12 tips for living off the grid in Alaska

Are you thinking of going off grid?

If so, then the great state of Alaska may have come up on your radar.

Here’s how to make it work if you’re looking for tips for living off the grid in Alaska. 

1) Where are you going in Alaska? 

First of all, Alaska is a big state. 

Where are you going in it? 

Talk to people who already live there and find out from them about where you want to settle in the state. 

Travel ahead of time and scope out properties and options. 

Decide whether you want to live in a very remote part of Alaska or nearer to a city or town. 

If you go remote you’ll have a lot of time to yourself and restful silence, but if you go closer to a habitation you’ll have easier access to food and supplies as well as emergency medical attention. 

2) Who are you going with?

Next up is to decide who you’re going with. 

In terms of tips for living off grid in Alaska, there’s a lot of importance around your mentality. 

If you want to live truly alone in Alaska, this can be an excellent choice, just make sure you actually do. 

The story of Christopher McCandless in Out of the Wild ended tragically because he went to Alaska alone with romanticized visions of living a pure life and ended up desperately lonely and dying from eating the wrong plant. 

If you’re going with a group or your family, also make sure everyone is on board!

You don’t want to be warming up around the cabin fire only to realize that one or more of you is actually not that into this new life!

Discuss it beforehand. 

3) How do you get there?

Depending on where you choose in Alaska, it may be difficult to access. 

What will you need to access your property?

A plane? An ATV? A snowmobile? A boat? Or will a good old-fashioned truck or car do the trick?

Maybe your homestead will be across a frozen river, or maybe it’s up a steep hill that will be hell on your truck in the winter months. 

Make sure you can enter and exit your property without extreme difficulty and, if possible, make sure there are at least two entry points so you don’t get potentially trapped or stuck for long periods of time. 

4) What’s the water situation?

Wherever you choose to live or build a place to live in Alaska, you’re going to need water. 

Being off grid is difficult, and one of the top reasons why is having access to clean, potable water. 

So: what’s your plan? 

Does this property have a well that’s working properly and has it been inspected?

Are you drinking from a stream and is it actually safe to drink from? Test it!

You can filter your water or boil it, but make sure you have a plan. 

If you want to get water brought to you by truck and shipped or plan to cart it to your home from the nearest community, make sure your property isn’t too difficult to get in and out of. 


5) How renewable are you going to go?

Now that you have delicious life-giving water, decide on your energy source. 

Popular and smart options include solar, wind and renewable energy is an important consideration when choosing a property for off-grid water power via a water turbine. 

Make sure to find out what you need to make these renewable sources work for you. 

Some properties are in municipalities where you may have to apply for a permit for these.

6) Deal with your own shit

I know it’s not a pretty subject, but we all poo. 

And if you’re going off grid in Alaska you’re going to need to deal with your own shit. 

The best way to do this is to build an outhouse, which usually doesn’t even need a permit. 

Another option is to install a septic tank, if you have running water, but keep in mind this is going to cost a fair bit more. 

Other choices? Composting toilets that turn your poop into compost.

7) Are you prepared for Old Man Winter?

Alaska is really cold, at least in the winter.

If you’re going to go off grid in Alaska you need to be prepared for that. 

This means you have a reliable shelter, food, water, property access, First Aid kits, a satellite phone or internet (Starlink, for example) and storm supplies. 

You always want extra food storage (which I’ll get to a bit further on) as well and a reliable source of heat.

8) Consider your various heating choices 

Staying warm is essential if you’re going off grid in Alaska, and no matter how many warm clothes you bring you’re going to want some heating options. 

The classic choice is a woodstove, which can also double as a place to cook, but it will require you to chop and store a lot of firewood. 

A second option is to have a propane heater that will also keep you warm.

I recommend having a backup generator in general for your power needs, and also for if your heating goes out or you run out of wood and want to run a heater. 

9) Keep feeding your inner fire

When you’re trying to live off grid in Alaska, you may experience big shifts in your spiritual life. 

Maybe you’ve even been motivated to make this move out of a search for a more authentic life that’s more in touch with nature. 

I completely get that, and if you’re looking to live a more authentic and empowered life then I recommend freeing your mind from the conditioning it may be under. 

Society, economics and so many other factors end up chaining us down and keep us away from our true potential, and so many spiritual teachers out there are full of crap, telling us to be “positive” all the time or raise our “vibrations.”

The key is to find a genuine and empowering spirituality that will actually move you forward in your personal journey. 

I recommend checking out this eye-opening video from the shaman Rudá Iandé where he explains about how to do this and paths to find your true self. 

This helped me so much in undoing a lot of the toxic spiritual habits I’d bought into without even realizing it. 

If you’re interested, click here to watch the free video.

10) Grow (and hunt) food the right way!

If you’re living off grid in Alaska, you don’t just need water, you need food. 

One option is to have a garden in some raised beds and to make a reliable and secure food storage area where you put grocery or canned foods that you buy. 

You may also decide to go more local and get your food from your land. 

If so, all the power to you!

As Courtney writes for Only In Your State:

“It doesn’t get more organic than sourcing your food from the land, so whether it be fishing, hunting, berry picking or mushroom gathering.

Build it into your routine at the tip top of the priority list.”

11) Keep critters out of your food storage

One of the hardest parts of living off the grid in Alaska is the cold winter temperatures when your food storage is at risk of freezing. 

To get around this, you’re best off building an underground root cellar where you can put your groceries, canned food and more. 

You can also buy a deep freezer where you can put meat and more. 

Make sure to animal-proof your root cellar and give it a strong door and a padlock so animals don’t break in and cause damage. 

Also put out rat traps and avoid other pests infiltrating your food area. 

12) Be OK with some social isolation

Whether you’re going to Alaska with your family, friends, a partner or alone, you will have some times when you’re more alone than you would be in a city or town. 

Bring along some good books and make sure you’re OK with the sound of silence.

If you’re OK with solitude and not having a place you can just go and hang out with other folks, then living off grid in a more remote Alaska will definitely be your cup of tea.

As the Eagles sang:

“Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.”

If it’s not, then go off grid in a less remote area of the state or consider forming an intentional community in a more collective setting or part of the state.

Why Alaska?

There are a number of things which make Alaska stand out. 

If you’re trying to choose a place and it’s coming up at the top of your list, you’re not alone. More and more people are deciding that Alaska is the place to live their off grid dream

As Preparedness Advice Blog notes:

“Alaska is a vast state with a low population density, which means there are many remote areas where you can live off-grid without being too far from civilization. 

Additionally, Alaska has an abundance of renewable energy resources like solar, wind, and water power, which can make living off-grid more feasible.” 

Lasting it out on the Last Frontier

One of Alaska’s nicknames is the Last Frontier. It’s always been a land of majesty, raw wilderness and adventure. 

If you’ve decided to go off grid in Alaska, all I can say is that I salute your courageous spirit and sense of adventure!

This is sure to be a decision you never forget, and with the right foresight and determination it can be the best choice you’ve ever made.

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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