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Old 12-27-2012, 01:40 AM
165 posts, read 390,909 times
Reputation: 152


I reviewed the following articles below and compiled very useful information from people living in Bethel, AK who have answered lots of questions from non-residents in the past five or so years about what to expect for those considering moving to Bethel. Below is what I came up with. Hopefully it will be useful to others!

Articles Reviewed (up to Christmas 2012): “Relocating to Bethel,” “33k in nome and bethel,” “Lodging Options for Bethel,” “Rental housing in Bethel AK,” “Rental Needed - Bethel, AK 99559,” “Tell me about Bethel, please,” “Bethel, AK 6/12,” “Bethel Resident and Visitor Thread,” “Bethel (groceries, hospital),” “Moving to Bethel,” “Bethel, AK,” “Nome vs. Bethel,” “Info on Bethel?”

Information on the Following Subjects Below: 1) Finding Information about Bethel, 2) Bethel Website, 3) Life in Bethel, 4) Bethel Population, 5) Weather, 6) Moving to Bethel, 7) What to Pack?, 8) Clothing, 9) Furniture, 10) Cost of Living, 11) Housing, 12) Pets, 13) Schools, 14) Transportation, 15) Employment, 16) Healthcare, 17) Shopping, 18) Saving Money, 19) Laundry, 20) Dining, 21) Entertainment, 22) Hunting/Fishing, 23) Alcohol, 24) Cable/Internet/Cell, 25) Insects, 26) Politics, 27) Opinion of Bethel

Finding Information about Bethel: posting the same questions over and over in differant threads arent going to get you a response any quicker I wouldn't think. as some have said before, utilize the "search" feature and I'm sure you will find alot more info faster than posting the standard "I'm looking for info" posts. (ncwest)

Bethel Website: there is a web site about Bethel---BethelAK.com - The Center of the YK Delta--and there is a link to many pictures of the town & area.

Bethel Website: Here's the city-data link that has a couple photo's: http://www.city-data.com/city/Bethel-Alaska.html

Bethel Website: We currently have a group for all Bethel Residents and Frequents... Please join up and post pictures: http://www.city-data.com/forum/group...-visitors.html

Life in Bethel: Your new employer has youtube videos about life in Bethel and the surrounding villages. Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Life in Bethel: Some bushes and other trees here. No roads out of Bethel. There is a weight room here, no pool.

Life in Bethel: Well…the other day, last Saturday to be exact, I sat in the kitchen of my little B&B apartment staring out the window. The Kuskokwim River is frozen over before me and the ice highway is open for business. Snow machines and trucks drive past make the trip from distant villages. I sat with my cup of coffee, snug at the table and watched an airplane on ski’s practice touch and go landings and take off’s for about an hour, up and down with the roar of the engines…then suddenly… all traffic stopped, the snow machines stopped, the cars stopped moving on the ice and even the ski plane pulled to a stop near the shore. Movement off to my right caught my attention. A little downriver, rounding a bend, comes a parade of mushers and their dog teams, racing up the river in what a later found out was a small local race (only 13 miles) much like the little local 5k’s I used to run. Nothing fancy, just a bunch of folks getting together to do something they love. Yeah, I think I can get used to this place- I’m sure having fun so far. (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Bethel Population: Koreans, Albanians, people from Pakistan, India, Australia, England, a little bit of everything here. Oh, I forgot to mention that there are a lot of white people here, too. Lol (warptman). Yes but the Natives outnumber the whites by a good %.. how I have seen it its Native then whites... then everyone else :P (teamcoltra)

Weather: I use kusko.net or wunderground for the sunrise/sunset. (warptman) Weather Forecast Bethel, AK | Bethel Weather | Wunderground

Weather: It's been raining for the past couple of days. Bring a good raincoat. It got up to 72 last week and we had one thunderstorm come through. It's a balmy 42 this morning. Bring some hoodies, too. Around here you wait five minutes and the weather will change. (warptman, June 2012)

Weather: Winter finally hit Bethel, minus 9 here at work. Nice bike ride over! (warptman, Nov 2009)

Weather: not really as bad as I envisioned it, actually, pretty comfortable for me considering where I came from (Guam). I think I have adapted fairly well, still, it IS Alaska in the winter. I have spent winters in Maine and even camped out for a while in a Maine winter but this is much different. Maine, Michigan, Washington and even Colorado all had wet cold, the snow was usually the big fluffy flakes…the good snowball making kind, this here is a dry cold and consequently, I have been suffering for it. In the short time, all of my fingers have cracked from the temp, so…make sure you bring a moisturizer, lotion and Vaseline. (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Moving to Bethel: I had a 10,000 dollar moving allowance, so I had the movers come out and estimate the weight of stuff. I mailed up parcel post anything that I would want right away...TV, kitchen stuff, etc. (northwoodsgal)

Moving to Bethel: Question: Is it better to come straight into bethel or go through anchorage? Answer: You have no choice but to land in Anchorage first.

Moving to Bethel: You can only fly to Bethel. There is no ferry system out here on the west end of Alaska. You have three choices of getting here. Alaska Airlines, Frontier Alaska, and ERA Aviation. You can check The Delta Discovery The Delta Discovery Homepage for listings on rentals. If you're a nurse, YKHC should have some apartments to rent. Just talk to the housing manager about them.

Moving to Bethel: You don't, no roads in. We don't have a U-haul dealer here. You can drop it off in Anchorage after you ship your things here.

