Highlights From the Life Below Zero Facebook Fan Q&A With Glenn Villeneuve

Last week, Glenn answered some of his fan’s questions on Facebook about his lifestyle, reasons for joining the show and how he deals with isolation. Here are some highlights from the Q&A:

What made you decide to do the show? Do you have any shows you like to watch when you’re in Fairbanks (other than LBZ, of course)?

I thought it would be a good way to share a way of life and values I believe in with a lot of people who otherwise might not even realize that it exists, and hopefully inspire some to live a life that is true to what they believe in. I don’t watch television and had never seen a reality TV show before I got involved with this one. I do watch LBZ now, with friends who have a TV.

Where were you born? Did you have a formal education?

I was born and grew up in Vermont and spent a lot of time in the forests and up on the mountains there when I was a kid. I didn’t go to school much when I was a kid and only went to one year of high school. I learned by reading, talking with interesting people, and later traveling widely.

When and why did you choose this lifestyle?

In 1997 I was living in a tipi in the woods in Vermont. I was very happy but I wanted to go deeper into it than I could do there. I was looking for a more intimate relationship with the natural world. That summer I decided I wanted to move to the Brooks Range but it took me another 7 years to do it.

How do you deal with the isolation? Don’t you get lonely up there?

Of course I do, I’m only human! I’ve gone as long as 4 ½ months without seeing anyone, and that is much too long for my taste! I enjoy this lifestyle even more when I’ve got someone to share it with. At the moment, I don’t. I don’t have any regrets, though. I like to spend time in Fairbanks, but I love the wilderness. That’s where I belong.

What would you do if you were injured?

That would depend on where it happened and how badly I was hurt. If I’m in a camp I’ve got a satellite phone and could try to get flown out if necessary. Depending on the time of year and the weather that could take anywhere from several hours to several days. If I were up in the mountains and broke a leg, I’d probably just sit down in nice spot and enjoy the view.

How often would you say you have a real threat by any predator in your camp?

Almost never. In all the years I’ve been up here I had to shoot one grizzly and, on one occasion, a pack of wolves did threaten me. The animals generally don’t want to bother you.

What’s your favorite food? Does the crew filming eat the food you cook?

If I had to pick just one I would say caribou. By eating many of the organs and less commonly used parts of the animal, you can get a lot of variety out of a caribou. No, the crew does not normally eat my food. I’ve offered, but don’t get many takers!

What would be your best advice to someone wanting to live your lifestyle?

If you’re living a more conventional way of life and thinking of moving to the wilderness like I did, it is going to be a big change and there is a lot to learn. Take things slow and enjoy the process rather than being fixed on the goal, because you never know exactly how things are going to unfold.

Thanks to everyone who participated! Want more? Follow Life Below Zero and Glenn Villeneuve on Facebook to stay up-to-date with life in the arctic and #lifebelowzero.

Comments

  1. Becky n
    January 7, 12:10 am

    Love watching you!!!!