A Prepper’s Story: Headed To Alaska To Survive Off-grid
Categories: Life Stories
Would you do this? Would you commit to this life and leave everything behind? Follow this family in their journey, the link at the bottom of this page.
Summer 2015. The North Alaskan Wilderness. Isolated from civilization. No electric. No cell phone. No plumbing. For years we have been saying just a couple more years and we will move away. Well, we’ve decided to stop putting off our dream! We have decided to do it!
Moving to Alaska has always been a dream of ours. It was not one person’s idea, and the other person followed along. This idea existed before me and my wife knew each other, we shared the same dream. We dreamed of moving to the Alaskan bush and living in our very own hand built log cabin in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature and wildlife.
We wanted to make a life in the remote wilderness away from civilization years ago, but some things always came up. We kept saying that one day we would go. Finally we decided that we no longer had the patience to wait. We felt like if we continued to wait for the perfect time, it would never happen.
Waiting gets you nowhere. Instead of saying there is so much to do before we can move, we asked each other “what do we need to do to make this happen right now?”
Any Moving Checklist Starts with a Good Location
In August 2014 we decided to move to the land we dreamed of, Northern Alaska. To live a simple off the grid life, not only for the beauty of an untouched landscape and the wildlife, but for the peace of the undeveloped wilderness.
There are many things that can lead to failure. Death from hypothermia, starvation from not being able to find food hunting, an injury that you can’t treat because you can’t get help. If a person is heading out away from civilization with doubts, it’s a bad move. You have to know you can succeed and have the tools as well as knowledge to accomplish that.
We did make a plan, we planned a lot of things. You cannot find yourself in the Northern wilderness of Alaska without a plan, especially when bringing a child to live an off the grid lifestyle.
First the financial aspect. We asked ourselves what could we afford to pay for the land? We had to make sure we would not have to take out a mortgage from a bank, or have huge payments that we could not afford once living off-grid. Also, the expense of a simple boat that would allow us to get to town for supplies a couple times a year.
For us, the hardest thing was finding the land. We knew we wanted somewhere remote, but also somewhere that we would have the things we need for off the grid living. A water source, an area well populated for hunting. Good land to build on. Plenty of trees for heating with a wood stove.
Finding land was not easy, and it took us a few years to actually find what we wanted. We looked at many online sales. Craigslist. Land watches. We wrote emails and letters asking about land, contacted realtors, and any person who would talk to us about land.
We would never decide on land without seeing it first. You can’t simply look at a picture and say I’ll take it! We had to literally stand on the land, walk the land, make sure there was an area safe to build, that would not be flooded during the spring thaw when the river breaks up.
We were able to negotiate with the land because it was being sold through a private sale. The land cost a lot of money. If you consider the price for the amount of land we have it is much cheaper than we would have to pay in a developed area.
It was also important for us to find land where we don’t have to pay taxes on the property every year. Since we are so far from the location that we chose to live this lifestyle, it is a big expense to just get there. We are driving over 4300 miles.
Other expenses for living in the location we chose are a boat, fuel, basic tools for building a cabin, stocking up supplies for our initial relocation. With being in such a remote area it is a lot more work to get what we need on our own. The land is definitely the larger expense.
There are a few things to beware of when looking for land for relocating. You need to find out if the land surrounding your property can be built upon. We did not want to build a cabin off the grid, then over time others start moving into the area and building around us, especially nothing commercialized. We were very lucky to have found a property that is surrounded by a wildlife refuge. That land is protected from developers.
Also beware of the climate. We choose to live about 125 miles south of the Arctic Circle, where temperatures can reach below 60 in winter. You must make sure you know what you are getting into and that you are prepared.