you should read the thread i've linked to below. There's a lot of good information in there.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=39834
    Thanks Wulfslęd, great link!

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    Up North here, IN the villages, its a lack of jobs and the highest prices in the Nation.

    Gotta hunt more, I guess
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default Alexander Archipelago

    That's what an Archipelago is ..... down here there is over a 1000 Islands. Prince of Wales is over 2000 sq miles. Some are very small and not even counted.

    Lots of hidden bays to put a float house in. And live a very remote lifestyle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Personally, I'd actually only need just that - to stay dry, warm, fed and hydrated. I'd be fine with an 8' x12' cabin, oil lamp, stove and pump well. Where I run into trouble is 1) in order for me to maintain the income source I have now, I need satellite communcation, and 2) having rarely worked with my hands, I am not much of a "handyman", although I could always learn, it may be one heck of a learning curve going it alone.
    Sounds to me like you should consider a semi-remote lifestyle. Move a few miles out of town( on the road system). You'll be off the grid and out of town yet still have the availability to return to civilization if needed for supplies or medical attention (should the need arise). Sattellite communication is available most everywhere, just pony up the cash. Bushrat lives way remote yet is a constant poster on this forum.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Sounds to me like you should consider a semi-remote lifestyle. Move a few miles out of town( on the road system). You'll be off the grid and out of town yet still have the availability to return to civilization if needed for supplies or medical attention (should the need arise). Sattellite communication is available most everywhere, just pony up the cash. Bushrat lives way remote yet is a constant poster on this forum.
    That's what I was thinking, too. I'm already 40 yrs old with no wilderness experience, so I'm way too late in the game to go any further. At this point in life, I'm just happy to find someplace I can live where no developers are going to come along and commercialize the whole dang neighborhood replacing green trees with shopping malls. As long as I am far away from all that, I'll make do. I dont need to hunt my own game, cut my own trees, etc. I'm just going to keep the job I have now and work with it via satellite comm. As long as no one else is going to move up here and destroy the tranquility, I'll make do with everything else.

    So anyway, I was thinking somewhere north of Haines or Skagway. Both towns have a road that connects them to the Canadian border. I would love to live along that road somewhere. I can't seem to find any real estate listings however to see if anyone's selling any land, and if so, how much? Do you think it would cost much to dig a well out there? Soil and weather agreeable enough to plant a small summer garden? Enough sunlight during the summer to cache solar power via battery cells to store for winter use? What about taxes and insurance out there?

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    Default Keep looking..

    Sometimes a guy can get pretty lucky and find the right place not too far from civilization.I'm within 30 miles of a chain stores,but have over a million acres in my back yard that is National Forest to play on.Best part is, I only have to pay taxes on 11 acres.I'm also on a road system.On the other hand, I have several acres of fly-in only property outside Fairbanks, and have a neighbor right next door...figure GR

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Lived in Haines for six years,great little town.Ask question before buying land right on the Haines highway as they are going to take the curves out of the road and you could lose some land or end up right on the side of the road.

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    Default Agent

    Here is a Real Estate agent in the area, I'm sure she would be happy to answer questions. Tenakee Springs School Board has an ad in Craigslist asking families to move there to save the school from closing.

    http://www.isellalaska.com/Nav.aspx/...w/Default.aspx
    Life is tough........it's alot tougher if you're stupid.

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    You'd likely find that living near one of the smaller communities on the road in AK will provide what you seek, without the hardships of living in the bush.

    It's just about impossible to put into words what the differences are between living remote and coming from the city with no wilderness experience. I'd highly recomend reading everything you can from folks that have done that.

    I'd also highly recomend moving to Alaska and living in one of the larger population bases for a few years, so you can get used to living in AK, and will have an effective base from which to investigate remote property.

    Not all remote land is suitable for living remotely. You will need the basics of heat, water and food in remote locations. You will be amazed at how much it can cost to have all those items shipped out all year long.

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    Paul H, I agree, that's what I was thinking too. I would like to start out by living in Juneau. Base my self there, learn my way around the SE and develop semi-remote regional awareness and skills meantime, while scouting out different locations before selecting a purchase (which may take a while). I'm in no hurry here, I've learned from the past, mistakes are really expensive to "undo", so better to get it right the first time around.

    Nibenza, great link, thanks!

    Amigo Will, thanks for the advice. So you don't still live in Haines - what made you move? What did you like, not like? What are it's pros and cons? Advantages and disadvantages?

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    Winter come up and check out everything coming from the east coast you may find anything short of downtown anch. or fairbanks or juneau may be everything you want.

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    The hardest thing for me is dealing with .gov. The post Office says I live in Skwentna. Even though I live only 20 miles from there I've never been there. No reason to, all they have is a PO no Costco, no AIH, no Dr. for the kids, nothing. Since I go to Anchorage for everything else I don't see the point of getting mail in Skwentna, which I can't get to most of the year anyway, so I get my mail at a UPS Store in Anchorage. Since Anchorage is the only option to get supplies the ADFG says I'm urban. However if I want to vote in person the state says my voting precinct is Trapper Creek. The DMV is the only one who recogonize my home as real but even then I have to convince them I don't live on a street.
    Chuck

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    Default Hey Chuck

    Chuck, if I lived only twenty miles from the nearest Post Office it would sure make my life a whole lot cheaper and easier! I'd have winter trail there laid down all the time <grin>. But we live 130 miles from Eagle, which is where our PO Box is and that's just too far. So the last few years we only get mail maybe twice or three times a year cuz most of our bush flights and getting people in and out of here are out of Fbks. Would be better to have PO Box in Fbks but then we'd lose rural status which would be even worse for us out here.

    So we'll keep the box in Eagle for sure. That's a huge trade-off you are making to have a box and listed place of residence in the big city.

    Inre this thread, a lot of folks confuse the "bush" for places that really aren't the bush. Between really being remote and being a couple miles out of a small town or on the road system. Huge difference in many ways, from having a medical emergency to getting supplies in.

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    We have to make 2 trips year to Anchorage anyway so we use that trip to town to shop and get mail.

    The thing that kills us more than anything for tier II is we buy our groceries in Anchorage (our most economical option) that's major points. If we could figure a way around the grocery thing I think we could get a tier II moose. If the Mat-Su keeps jacking up our property taxes I may move up there. I always though this place was to close to uncivilization.
    Chuck

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