What to Pack?: Since it doesn't sound like you're moving to Bethel for the long haul, I'd recommend minimizing the items you take. Make sure you have enough hobby/entertainment stuff to keep yourself content for your stay. If you're an avid ice skater or cross country skier, you may want to take appropriate equipment because there's no place to rent it. If you like to bowl, consider bringing your own ball after checking to see if the bowling alley is still in operation. If you think your favorite snack won't be available, you might want to stock up on it or other specialty food items if you like to cook. (Bethel does have an amazing variety of food available in the stores, but brand-specific things may be hard to find.) Take enough cookware to easily prepare the things you like to cook, and don't forget what you'll need for special occasions. If you find that you didn't bring something you need, get creative and consider it an adventure! Since you're not going to be in Bethel for long, I wouldn't go overboard on what you bring. Just use some common sense and consider your lifestyle and your personality. Think about what will keep you safe, comfortable, and content for the period you're planning to stay. Then, set about acquiring what you'll need and get the best quality you can afford. (Blueberry, Nov 2009)

What to pack?: bring things that you dont mind parting with when you move out of bethel..its soooo freaking expensive to ship stuff back. stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, canned goods, batteries, rice....etc before you get here and have it shipped in with your relocation money. (wnor5557). You can ship stuff from Walmart in Anchorage to the Bush for free. Order as much as you can from Walmart.com, Fredmeyers.com, Spanalaskasales.com. When I get back to Barrow I plan on only getting perishables from the AC and ordering the rest. I'll save a ton of money. (Wynternight)

Clothing: Layering is your friend when it comes to clothing, so plan accordingly. Many people have warm jackets and boots, but tend to forget about the layers they need on the upper legs and derriere. The arms sometimes get cold, too, because people layer with t-shirts and vests, but forget that doesn't cover the entire arm too well. I would recommend at least two pairs of gloves/mittens, a light-weight pair and a heavy pair. If you'll be playing in the snow a lot, think about what will keep you dry and consider doubling up on gloves and snowpants (and maybe even boots) so you can change and keep going when you get wet. Mittens tend to keep hands warmer since the fingers are in contact with each other, but gloves are handier for certain tasks like driving or photography. Personally, I don't think one can ever have too many gloves or mittens or hats. A good scarf will probably come in handy to cover your face while waiting for transportation or walking; a ski mask is always an option, too. Warm footwear is a must if you spend any time out of doors. Some people recommend heavy socks, but I found that my feet stayed much warmer with a single layer of thin socks because I have wide feet. Thick socks tended to cut off the circulation. I learned that after too many years of suffering cold feet. Make sure any boots you get are tall enough to deal with a snowfall; it's not fun having snow slide down inside your shoes. If you're planning to spend time outdoors, snowpants or bib overalls will be your friend. Depending on what you're doing and the temperature, you may be able to get away with rain pants if you have sufficient layering for your legs. Personally, I find overalls to be more trouble than they're worth if you ever have to answer a call of nature in the wild. However, overalls tend to keep the upper body warmer when wearing a jacket rather than a longer coat. Although the standard winter coat seems to be a heavy duty, parka type of jacket, I found my comfort level increased drastically when I switched to a long coat (even though it was lighter weight). It was amazing how much warmer I felt once my rear was covered. No more cold air hitting my butt or going up my back! Some type of fur ruff (real or fake) on the hood of your jacket will trap the warm air produced by your breathing and keep your face much warmer. The more the hood extends in front of your face, the warmer you'll stay. Finally, jewelry against your bare skin will become very noticeable once the cold weather hits. I'm also learning that extreme cold might affect sensitive dental work, so you may have reason to make sure your face stays nice and warm; don't neglect that scarf or hood! (Blueberry, Nov 2009)

Clothing: Bring some wind proof clothing and you can use a layering system, it does get rather windy here.

Clothing: I went to REI, told them where I was going and bought what they suggested, and they did not steer me wrong. Specifically, 2 pairs of lightweight capilene long underwear (I don't like silk) and 2 pairs of expedition weight bottoms. I only needed one, though. A really good pair of midweight leather hiking boots that I still wear every day in the winter. The first winter the only jacket I had was a Columbia shell/fleece liner, but since then I got a heavyweight down anorak parka from Cabelas. I also got a long down coat from Eddie Bauer,,. the exact one that the Alaska Airline flight attendants use, but I rarely wear. I got good midweight hiking socks by wigwam and smartwool....paid around 15 bucks a pair, but 7 years later they have still held up. I found knit mittens totally useless...get a good pair of down mittens or use a double layer of gloves. It's the wind that gets ya. Oh, I bought a pair of Baffin boots (like Sorels), but I rarely used them. (northwoodsgal)

Furniture: There are a couple places to get furniture.

Furniture: Nothing is cheap, there seems to be a lot of moving sales lately here, might find something then. (warptman, Dec 2010)

Cost of Living: OUCH- I have been some expensive places but this takes the cake- yesterday went to the store to buy a loaf of 7 grain bread that was on sale- $2.99. A package of Jello, $1.25...while in Anchorage I bought a six pack of beer (Bud Light) and it was $9.99... a large pizza in Bethel, $25.00, a pack of cigarettes..$8.50ish...so be prepared for that...my personal suggestion is that if you are moving up here, buy as much as you can ship grocery wise and live off of that, I’m waiting anxiously for my shipment to arrive...even went to Cosco in Anchorage to buy some stuff for one of the businesses here...it cost me an extra $100 to ship it here and it was STILL cheaper than the stores in Bethel...so be prepared for sticker shock. (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Cost of Living: Food is expensive. But keep in mind that a lot of expenses just don't exist there too. You don't dress for fashion, you dress for the weather, for example. You get to spend all of your money on having fun, rather than on social status. (Floyd_Davidson)

