Life Below Zero Challenge 11: Be Proactive

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].

Years in the Alaskan bush have taught Sue Aikens to tackle problems head on. If you want to test yourself, no matter what your personality, you can certainly find an area of Alaska that will do it.

Last time on Life Below Zero: The Howling, with a storm threatening to take down the building that houses Sue’s entire business, she must take proactive measures to remove snow in 70-below conditions, which means working through the night. But it’s not your average toss-over-the-soldier snow removal… Sue must transport the snow far enough away so that when it melts, it does not flood her camp.

Over in Eagle, Andy is in a similar situation with a major ice floe that has broken off and blocked his trail. Now, he’s battling the extreme temperatures on unforgiving terrain as he attempts to chisel away the ice. For Andy, vigilance is the only option. However, it only takes a split second to make the wrong move, and Andy must proceed with caution. Lucky for Andy, he goes by his rule of P’s: “Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.”

For this week’s Life Below Zero Challenge, be proactive. Have a problem that you need to tackle head on? Take a lesson in the 5 P’s, get moving, and get on it.

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 the season finale of Life Below Zero, this Thursdays at 9P… and be sure to come back for the 12th and final challenge!


  1. Robert Lane
    Denver, Colorado
    July 4, 2014, 4:56 pm

    This week’s show was disgusting. Watching some A hole shoot two Arctic foxes and a wolf with his store-bought, high-powered rifle, not to mention his emailed traps and rabbit squealer, is contrary to everything nat geo (I emphasize the lower case) stands for. You have lowered yourself to a new standard. I will not watch your crappy channels again.

  2. lgd
    Mtn of VA
    July 5, 2014, 1:02 am

    Sue is my inspiration she has helped me realize that after losing my only child to a tragic accident and then the man I loved who had been through so much when we were together ran off to chase other women. It left me alone for the first time in all my 40 years. Since I left home at 16 I always had my child if I didn’t have anyone else in the world. When my child was killed at 12 years old I thought I still always would have my husband. After he left I had just returned to college an had a full time job an a farm to take care of all by myself. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I would make it.I never had a broken bone in my life, winter came I broke my dominant arm. I had farm animals an other animals to care for an he took all the farm equipment I couldn’t even scrape my driveway to get off the hill I lived on. Sue encouraged me, Sue inspired me. Sue brought out of me the person I once knew who was willing to do what I needed to do an I dont have other options its just me! No matter how I feel,no matter how heavy,how broke it is.I only have me to do it figure it out an taken care of me. Seeing an hearing of Sue an how she takes care of herself has unbelievably inspired an helped me to find an inner me.I am visiting my great uncle in Aug who turns 90 and lives in Anchorage. I wish I could meet Sue an say thank you in person, since I can’t I say Thank you Sue an National Geographic for showing the rest of the world what we can do when put to the test and then inspired by others who have it a lot tougher !

  3. Reputation Advocate
    July 8, 2014, 2:05 pm

    They are great either way you look at it. You can have thumbs but not mind the use of it or have no thumbs but are used to not having them.

    December 6, 2014, 4:24 pm