Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

Every day, a family picks up and leaves their house in the suburbs of America and heads north. They go to the wild and untamed land of Alaska. It is one of the last places in the United States to have thousands of acres of land available at a reasonable price.

Living outside of the network in Alaska is a dream that many people have, but only a few are brave enough to take the leap of faith and do it. Living in an area that has not yet been touched by humans is exciting, liberating and a little intimidating. Because the land is so remote, people who are buying land and building houses on beautiful forest lands must be prepared to be out of the network.

Outside the network means that you are on your own. You do not have access to public services. It’s you and nature. There are no meters outside the house, there are no power cables to and from and there are no underground cables. It really is to go back to basics and enjoy this beautiful land without unsightly signs of civilization.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

Before heading to Alaska, there are some things you should know to make sure you succeed. There are many people who have made the jump and have failed. They were miserable and ended up packing and moving back to those suburbs that many others are trying to get out of. Do not be one of the people who could not do it. Get ready by following these 10 tips.

Find the correct earth # 1

This is by far the most difficult part of leaving the network. Never buy a piece of land in sight without being seen. There are many packages available that seem too good to be true, because they are. You will be completely self-sufficient, which means you need a piece of land that meets your basic needs. There are several points that must be taken into account when looking for land to leave the network in Alaska.


Before starting to search, decide how far away from civilization you want to be. Some people say that the farther, the better, while others want to be off the beaten track, but still close enough to a city that they can take a day trip to get supplies. You must also decide the terrain. They are not all trees. There are some open spaces between the vast forests. Some people want to be surrounded by public lands. This is a way to ensure that a shopping center is not built next door.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

You should also evaluate how much sunlight you will get. You probably want to have some solar panels to run things like a refrigerator or a hot water heater. If you go to the old school and you are going to run out of electricity completely, that will not be a problem. However, it is likely that you need a garden to keep you and, if you are surrounded by trees, it will be difficult to get the sun you need for your plants.

You should also verify the zoning of the particular land portion in which you are interested. Not all plots can be built on. There are many details about what you can and can not do on the land you own. It may be near a lake, but you can not legally use it as a source of water. He can only be allowed to build a house on one level and so on.


How will you get to your house? Will you need to use a small plane (which is actually quite common in the Alaskan bush)? Is it only access by boat? It is likely that the roads to the house are not there, unless you are buying land that has already been developed. In almost any scenario, you will need a reliable vehicle with 4WD. Snowmobiles or sleds are another option to get to your home in the winter months.


You have to have water to live. Carrying hundreds of gallons of water will not be an option if you enter the Alaskan desert. Fortunately, there are many fresh lakes and springs in Alaska. Your land will need access to one of these bodies of water. You must make sure you have the rights to use that water for your own needs. Rainwater harvesting systems are another way to get the water you need to survive.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

If you do not have access to water, you will need to drill a well. However, you may not have the rights to drill a well on your land. That’s why it’s so important that you know all the little details about the land you’re looking to buy.


Alaska is a great state. The farther north you go, the colder it will be. You have to decide how cold you are willing to go. In some areas, 40 to 60 degrees below zero is very possible. The arctic and interior areas of Alaska are extremely cold in the winter. You must be well prepared to leave the winter in the safety of your home.

Preparing to be alone, really just # 2

Living outside of the network in Alaska means you will have a lot of peace and tranquility. The occasional visit of friends and family will be non-existent. You will not be dealing with sellers. In fact, you’re not going to deal with anyone. For some, the isolation is too much. It can seem all romantic and exciting as you sit in your residential neighborhood and listen to the sounds you take for granted.

In the bush or outside the network, it is quiet. The only sounds are the musical melodies of nature. You have to be ready to really embrace isolation. In many parts of Alaska, cell phone service is not possible. When you are not connected to the network in Alaska, you will not have regular telephone service either. You can have a satellite installed to access the Internet, but you will be limited by the weather.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

If you move with your family, you will have some company. Having a few pets is another way to fight the lonely blues. Write letters and times when you can talk with friends and family. You will still have neighbors (even a few miles away) and it would be a good idea to learn their names and have occasional meetings.

Accept nature # 3

Nature was there first. You must be willing to accept that. Bears, deer, moose and many other animals call Alaska home. You are entering its territory. In most cases, they will leave you alone while you return the favor. However, there will be times when you get in their way and they get into yours. Choose your battles wisely.

Living in Alaska, outside the network, means you are on your own. You do not want to fight with a bear, end up on the losing side and have to wait for help to arrive. Respect the limits. Placing fences around the area of ​​your garden will not always be effective. You will probably end up sharing your products with the local wildlife until you discover how to keep the animals at bay. Do not let it depress you. Extra plant and plan to share.

Learn how to go grocery shopping # 4

Sure, you know how to go shopping, but when you live in a rural area of ​​Alaska, it’s an art. You must buy enough groceries for your family to last for several weeks or months, depending on how remote you are. You can not run to the store for a gallon of milk. That means that either you trust instant milk or you leave without it. You will be cooking a lot from scratch. You will want a good amount of ingredients like flour, sugar, butter and so on.

