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Q's building an alaskan homestead

 
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Im wanting to move to alaska and start living offgrid. Ive always been drawn to alaska because of the environment ( I love the cold) and its freedom. I dont have much money, so im not planning on buying a 30k lot, buying machinery, and buying building materials. One reason alaska is great, is that the government sells land with guaranteed financing, and you can find extremely isolated areas. I dont however, have any idiotic plans of buying a remote acre and being stuck, unprepared, and dying or being forced to sell the lot.


Im also not sure if it makes sense to start there, rather than stay here and save up for a more permanent start. I have a feeling I would make money selling the land, if it has a small cabin added, and learn more about where i may want to go, simply by being there and talking to people. I figure if I save up more before moving, I will end up wasting much of it, driving around and learning. It seems smarter to go there, rely on the stores/hunting, build a small cabin, then move permanently. Going there first also gives me the chance to build up a knowledge base of what is needed. It is all risk, starting small means smaller risk, there are so many scams/traps/pitfalls.

Lastly, finding work.
as I said, I can make jackets, mukluks, and anything else out of leather. Im not sure if there would be enough of a demand, or if I would be better off working in town, or if I could even find a job in town. The main point of this life style is to become as independent as possible, and reduce expenses as much as possible. I know I can build my own house, make my own clothes, hunt my own food, fix my vehicle, etc. I think I could live cheaply enough to survive. Currently I figured I would save enough money to outright buy the small temporary land and materials for a tiny cabin, then my expenses would just be food/gas/supplies.


How much should I expect to spend buying a small bit of land, where i can build my own (not log)cabin without permits, that is within driving distance of a city? also where should I look for these sorts of places?
Does it make more sense to start small in alaska, or save up more and start bigger?
Its so hard to tell where or how to start, because alaska is so different, so massive, with rules ,climate, and transportation varying so much.
Im very curious about using greenhouses, and what parts of alaska you can produce a decent amount of food with a greenhouse, how submerged greenhouses can be used. etc

Ive been drawn to the colder climates my whole life, and I just recently searched it and found both sides of my family come from canada
-unrelated but neat.

sorry if this is rambly, its kind of hard to even know what to ask, so many variables.
 
pollinator
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You have a lot of research to carry out.
Some points though;
- land near a city will cost more than a remote spot
- You may not have any customers at the remote spot unless you do mail order.
- If you do mail order, you may need to be near a big city!!
- Surely a real estate website will give you ideas of what is available and its cost
- Try and find a Forum for people with similar ideas
- Even some magazines may be useful to find and read.
-You may find you need to store a lot of stuff over winter and that may have to fit inside your structure

By the way, what is a

mukluks



From Jt Lambs comments below https://www.homesteadingforum.org/
 
pollinator
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If you had said that you are moving to Seattle or Florida to be semi-homeless, while you figure stuff out, i would have said go for it worse case you can sleep in your vehicle/tent until your get stuff lined up. But the winters in Alaska are brutal and I am not too sure how easy it is to show up to a local home depo parking lot and make some money, even in the warm summer season.

Due to that I would recommending moving to alaska to in the spring/summer not in winter to do camping/scouting/etc, when the temperatures are more moderate, people are physically outside more and friendlier and the days are longer so you can spend more time working/learning/etc.

If you were to get a security job or even an online/remote job lined up I would say move now.

Now assuming you move in summer, and you more or less have a job and housing lined up. I would say have 3months worth of expense saved up, and a safety cushion so that you can return back to your original state, aka don't burn any bridges. If possible try and makes some friends online before you move and have a plan in place about how you are going to quickly make friends once you move to alaska (bike club/church/book club/etc).

While land might be cheap ($20,000), sometimes you have to pay a $80,000 for well+septic+electric+impact/development fee/road/drainage. So if possible try and price out the cost to get all of those before you buy land. So that you can make an informed decision.

Overall I think that you should try out this hunting lifestyle starting tomorrow in the state that you are in now. Try getting all of your nuts and fish and meat from a local forest near you. Maybe if you don't have a license they will charge you $500 in fees, have that saved away just in case, if not outright get the license. If you cant do it in an abundant state it will be alot harder in a Alaska.

Go into a nearby town and practice your skills of selling your wares to strangers. Get some cabin/wilderness skills.


Now lets say you had all that lined up and you $60,000 saved up, you could easily buy land and build a cabin.
Built a 24ft by 24ft cabin, in a 2 room by 2 room grid (bedroom (12ft x12), living room, dining room/kitchen, bathroom/laundry/hallway. I think you would be golden.  (You could always extend it to a 24x36 later if needed for 2 additional bedroom)

Shell
4 room house
Walls = 100ft x 8ft high (x8inch of insulation), 25sheets of drywall&plywood&insulation
Floor = 600sqft (x8inch insulation)
Roof = 600sqft (x8inch insulation)
6 Doors and 6 Windows

Heating = 3K
500gallon propane tank
Direct Vent, Instant Hotwater Heater
Pex Piping for Radiant Floor Heating
Circulating Pump + Pressure Relief Valve

Water=
Instant Hot Water Heater for Domestic Hot Water
Well
Pump
Pex Piping
Bathroom Fixtures
Kitchen Sink

Septic System
Tank + Drain field
Pumbing

Electric
 
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Alaska sounds great. maybe immersing yourself there and learning the skills necessary to survive in the remote would be an adventure in itself. Alaska is a big place with varying terrains and climates from what I understand. I spoke to someone at one of the bigger fish businesses in Juneau very recently and they were telling me how they are at about half staff and desperate for people to work. I guess right now there are probably more places desperate for help too.
Its always been a dream of mine to immerse myself in traditional type salmon fishing like the original inhabitants of North America have done for eons. For me, not in this lifetime.
 
pollinator
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We are off-grid on 40 acres at elevation in Colorado, so it's kinda/sorta like AL, just without the extremes ... still plenty cold enough (we also wanted cold, and we got it). While we bought the land outright, we had to figure out everything else, to end up mortgage-free and off-grid wrt electricity and such.

