Can any Alaskans give me some info on what it's like to live up there? -

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post #1 of 4 Old 12-26-2010, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Can any Alaskans give me some info on what it's like to live up there?

Just wondering if there is work up there and what the real estate is like. I definitely understand that the wheeling up there is probably better than anywhere else in the world.

If anyone actually relocated to Alaska I wouldn't mind hearing how that went (if you don't mind).

I can read all day about stats and such but hearing from Alaskans themselves would probably be the best information.


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post #2 of 4 Old 12-26-2010, 07:19 PM
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try searching for clubs/groups in Alaska and asking around

heres one - Alaska Jeepers

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post #3 of 4 Old 12-28-2010, 12:22 PM
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Im in the seattle area now but was stationed up in fairbanks, there is a few good clubs up there and getting on to one of there sites will give you the best idea of whats up there, that and they are good about helping you find a place to live and jobs before you even get there, i am a retierd member of Arctic offroad, and they will help you out if your going to fairbanks area. good luck! ArcticOffroad - Home
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-18-2011, 12:41 PM
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Lifelong Alaskan here- what do you want to know? I've lived in Anchorage/Eagle River/Chugiak primarily but also did a stint in Nome and have traveled to Juneau, Kotzebue, Prudhoe Bay, Red Dog, and driven everything on the road system from Homer to Fairbanks to Delta to Valdez and back again.

I think Alaska is a GREAT place to live if you are outdoorsy. The people that end up hating it are people that like the amenities that cities offer, or people that hate winter...or both. One thing I recommend is if you decide to live up here, pick yourself a winter sport so you don't go stir crazy during our long winters.

Let's see-- Summertime positives are nearly 24 hour daylight, usually have decent weather except August when it rains cats and dogs, plenty of places to fish, off-road, ride ATV's, camp, hunt, hike, bike. Summer downsides are probably the mosquitos and other bugs like no-see-um's, particularly in the woods. Invest in a mosquito head-net and bug dope.

Wintertime positives are- lots of snow (hope you like to ski or snowmobile) with plenty of places to ride snowmobiles. We have some low-snow winters where people will just continue to off-road or ride ATV's. No bugs! Wintertime negatives are low temperatures, low light (or no light, depending how far north you go).

Other things you need to know about Alaska: the cost of living is expensive. Gas costs more up here than anywhere except Hawaii. Heating your home is expensive. In the Anchorage area heat is natural gas but further out you're looking at using heating oil- which costs a small fortune. Electricity is expensive. Food is expensive. Everything is expensive, due to freight to bring it into Alaska. I would highly recommend looking at the local paper for wherever you plan to move and peruse the costs for renting if that's what you plan to do, because rent up here in the major metro's is spendy. Cheaper the further out you get. Call the landlord or the seller and ask them for the average electricity and gas/oil use. Expect that your costs will be 3X as expensive in winter than summer.

If you plan to move up here, and can afford to do this, I recommend you visit for two weeks in the winter and two weeks in the summer. Some people come up to Alaska to live without having any real idea what it's like and they absolutely hate it. Other people love it. I just think people should know what they're getting into.

Keep in mind that temps and light vary drastically from one part of Alaska to the other. The panhandle, which includes Juneau, Skagway and Sitka is a rainforest. They get snow, but they have warmer weather overall and their weather is more like Western Washington State. Anchorage area can have pretty long winters (generally October to April) and only 5-1/2 hours of daylight at winter solstice. You go to work in the dark, you drive home in the dark. Summertime temps don't get over 80 generally and 65 is more average. Wintertime temps average about 20 degrees but you can see 20 below. Fairbanks sees highs in the summer of 100 above, lows in the winter of 50 below. They have less light in the winter, more light in the summer than Anchorage.

Also keep in mind that there is a big difference in topography. The panhandle is on the coast and has mountains on the inland side. Anchorage and surrounding area is surrounded by 5 mountain ranges but Anchorage itself is at sea level and is a port city. So you've got options of everything from kayaking to mountaineering within very short drives. Fairbanks is in the interior and is FLAT. They have hills but no mountains.

Anyway, that's my "Alaska in a nutshell" reply and if you have specific questions feel free to ask and I'll reply.

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