Letter Re: Moving to Alaska

HJL,

A recent contributor had a great letter about their move to rural Alaska. I wish them the best of luck.

Living in rural Alaska myself, though off the road system, I can only hope they fair well here. My family are in the process of doing the reverse move from Alaska to the Redoubt. Interestingly enough, I had a letter posted on Survivalblog about eight years ago about my move from the city to rural off-road system Alaska.

Alaska has some distinct advantages, mainly the lack of people outside cities and available subsistence in some areas. But everything else is expensive and logistically challenging.

For example, the writer mentioned buying a chain saw for firewood. Unless you are near somewhere to buy parts at a moment’s notice, everyone up here takes two saws into the woods. Parts take days to get and cost more in postage than they are worth. Get used to paying double for stuff.

A recent freighter into the port of Anchorage was a week late due to a longshoreman strike in Washington. All the store shelves across Alaska were looking pretty ragged by the 7-10 day mark. Imagine if they stopped coming. My shelves were stocked, but I get tired of salmon pretty quick any more.

Also mentioned was shipping guns. One option to think about for someone moving either way is to use the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry system. A ride from Whitter AK to Bellingham WA is fairly expensive to take a car, but you never have a border crossing to deal with. So your guns can stay safely packed away and generate no paper trail.

A short look at Alaska news headlines will tell you all about the money problems the state is having with the decline in oil prices. The state has no money. The oil companies are laying off right and left, so a lot of formerly well off people have no money and lots of bills. Things are getting down right tight up here. Fine if you want to disappear and just live off the land, but that’s much, much harder to do than one thinks up here. It take years to get setup right, and even then, you’d better like fish and rhubarb, working long hours with the bugs in the summers, and keeping sane during the other eight months.

Bryan B in AK

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