When I got my license in the winter of '83 I read all I cld about Ak Bush Pilots. Since I've got my 180 I've started rading again and love it.
I read Griz & FP comments and it's worth discussing.
In one way what FP says is true. The pilots/explorers in the 20's and 30's didn't have dependable maps, communications, heated cabins or even airstrips to use. Nor engine heaters, they used fires, nor a lot of useful. Many many of them perished pushing the limits and exploring a new way of life. They opened up the interior south and north of the Brooks range. Folk like Sam White some say is best there ever was. Or the Wein brothers & the early missionaries or Joe Crosson etc etc. There's a long list. All new to the natives who embraced and helped them survive.
I another way Griz is right to in that the folk that truly fly far from help need the skills and tenacity the early pilots had. Now if you break down you can easily call for someone to come help w/o spending days in a freezing plane cabin or trappers cabin..So one still needs the love for it and to hone the skills, to not tame, but live with our land and animals.
I chalk a lot of it up to adventure and being young. Had I been here during those times when I was 20 or 30 I'd have been right there testing myself & flying if possible. But get some age on ya and you ain't gonna take those chances cause you value life and all it provides. Those that survived the p--s & vinegar days get to enjoy telling the tales.
Remember the old saying....No bold old pilots. Ha!