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Q's building an alaskan homestead

 
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Glen Brausky wrote:I did what your talking about doing over 20 years ago. An old motor home , pickup and  $5k in pocket. Have had many properties and built a bunch of cabins around the state. Sell and move someplace else. Good way to see the state.
Get a pickup with camper. Always have a place to live and can check out the state on road system easier. Property taxes are high but there are places in state with none like where I live. Property prices are getting crazy up here just like everywhere but if you look a lot you can find a deal once in a while. Closer to towns and cities means higher prices and taxes.
Anchorage-30 minutes from Alaska.
You just need to do it or you will be in the planning stages for 20 years like most the people on this site.



I think I will start where I am, and maybe make a few contacts, get some money saved up, build a reliable truck, find a camper, and give it a shot. I think for now I just cant justify going there without a plan.
I was unaware that the places with property tax actually had high property taxes.
I may actually go somewhere closer, I think I anticipated building codes being worse than they are... I could be completely wrong. Since I hurt my back ive been looking into stick frame instead of timber/logs...So i may just look at code and do it that way. Either way I dont care for rules or neighbors.

I appreciate all the info ive been given.
 
pollinator
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Whilst I am sorry to hear you have hurt your back, I am so grateful it happened BEFORE you jumped ship for Alaska! I can only imagine the implications had this occurred during a log cabin build, alone, in the middle of nowhere!!!

There is nothing wrong with stick built, staying put or altering plans when things change. I am so glad you have found that you do not HAVE to relocate thousands of miles to find areas with fewer regs and barriers to what your dreams include.

I view your journey from your very first post to now to be an incredibly useful guide, chock full of a myriad of fabulous advice - whether to relocate/move to Alaska or seek to meet your goals differently.

Thank you for sharing your ongoing adventures!
 
aurora sev
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Whilst I am sorry to hear you have hurt your back, I am so grateful it happened BEFORE you jumped ship for Alaska! I can only imagine the implications had this occurred during a log cabin build, alone, in the middle of nowhere!!!

There is nothing wrong with stick built, staying put or altering plans when things change. I am so glad you have found that you do not HAVE to relocate thousands of miles to find areas with fewer regs and barriers to what your dreams include.

I view your journey from your very first post to now to be an incredibly useful guide, chock full of a myriad of fabulous advice - whether to relocate/move to Alaska or seek to meet your goals differently.

Thank you for sharing your ongoing adventures!



Yes, hurting my back was a huge learning experience. 7 months since, im still not healed fully. I probably would have died if I were without a mean of communication, and out in the woods. Definitely learned the importance of doing things slowly, and being careful. The first thing I thought of was, what if I were out in alaska. I learned a lot.

Its definitely a win to be able to start here!  I appreciate where I am, much more than I did.

Hopefully I can add more to this thread later.
 
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Not sure if this is still being monitored, but I'd like to give some other perspective that has not been addressed here, that I would assume a permie would be interested in.

-Most of the state has a very short, cool growing season; your staple crops mostly don't do well here, except potatoes. You will need to plan for a very large garden of short season crops. Forage/hunting is also limited with crappy salmon runs the last several years and getting a tag for moose or caribou is not a guarantee, let alone having a successful hunt.

- At this latitude, the trees grow in different patterns; with extreme sunlight in the very short season, only a handful of decent deciduous firewood trees grow, and very slowly. Spruce beetle is devastating our evergreens.

- I truly question real sustainability here. 99% of our states food is trucked or shipped in. Soil is very poor in a lot of places. The months of cold and dark require a lot of energy consumption for comfort or even survival. Even keep basic livestock such as chickens is challenging, and we don't have a ton of predator pressure (mostly hawks and eagles, little fox)

- The road system here is very primitive outside the Anchorage and Matsu Boroughs. Some properties are only accessible via snowmachine or airplane. It makes them extra expensive to build on and get supplies to.