If I were doing it over again, with only myself to worry about, I'd start out by building a TinyHomeOnWheels here (wherever that is for you) ... make it small enough to be pulled behind your vehicle, such as 5'x8' on up to 8'x12' or 8'x16'. Make it suitable for AL extremes (super-insulated), etc. Make it as independent as possible from utilities (propane generator, propane appliances, solar, wood cookstove, greywater/humanure, etc.) You can build this yourself (great way to develop homesteading skills). Pretend you are on a remote piece of acreage, with no hookups whatsoever ... this TinyHome has to keep you alive through an entire year.

If you don't already own one, get a 4wd truck/suv, used or otherwise, so you can ultimately pull the TinyHome anywhere, including AL. Make sure this is ready for AL (block heater, etc.) ... we only use 4wd vehicles, and ours are suitable for CO, but research what additional items are required for AL driving (at minimum, one heck of an emergency bag, spares of all kinds, etc).

While all of the above is occurring, go ahead and plan out the acreage you need, with what goes where and such. From this, figure out where that land is in AL, and what it will take to get on it. Investigate road conditions in every season, along with land available in every quarter of AL.

Test everything by going out onto BLM lands, and stay out there (boondocking) for weeks at a time. If successful, you are a step closer to doing it in AL.

When all of that is done, you're ready for the ultimate road trip, where you find the right piece of dirt for your needs ... drive on up there, only now, you are carrying your homestead on your back, and won't be destitute or in danger at the other end. Park the TinyHome on some kind of temporary arrangement, and investigate further in each potential area.

If you want 1st-hand experience, check out the individual named "sourdough", who lives up in AL on some huge amount of acreage, year-round, remote, independent, etc. The forum I see him posting in is https://www.homesteadingforum.org/ He even mentions that he might sell a piece of his acreage ... perhaps a deal could be struck with him to "test the waters" ... try living out on his land for a year, and go from there. This same forum has several others who live up in AL, and they might have advice for you.

Hope this helps ...
 
gardener
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I agree with everything Jt already said.  All I could add is to consider that the tiny home might well be your actual home for some time unless/until you can build a bigger, more permanent one.

Like Jt already said, you probably want the tiny home to be as light as possible yet be very well insulated.  These two factors kinda work against each other but I am sure that with some time and thought, it can be pulled off.

Since we are talking about remote Alaska, I would want to consider what it takes to survive a long, very cold, dark winter.  Will heat come from  propane, kerosene, wood, something else?  If wood, where can it be found, how much work to chop & split?  If propane/kerosene, how much is needed  & how much will it cost?

Would electricity come via solar?  What about during winter?

I would also think seriously about what tools I would bring.  

How much food is needed over winter or at any time?

I could go on and on but every thought I have boils down to “what do I need and what do I have to do to get it?”.

These are just a few thoughts.  Honestly, I have had the same dream you are having so I often have these thoughts.  I don’t in any way want to sound dismissive—quite the opposite.  I actually want to hear how your plan is going to work out.

I would love to hear how your plan evolves, please keep us updated.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Aurora,

I just re-read your post and it answered many questions I thought were still pending.  So you are proficient at leatherwork, car repair, and basic carpentry.  These are all very useful skills to have.

For whatever it is worth, I would think about buying rather remote land since it is likely to be cheaper, but close enough to a reasonable sized market that you could fairly easily drive to it.  Maybe you could pack a pickup full of leather goods and drive a day, sell products for a day, then drive back?  I have heard of market gardeners who drive 8 hours to sell produce.

I wish I could give you a market price for land but I just have no idea what would be.  Presumably less than the semi-rural section of the country that I live in ($5k-$10k here).  But an intensively gardened 1/4 acre can provide a LOT of food, and I don’t think I personally could handle more than 1/4 acre.  Who knows, maybe a single acre would be enough for you?

Regarding getting a feel for the land, I would check the Internet first as that is the easiest.  Then I might consider talking with a realtor.  Finally, I think there is no substitute for actual seeing the land in person so I would plan to travel there.  But again, these are just my thoughts and you do whatever feels best.

Eric
 
aurora sev
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there is so much research to do, and its not as easy to find the information, or not in a timely manner. The rules vary from one area, to the one 20 miles away from it, and alaska is absolutely massive!
the problem with realestate websites is that they dont include much of the private land (or the rules and regs), and the majority of land that is gov sold, is auction, and you cant buy from auctions if you arent a resident for a year.

finding others that want to do this isnt actually easy, its quite rare. this forum seems to have plenty of people though.

many things will need to be stored for winter, its a serious project to build a root cellar or storage building. I wont be able to afford alaska if i am not storing things for winter.

Mukluks are winter boots, the ones ive made are 100X better than the rubber buck boots/ or hunting boots ive found. the rigidity of modern boots reduces blood flow and leads to freezing feet. along with terrible build design/quality.
the best part about the cold, is that it cant rain! super cold climates are perfect for leatherworkers, because leather can outperform rubber.

