A Prepper’s Story: Headed To Alaska To Survive Off-grid

Categories: Life Stories

Planning the Journey of a Lifetime

Having a boat is also very important: we need it to get to and from town once off the grid. Without a boat, we could not get to our property. If we choose a boat too small we would have a problem hauling stuff to our property.

We had to have a certain type of boat. It had to be a flat bottom boat that was made of aluminum. We needed to make sure it was wide and at least 16 feet long.

We also needed a trailer to bring the boat with us, and also a motor was a necessity. We wanted to purchase the whole package, and that was hard to come by.

We searched for a boat for several months. We looked on Craigslist in Alaska. We did not want the hassle of traveling with a 16 foot boat for over 4,000 miles across the United States and Canada.

After searching with no luck, we decided to look locally. We went to marine dealers, we checked newspaper ads, and viewed boats on E-bay. We looked every day for 5 months. We not only checked in our area but the states surrounding us.

It was an exhausting search. Sometimes we would find the perfect boat but it would not have a motor, or the trailer was not included. We wanted to keep our price below 3,000 dollars. An aluminum flat bottom boat without anything included could range in prices of 2,000-20,000. New motors alone are much more than 3,000, so we knew we had to buy something used.

We actually got a deal on a good used boat. We finally found a boat that was 2,200 dollars. The boat has no holes or leaks, and it came with an almost brand new trailer, and a motor in good running condition. We had to drive over 3 hours one way to buy the boat, but it was definitely worth the 6 + hours of driving to get it. We had to make plans for the cabin, how we would construct it. Then to plan where we would live while building the cabin. We decided to buy a canvas wall tent with a small wood stove.

Next we had to figure out how we would have food. We bought fishing net for catching chum, salmon, white fish and others found in the Yukon River. It’s impossible to have a garden the first summer, so we bought some dehydrated vegetables. Rice, beans, things that we would be able to cook on a wood stove or over a fire.

We decided to buy our beans and such in bulk. The things we purchased were powdered whole milk, powdered eggs, 20 large #10 cans of dehydrated assorted vegetables and 10 large #10 cans of dehydrated fruits, several cases of toddler meats, several cans of dehydrated  potatoes, 25 pounds of sugar, 25 pounds of flour, spices, 2 pounds of chicken bullion, 60 pounds of rice and 25 pounds of beans.

Once the cabin is built, we plan to do plenty of hunting, also restock our dehydrated foods before the river freezes. It will be much nicer to have a garden the following summer, so we can do canning with our vegetables. We only planned for the summer. What we have for food in the summer we need to have 3 times as much stockpiled for the winter.

Without a snow machine, we figure we will be completely cut off from civilization for at least 7 months, maybe 8 months. We know that when the river freezes we are 100 percent isolated. Most people go to the grocery store once a week, but imagine shopping for food and not going back to the grocery store for 32 weeks. We hope that after the first year we can be more dependent on ourselves by growing our own foods. It will make a big difference financially.

We had to plan the trip there. It’s over 4,000 miles to get there, with everything we own stuffed into the back of our pick-up truck. We had to look at everything we owned and decide what items to keep and what to give away.  There is nothing we can think of that we feel sorry about leaving behind.

The Challenge for Body, Spirit and Soul

Of course we will miss our family, but we do not feel sorry about the life we have chosen. To live such a remote life does take sacrifice. Not just not being able to visit with family or friends but, but we must sacrifice all modern conveniences.

If we run out of bread, we have to make more by hand. When our clothes are dirty, we can’t toss them into a washing machine. Instead we have to haul water from the river in 5 gallon buckets, then wash them by hand on a washing board with a bar of soap.

We can’t pick up a phone to chat with someone. We cannot turn on a light or turn on a heater. Even the convenience of washing dishes will miss. That too includes hauling water from the river, then heating the water, then washing the dishes in a washing tub.

Getting a bath, or using the bathroom is different in the bush. Or having to use the bathroom in a freezing cold outhouse in the dark days of winter. Think about hauling water in buckets then heating it for a bath in a galvanized 20 gallon bucket.

Moving to the wilderness of Alaska we leave behind an easy life, to have a better quality of life. If people imagine a cozy romantic cabin in the wilderness, laying around drinking hot chocolate all day, they are out for quite a shock. Going off-grid will test a person on all levels: your strength, your skills, and your mental status. It’s not an easy sit back kind of life. Hard work keeps a person healthy and also gives us a lot to be proud of.

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