Winter Comes Early on Life Below Zero

Life Below Zero returns as an early winter forces Alaskans to go head-to-head with Mother Nature to hunt, gather, and preserve their ability to survive in their corner of the Arctic as the dark, bitter cold closes in. Each day brings snow and dropping temperatures, forcing even the most seasoned bush dwellers to prepare before the land freezes around them. With resources dwindling and daylight fading, they must risk it all to defend their chosen life in the wilds of the Alaskan bush.

For Sue Aikens of Kavik River Camp, hunting season is over, which means she has to prepare to hold fort all winter, facing the freezing temperatures, bitter winds, and countless grizzly bears on her own. With 500 miles as a barrier between Sue and the nearest city, she is left to work with drastically low fuel levels, surmounting equipment failures and diminishing hours of daylight.

Watch: Warden of the North Slope
Sue Aikens explains why her camp at Kavik on Alaska’s North Slope is her favorite place.

Chip Hailstone, his native Inupiaq wife, Agnes, and their seven children live for the day, but always plan for tomorrow. Their motto is put to the test this season as they build their first remote outpost on newly-inherited land south of Noorvik. The freeze starts to close in on the area, forcing their main food sources to deplete and the family to adapt.

Meanwhile, Jessie Holmes adapts to the changing conditions along the Nenana River, securing the last of the salmon and small game to sustain himself and his dog team during the cold months. Part of the preparation is a yard renovation, which Jessie has to race against the clock and the few hours of sunshine in the day to complete.

And Glenn Villeneuve embraces the cusp of winter in his completely isolated cabin with no power, running water, or heat. He lives off the land in an altitude too high to grow vegetables, using only chisels and axes as primitive tools, and his natural surroundings to track time. With plans to expand his hunting grounds beyond the hungry country where he resides, Glenn builds a remote camp at a nearby lake and seeks every opportunity to maintain a healthy food stock to sustain him through winter.

Watch: Captivated by Alaska
For Glenn Villeneuve, there’s no place as intense, alive, and beautiful as Alaska.

The coldest and darkest time of the year is closing in and resources and daylight weaken, but the will to survive remotely does not. This early winter will put these strong Alaskans to the test to see how they will defend their chosen life in the wilds of the bush.

Don’t miss season 7 of Life Below Zero, premiering tonight–Thursday, April 7–at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel.


  1. Shirley Wilson
    United States
    June 16, 2016, 8:44 pm

    Could watch hour after hour of Glenn Villeneuve and Sue Aikens doing their daily routines…love how Glenn is out trekking through the woods and wilderness…show more of him…maybe do a whole show of just him…