Bengi-
moving to alaska in the winter, is out of the question, no doubt.
Im not the super social type, I will talk and be friendly with the people that I meet, but id rather figure things out and not join social clubs. Helping someone else in exchange for a bit of their land or learning isnt out of the question though. I want to be a good neighbor, just not a social one :p

im not paying 80k+, perhaps I should have stated im going primitive. No propane, no 120v power, no running water, etc. From my understanding alaska doesnt require anything more than an outhouse, if you are out in the sticks. I dont know what a development fee is, but the point of the sticks is to avoid bureaucracy.  I will be doing 100% of the work myself.
I cannot try out the alaska lifestyle here, because we dont have large animals, the biggest animal here is a deer, and its not even half a moose or bear. Also our fishing has gone from good (when i was a kid) to feeling like you are fishing in an empty barrel.
Currently I cant sell my wares, as i will be in big trouble with big brother if they find out I have a business and im not giving them 30% of the profits, and not being extorted for their "insurance".
I also cant practice building cabins, because building permits etc.
Im not saving up 60k, im also going to build small, and eventually add on. im very into the tiny house trend. I may have a family big enough to require a large house, but I dont now, and i have plenty of time to save up and prepare. saving 60k would take me literally years, years of being in the rat race, and sending my tax dollars to the taliban, and funding planned parenthood. (they cut up babies and sell the parts, yo)
I wont be building a traditional house filled with carcinogens either. as for heating, the russians have a very interesting design, a massive stone/cob stove that retains all the heat in the house. Ill build that too.
I will have a low voltage electric system for lighting, that will be all.

Bruce-
I think alaska will be a great adventure. are you sure the bigger fish business needed people or they were simply forced to downsize? I know in winter many business options disappear. I hope to immerse myself in the old ways, Ive watched tuktu many times, and really would like to do some of that! I currently am building a kayak, inspired by that. (only wood and cotton string frame) Id like to hunt a bear in my lifetime as well. Preferably before I get too old, i seem to be learning to appreciate the animals in a different way, the more you know, the less you want to hunt them. Life sure is beautiful.

Jt-
To be debt free, is to be free. Im glad it worked out for you.
Ive toyed with the tiny house on wheels idea, the only issue would be buying something big enough to pull it, and actually getting it to the upsized property. Something in my soul detests a house on wheels, it feels cheap, without the commitment to stay. As I stated though, if I build on the land, it will increase the value..I would think. I have much time to think about it, and if I find a great deal on a big truck, I probably will get a slide in camper. that was the original plan.
The issue is that some places in alaska, you cant drive most of the year, and instead you need a snowmachine. :S this is why i must figure out the where I will start, before i can even prepare. I dont have a problem with those places, I think the cold deters the weak. (not physically weak, in spirit I suppose)

As far as acreage, I would be very happy starting on 1 acre. I think you need around 4 or 5 acres to be able to maintain heating you house, without losing trees. Figuring out where the land is, is the biggest question as of now. Some places in alaska are like california, some are free. I need recommendations on what areas are usually good about this, obviously far from towns, but some areas are free and not in the bush.
I will definitely do my best to be sure im prepared. The number one benefit of a slide in camper, is the ability to just stay the night in it, and not spend money while looking around.

Im still at the stage of planning and saving, if I were already there, I would certainly be reaching out to see what I could find. It will be months before I save enough though.

Eric-
Perhaps the best of both worlds, would be a tiny slide in camper, just to sleep in. Its not great, but it can be warmed, and its not too heavy.
I will definitely go with wood heat, the main issue is acreage to maintain wood heat. I think its around 4-5 acres. I think having things to do is important, especially when its dark and dreary. I am a craftsman of sorts, so I always have projects. The wood would be hand chopped, until a make a clever wood splitter. I saw a very cool one on a big spring, it was a big axe head, and would be bounced down to chop wood..
I am going minimal on electricity, and would be able to get by with solar, even in the winter. If not a small windmill can be added.
most of what i bring will be tools. Im not sure on food, but the first bit of time I will have to buy it.

I learned all my skills myself, ive found if you have the motivation, the information on how to do it, is out there. I dont think driving into town to sell things would be a big deal. As ive stated, the start up is the hard part, after that there arent many expenses.
The size at the beginning isnt a big deal, but where i choose to stay permanently does need to be a few acres, I also like the idea of nobody being able to move in next door. I really dont like being near people. Its fine to socialize, but when im done socializing, I want to go to my secluded place.
Ive looked around the internet, I suppose looking at small lots <1acre and searching building codes is the way, however I believe most of alaska has building codes, so its more about areas its not enforced/ or fully legal. Imagine asking for permission to build on your land, its insanity. the amount of people that like being treated like children is worrying.  
I think I will look smaller than an acre, and look into that.


I will keep you updated. This could take quite a while! I plan on making a youtube channel of it, to end this trend of rich people making it seem like you need to have money to do this.  right now china is apparently coming into alaskan waters, and the canadian border is currently closed to nonessential travel. If those dont stop me, i plan to follow through.
My mom is a nurse, and the alaska travel nurse pay is insanely high, she could also get me through the "non essential" restricted border. If this works out, I will most likely go with her, and have a place to stay while I search.

Thanks for all the responses, Im going to keep researching. I definitely should look smaller than an acre for a temporary place, once im an alaskan resident, I can bid on auction land, thats where there are deals to be had.
 
aurora sev
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https://www.alaska.edu/ualand/land/listings/index.php#propertyType=sale
Just found this amazing website. If anyone knows of better sites, leave a link.
 
bruce Fine
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I look at it like this
if your young, healthy, able, and have a dream, and want to go somewhere, go do it.
make it happen
plan your work and work your plan.
you said earlier you dont have much money. put together enough to get there, then go.
there are plenty of jobs and opportunities in this world for anyone able and willing to work.
once your there you can see what it is really like. meet other people who may have contacts that would be good for you to sell your crafts or expertise. or even maybe find property and living situations. who knows what you will find once you get there.
like I said earlier. Alaska is a very big place with wide variety of terrains and climates. I believe you will find the south coast and costal islands are a much different place than the north slope.  
just for information if you want, call the folks at Alaska seafood company, they are very friendly and knowledgable, ask them how much the pay is and how much you could expect to pay for rent or whatever., they sounded desperate for help when I spoke to two people there last week.
if anything it might give you some information that is new to you, maybe helpful maybe not. just ignore me if none of this would be helpful for you.
 
pollinator
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Moving now, with your mum would be ideal; Alaska has no income or sales tax, plus they actually "pay" residents something like $10,000 a year in some sort of kickback from the oil industry, IF I recall that all correctly.