Cost of Living: Nothing in Bethel is inexpensive.....sorry. (Tundra Tired)

Cost of Living: Try $7.50 a gallon for gas. (Sept 2012)

Cost of Living: Shopping in Bethel, Alaska – YouTube--
Shopping in Bethel, Alaska - YouTube

Cost of Living: The AC here in Barrow was out of milk so I went to the AC Quickstop (small "convenience" type store) and paid $7.45 for a 1/2 gallon container of 2% milk. (Sept 2012)

Cost of Living: As for the question about $33k a year....If you can find a place and share it with roommates you could probably do it. You CAN get around without a vehicle here, and if you are careful with your money and share the costs with another person or two you'd come out ahead. Plus, if you wanted a second job you could find on easily enough. The real problem would be actually finding housing. We bought a house that the garage was converted to an efficiency apartment which rents for $1200 a month.

Cost of Living: a pack of cigarettes can cost anywhere from $8-$10 kind of expensive, and the cost of living is higher but so is the pay, so it compensates.

Cost of Living: So maybe it's been a while, and living here I tend to ignore prices on things I can't get out of paying (like gas for the automobile and all that)... but I filled up at Crowley's today and paid $5.14/gallon for unleaded. (creeboo, Dec 2009)

Housing: Some local rental listings are available on our paper's website, The Delta Discovery . I guess where you want to be depends on where you'll be working. Suite 881 is right in town but I wouldn't call it convenient walking distance to the hospital, for instance. (creeboo) The Delta Discovery Homepage

Housing: "yards" in Bethel are not what you might be thinking. Many houses have none, and those that do, they still aren't probably what you're picturing. There are a lot of loose dogs in town, so keep that in mind when looking for a rental place. (creeboo)

Housing: I would suggest staying (short term or long term) at the Tundra Oasis (907-543-3217). The price is a little bit higher than the rest of town, but you get everything and its worth it. (teamcoltra)

: Kreider Rentals Bethel Alaska 99559 housing + apartment nurse ykhc--Kreider Rentals Bethel Alaska 99559 housing + apartment nurse ykhc

Housing: you need $1000 deposit on everything here. some call for 1st, last and security.

Housing: I would suggest that if you are going to rent, make sure heat is included. Water if possible. If not a $1500 a month rental will cost you about $2100 a month. plus utilities. Make sure you haggle on the price and the down payments. Almost all of the rentals require $1000 deposit some 1st month, last month and deposit..so haggle, haggle, haggle! Be careful!!! ask one of us before you rent!

Housing: Bethel Hotels and B&Bs: Bethel Hotels: Compare 7 Hotels in Bethel, with 17 Reviews | TripAdvisor

Housing: The only real hotel worth staying at here is the Long House, not sure about the rates there. There are a few B&B's here, too. I wouldn't stay at any other hotel/motel here. (Warptman)

Housing: website: Apartments in Bethel, AK on Yahoo! Local--Apartments in Bethel, AK on Yahoo! Local

Housing (and other items in Classified Section): this whole town is remote. There are no cabins either. Bethel , AK 99559 Free Online Classifieds— Bethel , AK 99559 Free Online Classifieds

Housing: Bethel Native Corporation-- they have from studio to town houses to rent.

Housing: On the rentals, a lot of things are advertised via bulletin board at the local stores. Not exactly ideal for having somewhere to go right off the plane. (creeboo)

Housing : Ask if you will be getting an apartment in the 800 building or a off site house. The 800 building is a big housing unit with unlimited water. Off site housing has running water but in holding tanks from 500-1500 gallons of water and a septic tank from 700-1800 gallons.

Housing: The hospital has a complex next door to it and one right up the road. The other housing units are duplexes a couple miles out of town.

Housing: Rentals vary widely depending on who is renting them. I know the YK duplexes don't allow pets in them. Many places, especially the bigger ones, do NOT include utilities. (creeboo, Sept 2011)

Housing: There are numerous rentals available. You can ask HR from Yk about housing within the company or available rentals. Utilities are spendy here. It depends on how the house is build. Anywhere from $200 a month on up.

Housing: Outer appearances on houses in Alaska usually have no bearing on what it looks like inside. I've seen beautiful appearing homes that were truly hideaous inside and I've seen shacks that were not only comfortable, but downright beautiful inside. Outside appearances are not important in the grand scheme of things. (JavaPhil)

Housing: A lot of rentals are duplexes vs. houses. I would not rent something here in general without seeing it first. Tundra Ridge is kinda far from the hospital as far as Bethel goes if you don't own a car, though I suppose cab fare is cab fare.

Housing: There are a few renters here. Good luck finding a rental on the piped water. You can ask the housing supervisor for YKHC about YK rentals, these are duplexes with a water/septic system.

Pets: I just know how hard it is to find rental housing in Alaska if you have pets. Most single family house in these rural places don't have fenced yards. Thus the animals have to stay indoors. I would not rent to tenants ever again with pets. It's not worth the hassle as a landlord. (stiffnecked)

Schools: There is one school district here which runs four grade schools and a preschool. I know that the ME School has a great system and great teachers. I don't know about the Kilbuck though, they're moving into a new school building this fall. Your 10 year old will most likely go into that. For the younger one, there is a preschool here, not sure about the ages. There is an immersion school here that teaches the kids the Yup'ik Language and nothing but that language, might want to look into that. (warptman, June 2009)

Transportation: Your car can only be barged out to Bethel. No roads into Bethel and flying a car in is prohibitive. You can check with Northern Air Cargo, or one of the other air cargo carriers. Check pricing with say Samson Tug and Barge or one of the others. Not worth it unless you are relocating permanently. Most people get around on foot, or 4-wheeler or by snowmachine in winter.

