I have been a frequent visitor to this site for some time and have just now registered. I am looking forward to being a part as we prepare for our move.
Hi, My wife and i have been yearning about our move to the frontier for some time and we continue to come to the same question that causes us to pause and re-consider. I am hoping your assistance can ease some of our anxiety.
What can we do for income while living remote? We understand that it takes income to live remote, for supplies and repairs, fuel, etc. Suggestions would be helpful. -- some ideas we have are: virtual retail or e-commerce, working "in town" for part of the year and living out the remainder.
Hi, and Welcome to the Forum! Glad you registered and joined us!
This is Jenny. I think the question you ask is the eternal question of many (if not most) bushrats I have to make this quick for now, but if you end up living someplace fairly remote, but still have access to regular mail, then selling stuff online would work. We have to charter a plane, so can't ship things out on any kind of regular schedule. We did wholesale caribou anter jewelry for a number of years and did well with that. We sold to museums, art galleries and upper end gift shops. The buyers knew we were very remote and that they had to order for the entire year all at once. They were fine with that, but we were already established before we moved way out here so they knew they would sell our things and didn't hesitate to order quite a bit for the year. Retail would be more difficult because people want things as soon as they order, so you'd have to be able to get to someplace that had at least weekly mail delivery and pick up. Some years I went into town to do a big retail craft show. It paid for the flying plus some of the shopping. I only did that if we needed to do a shopping trip anyway. Some years it only paid for the flying, but that still made it worth doing. Lots of folks work seasonally, too. Chuck traps, writes, and guides. We're trying to get our new site started and built up so he doesn't have to guide so much. Right now our boys are really young and he ends up being gone at least twice a year for 6-8 weeks at the time, then sometimes a few more weeks here and there.
It seems like we have another thread or two about this topic someplace in here. I don't have time to hunt it down right now, but I think it was about a year ago. I'll try to find it for you, or maybe you'll find it by the time I get back here.
"What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." ~ Will Rogers ~ ALASKA HUNTING TODAY
Thanks Jenny, That does help. I thought it would center around guiding and trapping. I ahve done some guiding here (certainly not what it is in Alaska) but never trapped. One of the learning curves i look forward to embracing. --
Post by ugashikrobert on Nov 18, 2006 12:53:48 GMT -5
Gakona: When my bride and I decided to make our leap of faith we had two tremendous advantages. We were debt free with savings and had retirement income. Not everyone can accomplish that but looking back I don't think we would of made it out here without that unless we had opted to use some previous skill sets in a consulting scenario over the Internet or phone. When I look at the other options described it is very dependent on the logistics you create by your choice of location. Everything is a compromise but the further you get from the road system the higher the probability it will be the experience you want. When you locate that far away the logistics of shipping and travel are very expensive. In very rural areas the people that provide those services are the ones making the money not the people buying them. You mentioned guiding and trapping and they are possibilities. I live in a very rare area in that there is no one else trapping in a very large area mainly because of the cost and logistics of travel. This cost of travel is becoming more of a factor every day with increased fuel costs. I would be hard pressed to make a living from my area even if I trapped it hard which I don't. If you wish to trap above a hobby scale like I do the initial cost of equipment, the learning curve, and the fuel/transportation costs are very high. You won't find many trappers on Wall Street. Look at the trappers with the largest income and look at there area, there investment and there status with the recent fuel costs. Not trying to discourage you just paint as realistic picture as I can based on my own personal experience. The biggest survival tool you can have our here is your attitude. It can take you places in spite of a lot of the things I mentioned. Good Luck
Hi. This is Jenny again. I think Bob said it very well. One thing I'd add is to consider what you want in the way of lifestyle. I think Bob has mentioned before (correct me if I'm wrong) that he and his wife (especially his wife) wanted to have many of the things they would have in town such as electricity and running water. From their pictures, what they have is a far cry from what many see as a little "romantic, picturesque little cabin in the woods" ---- not to mention that there are few trees where Bob lives Nothing wrong at all with the things that Bob has. It is a balance, and you have to decide what you are willing to do to get what you want, and how long you are willing to wait for it. If you want to live in the bush with all the amenities of city life, then plan accordingly. If you are willing (and as Bob mentioned) you and your wife have the right attitude, you could have that little picturesque cabin in the woods and get by on very little money. But, as most folks find, you will probably eventually want more and decide that the little cabin is too small. When Chuck and first married, I knew that he wanted a simple lifestyle in the bush. He was a bit concerned that I didn't REALLY want that, even though I said I did. But, I told him that even though I had never lived in the bush, I had lived the alternative from growing up in a major, HUGE city to living in little towns. I hated all of it and held to my dream of living in a little cabin in the woods. Well, now with three boys, this little cabin is driving me nuts and we need more income than when it was just the two of us, but we'll make it. And I don't think we'll have to move back to "civilization" to do it.