Building materials (and just about everything!) are very expensive in Alaska. Add shipping to a remote site (likely by plane) and the costs climb exponentially. Then there is humping building/annual supplies to your homesite and getting your handicrafts OUT to buyers.  Will there even BE a road or will it be by 4 wheeler/snowmobile or dogsled?

To that end seriously consider supply routes: can stuff come cheaper by water, via boat and river in summer? Do you need a nearby lake for the plane to land or will you clear a landing strip?  

Can you get land near the rail line (they do "flag down" stops in the middle of nowhere); that makes it easy to get goods in and out, OR yourself to town.

Even if you intend to be off grid you will still need stuff such as nails, screws, tools, roofing, and goods such as lamp oil, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, tinned food, rice, beans and the like.

Perhaps take your leathercraft skils and start an online business or service the tourist spots, or real alaskans who would appreciate quality leather goods and Mukluks; at the very least they could be currency for trade. Maybe hook up with a trapper who supplies the hides (and perhaps a living site?).

Also remember the farther north, the longer dark winter is; being in a deep valley or on the "wrong side" could mean zero light when the other "side" gets winter sunlight much longer.

Anyhow, check into the financial benefits of living IN Alaska as this may be your ticket to stockpiling cash for the land purchase.
 
bruce Fine
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and if anything
maybe keep us posted as to your adventure and experiences along the way
 
John C Daley
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This statement distresses me,

Currently I cant sell my wares, as i will be in big trouble with big brother if they find out I have a business and im not giving them 30% of the profits, and not being extorted for their "insurance".
I also cant practice building cabins, because building permits etc.



I must be an optimist, and I always see a way through things.

Itell people around me who would say something like you have, "you are putting logs in your path".
Self defeating others may say.
Some thoughts;
- you can sell stuff from a hobby
- just price it correctly, dont be the cheapest leather worker, aim to be the most profitable.
- If you charge a fair price all will fall into place.
- Taxes are the price of civilisation, we all use roads, hospital etc.
- you have legitimate costs before taxes are charged
- As for 'insurance' I dont understand your line of thought, I liken insurance with weekly sweepstakes, some get them and some dont. You know you may not win, but you may just do so.
- Log cabin building could be either models, or small sheds all without permits

'Ave a go mate' as we would say in Australia
 
Jt Lamb
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We need a separate thread on "building a homestead from scratch in [wherever]" ... such a thread might help folks understand what the conditions are in any area ... building season, weather extremes, road conditions, and the temporary structure chosen to live in while building a more permanent structure.

I bought our land first, in August, and got out on it to start building in early September.

Colorado welcomed me that season with a first snow of the year of 2 feet, and followed up with twenty-below-zero temps and snows coming like clockwork. Every system I had in place to temporarily live while building either froze up or shut down and wouldn't operate in those conditions. I now understand short building seasons, super-insulation, redundant systems, fail-safe operations at any temperature, and much more ...

10 years later, I can still make it rain or snow on demand just by starting an outdoor project ...

Don't know much about Alaska, other than what I read about in other forums from folks actually living up there, but I'll go out on a limb and say it's much tougher to live there than here, while attempting to build. I at least got to build on actual dirt in my area, versus permafrost ...

I think a TinyHome, if built right for up there, might keep one alive while building, but from what I've read, the slide-in campers are a tad more problematic in doing so ... not enough insulation in them? There is supposedly one that is "made for Alaska" (or at least some amount of extreme temps), but I can't find the brand name.

More research is needed ...

I wonder what other forms of temporary living might keep one alive, while the "cabin" gets built? I could only come up with these:
 - TinyHome (on wheels, or on skids): build yourself, and haul up yourself; if skid-version, perhaps it becomes the core of permanent structure?
 - Container home: built anywhere, but would have to be hauled up by some trucking outfit
 - Shed: someone delivers it, you move in and finish it out as fast as possible

I ruled out a yurt, as it didn't seem to fit "temporary" ... seems more the permanent structure?
 
bruce Fine
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the problem I see with the tiny home idea is that the OP does not know where land might be that he could get. he might surely win a govt auction and get land for cheap. but it might not be accessible with any other way than a sled with team of dogs once there is snow on the ground. or maybe by bush plane and then a multi day hike from where bush plane may be able to land. you just cannot get everywhere in Alaska or other places with a 4 wheel drive pickup pulling a tiny house on a trailer.
 
aurora sev
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bruce Fine wrote:I look at it like this
if your young, healthy, able, and have a dream, and want to go somewhere, go do it.
make it happen
plan your work and work your plan.
you said earlier you dont have much money. put together enough to get there, then go.
there are plenty of jobs and opportunities in this world for anyone able and willing to work.
once your there you can see what it is really like. meet other people who may have contacts that would be good for you to sell your crafts or expertise. or even maybe find property and living situations. who knows what you will find once you get there.
like I said earlier. Alaska is a very big place with wide variety of terrains and climates. I believe you will find the south coast and costal islands are a much different place than the north slope.  
just for information if you want, call the folks at Alaska seafood company, they are very friendly and knowledgable, ask them how much the pay is and how much you could expect to pay for rent or whatever., they sounded desperate for help when I spoke to two people there last week.
if anything it might give you some information that is new to you, maybe helpful maybe not. just ignore me if none of this would be helpful for you.


I am currently saving up money. I will definitely look to see if I can find a job before moving. apparently a guy im working with has family in alaska, he is also homesteading, maybe something is there.
 
aurora sev
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Moving now, with your mum would be ideal; Alaska has no income or sales tax, plus they actually "pay" residents something like $10,000 a year in some sort of kickback from the oil industry, IF I recall that all correctly.