Transportation: If you like that vehicle (Acura), don’t bring it! The roads are not made for that type of car. The speed limit is 40 mph and if you actually go 40 you will damage your car. Most of the side roads are gravel and the "highway" laugh is almost like a rollercoaster ride. no joke imagine a 1.5 inch speed bump that is what most of the roads have in them. Then in the spring and summer the pot holes form.

Transportation: I have done some research, and it seems it would cost me about $2,000 to barge my car from Seattle to Bethel (after driving from South Dakota). (Arthin, Aug 2012)

Transportation: $2000.00 plus the cost of gas (to barge car to Bethel from Seattle), insurance and repairs would buy a lot of taxi rides out to the airport. Think I'd sell the car and buy a 4-wheeler when I got up there. (stiffnecked)

Transportation: Car ownership to go four miles seems over-the-top to me when you take into account all the expenses of car ownership, but it's your money. (Frostnip)

Transportation: Oblate Spheroid: Remote Alaska Town Named Cabbie Capital Of America Oblate Spheroid: Remote Alaska Town Named Cabbie Capital Of America

Transportation: Question: How much does 4 mile cab fare cost? Answer: $10 dollars to the airport, so that would mean $20/day, $100/week, $400/month. That seems like a lot to spend on transportation.

Transportation: Carpool, vanpool, ride a bike when the weather is okay, share a cab with other coworkers. When you figure in shipping costs, fuel costs, etc, it's gonna add up. Unless TSA is paying to ship your car out there I wouldn't do it. I'd sell the one you have and then buy an ATV or an old beater car when I got there. Take the advice of people that live out there or have been there. Otherwise you'll end up throwing good money away for nothing. Living in a bush community isn't like anything you've done before. (stiffnecked)

Transportation: There's always a vehicle for sale here. I've been riding my bike to and from work, even in the rain we had. Nice downpour this morning on the ride over. You don't share cabs here, they charge per person. (warptman)

Transportation: Ed is the best mechanic here in town. There is plenty of boats and snowmachines for sale, you see them posted in the stores and newspaper weekly.

Transportation: we have no subway systems here. The city is in the process of having a transit system, two or three buses to compete with the 100 cabs here in town. (warptman, July 2008)

Transportation: I bought a junker car when I was there and sold it when I left. If you decide to ship your vehicle, make sure to have it completely repaired before you ship it. Labor for car repair is outrageous! (northwoodsgal)

Transportation: I ride (my bike) year round no matter what the temp is, unless it's blowing like crazy! (warptman)

Transportation: There is a public transportation here, but the cab rides are spendy between the stores and the post office. (warptman, Sept 2008)

Transportation: You can't drive a car here from Anchorage, but you can ship them in by air. Depending on your car/truck size, that can run from $3000 to $6000. You missed the barge season, thats all done now. (warptman, 9/22/2008)

Transportation: I'd not bring a new car here anyway. The roads and dust put your suspension to the test. You can always pick up a used car here after you arrive. There's always something for sale around to get you from point A to B. (Tundra Tired, Sept 2008)

Transportation: Probably most people who don't have cars take a cab. This LA Times article will help explain it: America's taxi capital: Bethel, Alaska - Los Angeles Times (karlsch) America's taxi capital: Bethel, Alaska - latimes.com

Transportation: Driving up to Alaska is fun. There are no roads to Bethel, however, in the winter the Kuskokwim becomes a highway between the villages out here. I store my truck at my uncle's or sister's house in Wasilla, Ak. There are places that you can store your truck/car in at Anchorage starting at $50 a month. If you do choose this route, don't park it at the airport or at the parking lot at the corner of International and Minnesota, very spendy. (warptman)

Transportation: If anyone tells you that you don't need a car- consider your age. If your over 40 like me and unaccustomed to the weather and exercise…. and still think you can do what you did in your 20's- put down the cigarette and push the beer away…think again- that mile hike to work that you thought would be a good way to get some exercise and get back in shape is a killer when the temp is 0 and the wind chill brings it down to -25. If your young at heart, hey go for it, but I suggest---Bring a vehicle! (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Transportation: You might want to find a place near the hospital for a rental, or buy a vehicle here or ride a bike like I do. (warptman, April 2009)

Transportation: If you get your car put on the barge before the end of summer you're good to go, otherwise you're stuck flying it in or buying here.

Transportation: City Cab drivers are Korean and Kusko is a mix of white, Albanian, and Korean. Taxi and Quyana are Korean. (warptman)

Transportation: I use Nokian studded tires in the winter. I can't see myself spending that much money on a Fatbike. Riding in the winter is fun as long as the wind isn't blowing, out here it's always blowing though. It has it's ups and downs! I have a Giant Rainier mountain bike.

Transportation: Bethel has a couple of buses in the core area of Bethel and there are many cabs here.

Transportation: It depends on how big of a car it is. The two main air shippers are Lynden and Everts. Nac does ship cars in, but they usually send you to Lynden Air. Lynden then sends you over to Everts Air. Everts has a cheaper shipping on cars. They ship by linear foot. There are a few cars/trucks for sale here.

