Remote off-grid cabins are some people’s dream, and what better place to connect with nature than in Alaska. There are certainly pros and cons for living off-grid, but the beauty of that state is definitely worth the research.
How much does a remote off-grid cabin in Alaska cost? Depending on the size and specific location of your off-grid cabin, the cost can range anywhere from $80,000-$300,000. The cost also fluctuates if you plan to buy an already built cabin versus building one yourself. There are tradeoffs for both options, but it isn’t as cheap to live off the grid as everyone hopes.
With all of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we all need some time to unwind. A lot of people, myself included, find peaceful refuge in a cabin. Some people just want to be surrounded by woods while others want to go completely off the grid.
Cost of Living Off-Grid
Sometimes city living surrounded by thousands of people can drive people to want a simpler life.
People decide to drop everything and dedicate themselves to cabin life in the middle of Alaska in the hopes of living a more sustainable and peaceful lifestyle.
The beauty of the lush forests and breathtaking lakes have drawn people in for a long time. T.V. shows about people living off the grid show the reality of living off-grid and the hard work it takes.
However, this may be just what you’re looking for. Off-grid cabins in Alaska are also great places to go for a vacation rather than a drastic life shift. Cost is definitely an important factor when contemplating a move or just a vacation.
The price of an off-grid cabin in Alaska completely fluctuates when you look at different sizes and locations. A small cabin in a less desirable part of Alaska may be near $80,000; whereas, a big secluded cabin in Petersburg, Alaska can reach up to $300,000.
Location within a state is always a factor when considering the price of a home or cabin. The popularity of the place, which seems like an odd thing when looking for a remote cabin, can amp up the price considerably because it is more desired than other places.
No matter what kind of cabin you are searching for, there is definitely something for you!
Places and Prices
In this section, I wanted to give you a taste of some of the options that are out there.
Below I have provided a brief table of a small, medium, and large cabin option in different parts of Alaska. This shows you just enough about the different options available to people looking for off-grid cabins.
|Small||1 bed||.52||Seward, AK||$99,500|
|Medium||3 bed, 1.5 bath||40||Willow, AK||$190,000|
|Large||3 bed, 1 bath||200||Trapper Creek||$385,000|
Here is the source for this information if you want to look at more options in beautiful Alaska.
Depending on how much land you want, square footage of the cabin, and the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms your cabin has, there are plenty of options for you.
There is no one single area in Alaska that boasts the best off-grid cabin sites. Alaska as a whole is a beautiful wilderness and anywhere you go away from the cities are a good choice for remote living.
Some places may have better soil, weather, or hunting but you can’t go wrong if you find a place that you albsolutely love.
Food Supply is a Must
Something that you have to get used to when truly living off the grid is buying enough food to last you months. A lot of people who live permanently in a remote cabin in Alaska have to fly every couple of months to get to a grocery store.
The art of canning and preserving food you may grow can go a long way in keeping your pantry stocked. If you are coming from living in a place where you have constant access to a grocery store, we sometimes don’t think about the fact that we aren’t good at shopping long term.
This isn’t a universal truth, but we can get used to having a convenient store near by for so long that we don’t even consider what we need to do to not need one when we’re at our cabin.
Planning and preparedness are definitely important things to excel in when planning to live in a remote cabin in Alaska. As we are all aware, Alaska can get very cold. You need to be prepared especially if you find yourself completely snowed in with no easy way to escape.
This may be something you have to get used to, but with enough research, planning, and practice you can happily make it through winter with no trouble in the food department.
If you are planning to buy an off grid Alaskan cabin for seasonal or holiday use, you still need to be prepared to bring all your food with you.
Even if your cabin is within driving distance of a small town, you probably won’t want to use it very often. It is commonplace in small remote towns that items and essentials are more expensive than in other places. A quick trip to the grocery store for milk and bread could end up costing you a lot more than you were hoping.
The general rule with living off the grid is to be prepare for everything. Scouts learn and live by this rule for a good reason. You never know what is going to happen. You don’t want to just be prepared with loads of nonperishable food but with water and first aid supplies as well.
There has never been a better time to whip out an old cliche: “better safe than sorry”.
Dry Cabins and Water Hauling
A lot of off-grid remote cabins are “dry cabins”. This means that they have no running water systems. There’s nothing more remote than that!
Dry cabin living is becoming a staple in some areas of Alaska. People love it!
