For many Alaskans living in the Arctic wilderness, the physical toils of living off the land come second to the mental struggle of survival. Facing a life of isolation, darkness and cold, only the strongest make it through. On the season premiere of Life Below Zero, five groups of Alaskans overcome challenges in the wild and in their mind to thrive in the wilderness, even when freeze takes hold.
However, even Life Below Zero’s strongest Alaskans struggle with fear and exhaustion. Six years ago, a grizzly attack nearly took Sue Aikens‘ life. Bears are a near-constant threat in the wilderness, and with winter approaching, the savage animals have returned to harass Sue’s Kavik camp. While a life-threatening attack would send many people running back to civilization, Sue knows she must conquer her fears and protect her turf. She heads into the tundra, armed and ready to reclaim her territory.
For other Alaskan survivalists, their responsibilities extend beyond just taking care of themselves. With a team of sled dogs to feed, Andy and Kate must haul their cumbersome custom-made fish wheel into the river, hoping to catch enough fish to feed their dogs for the year. In Noorvik, a late freeze is disrupting Chip and Agnes Hailstone’s whitefishing. The whitefish only migrate for three weeks, and if the ice forms too quickly, all the work of the Hailstone family will be in vain.
Erik‘s mission is one of the most mentally grueling, traveling to the remote Kodiak Island to hunt for a winter’s worth of meat. With a difficult journey and bad weather threatening to scrap his mission, he chases his prey of black tail deer across the tundra, racing bears and darkness for survival.
For more wisdom from Life Below Zero‘s brave Alaskans, don’t miss the season premiere on Thursday at 9P.