Transportation: You can buy one (Toyota Sequoia) there and drive it up or buy one in Anchorage and have it barged here.

Employment: The chances you can't find a job in Bethel are just about rock bottom zero. (Floyd_Davidson, Aug 2006)

Employment: Ykhc runs on bethel time... They don't bend over backwards for anybody. Call and be persistent. Go to their website, look up the name of the person you've been dealing with and write, call or cc the supervisor.

Employment: Question: Are there many smaller projects happening up there? Or would it be best to try to work for a company? Anybody know anyone who would hire a carpenter? Answer: There are lots of small projects here. There are many people who don't show up, do a crappy job, etc. and still you are crossing your fingers they will show up and help you out in a jam. I'm sure you/he won't have trouble finding employment here... (creeboo)

Healthcare: Bethel Family Clinic--Bethel Family Clinic Question: Ok, so for general family practice, that's the option. Then for anything major it's a plane flight to Anchorage? Answer: Commercial or medevac, that's it. For non-natives it's emergency services only. No hospital can refuse to see you but you can't get primary care there as far as I know.

Shopping: The #1 Alaskan Shipper of Groceries to Rural Alaskans. Back up plan for groceries. Bethel.. mailboxgroceriesak.com, The #1 Alaskan Shipper of Groceries to Rural Alaskans

Shopping: There are airplanes that bring in the goods year round, not only on the barges.

Shopping: Yes, you can buy a car here. Not much to explore here. There are three dealerships for boats here. The Prop Shop, Swanson's Marina, and Back Creek Marine. I usually take a trip to Anchorage every other month, Find Low Airfares & Deals on All Airplane Tickets - Alaska Airlines has web specials Find Airline Tickets, Low Airfares & Discount Flights - Alaska Airlines and they also have a cheap fair calendar. There is a farm here... Meyers Farm: Home Meyers Farm - Naturally Grown Food | Bethel Alaska There is a couple big stores here. Swanson's and AC Value Center. The other two main stores are owned by a couple that run a Case Lot type store, bulk items. (warptman)

Shopping: There is a small store in Akiak but there isn't much inside it. Bethel has six grocery stores here, one company owns three of them. We do get daily flights of groceries here from Anchorage, but wouldn't call them exactly fresh, especially on the fruits and veggies. This in turn gets shipped upriver by a hovercraft that hauls bypass mail.

Shopping: They do have barge sales in the spring. We have two AC Stores here, and two Swanson's(former Omni Enterprises), a couple of private owned Case Lot stores, and a Korean owned Quick Stop. BethelAK.com - The Center of the YK Delta

Shopping: Bethel , AK 99559 Free Online Classifieds--Bethel , AK 99559 Free Online Classifieds

Shopping: Question: Does anybody here get Full Circle Farms boxes? What have you heard about them, or what has your experience been if you do get them (are you satisfied? How does the quality of stuff compare to what you get at AC & Swanson's... which some days would not be hard to beat... I had to laugh when I saw actually actively molding strawberries sitting in the discount cart for $2 at Swanson's... you couldn't PAY me $2 to eat that). Answer: We get FCF boxes, and we love them. The stuff is top-notch, and if it's not, they'll send you a replacement (we had trouble with our boxes being left on the runway in the village and they replaced our frozen lettuce even though it wasn't their fault!) We even added some fresh eggs to our box last Thursday and they all showed up intact, which was awesome. We started getting our boxes when we were living out in Nunap, where when the trail into Bethel was bad our FCF box was pretty much the only place we could get veggies. Now living in town, we haven't given them up because cost-wise it's probably about the same price as buying the stuff at AC/Swansons, and it's all way better stuff. So yeah, couldn't recommend it enough. (shibby917, Feb 2010). Question: I do have another question - which option do you get? Size-wise, and how long does it last? Answer: we get the "Regular" box, I think it's called ($45 one), every other week. It's me, my wife and 2 yr old, and we go through everything in a week or so, but stick with every other for some reason.

Shopping: I think we're going to give it (purchasing vegetables and fruit from Full Circle Farms) a try. The prices Swanson's & AC are charging for their less-than-awesome produce have actually started to get under my skin in a most unpleasant way. The other day there were shriveled mushrooms at swanson's and cucumbers that had clearly suffered a freeze along the way and become mushy at AC. And the ubiquitous $8 strawberries.... (creeboo, Feb 2010)

Shopping: I like Alba's a bit better than Brother's (Pizza). On the non-pizza menu, try Alba's meatball appetizer. Really good if you like that sort of thing. (Spleenificus). We did end up ordering from Alba's (yeah, all of CityData cares...). I find their stuff way salty and think the quality has declined over the last several months. $46 for 2 large pizzas... oh well. Meatball appetizer sounds interesting, but I'd have to have bread! (creeboo, Feb 2010)

Shopping: keep an eye out for garage sales on Saturdays. They just started up again, the local hospital has a high turnover rate and it seems we have a sale every weekend here. (warptman, 6/23/2009)

Shopping: There's already a few garage sale posters up at the local stores (warptman, June 2009)

Saving Money: I get a lot of things from Amazon...can't beat free shipping!