It is a very pretty place, I just very often contemplate the footprint of people living here. It seems like an unnecessary challenge to impose upon yourself if you are only looking for a cold climate and remoteness. I understand the draw and do not mean to dissuade you, but I have spent several winters here now and spend a lot of time contemplating real sustainability here in modern times.

 
pollinator
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Aurora, I have to ask about your name, how is it pronounced, and what is its history please?
Bad backs are bad news, but proper treatment can sort it out.
There is no reason not to continue with logs. If you change the method on working.
Sleds, swing cranes, sliding gantrys would be great to set up and use.
Most people ignore them and see the time involved as lost time.
But once in place they save an enormous amount of time.
Think about it.
 
aurora sev
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Jessica Mcdonald wrote:Not sure if this is still being monitored, but I'd like to give some other perspective that has not been addressed here, that I would assume a permie would be interested in.

-Most of the state has a very short, cool growing season; your staple crops mostly don't do well here, except potatoes. You will need to plan for a very large garden of short season crops. Forage/hunting is also limited with crappy salmon runs the last several years and getting a tag for moose or caribou is not a guarantee, let alone having a successful hunt.

- At this latitude, the trees grow in different patterns; with extreme sunlight in the very short season, only a handful of decent deciduous firewood trees grow, and very slowly. Spruce beetle is devastating our evergreens.

- I truly question real sustainability here. 99% of our states food is trucked or shipped in. Soil is very poor in a lot of places. The months of cold and dark require a lot of energy consumption for comfort or even survival. Even keep basic livestock such as chickens is challenging, and we don't have a ton of predator pressure (mostly hawks and eagles, little fox)

- The road system here is very primitive outside the Anchorage and Matsu Boroughs. Some properties are only accessible via snowmachine or airplane. It makes them extra expensive to build on and get supplies to.

It is a very pretty place, I just very often contemplate the footprint of people living here. It seems like an unnecessary challenge to impose upon yourself if you are only looking for a cold climate and remoteness. I understand the draw and do not mean to dissuade you, but I have spent several winters here now and spend a lot of time contemplating real sustainability here in modern times.



For now im starting here, this is great information though. Ive watched more videos about alaska, and some of it isnt as pretty as it sounded.
Im no longer sure I would want to do it, it just depends on how things play out.

I think with alaska the traditional farming isnt realistic, it seems greenhouses and special types of greenhouses are the way to go. Its something im still learning about.

as someone previously stated, its not a bad thing to start where I am, it makes things much easier and faster. Now that im saving up and about to buy a piece of land, I really appreciate having a warm place to stay and working close.

I saw something about the spruce beetles, its a real shame.
I wasnt aware moose/carribou tags werent guaranteed.

its not as pretty as it seemed. I will keep it in mind in the future. right now im more concerned with getting and building something small.
Thanks for the pointers.
 
aurora sev
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John C Daley wrote:Aurora, I have to ask about your name, how is it pronounced, and what is its history please?
Bad backs are bad news, but proper treatment can sort it out.
There is no reason not to continue with logs. If you change the method on working.
Sleds, swing cranes, sliding gantrys would be great to set up and use.
Most people ignore them and see the time involved as lost time.
But once in place they save an enormous amount of time.
Think about it.


I picked a random username, so no history.
Indeed bad backs are a serious plan changer, im now just getting to the point of being able to bend and lift things without pain, 9 months or so after the injury. All I did was step off a trailer with a floor jack, a bit faster than I should have. Good time to learn that lesson, if I had to learn it. I agree with you, I can still build with logs, only more intelligently. For what im doing right now im not going to worry about it, because im buying a smaller bit of land, and logs wont be practical. I still prefer them though.

I might be adding some videos soon, depending on how long finding a bit of land takes. Realistically once I get the land, wait about a month for the money to take a week off and get something built. Ive decided on 25'x10'  thinking about a gambrel roof for a usable attic space.
anyways! still figuring it out.
thanks amigo.
 
