For the Arctic residents of Life Below Zero, complacency is not an option. Lack of preparedness means certain death. The stakes are high living on the outskirts of humanity, and for many in the lower 48, life can be pretty sedentary, pretty comfy and cozy… until now! [Cue Life Below Zero Weekly Challenges].
Tonight on Life Below Zero… winter prep goes into overdrive as the big chill descends on Alaska. Time is running out for the Arctic residents to gather resources and prepare for the freeze, and that means making the most of the limited hours of daylight, and making every minute count.
The Hailstone’s semi-nomadic lifestyle requires heat at all times in winter. Chip hopes to turn an oil drum into a portable wood stove for the sub-zero months ahead.
In remote Alaska, when you don’t have something you need, you either make it yourself or do without. Chip prefers to avoid money, and sticks with the old system of bartering. So when he is in search of an oil drum for his portable stove, he puts a radio call out:
“If anybody got an old barrel they wanna trade off that’s got at least one good side, I got caribou, I’ve got dried fish, I got some muskrats, and I got a little bit of bear meat left. Or berries. I will trade any of them. I just need a drum. Come on over to Hailstones if you got something.”
In Chip and Agnes’ isolated community, turning to your neighbors is the norm. “I don’t think a lot of people know who their next-door neighbor is in a lot of places. I think a lot of people live among a lot of other people, but they don’t know anybody,” Chip says.
Sure enough, Chip was able to take a leg of caribou and trade it for an old drum to create his portable stove, which will be crucial to survival in the coming cold months ahead.
So… how well do you know your neighbors?
In Noorvik, the neighbors look out for one another, providing meals and resources in times of need, and relying on each other to make it through the months below zero.
Chip says, “There’s been a big shift, since the ’90s, especially. Most of the younger ones that are graduating high school right now aren’t gonna live like this.”
For the second installment of the Life Below Zero Weekly Challenge… can you barter with a friend or neighbor for something you need? Bonus points for making it a mutually beneficial trade.
Tell us! What inspires you about the way these folks live off-grid and on their own? Think you can try giving up some of life’s little luxuries and live a sliver of the Arctic lifestyle? Let us know if you are going to partake in the weekly challenges, and share your stories and experiences. We’d love to hear from you.
Don’t miss new episodes of Life Below Zero, Thursdays at 9P… and be sure to come back next week for challenge #3!