Saving Money: Not everything on Amazon ships for free to Alaska. Some stuff, yes. But not everything. I have found it not at all uncommon to be quoted $100 on shipping for a $85 item. For example, I just searched Amazon for a jug of Tide detergent. When I went to complete my order, I got the following message: “Tide with a Touch of Downy April Fresh Scent with Actilift, 150.0-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2) cannot be shipped to the selected address.” A lot places will only ship UPS or FedEx. Which is fine for ground shipping. But to Alaska UPS & FedEx will only do 2 day or overnight shipping. Which means $$$$$$

Saving Money: Question: Warptman, what's the best/cheapest way to ship/send packages (dry goods) from the -48 to Bethel? Answer: US Postal is going to be the cheapest.

Saving Money: Question: DO those, if it fits it ships for one low rate boxes work from the lower 48 to AK? Not that I think those are necessarily cheap, but possible an option? Answer: If you can fit it in the box it's the same price.

Saving Money: I just checked and did a trial order from Amazon. Some things qualify for the free shipping, some things not. I put these in the cart: paper towels, coffee, coffee filters, creamer, dry nonfat milk, toilet paper, Dove soap, pantene shampoo/conditioner. Everything qualified for free shipping except the shampoo/conditioner.

Saving Money: Here's from the Amazon site: Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico Addresses: Some items from our Tools & Hardware, Electronics, and Outdoor Living stores can't be shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico if they are extremely heavy, oddly-shaped, or considered hazardous. Additionally, some items from our Health and Personal Care and Grocery stores cannot be shipped to these destinations. Check the item's product detail page for eligibility and available shipping options. Only specific shipping options may be available for some addresses. Available shipping options will appear at checkout when you enter a shipping address.

Saving Money: Was the shampoo from Amazon itself, or one of its 3rd party retailers? Items from 3rd party retailers don't get the free shipping, unless they use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). It will be marked if they use FBA or not when you look at the list of all offers of that product.

Saving Money: It said shipped and sold by Amazon. That's when I started looking and found that statement about some shipments to Alaska not being allowed. Guess those flat rate boxes from the post office would work okay for shampoo and stuff like that.

Saving Money: Question: Do places like Costco ship? My membership is up for renewal, so wondering if that's something useful! Answer: I know Costco does Bush Orders. I'm not sure of the details... Maybe give them a call: 907-269-9555 or 907-349-2335. Walmart does bush orders, too.

Saving Money: Question: How does a bush order work? DO you order online and they ship it out to you? Answer: Yes, order online and ship out. If you go shopping in Anchorage Walmart south, you can bring your groceries to the shipping department. They also have a ship out place at Costco and Sam's Club.

Saving Money: If you are familiar with the Mat-su area, there is a store called 3 bears that will ship items to the bush and only charge for the shipping, and will do parcel post. You need to have a credit card and they do not carry a lot, but many people here like it. They do not charge a 10% fee for the shipping like Wal-mart does. I have talked to people here and they have also ordered from Wal-mart on line and have gotten free shipping, but that may not last. The flat rate boxes are fine but small, and you can't put a lot in them, but with parcel post, you can get up to 70 lbs for about 25.00 or less. Don't know how long this will last with the post office having problems, but it is great now. (Sept 2012)

Saving Money: $8 foot longs! Subway, eat almost fresh here. (Sept 2012)

Saving Money: I live in Nome and I use Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, Petco.com, and Kohls.com all the time. Amazon and Drugstore honor their free shipping here most of the time, for Amazon you have to make sure it's them and not a third-party seller. If I can't get an item at one place, I go to the other. I get 90% of my household stuff from Amazon. I also don't drink regular milk, so I order almond milk via Amazon. Again, free shipping. I get my dog food through Petco. They use FedEx and since we don't have an agent here they (FedEx) just deliver it to the post office and it gets mailed here parcel post. It takes a while, but if you plan ahead it works out great. You also have to "trick" their system by putting your address in (we only have PO Boxes) and NOT checking their box that says that you're using a PO Box. I like Kohls since they have great prices and most of their stuff ships here no problem. Once in a while there will be things that won't ship for whatever reason, and you have to call customer service to find out which items aren't allowing the order to go through. One time it wouldn't let me buy cutting boards but another time I ordered a whole set of pots and pans and got my free shipping. Oh, and before I forget....I get most of my fruit and veggies via Full Circle Farms. It's organic, and cheaper than buying the same things locally (if you could even get those same items). Ultimately, you just have to be smart about it, stock up when you can, and plan way ahead so you don't run out of things you need (like dog food).

Saving Money: https://www.facebook.com/groups/332496113427521/ -- “Bethel Bargains”: Purpose: For Individuals to Buy, Sell, Trade, Post events/garage sales/functions, looking for's... whatever you can think of that is appropriate & friendly!

Saving Money: Question: I'm just wondering if anyone knows of the least expensive (I don't care how long it takes to get there) system of getting items up there. We are moving from Montana so thats where we would be shipping from. He says we need towels and blankets and bedding and pots and pans... pretty much everything that is a necessity. He is also requesting that I send dry food up. As we don't have much money I'm unsure of how much I will be able to send. Any ideas on what the most important items would be? Answer: Just ship them through the post office, would be the cheapest way to ship them up from there. Whenever my brother wants salmon, we ups it down to him. (warptman). Not sure about the bigger items, but dried food...can stuff in post office box ...priority mail one rate box...whatever you can get in you pay what the cost is...I can send from here to lower 48 for about 11.00 (little less). (Grannysroost, June 2009). OK stuff dried food or whatever fits in PO boxes to send...One box will get him through a while as can cram in the box...I don't know how much luggage you are taking, but would put towels and blankets, pans...whatever he said in a suitcase...if you have to pay extra to put on plane, is probably worth it versus sending via another route. (Grannysroost, June 2009).