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Live in Willow AK winter can get to 30- 40 below for a couple of weeks at a time. Have a garden in summer in a high tunnel and a totally outdoor garden mounded with black plastic. Peas, kale onions, potatoes, cabbage cauliflower, brocolli grow well, but have to start them indoor in February, March and April. Need fence around garden 6 feet tall to keep moose out. Hunting is hit and miss .D'ont start outdoor garden til after May 25 most years. Do a temp check of soil first. Our house is wood. Thinking of trying to build a small cabin out of earthbags. Someone did it in Fairbanks, winters colder longer there. We have no permafrost here. State has areas of all permafrost ie Bethel (houses built on pilings or sandpads) amd intermittent permafrost Fairbanks.  Some people work butt off during summer construction season and then off the rest of the year. Won;t find market for mukluks as those are usually bought by tourists made by Alaska Natives. Some people have beehives as sideline, but don't overwinter well. Some people have goats, can use fermented grain as feed, get for free from Talkeetna brewery. Getting Fish usually not a problem. Can ice fish in winter. We take wanton waste very seriously here. so if you fish find a use for every bit of it.Not much small game, some rabbits a few birds spruce hens etc, but they have been decimated by overhunting by certain groups. If on road system Anchorage to Fairbanks people often work in town can be a 150 mile  or more commute. 2-2.5 hour one way commute when I was doing. Still some jobs on slope 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off, but have to be here a while before they will hire unless you know someone or have a special skill. It is wetter down on the Kenai and more expensive. Anchorage is just north Seattle for people who have lived her for a while.
 
aurora sev
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Lucy Osbourne wrote:Live in Willow AK winter can get to 30- 40 below for a couple of weeks at a time. Have a garden in summer in a high tunnel and a totally outdoor garden mounded with black plastic. Peas, kale onions, potatoes, cabbage cauliflower, brocolli grow well, but have to start them indoor in February, March and April. Need fence around garden 6 feet tall to keep moose out. Hunting is hit and miss .D'ont start outdoor garden til after May 25 most years. Do a temp check of soil first. Our house is wood. Thinking of trying to build a small cabin out of earthbags. Someone did it in Fairbanks, winters colder longer there. We have no permafrost here. State has areas of all permafrost ie Bethel (houses built on pilings or sandpads) amd intermittent permafrost Fairbanks.  Some people work butt off during summer construction season and then off the rest of the year. Won;t find market for mukluks as those are usually bought by tourists made by Alaska Natives. Some people have beehives as sideline, but don't overwinter well. Some people have goats, can use fermented grain as feed, get for free from Talkeetna brewery. Getting Fish usually not a problem. Can ice fish in winter. We take wanton waste very seriously here. so if you fish find a use for every bit of it.Not much small game, some rabbits a few birds spruce hens etc, but they have been decimated by overhunting by certain groups. If on road system Anchorage to Fairbanks people often work in town can be a 150 mile  or more commute. 2-2.5 hour one way commute when I was doing. Still some jobs on slope 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off, but have to be here a while before they will hire unless you know someone or have a special skill. It is wetter down on the Kenai and more expensive. Anchorage is just north Seattle for people who have lived her for a while.



As terrible as it might be, I still really want to end up in alaska. I now have enough saved up to buy land here, and now its just a matter of finding the right one.

The crazier the world gets, the more I want to be far away, in some place people dont want to be. The only concerning thing to me, is the roads, if I ended up in a place with roads. If you end up with a property with a road in a wetlands... Who knows! I dont think I will be moving there without a trade and some things planned. Its important to appreciate what we have, and im working on making the best of it.
I do appreciate that you shared this, sorry I didnt respond sooner.

Thank you to everyone who posted
 
aurora sev
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Is it even legal to build a log cabin in rural alaska?
Ive been doing more research and seriously looking for land in missouri, only to find that a tiny portion allows you to live without building codes, and of that tiny portion, a small portion allows you to live without electricity. Its looking like alaska is the last place you can be left alone, and with the drones taking pictures of properties, you pretty much cant illegally build without the gov crashing the party.
what a mess.
 
pollinator
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It *is* madness ... the pioneering spirit is dead, per the building codes, loan industry, insurance industry, and zoning/taxing authorities.

However, there is always "stealth pioneer" mode, for whichever portion of the country you choose to land in. To go stealth (and this happens more often than one would think), you'll need to do certain things:

1. lots of (wooded) acreage, so nobody sees you
2. go mortgage-free
3. self-insure, off-grid, etc.
4. most likely, do something impermanent (tiny home, yurt, etc.) ... less is more; be more mobile.

Do everything yourself, to stay off the radar. There will be some minimum amount of "do things their way" (I'd expect this anywhere in the country these days), and then if these minimums are met, you are OK to do what you want afterwards.