Building materials (and just about everything!) are very expensive in Alaska. Add shipping to a remote site (likely by plane) and the costs climb exponentially. Then there is humping building/annual supplies to your homesite and getting your handicrafts OUT to buyers.  Will there even BE a road or will it be by 4 wheeler/snowmobile or dogsled?

To that end seriously consider supply routes: can stuff come cheaper by water, via boat and river in summer? Do you need a nearby lake for the plane to land or will you clear a landing strip?  

Can you get land near the rail line (they do "flag down" stops in the middle of nowhere); that makes it easy to get goods in and out, OR yourself to town.

Even if you intend to be off grid you will still need stuff such as nails, screws, tools, roofing, and goods such as lamp oil, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, tinned food, rice, beans and the like.

Perhaps take your leathercraft skils and start an online business or service the tourist spots, or real alaskans who would appreciate quality leather goods and Mukluks; at the very least they could be currency for trade. Maybe hook up with a trapper who supplies the hides (and perhaps a living site?).

Also remember the farther north, the longer dark winter is; being in a deep valley or on the "wrong side" could mean zero light when the other "side" gets winter sunlight much longer.

Anyhow, check into the financial benefits of living IN Alaska as this may be your ticket to stockpiling cash for the land purchase.



I think the money is usually 1-2k, but its after you are a resident for a year. a very cool benefit of living in alaska! Currently im not sure where to look, so I dont know the climate/roads situation.

I recently got a job at a leathershop, and they give discounts, and let employees use ALL the machines for their own projects :D! Perhaps I will try starting a small scale business/or shop. As you said, alaska has no income tax, which makes it so much better for smaller businesses.
Definitely have to come back to civilization for sugar, pizza materials etc.
Geography is super important, if you do pick a spot in between mountains... winters will be DARK
 
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I'm excited for you, grand opportunity for you to do your own thing.
have you read the book or seen movie "into the wild" true story about a the life of Christopher McCandless AKA "Supertramp" who went off to Alaska thinking he was prepared and had lots of book smarts.
 
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John C Daley wrote:This statement distresses me,

Currently I cant sell my wares, as i will be in big trouble with big brother if they find out I have a business and im not giving them 30% of the profits, and not being extorted for their "insurance".
I also cant practice building cabins, because building permits etc.



I must be an optimist, and I always see a way through things.

Itell people around me who would say something like you have, "you are putting logs in your path".
Self defeating others may say.
Some thoughts;
- you can sell stuff from a hobby
- just price it correctly, dont be the cheapest leather worker, aim to be the most profitable.
- If you charge a fair price all will fall into place.
- Taxes are the price of civilisation, we all use roads, hospital etc.
- you have legitimate costs before taxes are charged
- As for 'insurance' I dont understand your line of thought, I liken insurance with weekly sweepstakes, some get them and some dont. You know you may not win, but you may just do so.
- Log cabin building could be either models, or small sheds all without permits

'Ave a go mate' as we would say in Australia


Im definitely going to start selling more things, its good practice. Taxes that go to what they are supposed to go to, are good. If you think your taxes actually go where they are supposed to...idk how you figure that. lower taxes mean the gov must be efficient with them, thats not happening, clearly. I do not care about roads or hospitals, if it is the price of freedom, I dont want them. Im moving to alaska to get far from all of those things. The end goal is to be too far for roads, too far for police or fire departments. danger is the cost of freedom, and luckily we can choose how free we want to live. I especially resent taxes because where I live, the legal system and police are evil and unjust. You do not get justice, you buy it, here.
Insurance robs people like me who are accountable and responsible. I have paid over 10k to insurance, without any crashes, thats money I do not have for saving or investing, money I will never get back. I know people who have crashed multiple times, they text and drive, watch tiktoks while they drive, etc, these people have had their accidents paid for by my money. there is no accountability.

I dont think I really need too much practice with notching logs, I could mess with some logs to see how hard it will be. If im too weak to build a log cabin, I will build a small timberframe.
It would be fun to play around with making small models.

You were right, I was being very close minded about starting a company here.
 
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Jt Lamb wrote:We need a separate thread on "building a homestead from scratch in [wherever]" ... such a thread might help folks understand what the conditions are in any area ... building season, weather extremes, road conditions, and the temporary structure chosen to live in while building a more permanent structure.

I bought our land first, in August, and got out on it to start building in early September.

Colorado welcomed me that season with a first snow of the year of 2 feet, and followed up with twenty-below-zero temps and snows coming like clockwork. Every system I had in place to temporarily live while building either froze up or shut down and wouldn't operate in those conditions. I now understand short building seasons, super-insulation, redundant systems, fail-safe operations at any temperature, and much more ...

10 years later, I can still make it rain or snow on demand just by starting an outdoor project ...

Don't know much about Alaska, other than what I read about in other forums from folks actually living up there, but I'll go out on a limb and say it's much tougher to live there than here, while attempting to build. I at least got to build on actual dirt in my area, versus permafrost ...

I think a TinyHome, if built right for up there, might keep one alive while building, but from what I've read, the slide-in campers are a tad more problematic in doing so ... not enough insulation in them? There is supposedly one that is "made for Alaska" (or at least some amount of extreme temps), but I can't find the brand name.

More research is needed ...

I wonder what other forms of temporary living might keep one alive, while the "cabin" gets built? I could only come up with these:
 - TinyHome (on wheels, or on skids): build yourself, and haul up yourself; if skid-version, perhaps it becomes the core of permanent structure?
 - Container home: built anywhere, but would have to be hauled up by some trucking outfit
 - Shed: someone delivers it, you move in and finish it out as fast as possible

I ruled out a yurt, as it didn't seem to fit "temporary" ... seems more the permanent structure?



