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Old 10-31-2007, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,270,317 times
Reputation: 13691

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This one time at a dog race, some newbie to the area was looking at a dogsled and looked at me with a dumb stare...."is this sinew?" LOL....told him it was rope.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:34 PM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,513 posts, read 3,023,439 times
Reputation: 3519
Quote:
Originally Posted by warptman View Post
No one goes hungry in rural Alaska.
When I lived in Bethel, an acquaintance told me about a meeting she had attended where the natives were engaging in a b*tch session about whites. Over and over, "before the white people came..." Finally, one OLD elder from one of the coastal villages stood up and said something to the effect, "I remember what it was like before the white people came. Before the white man came, our people were cold. Before he came, our people were dying of disease. Before the white man, our people were starving. I don't know about any of you, but I'm glad the white man came."

Warptman is right in that in today's world, no one goes hungry in rural Alaska. However, if something catastrophic were to happen, I think many people would. Most natives have lost many of the traditional skills. They rely heavily on the grocery store. They are motorized. Some don't have adequate winter gear. I've even heard people admit they're not teaching their own children the simpler skills like how to run a generator. Furthermore, many communities are somewhat polarized. When push comes to shove, I believe the family groups will band together and "outsiders" will be left to fend for themselves.

The question of survival was asked in my community about a year ago. The overwhelming response was that the people would get whatever they needed from the stores. They didn't seem to grasp the bigger picture that the stores would soon run out of food and other supplies.

Some people are avid gardeners, so hopefully they will have seed stored for hard times (especially the true homesteaders). Not all communities are rich in game animals or fish. Some lack both. What is available usually comes from a distance. When hard times come, some villagers will probably have to adapt more of a nomadic life.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,270,317 times
Reputation: 13691
most of my best friends are white people...lol...its them albanians and koreans you have to watch out for (sneaky people)
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,852 posts, read 19,564,101 times
Reputation: 6473
There is a very good reason why native villages are located where they are: They are near game trails and water sources. Even then, those food sources are seasonal. In order to survive you have to be able to preserve your food for those times when none are available.

If a catastrophe were to occur, then city critters would be the first to die off, as they are the least prepared and most dependent upon the resources of others. I hunt and fish, not for survival, but merely to supplement my food source by about 33%. In order to ensure I have enough salmon to last me through the winter I have to catch 200 pounds or more in June, July, and August, then process, smoke, and preserve them. One caribou will last me all winter, but if it were my only source of food, then it probably wouldn't last more than a month or two. Since caribou are migratory in order to survive I would either have to migrate with the them or take several caribou at one time and preserve them.

My diet would certainly suffer if I had to "live off the land" exclusively, and starvation would always be a very real possibility. If given a choice, I don't know anyone who would prefer that lifestyle unless they were totally insane or had a death wish. It may seem "romantic" or an "adventure" to be completely independent, but only by those who have utterly no clue how much work is involved just to survive from day to day - like Chris McCandless.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,270,317 times
Reputation: 13691
Keep in mind, we are in the United States, I don't think the government would let us starve. Or at least they don't, you never know these days the way things are going. Lets just hope whoever becomes our next "leader" things will work out better, if that is possible.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:32 AM
 
5 posts, read 12,659 times
Reputation: 19
Seems funny...living in Texas I live off the land more than ppl in the most wildlife abuntant state in the US.

The original question has yet to be answer in it's entirety. Probably because the question is not being answer by the correct ppl. Of course I have the mental image of Alaska as a "self-sustainable" paradise. Whether it be harnessing the natural resources via simple tools and highly advanced technogy.

The multiplicity of natural resources can't be dismissed as a person's "pipe-dream". I don't reason this thourgh experience rather inumberous published data. This consideration obviously pushes aside the regions of Alaska that would be considered arid. Granted living off the land for the most part can practically be done most anywhere.

From my experience I strongly feel that I can survive in many areas of the world, abeit a short time period. Certain regions of Alaska have a strong calling for me. The calling there is more so than any other place of the US. The aspects of abuntant foliage, timber, moving water, non-polluted water, and free roaming wildlife would greatly make a "sustainable" lifesytle the much more easier.

The darkness and cold would be my biggest enemy, if feel. I forget, what's the average daylight? Seems to me that there's far simplier solutions for those enemies than say lack of water(surface and underground table), or protection from continous sun.

Even if I choose a life lacking sustainability the population density is like a beacon guideing me in.

