In today’s day and age, society can be so overwhelming. Technology is improving at a rapid rate and is involved in just about everything we do. The world is incredibly fast-paced, and won’t slow down for anyone.
One way that people are combatting the fatigues of modern society is by moving off-grid. One of the best and most beautiful locations to live off-grid, as well as one that’s becoming increasingly popular, is the gorgeous state of Alaska.
Don’t be fooled—moving off-grid is not an easy task. It takes a certain amount of mental strength, as well as the know-how to function without the conveniences of modern society. You’ll need to read up a decent amount to prepare properly for this endeavor. Luckily, this article will walk you through everything you need to know to ease some of your concerns before you make the big move.
Why Move Off-Grid to Alaska
Alaska is one of the best places to live off-grid for a number of reasons. First, they have a thriving tourism industry which makes it the norm to work seasonally, usually around five months a year. If one is budget-conscious, which will be talked a little more about in a sub-heading, one can easily sustain themselves for an entire year with just seasonal work.
Alaska also is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has peaks and divets, rivers and trees galore. It is also a great place for ice fishing and hunting, which can be not only enjoyable activities but activities that help to feed you while you’re living off-grid. Some of the most beautiful places in Alaska include Denali National Park & Preserve, Anchorage, and Juneau.
Lastly, Alaska is an exceptionally friendly place to live for those who are budget conscious. Alaska is an extremely tax-friendly state as there are no state sales taxes or income taxes. A few cities do have sales taxes, however, for the most part outside of the cities, there are no sales taxes. In Alaska, something called the “Permanent Fund Dividend” also exists. This fund will deposit a chunk of money into every Alaska resident’s checking account each October.
What To Consider When Living Off-Grid in Alaska
The first most important thing to consider when looking to move off-grid in Alaska is your location. How far from a city do you want to be? What resources do you want to have nearby? Where will you be getting supplies and groceries? How secluded do you actually want to be? These are some critical questions to ask yourself before making the big move.
When thinking about location it is also important to consider permits and zoning. You can’t just go around building your cabin anywhere. There are very specific regulations and rules that govern how you go about building on the land you own. When you find a location that you are interested in it is imperative to do some research on the permits required to build there as well as what the zoning looks like.
Lastly, you’ll want to consider what your access to certain resources will look like. How far are you from a store? Will you need a car, truck, boat, or small plane to reach your property? Are there already established roads around your property? Considering access is critical to ensuring you have consistent supplies and can access your property even in bad weather.
How Much Does Living Off-Grid in Alaska Cost?
One of the beautiful parts of living off-grid in Alaska is that it is extremely economically efficient. Of course, there are things that can make it more expensive like the quality of life you want or the size of the cabin you hope to build.
A small cabin that has one bedroom, with about half an acre of property, can cost anywhere between $80,000 and $100,000, which is incredibly reasonable considering there are also no property taxes. A medium cabin with about two bedrooms and one bathroom on a property of about 40 acres can cost anywhere between $150,000 and $200,000. Finally, a large cabin that has three bedrooms and two bathrooms placed on a plot of around 200 acres will cost anywhere between $300,000 and $400,000 to construct and buy property.
This, of course, is not the final cost as there are other factors to consider. Depending on the location and how far desirable it is the property may be either more or less than what is listed above. These are, of course, rough estimates. Also, your lifestyle will impact how much money you spend on food or supplies. Some people prefer to grow and catch and hunt their own food entirely, in which case food costs will be much cheaper than someone who is making weekly or bi-weekly trips to the general store to stock up.
How to Make Money Off-Grid in Alaska?
When living off-grid in Alaska it is critical, of course, to consider how you will be making your income. Luckily, there are multiple ways to make money in Alaska and you won’t be confined to just a single option. One of the main ways to make money living off-grid in a place like Alaska is taking advantage of the tourism industry. Tourist season is from June to August, and plenty of people are traveling up north to enjoy a vacation. A good way to take advantage of this is to offer hiking or fishing tours and take advantage of whatever skills you already have to monetize them.
Another way to make money in Alaska is by selling crops, fish, or game. If you have a green thumb consider preserving some of your crops and offering them to neighbors. If you are a good fisherman, consider canning your fish or even selling them fresh for profit. Cured or fresh meat is also a great way to make money.
