Lessons from Life Below: Thankful for Food

Fall season in the Arctic means crunch time for the final preparations for the brutal winter months ahead. Without the luxuries of having a supermarket nearby to stock up your pantry or fill up your fridge, the Alaskans on Life Below Zero must hunt to survive and forge for enough food to last through the big bad winter.

In Kavik, Sue Aikens has spent the last seven years living alone and dealing with winter’s pressures and wild dangers.


So how does she manage, especially in tough hunting conditions? With the cloudy fall weather limiting her visibility for seeing caribou, Sue must get on the hunt quicker than ever. She packs up her gear and heads out with the hopes of finding a caribou. Sue spots one and follows its trail. Hiding in the brush, she is able to take a shot and take down a cow. Though she can celebrate her first hit of the season, she’s going to have a challenge gathering even more meat to beat the harsh winter days approaching.

But Sue can’t survive soley on meat. She must gather enough fruit in order to maintain a healthy diet.

Check out this clip, where Sue creates a hydroponic greenhouse to raise her own plants so she doesn’t have to mess with the protective bears and their berry batch of food.

Living in the wild is a great challenge–but for these fearless Alaskans, it’s the only way to be: staying connected to the land in the most natural way, they’re here to stay in this circle of life.

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? What are you most thankful for? We’d love to hear from you. 

Don’t miss new episodes of Life Below Zero, Thursdays at 9/8c and be sure to come back for next week’s Lesson from Life Below!


  1. Ann Rockwell
    North Carolina
    April 29, 2015, 10:20 pm

    I so enjoy watching Life Below Zero with my husband of almost 44 years…He is so cold natured.I wish with all my heart we could afford to visit with Sue for 2 weeks and even take care of her and her not feeling well…Love them all on the show…

  2. rickie brandenburg
    saint joseph ,mo
    May 5, 2015, 2:36 am

    wish I could go live there and be the camp cook and other things to help sue have a better life so she wouldn’t have to work so hard

  3. Pamela S. Kline
    May 9, 2015, 9:10 pm

    I think all these people are so cool. Think Sue is really cool, I try to watch it every week or record it. I guess my favorite ones are Andy and his significant other. Great show.

  4. Trenton White
    Kenmore Ny
    May 21, 2015, 8:30 pm

    Why Kate leave Andy???

  5. Judy Chavez
    western nc
    May 28, 2015, 7:55 pm

    I want to knit a nice wool hat for Sue. Or two.

  6. ilona
    June 2, 2015, 11:02 pm

    That’s the same point I picked up on, Trenton. Why did Kate leave? I was watching episode where Andy is with his dogs and mentions he spends more time with them now that he is alone. Anyone got the answer?? Thanks.

  7. Lenny T
    November 1, 2016, 7:57 pm

    Love the program
    How did Sue get all of the buildings and equipment seen on the show? Seems to have been a significant undertaking and formidable sum of money.
    How does or did Sue warn a living to put this all together?