Within the past 4years 20 houses have popped out around me. Furthermore, I currently have 6 gas rigs within a 5mile radius of my house. A 1000 feet from my house, 20feet from a property line I have a gas/produced water separator, and pipeline compressor out back. In front 500feet they're building a 20acre facility that will involve evaporative pits of the drilling byproduct of produced water. So, I may have a stronger opinion than others on the subject.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,515,578 times
Reputation: 14657
Southeast has skunk cabbage, fiddlehead ferns, dandelions, many berries, and your typical fish, waterfowl and redmeat species on the hoof. Probably even some bird eggs here and there. Also a wide assortment of seafood such as crab, shrimp, clams, kelp etc. Not to mention the pine/spruce trees. Remember...most parts are edible.
I for one garden, smoke and jar fish for winter, moose meat in the freezer, and I can catch fish year round in the rivers and lakes. And lot's of spruce hens and rabbits in my area. The last thing I worry about it this great nation coming to a standstill and me needing groceries or gas. And if it came right down to it...I guess I'd eat people. And I could process the fat for candles or oil lamps!
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Bliss Township, Michigan
6,423 posts, read 11,066,388 times
Reputation: 6773
Wow...Euell Gibbons and solent green. Sorry, they just came into my head after reading Rance's post.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Maine
7,728 posts, read 10,801,442 times
Reputation: 8309
, That was funny. All joking aside, there are some great posts here and excellant information. I, personally couldn't live off the land and I'm in awe of those that can. Put me in an 1800's farm house and I'd be in my element. Cooking, sewing, gardening, I can do but if I had to hunt down and catch my food I'd never make it. Isolation isn't a problem, but running water, even a hand pump would be a blessing I'd like to have.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,852 posts, read 19,564,101 times
Reputation: 6473
Default Another McCandless Wannabe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
Seems funny...living in Texas I live off the land more than ppl in the most wildlife abuntant state in the US.

The original question has yet to be answer in it's entirety. Probably because the question is not being answer by the correct ppl. Of course I have the mental image of Alaska as a "self-sustainable" paradise. Whether it be harnessing the natural resources via simple tools and highly advanced technogy.

The multiplicity of natural resources can't be dismissed as a person's "pipe-dream". I don't reason this thourgh experience rather inumberous published data. This consideration obviously pushes aside the regions of Alaska that would be considered arid. Granted living off the land for the most part can practically be done most anywhere.

From my experience I strongly feel that I can survive in many areas of the world, abeit a short time period. Certain regions of Alaska have a strong calling for me. The calling there is more so than any other place of the US. The aspects of abuntant foliage, timber, moving water, non-polluted water, and free roaming wildlife would greatly make a "sustainable" lifesytle the much more easier.

The darkness and cold would be my biggest enemy, if feel. I forget, what's the average daylight? Seems to me that there's far simplier solutions for those enemies than say lack of water(surface and underground table), or protection from continous sun.

Even if I choose a life lacking sustainability the population density is like a beacon guideing me in.

Within the past 4years 20 houses have popped out around me. Furthermore, I currently have 6 gas rigs within a 5mile radius of my house. A 1000 feet from my house, 20feet from a property line I have a gas/produced water separator, and pipeline compressor out back. In front 500feet they're building a 20acre facility that will involve evaporative pits of the drilling byproduct of produced water. So, I may have a stronger opinion than others on the subject.
You make it sound like Alaska is a smörgåsbord on the hoof, and that just isn't reality. With 653,000 people living in Alaska it is hardly a "self-sustainable" paradise. If those barges and planes were to suddenly stop coming up from the lower-48, you would kill off at least two-thirds of the state population and probably more.

The multiplicity of natural resources CAN be dismissed as a person's "pipe-dream" when that person doesn't have the first clue on what is involved in obtaining them. It isn't like rabbits, moose, or caribou are going to jump into your lap, or birds fall from the sky, and say "eat me!" Why do you think Chris McCandless starved to death? If you think you have the skillset necessary to live off the land, think again. Alaska is unlike any other environment you have ever experienced. I used to hunt in Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and California. I've taken more deer, elk, boar, pheasant, ducks, geese, and grouse than I can count. Just about everything I knew about hunting and fishing was completely useless when I moved to Alaska. I had to learn new skills from the locals.

Sure, Alaska has more moose, caribou, and bear than people, but then again Alaska is bigger than most countries, and more than twice the size of Texas. How far are you willing to hike in the Alaskan bush to get your game? Assuming you get your game, how are you going to keep bears from taking it away from you?

If you want to pretend that you are Euell Gibbons and stalk the wild asparagus be my guest, but don't say that you weren't warned.
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