Life Below Zero Challenge #6: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

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].

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. If you’re sitting comfortable somewhere, you just get complacent, bored, and lazy. But if you’re pushing yourself every day to survive and keep going… to me, it’s amazing,” says Andy and Kate Bassich’s new student, Cody Allen, of his transition to Alaska.

Andy Bassich believes that life is cyclical; and he’s hoping this generation is due for a repeat–one that comes back to a place where people try to become a little more self-sufficient. Cody is one such example of a young man who has the drive and desire for such a lifestyle. Kate and Andy have seen many clients come and go, and there’s not many people that they have trusted to take their dogs out on the sled alone. Tonight on Life Below Zero: Thin Ice, Cody gets that chance. And according to Kate, “I got a deep down feeling in my gut that this boy’s got what it takes.”

And while Cody is honored to be trusted with such a precious responsibility of mushing with the dogs solo, he’s also nervous. He has taken in a tremendous amount of verbal instruction from Andy, but he knows he’s not going to really learn until he’s out there experiencing it for himself. Well aware of all that could go wrong, he bravely accepts the challenge. On top of that, according to Andy, “If you’ve never fallen off a dog sled, you’ve never driven a dog sled.”

“It takes imagination, determination, and follow through. Those three things usually will get you by out here,” Andy declares of life in the Alaskan bush. He continues, “If you spend one year in the bush up here, you will learn more about yourself in that one year than you will in a lifetime of living where there’s distractions, compromises, and all these other things in life.”

This certainly proves true for Cody; he shares, “Right now, I don’t know if words can really express how I feel. I mean, I’m 26 years old. I spent a good portion of the last ten years trying to figure out who I am, what I’m supposed to do. Coming out here, I thought it was just gonna be a really hard subsistence lifestyle, but I’m coming to find out it’s something I feel like I was born to do. I love this. I mean, there is absolutely nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to call anywhere else home.”

For this week’s Life Below Zero Challenge, we’re asking you to step out of your comfort zone. Cody took a risk, one that he was afraid of, and it ended up being a rewarding and life-changing experience. So this week, get out and try something new! Let us know what it is that you’ve been holding back on, and how it feels to overcome.

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 #7!


  1. mickey d. esham
    May 22, 2014, 5:01 pm

    agnes should not be allowed to fire a gun! she cripples animals and says oh-well and looks for another! she has the most junk firearms with the cheapest sights! what is the crap on her lower crip!!

  2. Brad Lowe
    Kodak, TN
    May 22, 2014, 9:06 pm

    Living in a green environment for 6 months out of the year, and then having only -4 winter this year, I have often wondered how I would make it in AL. Also, the price of food, milk, and durable goods simply amazes me.

    Would I ever take off to live in AL, Heck yes. I would love to try it. I am a survivalist at heart.

    Best to all the guys and gals featured on the show.

    Brad Lowe in the Volunteer State in the Lower 48.

  3. Brad Lowe
    Kodak, TN
    May 22, 2014, 9:08 pm

    Well, I guess it would help if I commented on the RIGHT STATE…….AK



  4. Skip bell
    So cal
    May 22, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Coming from a hunting background since age 6, I wonder what Eric was thinking when he fired half a dozen rounds at 1000plus yrds at a running wolf. Starving? If I was then ok, didn’t seem that way to me,and Agnes Hailstone either needs to practice,sight in her weapons, or let someone else do the shooting. She sucks at it

  5. nancy doyle
    hot springs ar
    May 23, 2014, 6:23 pm

    was sue also on animal cops? life below zero is the best reality show and i have 2 more..alaskan state troupers & alaska the last frontier.i admire all of the participants and am amazed with all they sue..she is a very brave woman!keep up the good work ngc!

  6. Maxx
    United States
    May 25, 2014, 11:06 am

    WHY aren’t the IN-HUMANE TRAPS that Eric uses banned. These traps are HORRENDOUS. Imagine getting snared in one, having to “wait” until the person comes back to check to see if he/she trapped anything.
    I now know why people live by themselves in the back woods. WHO would live with a person who has no regard for animals. And DO NOT say they do…if they did, they would find a HUMANE way of trapping. And besides killing an animal for its fur, does anyone eat the animal? Or is this ALL for the ALMIGHTY BUCK. Sick.
    And you ALWAYS want your kids to do better than you…so WHY raise them in such a backwards setting.
    “Oh Goody” we’re eating FAT today !!! There ya go. A real healthy diet. You want your kids to be able to mingle with other kids. See what life is about. Not there ya don’t. ALL they know is to KILL animals in such an in-humane way. Oh, and let’s not forget to CLUB rabbits. Boy…that should be a sport. Really teaches your kids, doesn’t it ????

  7. Eva Satoe
    okc, oklahoma
    May 27, 2014, 1:52 pm

    I love the show, so I thought id step out of my comfort zone. Me and my Bf mad a new dog fence in the pouring rain, just to try it out under not so easy weather:). Twitter @ds.satoe IG: gingersnaps405

    • Meg Gleason
      May 28, 2014, 8:46 am

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. chris
    May 27, 2014, 8:58 pm

    @ Maxx…. I’d like to club a rabbit !

  9. patsy olive
    Weimar,Texas 78962
    May 27, 2014, 9:33 pm

    I won’t be as rough on you as Maxx is, ” But ” I don’t like the
    killing of animals just for the fur, or how much money a wolf
    brings just for the skin. If this senseless killing keeps up, I will
    stop watching your show.