You could probably have a whole thread dedicated to weird restrictions and laws impeding homesteaders.
A thread about starting  a homestead from scratch would definitely need to be state/area specific, because of all the strange rules

I definitely need to look up info on building on permafrost, since its quite common in alaska. I also read about weird rules regarding a permanent foundation, I guess its much less regulated if you build without a permanent foundation.
if its an important tool, the rule is "2 is 1, and 1 is none"

If i went with a slide in camper I would be tearing it open and insulating it, they come with basically none. The special cold weather campers and trailers cost more than im looking to spend on my land XD arctic fox? or something
as for a tiny home, I very small one could be made in just a few days, just something to sleep in essentially. I have a feeling anything needing delivered would cost too much to make sense, for the price of delivering something I could just make a bigger shed/tinyhome-thing.
I never liked yurts, too open and circular..
 
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bruce Fine wrote:the problem I see with the tiny home idea is that the OP does not know where land might be that he could get. he might surely win a govt auction and get land for cheap. but it might not be accessible with any other way than a sled with team of dogs once there is snow on the ground. or maybe by bush plane and then a multi day hike from where bush plane may be able to land. you just cannot get everywhere in Alaska or other places with a 4 wheel drive pickup pulling a tiny house on a trailer.


Auctions are for residents living in alaska for a year, so I cant bid until ive been there.  
there are many parts of alaska your 4wd truck wouldnt make it 5 ft, so yeah its important to find where im going, then prepare for that. on the plus side, a place where a snow machine was the best option, would be cheaper than a truck, also fewer parts to deal with.
 
John C Daley
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We will have to agree not to agree about being robbed and ripped off by cops, guberments and insurance companies.
I am genuinely interested in how you will get to the area of freedom without using infrastructure that has been financed by taxes.

But I am interested to hear how things work by going into a place where you can have the freedom you want, and somebody else turns up with a different set of Freedoms in mind and drives you mad with their behaviour?
Do you move? Ask them to move or force them to move?
Whose freedom is more correct or valid?
 
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John C Daley wrote:We will have to agree not to agree about being robbed and ripped off by cops, guberments and insurance companies.
I am genuinely interested in how you will get to the area of freedom without using infrastructure that has been financed by taxes.

But I am interested to hear how things work by going into a place where you can have the freedom you want, and somebody else turns up with a different set of Freedoms in mind and drives you mad with their behaviour?
Do you move? Ask them to move or force them to move?
Whose freedom is more correct or valid?



You know how much land is vacant? who would come shoot me, kidnap me if I were to live on it?
The reason I chose alaska other than the reasons stated, its the only place that isnt a desert, where you can be far enough from others to have peace. If you plan to live somewhere permanently, you need to buy enough land you neighbor cant bother you. I doubt I will get a neighbor where I choose a permanent home, and if I do, they wont be close enough to matter.

You can have more freedom if you arent living on top of one another, living like rats.

Ive lived my whole life in cities, and ive had enough of the "safety" and "civilization". Im happy for you that you dont have to live in the wilderness, and I fully support your choice not to, but Im not staying in a city.
During an "epidemic, my family was fined 1000 dollars for a tiny brush pile not even 3 ft high, and less than a few feat in size. Not in a nice neighborhood, in a neighborhood where the 2 houses across the street were LITERAL crack houses. humans cannot be civil without space, everyone on earth knows the nicest people are in small towns.
 
John C Daley
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Thanks, I actually live in a remote area, in the middle of a 7500 hectare Forest with no neighbours on 20 acres.
have known blokes who just took off for a variety of reasons, thanks for sharing some ideas with me.
I wish you well.
 
Jt Lamb
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Low taxes:
 - We live on 40 acres, with the express intent of not seeing, hearing, or being impinged upon by, our neighbors, who are on their 40 acre or larger tracts of land; this was a key requirement of our land search. 40 acres seemed to be a good number ... making sure we were on dirt roads, a mile in and up into the mountains, seems to also help. The county doesn't maintain or even acknowledge, our roads in this subdivision; however, the property tax bill manages to get to us each year. Still, taxes are low in this rural area, government involvement is minimal.

Taxless, avoiding all government entanglement:
 - AL is vast, and at some fraction of that size, Colorado is still pretty big and wild, as a western mountainous state ... most folks in colorado stay on the front range (eastern half of the state). The pot growers manage to stay hidden in the national forests and BLM lands of CO, so maybe creative folks can avoid all taxes and such in there. To stay hidden (and not be a pot grower), you might need to be mobile, and move every couple of weeks; in the winter months, the moving is harder ... probably summer in the national forests, and winter on the BLM lands, and you'd never pay a dime to anybody, other than license plate tags & vehicle liability insurance.
 - I would make my permanent address be something in any state w/o federal income tax, and with little to no hassles on vehicle tags & liability insurance.

For OP, perhaps a good truck/camper, and pull-trailer (for everything else and snowmobile), and then achieve residency somewhere in AL. Then, go mobile (after sorting out the address issues) to find that perfect piece of dirt (permafrost), drop/build a structure there, and sort the rest out. We have flocks of "snowbirds" (folks in RV's) who are always mobile; playing up north in summer, and heading south in winter. They must have worked out all the "permanent address" issues.

Perhaps OP can do something similar, by selling wares in the summer (w/ truck/camper & pull trailer) in South Alaska at festivals, and making wares in the winter at the permafrost homestead. Most "festival" sellers probably avoid most tax scenarios; they just pay fees to the festival. The camper is no longer an issue at the homestead, where you've moved into the super-insulated homestead structure.
 