"What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." ~ Will Rogers ~ ALASKA HUNTING TODAY
Hi! new at this whole forum thing, sany so if I make any mistakes, forgive me. I live in Alaska, in a small semi-bush community in the interior. We have a population in the winter of around 500, which multiplies exponentialy in the summer with the tourist trade to the nearby Denali National Park. The reason I am writing is to suggest a job that few people know about. I am a weather observer for NOAA. I take readings every two hours, every day. I send them through to NOAA via the internet, but could phone them in if I had to. It pays very well if you consider that I only really work a total of one hour a day. The catch is that it is EVERY day. I get paid per reading, with the first two and last reading being worth almost twice what the others are. If I miss a reading, I simply don't get paid for it, Doesn't sound like a problem but the pay is high enough that you get so you doj't want to miss a single one! However, I have to spend a day in town once a month, and occadionally have other trips to take and often activities that take me far enough from home to make dashing back every two hours impractical. The requirements are to be certified, and to have a weather station installed in your yard (they pay for it) It took me a month to get the training and become certified. Tjhe previous observer in my town had had the job for 26 years! He was dying and I had taken a job taking care of his house first then taking care of him when he got worse. He turned the job over to me when he could no longer handle it and trained me from his sick bed. Buit NOAA does have places to train new observers. I am in a small town because I am still single, and am not ready to move out int the bush by myself. This job could be done almost anywhere there is access to the internet or a phone., And enough electricity to run the instruments. I now have a job that I can take with me into the bush, when I am ready, and find the partner I am looking for. I just thougt you might like to hear about a job that is a little different from some of the other stuff in Alaska, but is easy to do, and very good money. As long as Alaska has bush pilots, NOAA will need bush weather observers.
Thanks to all of you for your input. It is very helpful. I have a lot of planning to do and working on the logistics. I currently have an e-commerce website and an ebay store that i sell items through. Most of which i am able to drop ship and never touch myself. -- I am hoping that will grow enough that i can make the move and suppliment with the guiding and what ever else i need. -- It was good to hear some of the stories, my wife too is excited about moving to Alaska and the "wilderness" but she also wants an indoor bathroom and electricity. I am trying to find the compromise. Perhaps a remote small village would be the compromise i am not sure. We also have four children, 10, 6,5,4. two of each. There is some concern about their adjustment.
We are planning to travel to AK in the late spring to check out the areas we are looking at. She really likes the Kenai Peninsula, i like the area around Alexander Creek and toward Talkeetna and also the area around Glenn Allen. Not sure....I did spend some time east of Paxson a few years ago, pretty but i am not sure about that area.
Post by ugashikrobert on Nov 20, 2006 12:16:20 GMT -5
Gakona: Jenny made some very good points I should of explained further in my first post. It is very important to decide at what level you are going to enter this lifestyle. If you want the full blown hack it out of local materials start up look at the success rates. More importantly look at what caused the people to abandon it and I think you will find the lack of creature comforts to be a big hitter. Look carefully at people who claim to be year round bush rats and see just how much time they spend somewhere else getting what they don't have locally. We have went as long as two years without leaving period and that should tell you we built here to live here. You need to first choose an area that meets your goals then include enough comforts for your level of tolerance whatever that is. I think you will find a lot of people who get totally immersed in the process of building there dream in the bush and suddenly realize the area will not provide what they thought it would and level of comfort is more than they wish to endure. The areas you mentioned are good choices for a bride with a desire for some "city" features because of the proximity to the road system. Like Jenny said if you desire to go further into the bush there is nothing in terms of features you have to leave in the city if you are willing to work at it and plan for it.
Thanks ugashikrobert, you made some real excellent points. -- One of the reasons I joined this forum is to gather information and learn form those who have gone before! The wife and i are doing extensive research in the area, and trying to learn about the different villages, towns, and outlying areas. to narrow down our list of "areas" but in the mean time we will continue to listen to you all who are living your dream and ours!