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Homesteading In Alaska’s Wilderness, With No Cell Phones


Homesteading In Alaska’s Wilderness, With No Cell Phones

Alaska is often called the “Last Frontier,” with an untamed wilderness that is the envy of off-gridders everywhere.

And while most homesteaders only dream of moving to Alaska and “roughing it,” one couple actually did something about it – and they accomplished it prior to cell phones and the Internet.  Back in the early 1980s Bonnie Rose Ward and her husband Samuel moved to a remote location in Alaska where they built a cabin, temporarily lived off of a huge bag of dried beans, and even drank unfiltered lake water.

She wrote a book about her experience, Winds of Skilak, and is this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio.

Bonnie tells us:

  • How they found a large piece of land in a state where the government owns most of the property.
  • How she used library books to teach herself essential off-grid skills.
  • How they battled isolation in a location where they didn’t see other people for months.
  • How they learned to survive off of the land despite facing total darkness for much of the year.

Finally, Bonnie tells us all about a harrowing run-in with a huge bear that could have killed both of them.

Don’t miss this amazing show if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to try and tame Alaska’s rugged landscape!


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  1. If this is the family I think I’ve heard about in northwest Alaska, then they are recognized as the only 100% off the grid family in Alaska. As both have stated in interviews “most people who go off grid up here only do it for part of the year, 4 months max maybe, then go back into town.”. They however, have lived entirely off the land (if it is the family I am thinking of). They also live within the confides of a designated nature preserve, such that, when their children grow up then the government is allowed to take the land away as they don’t foresee future generations settling there.

    I could have the wrong family though, because the one I am thinking of I believe settled the area in the 1970’s and not 80’s.

  2. Great story!

    I was very encouraged by the wife’s willingness to lay everything down and follow her husband’s dream. That’s a rare quality in the world today. I was even more impressed by their endurance in the face of some incredible hardships.

    Life in an Alaskan winter can be brutal beyond imagination when everything depends on getting it all done by yourself. This winter we’ve had some bitter cold days below -30 degrees (don’t measure wind chill personally), high winds and heavy snow at some very inconvenient times leaving us snowbound.

    We can only thank God for our few neighbors and HIS hand of mercy for those nine months out of the year. If anyone’s interested in trying homesteading in Alaska, we’ve got 15 acres, an Alaskan house and plenty of wood just “dying” to be cut up for next winter.

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