Life Below Zero Challenge #8: Live in the Moment

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.

Don’t miss new episodes of Life Below Zero, Thursdays at 9P… and be sure to come back next week for challenge #9!


  1. Neil Villeneuve
    June 7, 2014, 4:58 am

    Living in the moment is the only way to live. Why would you wants to dwell on the past or spend your time thinking about what might happen in the future? Enjoy the moment!

  2. Randal Barton
    United States
    June 7, 2014, 4:33 pm

    I think the simplicity and day to day challenges to living are rewarding. The less technology and more wilderness you experience with your family to me is so relaxing and stress free from the daily rush of City life. I am envy of those who live remotely in Alaska, but as you age you need some comforts of city life like electricity, hot and cold water. A TV signal to watch the local news and a radio. Do I think a City person can live in Alaska and enjoy the rewards of day to day living. The answer is YES .

  3. Jim
    June 8, 2014, 1:46 pm

    what an idiot putting that little girls hand in a steel trap, tthat’s child endagerment at her age,,,should get arrested!@!@!

  4. higgsb
    white plains ny
    June 9, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Noticed we’re seeing less of Eric. Wonder if all the negative feed back from viewers ( about his disregard for the suffering of animals) had an impact. I HOPE SO

  5. higgsb
    white plains ny
    June 9, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Plus the pure joy he takes in executing them

  6. Pat
    June 10, 2014, 7:56 am

    I have comments about two of the previous comments.
    1. The young girl and the trap, (child endangering), Hell no. If you live in an area where that is a way of life then you have to learn how to be safe around them and how to use them. Plus the trap was a very small one that is used for small animals. if she did get caught in it there would be a little pain but no injury. I’ve trapped since I was young.
    2. The comment about Eric. Again killing is how you have to survive in the bush. Hunting and trapping is away of life. If you don’t like this type of life style then you shouldn’t even watch. Come on people get a life.

  7. Rosie Ro
    June 10, 2014, 6:59 pm

    I’m inspired b/c they are self-reliant and I don’t mean only growing vegetables or running the area of Kavnik, etc. Alaska requires that you possess problem solving skills, can handle emotions, understand the environment (everyone must eat), respect immediate family and possess more than average physical capabilities. Can you rely on yourself to be consistent in a deadly environment? Not many people in the lower 48 need to seriously worry about where their next meal is going to come from. Sue does and she gets along with herself enough to make things happen. I would enjoy some aspects of living in Alaska but I have to say I don’t possess their high caliber maturity.

  8. Robbi Holt Harris
    United States
    June 18, 2014, 4:25 pm

    When you live in a area where there are more animals than people, have no Walmarts, etc., you have to hunt and barter. Or you will starve. When you live off the land you are one with nature. I wish I could visit Kavic, learn from Sue, and the rest of the gals. That would be my bucket list. So get off of Eric back and go back to your city job!

  9. Scott Feidler
    United States
    June 19, 2014, 8:53 pm

    The people on the show are great. Each one has their own hardships to face and they accept all challenges. One thing is starting to upset me quite a bit, what did you do with Eric? I don’t miss a second of a show but these shows without Eric have lost some of their luster. His way of life and his attitude towards hunting for survival are admirable and anybody that doesn’t understand this has their head in the sand and doesn’t know much about survival. I guess going tgo the store to buy your butchered meats is better than fair chase for your food. Pleasehf, bring Erik back.

  10. Warren Gronbach
    Atlanta Ga.
    June 21, 2014, 10:36 pm

    I so enjoy watching the show. Each person or group of people on hear are interesting in their own way ,lifestyles and out looks.A quick word about Eric I also miss his presence on hereI myself hunt ……I must admit im not a found of traps. However those that use them not only to trap for the fur bur Also eat the meat are totally ok by me . No wasting of anything……those that just trap for additional income to spend on ‘goodies ” different story.I do like Glen his primitive survival skills are outstanding……With all the interest ,magazines and gear for sale on ‘survival” and living off the grid this show is must see tv as well. Hats off to all the cast of this show…..looking forward to more of them :).

  11. Jack Vernold
    New York
    June 22, 2014, 2:22 am

    I agree, bring back Eric. I’m sure he gets as much joy from executing animals as higgsb gets from executing his veggies. There is no joy in it, it’s reality. How does he think his ancestors survived to bring life to his confused soul? Join the real world and make those ancestors proud!!

  12. southerngardengal
    June 25, 2014, 2:34 pm

    It’s real easy for those sitting on a couch in a home with central air and heat and a loaded freezer full of food to ramble on about animal cruelty. They have no idea of the conditions the animals lived in prior to being on their grocery list and how they came to their demise. But they want to criticize those who hunt for theirs. Gimme a break people.

  13. Anne
    July 4, 2014, 10:18 pm

    I have no favorite on Life Below Zero. There is not a single show that I have missed. As far as I am concerned, it’s the best show on TV right now. Since I love genealogy and family history, this show makes me really think about my ancestors. I now appreciate even more, their struggles of everyday life. It’s so easy to sit on the couch, criticize and do childish name calling. Don’t watch it then.This show has to have high ratings. It’s awesome.

  14. Alice Westfield
    Dallas, Pa
    July 19, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Love this show .As long as these Alaskans show such respect to the animals they kill and use it for food or income , it is crazy to condemn them. How many do gooders thank the animals they eat . Would they be brave enough to go to a slaughter house and see what happen there? I would not want to go near the place as I’d have to become a vegetarian and I enjoy meat too much to do that .The people that should be condemned are the ones that do it for fun and waste the meat.

    Is there any possibility that we could view the shows on the computer? Or is that already a possibility? This is my favorite show and to get it I have to pay 160 dollars a month. That is the killer for me.

  15. cwilsonjr
    December 3, 2014, 6:50 am

    I think the lifestyle is awesome and beneficial towards one’s physical and mental health. You see how families are closer when they work together to live rather than rely on the government ie foodstamps. The end result is a more loving and healthy family.

  16. Gerry
    May 7, 2015, 11:05 am

    IF I could move there I would I find myself doing more with less. Using and fixing things instead of throwing them out.

  17. rick tymchyn
    altamont new york
    December 16, 2015, 6:19 pm

    when I was a young boy I read my side of the mountain what your living was my dream