We all know a guy. You know. That Guy. The one who ‘has a plan’ when the Zombie Apocalypse’ happens (it won’t). That plan usually consists of holing up in a mall or a grocery store, brandishing ridiculous weapons, and may have taken a martial arts class once.
There’s a survival variant, too, and I’m gonna tell you all about it.
You might find that you’re a That Guy. There’s no shame in it. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. I was a mall ninja once, and I’ll admit it, I still like overly complicated and ridiculous ostensible weapons.
Think you can be a genuine survivalist? Well, read through, and see if you think you could stand surviving on your own in Alaskan wilderness. No mall ninja-ing, no martial artistry, just surviving off the land with a basic kit of tools.
Here’s why that might be really, really hard.
- Hunting is harder than you think it is.
Alright, alright, I know: “But Sam,” you say, “I hunt all the time. You’re being stupid. (insert other colorful language to taste)”.Yeah, alright, hunting in the Lower 48 isn’t so bad wen you take a truck out and use a kitted-out rifle with a scope and whatever else. But we’re talking a basic kit, remember. No fancy tricked-out rifle (maybe a basic one, but you’ll run out of ammo eventually), no guides, no premade baits, you’re trekking out in your warmest clothes in temperatures anywhere from 46 to 70 degrees. Oh, and hunting season obviously doesn’t apply all year, unless you have your proper Resident subsistence hunting permits. In that case, you may find yourself a hell of a lot colder while you’re trying to fish, hunt, or trap while there’s snow and ice around.
Oh, but that’s not all: Remember, game will make tracks if they realize there’s a human nearby. You can quickly run out of game to track in your nearby area, forcing yourself to be nomadic, or to occasionally ‘migrate’ from one settlement to another like the Korths.
- Moose are Huge.
No really, have you ever been up close to a moose? Really up close? I can tell you they can get up to 6.9 feet at the shoulder, or 1,500 lbs, but does that really convey how big a moose is?
How about Grizzlies?
Let’s not forget wolves, cougars, coyotes, Wolverines, bison… Look, anything adapted to live in Alaska is either full of blubber like most of the sea life, or is 90% fur and horns/teeth/claws/spikes. Or at least, that’s what it’ll feel like when you’re facing down 600 lbs of angry grizzly.
- What if the worst happens?
So you got beat up by a grizzly. That’s okay! There’s a whole 26 hospitals in Alaska! …and 663,300 square miles of land.For those who don’t feel like doing the math, that’s one hospital for every 25,511 square miles or so. That would be assuming they were spread out evenly, of course, and they are not. I’m not even gonna go into the amount of trouble you can get into from weather, falling into the ice, animal attacks, potential infections, bad water, or diseases from fleas and ticks, among other things.
- This isn’t the Boy Scouts.
Ok, you were in the Scouts, you know your way around building an impromptu shelter, distilling water with a solar still, how to build a campfire…When was the last time you actually did that? Did you do it in Alaskan temperatures? Can you use whatever fire starting gadgets you have in windy, wet conditions, to reliably start a fire with freezing, gloved hands? Can you cook the meat you hunted over a sputtering campfire? Can you build a home beyond a basic shelter to keep you warm and dry? If you can, you might just be better off than you thought!
- Do you have the coin for it?
Er, yeah. Turns out, living ‘the way our ancestors did’ is more expensive than you think.
“As of 2015, Alaska’s largest metro area, Anchorage, has an average monthly rent of $1,410. One-bedroom apartments rent for an average of $1,050 per month. Kenai, a small town, is somewhat cheaper, with an average rent of $837 for all apartments.””Utility bills north of $300 are not uncommon in Alaska’s colder regions.”
“In Fairbanks, a smaller and more remote city, prices are higher: $4.75 for milk, $3.36 for bread and $5.75 for a pound of chicken.”
These quotes come from Investopedia.com and you know, it’s a huge state, so you have to make sure your truck and/or snowmobile is functional, possibly with spares for when things inevitably freeze and/or break, and also only 267 gas stations in the state. Goodness only knows how often they can get refilled.
6. Bonus round
This one might not be surprising to you, but it might be to ‘That Guy‘: You need people. You need people to talk to, to barter with, to laugh with, to smile at, you need human interaction. Even the loneliest of introverts needs somebody to talk to. If you think you don’t, congratulations: You’re a ‘That Guy‘. But hey, prove me wrong, and tell me your story in the comments!
Anything else I forgot? Feel free to tack it on, I write these for your amusement, and I can absolutely be wrong, though I do my best to *Research.
*Read as: google