Saving Money: You need the pics or some of them, if cannot leave them with someone to send to you...take out of frames and put in envelope and shove in suitcase...they are flat and you can pick important ones and deal with frames or such there, at least you have...toys, can be imaginative...cookie cutters, homemade dough, paints or markers...can keep them occupied, my grands love that kind of thing... (Grannysroost)

Laundry: THERE IS NO LAUNDRY MAT IN BETHEL!!!! So make sure you bring plenty of clothes that can sustain you until you move into a place…washers and driers are considered amenities here…so you will pay extra for them. (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Dining: There is a coffee shop next to Subway across from the AC Store. It's called Alba's Coffee.

Dining: We really don't have fast food joints here. We have a Subway and that's about it. (warptman, Dec 2009)

Entertainment: No theater. No Rec Center yet. No pool. (warptman, March 2011)

Entertainment: Look into Bethel Actor's Guild (BAG). They put on a few plays a year. You have the Art Guild of the Kuskokwim Delta, art's and crafts. They have a photography show every summer, I won for the second time this year with a shot of one of Ptarmigan Air's Beaver landing at the lake. I tied with a gal two summers ago. Basketball is just around the corner. This is a big thing for any bush town/village. Stop on in the "Warrior Dome" when the season starts. I'm usually stuck at the radio station running master control for the announcers at the game or dialing up one of the other schools, we have one home game live and we call the other radio stations for their home games. K300 is currently looking for an artist to make the 2010 trophies for all three of their races. The Saturday Markets should be coming back soon. The VFW has "Bazaars" where people sell their things. For the past few years there was talk of a Movie theater being built by Bethel Community Services, but of course they say it's all about the money, which they don't have. This would've helped out on things to do here for the people. I'll believe it when I see it, we're paying a extra percent on the sales tax for the recreation building for a pool and weight room. There is a HAM radio club here. It's called "BARK." Bethel Amateur Radio Klub. They meet monthly and work towards getting your amateur license. http://www.al7yk.org/ (warptman, Sept 2009)

Entertainment: Not a resident but I do pop into Bethel on a monthly basis. There isn't much to do, that's for certain, but there are several weekly dance lessons to be had. Chester (the instructor) has a sign up by the cultural center that tells the specifics, which I cannot remember any of right now. I believe it was $10, lasted a bit over an hour and was plenty exhausting as well as fun. Bring clean shoes or you'll wind up wearing socks in his studio and having your feet go numb, just like I did. (spleenificus, Nov 2009)

Entertainment: Basketball will be starting soon, too. (warptman, Nov 2009)

Entertainment: Summer: boating, going up or downriver and finding a sandbar for a BBQ, berry picking, fishing, social activities (dinner & book clubs, random get-togethers). Winter: sledding, cross country skiing, snowmobiles, reading, lots of indoor stuff. I have several small kids so I'm connected more to the kid scene... in winter I read a lot. :-/ It's not my favorite time ofyear but I'm learning to appreciate it. (creeboo)

Entertainment: I took my younger 3 kids out to library storytime

Entertainment: There is a weight room at the teen center here. (907)543-2088.

Entertainment: Since I have been in Bethel, I have been writing about things that I have done or are available for me to do. Basketball is huge here, everyone seems to love it. There are middle school games, High school games that everyone attends. snow machining is also very big, everyone has one. They race them, ride them for fun and substance. Every other weekend there is a get together or dance at the cultural center, which is a lot of fun. But the big thing here is dog racing, If you like politics like I do, there are a lot of boards, committees or commissions to join. Bethel has it’s issues just like every place else, so if you want to have improvements made, join a committee and be a part of the change. Go to church or join a church. There are 16 of them to choose from. Every faith is served. Play bingo at the Akiachak native community center. You can win some good change there. Go to the Akiachak winter carnival fiddling dance. I went to the Bethel dog show, it was fun! (Takoda, Feb 2007)

Entertainment: There's a library in Bethel - actually a really nice one (small) but the staff is very friendly and you can generally get anything they don't have through interlibrary loan. They are hooked in throught the University of Alaska system as well (it's a cooperative library between the UAF-KUC and the city of Bethel) Kuskokwim Consortium Library Home Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more

Entertainment: Truthfully, didn’t expect to see a lot of it up here…there is no theater per se but that doesn’t mean that we don’t watch movies. The cultural center recently screened “The Departed” on the day before the Oscars and just yesterday Willie Porter (http://www.willieporter.com) played at the center. Now, I have never heard of ol’ Willie and I didn’t go to see him (I had a book of Shirley Jackson short stories I wanted to finish), but from what I have heard throughout the day, it was my loss for not going. Those I have talked to that went enjoyed…and there will be more concerts in the future…and I wish someone had told me about the bowling alley…I would have brought my ball. (HM2FLIP, March 2007)

Hunting/Fishing: Your first year in Alaska you will not be eligible for a resident hunting/fishing license. Can still go fishing, subsistence fishing. No license needed.

Hunting/Fishing: if you want to go rod n reel fishing out here, you can go without a fishing license. It's called subsistence use fishing for salmon. I haven't gotten at license in years! Special Provisions--NO SUBSISTENCE FISHING PERMIT REQUIRED. You may take fish at any time without a subsistence fishing permit, unless specified by emergency action. Regulations--You may take salmon only by gillnet, beach seine, fish wheel, or rod and reel, subject to the restrictions in these regulations. You may also take salmon by spear in the Kanektok and Arolik River drainages, and in the drainage of Goodnews Bay. You may take fish species other than salmon by gillnet, beach seine, fish wheel, pot, long line, fyke net, dip net, jigging gear, spear, lead, handline, or rod and reel. Rainbow trout may be taken only by gillnets, dip nets, fyke nets, rod and reel, handline, spear, or jigging through the ice. Since this came into place, I have never seen any Fish & Game Troopers out on the river checking people. Just make sure you have your life jackets in the boat, one for every person in it. (warptman).