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Aurora,
I live in AK. I've lived in Anchorage for forty years. I am just now selling my house in town and moving to my cabin on 140 ac. just north of Anch.
I would sugget you come up and visit during the summer and spend some time looking around  There is a shortage of workers ever since covid came along.
AK is a very big place and there is a huge varity of types of land to choose from .
A couple of things to consider.
=I wouldn't waste my time with the Goverment auctions (Been ther done that)
=Land that is truly remote will be expensive to get to , haul material to.....
=You can get land on or just off the road system and life will be a lot easier.
= Ballpark prices without waterfront....
                               1 AC 10-15k
                             40 + AC 2k per AC
= you might try these links                  https://www.remoteproperties.com/
                                                                https://landinalaska.com/
 
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Echoing what someone else wrote, but Alaska is huge. It's akin to "moving to America", there is incredible geographical diversity in where you decide to go. That being said, nearly all of Alaska is simply uninhabitable by anything even resembling modern standards of even someone who's perfected the primitive arts.

But even taking the places you can't live off the table, there is plenty that's available to live in. From the southern reaches down near Juneau (who Alaskans often joke is northern Seattle) all the way up and over to the Aleutian Islands.

I would really tour through Alaska before you settle in one place. And being near Anchorage is a real blessing if you want to get ahold of nearly any kind of building material or supply. Otherwise your world just revolves around plane and ferry schedules.
 
aurora sev
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Jt Lamb wrote:Low taxes:
 - We live on 40 acres, with the express intent of not seeing, hearing, or being impinged upon by, our neighbors, who are on their 40 acre or larger tracts of land; this was a key requirement of our land search. 40 acres seemed to be a good number ... making sure we were on dirt roads, a mile in and up into the mountains, seems to also help. The county doesn't maintain or even acknowledge, our roads in this subdivision; however, the property tax bill manages to get to us each year. Still, taxes are low in this rural area, government involvement is minimal.

Taxless, avoiding all government entanglement:
 - AL is vast, and at some fraction of that size, Colorado is still pretty big and wild, as a western mountainous state ... most folks in colorado stay on the front range (eastern half of the state). The pot growers manage to stay hidden in the national forests and BLM lands of CO, so maybe creative folks can avoid all taxes and such in there. To stay hidden (and not be a pot grower), you might need to be mobile, and move every couple of weeks; in the winter months, the moving is harder ... probably summer in the national forests, and winter on the BLM lands, and you'd never pay a dime to anybody, other than license plate tags & vehicle liability insurance.
 - I would make my permanent address be something in any state w/o federal income tax, and with little to no hassles on vehicle tags & liability insurance.

For OP, perhaps a good truck/camper, and pull-trailer (for everything else and snowmobile), and then achieve residency somewhere in AL. Then, go mobile (after sorting out the address issues) to find that perfect piece of dirt (permafrost), drop/build a structure there, and sort the rest out. We have flocks of "snowbirds" (folks in RV's) who are always mobile; playing up north in summer, and heading south in winter. They must have worked out all the "permanent address" issues.

Perhaps OP can do something similar, by selling wares in the summer (w/ truck/camper & pull trailer) in South Alaska at festivals, and making wares in the winter at the permafrost homestead. Most "festival" sellers probably avoid most tax scenarios; they just pay fees to the festival. The camper is no longer an issue at the homestead, where you've moved into the super-insulated homestead structure.


Im not really looking to illegally live on public land, I was making the point that the government is what forces people to comply with the government. I suppose if things get really bad its an option though. Luckily in alaska there is no income tax, so thats not an issue. I have loads to work out, and honestly im just starting to have some idea.
 
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Doug Steffen wrote:Aurora,
I live in AK. I've lived in Anchorage for forty years. I am just now selling my house in town and moving to my cabin on 140 ac. just north of Anch.
I would sugget you come up and visit during the summer and spend some time looking around  There is a shortage of workers ever since covid came along.
AK is a very big place and there is a huge varity of types of land to choose from .
A couple of things to consider.
=I wouldn't waste my time with the Goverment auctions (Been ther done that)
=Land that is truly remote will be expensive to get to , haul material to.....
=You can get land on or just off the road system and life will be a lot easier.
= Ballpark prices without waterfront....
                               1 AC 10-15k
                             40 + AC 2k per AC
= you might try these links                  https://www.remoteproperties.com/
                                                                https://landinalaska.com/


This is very helpful! I was under the impression that alaska didnt have enough jobs for the people, because of tourism being affected.

Im curious as to what your issues were with gov auction land, ive seen some people really happy with what they got.
Unfortunately anything that requires a plane or boat isnt super realistic, if I were to do that I would need to know enough to just do it, if you need to ask, you dont know enough for that sort of thing, for sure. It would be cool though. Im thinking almost all my building will be with local resources, but its stuff that I must think out, and see if I would have those resources in my price range, or perhaps buy some from neighbors.
The biggest task is to build the house, from there on its less of a concern.

Those prices are also useful, and the links.
I will have to think and look, to see what makes the most sense. I will definitely not be going there soon, I have a good job and skills to build up before it would make any sense.
 
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bruce Fine wrote:I'm excited for you, grand opportunity for you to do your own thing.
have you read the book or seen movie "into the wild" true story about a the life of Christopher McCandless AKA "Supertramp" who went off to Alaska thinking he was prepared and had lots of book smarts.


I didnt notice this message. I have heard of that book/movie, and im definitely that kind of person. I do know that though , so I dont let myself do things that are too stupid. I dont think im prepared at all, I have much to learn and prepare for, and some things you just have to be there to learn. I do have a few handy skills though, im working on leatherworking since its such a useful skill.

not sure why they call him supertramp o.0?
when I was in high school I was planning to move to alaska, and my teacher recommended me that book because I have that same desire to escape it all.
 
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Tony Hawkins wrote:Echoing what someone else wrote, but Alaska is huge. It's akin to "moving to America", there is incredible geographical diversity in where you decide to go. That being said, nearly all of Alaska is simply uninhabitable by anything even resembling modern standards of even someone who's perfected the primitive arts.

But even taking the places you can't live off the table, there is plenty that's available to live in. From the southern reaches down near Juneau (who Alaskans often joke is northern Seattle) all the way up and over to the Aleutian Islands.