You will need a good supply of non-perishable products, such as canned foods and the like. If you are going to use solar energy, there will be some long weeks in which the sun is blocked by clouds and heavy snowfall. You must be prepared not to have the luxury of electricity.

Get used to the darkness # 5

If you move to the corners of northern Alaska, prepare to live in darkness for days and days. The interior of Alaska also has some rather short days in the winter. It can be depressing. It wreaks havoc on your mental health. Humans require sunlight to thrive.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

On the flip side of short winter days, if your land is close to the Arctic Circle, summer days are endless. In fact, in places like the Barrow area, the sun rises for 24 hours throughout the summer. Seriously, three months of light. This can be a great welcome after a long and dark winter. In fact, you can welcome those dark days.

Get a hobby # 6

When the long winter takes you home, you can get bored quickly. Cabin fever takes on a whole new meaning when it is really confined to your cabin. There are many hobbies that will keep your mind and your hands busy. Once you choose your hobby, stock up on the supplies you need to continue for several months. Whether you’re thinking about sewing, knitting, painting or working on leather, get the tools and materials you need when you visit the city. Have backup copies in case a piece of equipment breaks. Have many books on hand too.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

You do not want to get stuck inside and literally go crazy. People who have tried to live outside the network will tell you that long days and nights are hard to take when you are used to having other things to keep you busy.

Prepare for the garden # 7

During the summer, you will need to grow food that you can keep during the winter months. It will give you a purpose and it will really help you to tune in with Alaska. Obviously, gardening in Alaska is going to pose some challenges.

Investing in a greenhouse or building your own is a very good idea. It will extend the growing season and allow you to grow crops that will be very difficult to obtain in Alaska. You will find that the prices in the grocery store for fresh produce are much higher than in the lower 48. Growing your own food will help reduce the purchase bill.

Dependencies – Learning to love them # 8

When you think about buying the house of your dreams, it probably does not include a dependency for a toilet. One of the advantages, so to speak, is dependence. Septic systems are a rare product for households that are out of the network. Dependencies are extremely common in the Alaskan community for homes outside the network. Running water is a scarce commodity, as are toilets.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

How to configure your dependence depends on you. People usually like to put them a little away from the house simply because they can be a little stinky. That is not your only option. Composting toilets are an option for an indoor toilet. Actually, they are very easy to use and really little or no smell.

Some people can not make use of the idea of ​​using a dependency and, yes, it can be problematic in the middle of winter, so the compost toilet is an ideal choice. There will always be some commitments. Using a dependency is not necessarily a dream for many, but living in tranquility and being very close to nature is a worthwhile benefit.

Prepare to cut and stack a LOT of wood # 9

The warmth of wood is the way to go in Alaska. Fortunately, with miles and miles of forests and trees that cover the area, there is a lot of wood. If you have never had to cut wood with a chainsaw, divide it with an ax and then stack it in small clean piles, you must be prepared for a lot of work. This is a job that takes all summer.

By the time the weather starts to heat up, it’s time to start thinking about your wood supply next year. You can not afford to run out of wood in the winter. It will be your only source of heat. When it’s 40 under the outside, you can not just wrap yourself in a blanket and harden it.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

If you are planning for someone to make the cut for you, be prepared to pay a lot of money. Depending on where you plan to live, you could burn 5 to 15 wooden strings in a winter. You can always rely on oil to heat the house, but it can be expensive and when you are out, you need a backup plan if you can not get into the city immediately.

It’s not that cheap # 10

Many people move to Alaska with the dream of living off the land and living a relatively debt free life. Once they move, they realize that it is not easy to live off the land and buy things that are usually very cheap at the Wal-Mart store that have a double or triple price in the remote cities of Alaska. If you are moving near one of the larger cities, such as Anchorage, the cost of living is similar to anywhere in the lower 48 states.

Living Off The Grid in Alaska: 10 Tips to Success

You can reduce costs by planning shopping trips and stock up on all the essential elements to reduce emergency purchases from smaller cities. Learning how to grow your own food and how to hunt will also save you a lot of money. Many people buy the land and the house directly, so they are not tied with a mortgage payment. If you can do that, you will be preparing for success.

The key to remember is that you are paying lower taxes and enjoying the beauty of an area that is not damaged by humans and large cities. Obviously, there will be some concessions, but if you can dedicate yourself to making it work, you will get the benefits of living in a remote, off-grid area in Alaska.

If you can not imagine driving a snowmobile in the city or using a boat to go to work, you can live outside of one of the largest cities and still be out of the network. In fact, it can be a good practice for you.

When you have mastered the art of dry life, you can go to unknown parts and make a real effort. Alaska is truly one of the last frontiers and one of the last places on this earth where a person can really get away from it all and live life to the fullest in the way nature intended.


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