Hunting/Fishing: One great thing here is that we get all five species of salmon and we also have Rainbow, Arctic Char, and Grayling on three local tributaries of the Kuskokwim.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:09 PM
Location: SW Pennsylvania, USA
22,447 posts, read 904,890 times
Reputation: 1318
31st State Citizen, your post is very captivating. I'm about to head to your Part 2. I'm from a Deep South state, and I have a question about your experiences.

You mention cicling to get around. You also refer to Bethel as being bush or some such. Is there wildlife that people on bikes have to contend with in the Bethel area? Are there bears, wolves, what have you? Is there a "safer" season for bike travel with regard to the wildlife? Am I being paranoid?

Thanks for the good reading. (I have no plans to move to Alaska.)
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:24 PM
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,365 posts, read 33,903,523 times
Reputation: 13819
There's no unusual encounters with bears here. We do have the occasional moose and caribou that swing through town. This past fall a Muskox wandered into town.

There's a new craze here, Fatbikes. I have yet to buy one. I haven't ridden my bike in a bout a month, I burned my left foot pretty bad and it's slowly healing.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:31 PM
22,247 posts, read 29,164,504 times
Reputation: 17751
Hunting/Fishing: Your first year in Alaska you will not be eligible for a resident hunting/fishing license. Can still go fishing, subsistence fishing. No license needed.
Keep in mind that subsistence fishing (and hunting) if for Alaskan residents ONLY. In most places, a subsistence permit is required.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:17 PM
Location: Palmer
2,519 posts, read 6,206,343 times
Reputation: 1378
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Keep in mind that subsistence fishing (and hunting) if for Alaskan residents ONLY. In most places, a subsistence permit is required.
If you don't buy a license even for subsistence fishing you will be ticketed if checked by a wildlife trooper. Many people seem to never see those troopers but I run into them all the time...so I buy a license.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:51 PM
165 posts, read 390,909 times
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Originally Posted by johnniemae View Post
31st State Citizen, your post is very captivating. I'm about to head to your Part 2. I'm from a Deep South state, and I have a question about your experiences.
I have never been to Alaska. There is a possibility I may get a job in Bethel. Since I knew nothing about it, I simply reviewed many of the posts from Bethel residents answering questions from others contemplating moving there, and compiled them. I figured it would be helpful for others.

Warptman in particular, as well as other Bethel residents are the ones with the knowledge.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:09 PM
22,247 posts, read 29,164,504 times
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Originally Posted by Marty Van Diest View Post
If you don't buy a license even for subsistence fishing you will be ticketed if checked by a wildlife trooper. Many people seem to never see those troopers but I run into them all the time...so I buy a license.
A sports license or a subsistence permit? Some people get confused on this because it varies by district, and F&G's wording is a little vague. We don't need to buy a sports license on the island to get a subsistence permit. In other places, from what I can make out, is that a subsistence permit isn't necessary for some types of fish. This is why people have to check with their local offices, though; what's true in one part of the state may not be valid in other parts.

For those who don't know, F&G regs regarding subsistence vary by allocated district. Also, eligibility subsistence has nothing to do with personal economics (as has been suggested on this forum by some).
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:04 PM
Location: SW Pennsylvania, USA
22,447 posts, read 904,890 times
Reputation: 1318
Originally Posted by warptman View Post
There's no unusual encounters with bears here. We do have the occasional moose and caribou that swing through town. This past fall a Muskox wandered into town.

There's a new craze here, Fatbikes. I have yet to buy one. I haven't ridden my bike in a bout a month, I burned my left foot pretty bad and it's slowly healing.
Thanks, Warptman, and may the healing end well.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:10 PM
Location: Palmer
2,519 posts, read 6,206,343 times
Reputation: 1378
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
A sports license or a subsistence permit? Some people get confused on this because it varies by district, and F&G's wording is a little vague. We don't need to buy a sports license on the island to get a subsistence permit. In other places, from what I can make out, is that a subsistence permit isn't necessary for some types of fish. This is why people have to check with their local offices, though; what's true in one part of the state may not be valid in other parts.

For those who don't know, F&G regs regarding subsistence vary by allocated district. Also, eligibility subsistence has nothing to do with personal economics (as has been suggested on this forum by some).
A license for sport fishing, a commercial license for commercial fishing, a subsistence permit for subsistence fishing. The subsistence permit for Kenai or Chitna is free. I don't know what you need for other areas. Perhaps for some fish no license or permit is needed. I know you don't need a hunting or trapping license to trap mice so maybe some fish are in the same category...don't know for sure.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:24 PM
22,247 posts, read 29,164,504 times
Reputation: 17751
The reason I mentioned it is that I've heard a lot of people say that you don't need a license for subsistence, and I think that they are confused. Some districts, though, don't require anything, apparently. I'm guessing those are pretty remote areas, though:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

A valid Resident Sport Fishing License is required to participate in Personal Use fisheries, but is not required to participate in Subsistence fisheries.

Some Subsistence and Personal Use fisheries require a permit issued by ADF&G and some do not.
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