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].
After recently returning to his camp in the Brooks Range, Glenn has been melting snow for water. And although it’s a fine method for drinking, it takes a lot of work to get enough water to do dishes, laundry, or bathe. It would take nearly 15 gallons of snow to melt down into a 5-gallon bath, so Glenn has decided to chisel a hole through ice in order to retrieve water in larger portions from a nearby lake. It’s no easy task, but the payoff is worth it. Watch as Glenn works at 34-below to unearth a water supply:
And while such intense labor for something that is so readily available for most in the lower 48 might seem incredibly unappealing to some, it is one of the things that Glenn enjoys most about living his lifestyle. He performs these types of jobs and sees a very concrete reward. The tangible fruits of his own labor are incredibly satisfying for Glenn, which is why he enjoys heating his own water, cutting his own firewood, and taking a bath outdoors. “It just keeps you fit and alive … I just feel really vital out here.” He loves being connected to the flow of nature. “When you’re living in town, you can even lose track of what phase the moon is in. Like, that would be totally unthinkable out here.”
For Glenn, it’s all about perspective.
“I think it’s a good idea to live in the moment. You don’t want to miss the moment thinking about the future or the past too often, do you? I think when you have fewer things you have a clearer mind, and you definitely have a different relationship with the things you have. They mean more to you. The way I live is a mental comfort to me. It’s comforting to be close to nature, and to be really connected to all the resources I use. Physically, it’s a demanding way to live, but psychologically, I actually find it easier than living in modern society.”
For this week’s Life Below Zero Challenge, we’re asking you to live in the moment.
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.