Wilderness Survival In Alaska And The Arctic
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
This post will be part of a 12-part series on wilderness survival for the blog on our website. It will be based on survival in Alaska. Why Alaska? Because if you can survive in the Alaska Bush, you can survive anywhere in the world, even the Sahara Desert. My wife and I crossed the Sahara from north to south on motorcycles. It is about 1,700 miles by road from north to south. (The Sahara is bigger than the continental US by quite a margin.) So I have some experience there along with lots of experience in the Desert South West.
These will be the titles of our 12 blog posts on Survival:
2. Survival Challenges in Alaska and the Arctic
8. Wilderness First Aid
9. Summer Gear List
10. Winter Gear List
12. Self Rescue; Finding your way out
I plan to include a few photos in some of the posts and maybe even a link to a video or two.
This series covers everything from going down in your airplane, to getting lost or injured on a day hike, to how to survive when the SHTF. While I cannot cover every detail in these blog posts that we teach in our seven and 14-day Survival School classes (that would take a book or two), it will help you to get on your way to becoming much more self-reliant when everything goes south.
But first of all, I want to dispel a few myths and outright falsehoods floating around the internet about survival:
#1.) The 72-hour bug-out bag (kit). Nearly every kit article I have read says that you only need 72 hours worth the food, some shelter, and a fire starter to survive. That is either an outright lie to sell you a kit, or it is being pushed by people that are entirely clueless about wilderness survival and surviving a SHTF/grid-down train wreck. First of all, with that type of kit in an SHTF scenario, with 72 hours worth the food, it means that you are only 72 hours from being just another refugee, just like millions of other people. In other words, what do you plan on doing for food after 72 hours? It is NOT as if all the stores will be restocked suddenly! An SHTF scenario is NOT going to be over in 72 hours! It might not be over for several years, if ever! If you are going to survive that scenario, you need a way to get more food.
#2.) While I believe that prepping for uncertain times is extremely important, there is a finite amount of food you can store up due to limited finances, limited space, shelf life, supply chain problems, etc. So to survive a SHTF scenario, you must have the know-how to forge for plants, successfully hunt game animals, trap fur-bearing animals, catch fish, and grow a garden. Therefore, there needs to be a lot more emphasis put on feeding yourself and your family before your food stores run out. The same goes for surviving a plane wreck in the Alaska Wilderness.
There is only so much room in a bush plane. So I always have a way of hunting and fishing!
#3.) Survival gear is essential to have! Make no mistake about that! However, you can buy all of the latest and greatest survival gear on the market, and if you do not know how to use it, you are just packing a lot of weight around for nothing! So ALWAYS be trained, be prepared, and be ready!
#4.) It is very seldom that anyone writes about a survival mindset. Yet, it is by far the most critical tool you will ever have in any survival situation.
#5.) Like most skills, your survival training is a perishable skill set. Unfortunately, I have never come across an article addressing that. You have heard it said many times that “practice makes perfect,” and it does. However, suppose you are not practicing what works in real life. In that case, your “practice makes perfect” will make you a perfect failure, and you cannot afford a failure in a real-life survival scenario. Therefore, I encourage you to train every day but get some proper training. Your life and the lives of your loved ones may well depend on your survival skill sets!
#6.) I used to provide training to select people in tactical handgun, tactical rifle, and team tactics. Over the years, I have also read many posts and articles on gun handling and how you should train. Unfortunately, by following the guild lines in most of these articles, you will get killed in your first gunfight! Many of these so-called “weapons experts” have never been shot at and received their “training” from watching YouTube videos produced by another guy that has no real-world experience either. Again, I encourage you to train every day but get the proper hands-on training. You need to train correctly to avoid failure. Your life and the lives of your loved ones will one day depend on your survival skill sets!
One thing that I will NOT cover in these 12 posts is everything wrong in the world that will lead up to a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event. Thousands of people write about that every day and have been for years. Will there be an SHTF or TEOTWAWKI event in America? Yes, it is a mathematical certainty. Do I know when it will happen? No, and neither does anyone else. I have heard nearly countless predictions of when it will happen, and none of them have come true…yet. But there is one thing about the timing that I know for sure. We are one day closer to this train wreck than we were yesterday. Tick Tock, Tick Tock. So get some real-life, hands-on training! It is more important than I can even begin to tell you.
Be Bold, Be Courageous, Be Safe Dangerous.
May God Bless you and yours in these troubling times.
“Men like me are impossible until the day when they become necessary.”
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein
Stryker is the call sign of former law enforcement and security contractor working in hostile theaters. He has lived, traveled, and worked in the remotest regions of the Alaska Bush, off-the-road system, during the winter and summer. Most of his time in Alaska is spent in the Arctic, the Interior, and on the Alaska Peninsula. He has traveled extensively in the Alaska Bush via snowmobile, dog team, snow-cat, swamp trucks, ATVs, jet boats, ocean-going boats, helicopters, and airplanes. Stryker spent ten years in the Arctic learning about Arctic survival from Eskimo Elders. Stryker has also spent considerable time in remote regions in 13 African counties. He has been in life-and-death survival scenarios where his years of training and practical application have saved his and others’ lives. He is a bush pilot and regularly flies his Piper PA-18 Super Cub in the Alaska Bush, landing on gravel bars and ridge tops on tundra tires and skis. After seeing people die needlessly in the bush due to a lack of training and being poorly equipped, Stryker and his team have decided to share their vast knowledge of survival with a select few people.
You can contact Stryker at this email: contact [at] aw-sog.com