With 57.7 million wilderness acres and 82% of communities not accessible by road,i it’s easy to see that Alaska is a great place to get away from it all.
For some people, remote moves are all about living life on their own terms and enjoying maximum personal freedom. Others have fallen in love with the state’s rugged landscape and the fascinating animals who call Alaska home. Some people who head for Alaska’s wilderness do so out of a sense that they’ve never belonged anywhere else. And still others relish the challenge of creating their own off-grid lifestyle, one that’s as minimally reliant on others as possible.
No matter your reasons, a remote/bush move in Alaska requires a significant amount of planning. This is especially true if you’re starting from scratch with a completely undeveloped piece of land. In this article, we’ll walk you through all the considerations around a remote Alaska move. We’ll start with the logistics of setting up your life in the bush all the way to moving the supplies you’ll need to turn your dream into a reality.
Things to Think About Before You Make a Remote Alaska Move
If you’re buying an established cabin, many of these items will already have been taken care of. However, if your dream is to build your remote life from the ground up, you’ll want to consider the following four elements:
Making Your Alaska Bush Move
In our experience, remote moves come in all sizes. Some people might feel comfortable packing a small-but-mighty amount of gear and making a go of it. Others might have a grander vision to move several crates’ worth of possessions into a remote wilderness cabin.
If you have significant supplies or personal possessions you want to take, you’ll likely need the help of a professional company. If so, here’s what we suggest:
Get Three EstimatesPick three, independent companies and ask each to develop a quote for your move. There are a number of factors they'll take into account, including your location, timing, and methods the mover will use to get your items where they need to go. Your shipment may move by boat, barge, rail, truck, and/or bush plane.
By getting three different quotes, you’ll give yourself a good lay of the land. You’ll understand how each company will approach your move—and what the going rate and timeframe will be for each. This should give you a strong sense of what to expect during your remote Alaska move.
However, you don’t want to get a quote from just anybody…
Look for Experienced MoversMost Alaskans embrace a can do attitude. In fact, if you're considering a remote move, you probably share in that spirit. It's one of the things that makes life work in Alaska—and it's a valuable philosophy to have when you're living off the land in the wilderness
That said, when you’re choosing a moving company for your remote relocation, we recommend you look beyond “can do” to “have done.” In other words, choose someone with experience in remote Alaska relocations. Trust us: Alaska moves are unique. A seasoned company already understands the complex logistics of the Last Frontier, reducing the chance for bumps in the road. Additionally, if the unexpected does happen, a seasoned mover can leverage its experience and established relationships to get your move back on track.
Make Sure You're Sure About Rural LivingEven a short stay in a semi-rural setting will affirm whether or not you want to move to the Alaska wilderness. It might even convince you that you're ready for something wilder. Sure, this little experiment will cost you a little money. However, it can save you a bundle if you decide that remote living isn't for you.
If you have any doubts whatsoever, test the waters to make sure remote Alaska is right for you. (Before you make the investment in land, supplies, and shipping!) For example, rent a cabin in proximity to a small town like Nenana (pop. 341) or Moose Pass on the Kenai Peninsula. Even if it’s not as secluded as the life you envision for yourself, spend a few weeks there. See how you enjoy your days. Experience what it feels like to live without running water.
Live the Life You’ve Always Wanted
People come to Alaska for all sorts of reasons—and with all kinds of visions for their lives in the Last Frontier. If yours includes starting from scratch on your very own tract of remote land, you’ve now got a sense of what’s involved, including how to ship in the supplies you need to get started.
If you need help with your remote or bush move, we would be happy to assist! Our team has moved individuals and families to locations all over the state. We’d love to help you with a safe, easy, and affordable move to your new remote home. Just get in touch with us for a complimentary quote.
Tell us about your move!