I would really tour through Alaska before you settle in one place. And being near Anchorage is a real blessing if you want to get ahold of nearly any kind of building material or supply. Otherwise your world just revolves around plane and ferry schedules.



yeah there are some parts you can only survive by eating the stomach contents of caribou xd

i will spend time thinking about how much I value availability/ remoteness. my end goal is to use in city stores as little as possible, for the most part.
Id love to learn enough blacksmithing to be my own blacksmith, and things like that. It doesnt take long to learn enough of a skill to be practical.
 
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Ive been convinced by a guy at work to start homesteading where I am, and then later move to alaska. homesteading is a huge leap from my current situation, so to move to alaska, and try homesteading, it would be a bit much, and not to mention lack of funds and time to properly prepare. Long term I would still prefer alaska, but for now im staying here. I will learn the basics, get a feel for it, and make the leap later. I will probably document the journey on youtube, will let you guys know and share my channel when it gets there. thanks for all the info
 
John C Daley
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Sounds like a good idea.
What sort of things will you be trying first?
 
aurora sev
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John C Daley wrote:Sounds like a good idea.
What sort of things will you be trying first?


yeah its more reasonable, not to mention its something I can start soon, this year or next.
I have carpentry experience but no timber frame/log cabin buidling exp, I will be building a timber frame most likely, so thats something I will be learning. I like the use of joints and dowels instead of nails and screws.

I really have no experience with chickens, bees, or any other farm animal, other than a tiny bit of work with cows. Im planning to have chickens, maybe a small cow, a donkey/horse. Its all stuff I have to learn, with animals you can get away from most modern machines.

Im not sure at what point I will call this a success and leave for alaska, and depending on the world I may not. Right now im just working full time and investing in my crafts, living extremely rurally, isnt possible if you work in town...

Lots of things to learn and do!
Luckily i landed a job at the local leather shop, so thats speeding up this whole process loads. getting paid to learn, not much to complain about there.
 
John C Daley
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Well done with the job!
Maybe track a neighbour with chooks down and qask to help?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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If it looks like you will stay put for a bit you might want to consider "living off grid" even though you are still on grid.

By this I mean cut the breakers to all but the fridge and furnace/heat (turn it WAY down, but as you rent you must protect the landlord). Lose the TV, computer, NetFlix, microwave, coffee maker...you get the idea.

Use a single light or lantern at night, wash your clothes by hand in the tub (or get a big bucket for the shower); use only cold water from the tap for showering, washing etc.

Work at increasing your fitness, consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or some other charity building and/or farming group. Amass the skills needed through volunteering, courses, and employment.

Contact the local Seniors Network and offer to chop wood (if that is a need there); get an idea of what a "cord" looks like, hone your axe work...

Make it known what skills you seek to acquire and find mentors - maybe spend some time with our "Fearless Leader" Paul in Missoula...
 
aurora sev
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:If it looks like you will stay put for a bit you might want to consider "living off grid" even though you are still on grid.

By this I mean cut the breakers to all but the fridge and furnace/heat (turn it WAY down, but as you rent you must protect the landlord). Lose the TV, computer, NetFlix, microwave, coffee maker...you get the idea.

Use a single light or lantern at night, wash your clothes by hand in the tub (or get a big bucket for the shower); use only cold water from the tap for showering, washing etc.

Work at increasing your fitness, consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or some other charity building and/or farming group. Amass the skills needed through volunteering, courses, and employment.

Contact the local Seniors Network and offer to chop wood (if that is a need there); get an idea of what a "cord" looks like, hone your axe work...

Make it known what skills you seek to acquire and find mentors - maybe spend some time with our "Fearless Leader" Paul in Missoula...



Im going to be working full time, and going to the land on the weekend to get the cabin built. My adventures into off grid arent going to be living like someone in 1500, im going to have hot water, piped water, etc, I just wont be using normal methods. I grew up poor and remember taking showers in the winter without hot water, ill pass on that for now. Im already fairly minimalist, and for now I also need the internet to communicate with certain people/work. I have done carpentry/framing, enough that I feel comfortable building something small. Im not completely competent, but I can figure this out.

right now im thinking of the distance im willing to drive, and what the plan will be. Currently there are 2 properties that are 10 acres, one is 2 hours 20mins and one is 1hour 40mins. The farther one is my first choice. Im not going to be able to pick up the shoemaking that I wanted to, before getting land. Im still figuring it out. I have a woman that will be joining me, and she is in charge or the gardening, since shes competent at that, and ive never planted anything. Well be learning much more about our options soon.

I didnt think I would be looking at land this soon, and I was thinking I would have more time to learn skills/build a small business. keep you updated.
 
aurora sev
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I dont really have time for mentoring right now, but once I get things settled I will be looking.
 
aurora sev
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Doug Steffen wrote:Aurora,
I would sugget you come up and visit during the summer and spend some time looking around  There is a shortage of workers ever since covid came along./


I actually really like the idea of going to alaska before starting here.
I know how stupid it is, but I really dislike it here. Definitely going to consider it, if I can find a place to stay I would love to see if I couldnt get a job there and just look around and get a feel for it.
the way things are looking we could be getting trapped in our current states, if things get worse.
 
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I did what your talking about doing over 20 years ago. An old motor home , pickup and  $5k in pocket. Have had many properties and built a bunch of cabins around the state. Sell and move someplace else. Good way to see the state.
Get a pickup with camper. Always have a place to live and can check out the state on road system easier. Property taxes are high but there are places in state with none like where I live. Property prices are getting crazy up here just like everywhere but if you look a lot you can find a deal once in a while. Closer to towns and cities means higher prices and taxes.
Anchorage-30 minutes from Alaska.
You just need to do it or you will be in the planning stages for 20 years like most the people on this site.
 
If you are using a wood chipper, you are doing it wrong. Even on this tiny ad:
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
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