In my county, this is an approved septic system, and an "engineered" foundation. After those two hard requirements were met, we were left alone; we do everything the way we want. We are flying under the radar. In fact, knowing what I know now, I'd build much less ... a few tiny homes on wheels and a few storage buildings.

There is lots of flexibility in going stealth ... but, it isn't for everybody; it's a personal choice, and an attitude.
 
aurora sev
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Jt Lamb wrote:It *is* madness ... the pioneering spirit is dead, per the building codes, loan industry, insurance industry, and zoning/taxing authorities.

However, there is always "stealth pioneer" mode, for whichever portion of the country you choose to land in. To go stealth (and this happens more often than one would think), you'll need to do certain things:

1. lots of (wooded) acreage, so nobody sees you
2. go mortgage-free
3. self-insure, off-grid, etc.
4. most likely, do something impermanent (tiny home, yurt, etc.) ... less is more; be more mobile.

Do everything yourself, to stay off the radar. There will be some minimum amount of "do things their way" (I'd expect this anywhere in the country these days), and then if these minimums are met, you are OK to do what you want afterwards.

In my county, this is an approved septic system, and an "engineered" foundation. After those two hard requirements were met, we were left alone; we do everything the way we want. We are flying under the radar. In fact, knowing what I know now, I'd build much less ... a few tiny homes on wheels and a few storage buildings.

There is lots of flexibility in going stealth ... but, it isn't for everybody; it's a personal choice, and an attitude.



What is scarier than where the world is heading, is how accepting and happy the people are about it. They want big brother to tell them what kind of house they can build, they want the nanny state to tell them how to live. They want to be micromanaged, and they want everyone else to live under the same micromanagement, because why would anyone NEED to have that much freedom? Its genuinely terrifying to think where the world is going to be in 50 years.
the people have become so domesticated they don't understand the desire for freedom.

its all a joke, things are grandfathered in, if they are so dangerous to be illegal, how can they be grandfathered in? If they can be grandfathered in, it only makes sense that newer approaches and variations would be safer. Its like making machine guns post 1986 illegal, its not stopping people, its stopping people without money. Its all a game, to get you to participate in the rat race, tossing them a huge portion of your money, so that they can use it for evil and control.

Im trying to find where to go, and how to do it. Its all about making it more of a fuss than its worth for them. Thats the reason alaska is so high up on the list, if you are far enough away, building small enough, in an area without property taxes...seems the chances are they would leave  you be.

Its extremely dystopic to live in a world surrounded by people who do not understand the desire to be free. They want to be free to kill themselves, mutilate themselves, but to be left alone and not play their games, not to bother anyone, they wont let you.

I appreciate your response, its nice to hear some people aren't satisfied with the way things are.

 
Jt Lamb
pollinator
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Again, the process would seem to be:

Buy the right piece of land first, meeting as many requirements as necessary to build the way you want, and end up where you want to be when done. This is a biggie, so see other threads for all the considerations needed to buy that perfect piece of dirt.

With the land in hand, get all site planning done, in advance. Plan a way to live on it temporarily, for years if necessary, while building the test structure (a sample project, in the style and technique desired), and then the "permanent" home. Temporary living could be a tent, a yurt, a truck-camper ...

If log cabins are the final design choice, then build a test structure in this method first, in same style as intended home. Could be your utility shed, or chicken coop, or whatever ... it's a test of what you want to do, and how you'll do it on this piece of dirt. No codes involved, if sized right. Get techniques down for every stage of construction, from materials and tools, to foundation, all the way to peak of roof.

Avoid every technique that costs big bucks, either in materials, tools, or trades. Because you want log cabin, look into the "norwegian stabbur" as a model of possible cost-avoidance techniques. Build small ...

Rinse and repeat for the next piece of dirt, in some other state (alaska in your case) ...

Vary any of these stages just a little, in the wrong direction, and you are back in high-cost mode, per codes. It's tough to avoid, and there will be some minimal costs (a septic system at the very least), but it can be done.
log-cabin-ideas-norwegian-stabbur.png
[Thumbnail for log-cabin-ideas-norwegian-stabbur.png]
 
But how did the elephant get like that? What did you do? I think all we can do now is read this tiny ad:
3D Plans - Pebble Style Rocket Mass Heater
https://permies.com/wiki/193712/Plans-Pebble-Style-Rocket-Mass
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