As deep winter sets in, four Alaskans living in the remote bush must gather and manage scarce resources to ensure their survival. In isolated Kavik, deep within the Arctic circle, Sue Aikens faces a life-and-death challenge when she returns to camp to find that thieves have pilfered her winter fuel supply. She feared a bear would be nested up in her home, but she could never have prepared for what she must face now. Sue discovers that her precious fuel has been stolen, and finds herself in unexpected danger on the -60F tundra. With a storm on the horizon, she prays she can have emergency fuel brought in by plane.
In Noorvik, on the west coast of Alaska, Chip and Agnes Hailstone are unable to access their hunting grounds until their river is frozen solid. Landlocked in town, the Hailstones must get creative to rummage up what they need to survive, bartering and trading what they do have for the essential items they lack. Chip takes the opportunity to try and make some extra cash by trapping fox on a relative’s land. The family has mixed fortunes but manages to stay ahead, for the time being.
On the opposite side of Alaska, in Eagle, Andy Bassich takes care of his dogs as a cold spell sets in and is forced to take dramatic action when he finds they are running low on dog food. Andy depends upon his dogs completely to help him travel and haul supplies through the frozen wilderness. But this year Andy miscalculated how much dog food he’d need, and because he is still unable to navigate the river trails and get to civilization, he too must call in an emergency aircraft to bring in food for the malamutes. Once the dogs are taken care of, he turns to nourishing himself and his wife Kate. His best bet is to try to trap a beaver in a nearby frozen pond.
In Wiseman, Erik Salitan arms himself for a mission to hunt down some meat for dinner and fur for selling. As he travels the frozen river on his snow machine, he spots fox tracks and follows on foot. He successfully comes away with two foxes, which he can use for bait and fur. Later in the day he scores again when he kills two ptarmigan. Erik returns home and celebrates with a hearty dinner for one.
Four people separated by hundreds of miles, all linked by the common need to survive the depths of winter in the Alaskan bush. The challenges are deadly real and the environment is a brutal opponent. One question looms: how long can they last during the long dark winter living Life Below Zero.
Tune in to Life Below Zero: Hunt, Barter, and Steal Sunday at 10P