  10. Brando
    May 28, 2014, 2:47 am

    to maxx and patsy, what did you do watch a trailer for this show and go on a peta rant? Good lord to make you happy I guess they could spell out how they go about every step in using and animal to LIVE but as crazy as it sounds they expect you to use common sense and maybe watch the show? They kill and eat the animals to live, thats how the world works smart one, they also give thanks but like i said they dont spell it out for you every episode, that would take hours no wouldnt it. See thats the thing if we all were living this lifestyle still like we were for thousands of year your gene pool would have died out, be greatful the only reason your here is because the millions of men and women who came before your whinny butt carved the way for mass civilation as you know it and is the only reason your ABLE to survive in this world. disagree and live life the way you choose just like they are. i guess u didnt see the two sides to that coin with your one sided view did you??? This show is amazing in that it shows people acting like humans eating animals to live instead of people living like animals destroying others to feel important. Thank you for this show it moves the very heart of every man and womans soul is it is where we came from and we all long inside to get away from the evil, injustice, and sickness of this world and carve out an honest life that you and actually hang your hat on. I will never understand why people want to live around hundreds of thousands of other people and know no one, not really know them, I prefer living around a small amount of people that you truly know, that will always be there when you need it. One day I might get the chance to live this wonderful dream of mine and have a chance to find myself, not that im lost but now days does anyone know themselves or are the endless distractions putting off the inevitable fact that there only a product of the culture and society they live in and if that were gone they would be nothing, a hollow wisp of what they thought they were. realizing all that the stood up for and beat others down with means nothing in the actual real world. Keep this show up it is the only tv i watch and i absolutely love it and please god invite me to join lol. I far off dream i guess, but a damn good one!

  11. higgsb
    White plains N.y
    May 29, 2014, 5:50 pm

    I fast forward the scenes with Eric. I believe his mind is not dissimilar to that of a serial killer. He escapes that fate in Alaska.

  12. Leonard Popham
    May 30, 2014, 8:00 am

    I looked at a couple of comments. Patsy Oliver I would say you should not watch the show. JUST check out how your food is done for you where you pay for it ! They even drag in dead cows & dress them out for you [when they die in the lot] some have Maggots in open wounds for you ! MAX for you learn what really happens ! I was raised on a dairy Farm & then a ranch. Most people do not know there is a difference in a Farm & a Ranch. THERE IS!! I trapped for a living when I was younger. I did not get rich [$7,000 a year] I dressed the animals & cooked all the meat for dog food. I would freeze it & feed my dogs with it. I have done all they do & more in my life time. [except the below zero stuff] IF I were younger I would live there & do it all. PEOPLE do not care for people any more !! I have volunteered with fire Departments, & EMS for 40 yrs [just so you know VOLUNTEERS do not get paid] MOST places can’t get a volunteer any more, everyone wants money!!!!!!!!!!!! IF every one would see how their Chicken , Beef, & Pork was killed they would stop eating meet. I still do my own. Now for the 1000 yd shot. some people can do it ! when I was his age I shot a moving coyote at 650yds & my gun was sighted in at 100 yds. 303 British an OLD military . I wish I were 20 yo again, I would be up there as fast as I could get there. The hardest part is the COLD. I will watch the show for the rest of my short live.

  13. Rita Allen
    United States
    May 30, 2014, 7:31 pm

    Hi, Cody’s mom here, and I never thought it would be a quote from my son that would help me through a really tough time in my life at present. Our county is putting a road through our home so we are forced to move, we have been here for 22 years so I am way out of my comfort zone now! Moving day is June 24 and as I start to worry and fret I find myself thinking of Cody’s words here, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So instead of feeling panic and doubt I chose to feel new life coming to me in our new adventure. Thanks son!

  14. Renee Taylor
    Tampa, Fl
    June 1, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I have been watching the show life below zero since the first season. I am still interesting in going to Alaska on a cruise just to see if i can handle that, but what I really want is to retire in Alaska. I used to live in New York so I can handle the snow and the wind, its the below zero that I am concerned about. I think that Sue talks to much, Agnes in my opinion is a good shot, but gets caught up in talking and misses her shot. Eric is really good at what he does, Andy and Sue are two incredible people. I wish I could take some time and have Eric teach me some of his survival technique.

  15. Mary
    June 6, 2014, 8:41 am

    It doesn’t surprise me to hear the comments about killing animals on this show. That just shows how screwed up people are now a days. At the beginning of the show, it warns people about the killing of animals and that you shouldn’t watch it if it bothers you, but no, people will still watch and then have the guts to actually complain. There is nothing wrong with this show. They are just showing what our ancestors used to do before we got all modernized. I like everyone on the show because they seem very nice, down to earth and DO NOT COMPLAIN like a lot of people now a days do. This show is one of the best reality shows on TV and I hope they continue to let us see how they live and survive in Alaska. Keep up the good work.

  16. Anita
    June 8, 2014, 2:00 pm

    I live in Alaska and love the show. However, even their lifestyle is too extreme for me and that’s what makes the show interesting. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, it’s a REAL reality show and many Alaskans living in the Bush depend on a lifestyle like that, that’s the reality. I don’t like to see animals killed either, but every piece of meat we eat came from an animal that had to be killed, the difference is we didn’t see how. So, sit back and watch what it’s like to life “out” of your comfort zone ‘cuz the one you’re living in you already know!!

  17. Anita
    June 8, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I meant to say, “live” outside of your comfort zone …

  18. higgsb
    white plains ny
    June 9, 2014, 12:32 pm

    To Mary in Missouri, I do not have a problem with the killing of animals for food and survival. I do have a problem with someone (Eric) who kills animals in an inhumane way and takes such utter joy in the slaughter. It’s a little serialkillerish for my tastes. In contrast Sue cries what she kills the bear, showing her compassion.