Another solid way to make money that isn’t directly contingent on the environment is to work remotely and be based in Alaska. In today’s day and age, with more and more jobs becoming contingent on technology, it is increasingly common for jobs to be offered remotely online. If you can find something like this, take advantage of it so you can afford to stay off-grid.
Is Living Off-Grid in Alaska Safe for Children?
Living off-grid in Alaska can be safe for children, however, there are a few things you should consider before relocating your entire family. First, there are no laws related to homeschooling in Alaska. That means being accountable for homeschooling is entirely in your hands. You have to notify the authorities yourself that you will be homeschooling, and no one is going to come check up on you.
Alaska, ultimately, can be a really great place for children to grow up. Especially off-grid. They will undoubtedly learn critical skills about taking care of themselves. They will learn to hunt, fish, can, and preserve. They will learn to navigate the local area.
Alaska can be like a giant playground for kids, but of course kids that are properly looked after. The great, beautiful outdoors of Alaska is a great place to grow up.
Is Living Off-Grid in Alaska Legal?
Living off-grid in Alaska is legal, however, it is important that you follow the rules and regulations of the state. Regulations and laws are different from state to state in the United States, so it is critical that you do research on the area you are moving to before you move there so that you avoid getting fined or prohibited from living there.
There are particular laws to keep in mind about a few aspects of living off-grid in Alaska. There are specific local regulations in each region relating to the production of wind and solar energy. There are also specific local laws regarding rainwater collection, and some places do not permit a person to collect rainwater.
Generally, as long as you are paying for your property and other taxes the government should leave you to your own devices. This is one of the huge perks of living off-grid in Alaska—the government is relatively uninvolved and prefers to let each person dictate how to live their own life.
Tips for Shopping for Groceries and Supplies
Grocery shopping off-grid can be pretty inconvenient, but luckily there are some tips and tricks to make it a little easier. It is recommended that you pare down the number of times you go grocery shopping to only once or twice a month, depending on how far you live from your nearest store.
When grocery shopping it is important to buy in bulk. This will not only ensure that you have enough groceries to last the entire month, or even longer in case something inhibits you from shopping when you’re scheduled to, but will also ensure that you are cost-efficient.
Many people who live off-grid try to be as self-sufficient as possible. They grow all of their own fruits and vegetables and can or preserve them so they will last throughout the entirety of the year. They catch or hunt all of their own meat. This can be an extremely economically effective and sustainable way to live off-grid.
How To Deal with Spending Time Alone Off-Grid
One of the biggest challenges of living off-grid can be the social isolation that one encounters. When you’re off-grid you tend to be much farther from a city and may not have neighbors for acres and acres around you. There are some ways, however, to combat the potential loneliness that may arise from living off-grid.
A lot of people decide to get new hobbies. They whittle or carve or start to paint. They read more. It is important to find something that you personally can spend hours upon hours doing and build a regular practice around that.
It is always beneficial, as well, to get to know your neighbors. Even if they are significantly spaced out from you, getting to know the people within driving distance can deeply help combat the loneliness. Even if you just spend one night a week engaging in social activity, it can have a huge impact. There is also a chance that you live by a local tavern or family-owned restaurant. Get to know the people who work there. Become a regular. It will help to have like-minded people with a similar passion for living off-grid to make your transition a little bit easier.
Disadvantages to Living Off-Grid in Alaska
There are, of course, some downsides to living off-grid. Loneliness can be a huge detriment. But, of course, there are ways to combat this. You will not be living close to any major city so you will have to form a social nexus in another way.
Another downside is, of course, the fact that you may be far from your local general store or resources. The best way to combat this is to get a reliable mode of transportation, a mode that can withstand the snow. This may be a car, truck, boat, or even a small plane. Making sure that resources are accessible to you during almost any time of the year is critical.
Another con of living off-grid is the cost it may take to start your endeavor. You may have to put out a lot of cash at the very beginning of the process to buy land and get your house built. However, this tends to be the hardest and most expensive part. After startup costs, things should be relatively smooth sailing and you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
As is visible, there are many pros and cons to living off-grid in Alaska. It can be a truly eye-opening experience, one rich in opportunity and growth. However, it is critical to read up and do proper research before to make sure you get the most out of your experience and can sustain yourself in the most effective ways possible.