Cabins tend to be “dry” around these areas because it is hard to get through the frozen ground to install plumbing systems. This issue hasn’t stopped residents from loving where and how they live!
Depending on who you are and what you’re looking for, you may see the next part of this article as an exciting way to live or… not.
A big thing about living in remote dry cabins is the constant need to haul your water in. These small towns in Alaska are prepared for this way of living and have water stations everywhere so you can pump water into your tanks that you haul.
You will definitely find that patience is essential for these cabins because you must heat all water on the stove that you want to be warm. This means that you are going to have to bath with a limited supply of warm water once you heat it and them decide it’s time to begin.
Another thing that will be a huge change for a lot of people is the use of outhouses or composting toilets. When there is no running water, there is only so much you can do with luxurious bathrooms.
All of these things come with the amazing experience of living off-grid. It may seem like all of the luxuries of life are being taken away, but it is a beautiful way to live if you want to work and live in a place that’s not like anything you’ve ever experienced.
Reading the experiences of other people, it really shows how tough it is to live a completely dry off grid life. Things that usually take a few minutes can take up hours of your day. Living your simple life is time consuming and laborious.
You need to know what you are getting yourself in to before making the switch!
The benefits definitely out weigh the minor inconveniences if this is what you want from your remote cabin.
Competing With the Wildlife
Something you will have to get used to, if you aren’t already, when living remotely in Alaska is the frequent visitation of curious animals.
It is a given that you are sharing your home with tons of wildlife when you are in the middle of the woods or just away from busy streets and towns. You may find yourself competing for game with bigger predators and also trying hard to protect your garden from furry intruders who like your carrots just as much as you, if not more.
There are plenty of ways to protect yourself and your food if you take proper precautions.
You always want to be aware of what you’re doing at all times. Bears and moose are not infrequent visitors of Alaska. Alaska is their home and they may feel like you have moved onto their property.
Always stay vigilant when out working or hiking to make sure you are safe. Take precautions when leaving the house and try not to go too far on your own. It is easy to lose all sense of direction when you’re located deep in the woods or walk out into a completely snow covered world.
There is no choice but to coexist with wildlife when you are off the grid in Alaska. The more knowledge you obtain about your area, what’s in it, and how to stay safe the better off you’ll be.
Remote Vacation Cabin
Something that is important to note about having a seasonal or vacation cabin that you don’t live in permanently is that you need to close it up well in the off season.
This section almost goes hand in hand with the last one. Animals are curious and destructive at times.
Animals and weather can get into your cabin if you don’t prep it for winter or other seasons. A warm dwelling with little human activity is like a beacon for some wildlife.
If there is a way in then they will find it! Be prepared to lock and shutter doors and windows. Don’t leave anything out that you value. Make sure that it is secure before leaving and don’t leave perishable food inside.
You want you cabin to last as long as possible, so it’s important to be vigilant when leaving it for multiple seasons at a time.
When thinking about where you want your off-grid cabin to be, whether for building or buying, you want to make sure it is accessible. What I mean by this is that you want to have a designated way to get from your cabin to a road or town.
This is especially important in the winter where, depending on your exact location, snow can pile up and make it impossible to leave your cabin. This is a dangerous situation to find yourself in especially if there are any accidents or need for medical attention.
Completely closed off locations may seem very appealing in the summer, but once winter hits it could become completely impassible. You also want access to roads in case you find that you’re low on water or food.
There are natural solutions to most problems, like water, but you definitely don’t want to find yourself stranded without access to the tings you might find yourself needing. Don’t worry, you can still be remote, but you may want to make sure you have a life line just in case.
Living Off the Land
Most people who make off-grid Alaskan cabins their permanent dwellings decide to live off the land. This is a good choice for people who have experience doing it. Living off the land always seems easier than it turns out to be.
A garden, for example, will need a few season to really get going and produce enough food to supplement you diet. Fishing and hunting are very important skills to have when living off the land and permits and licenses may be needed to accomplish what you dream of.
Your life needs to start being established before the going gets a tiny bit easier. You need to be prepared to substitute some things with grocery store options in the first year or so until you can get things started.
To survive long term living off the land, you have to be patient and ready to reap the effects of your hard work after a few months or years of disappointing results. Don’t let me bring you down! It is more than possible! You just need to be prepared for it to require some real work.
The more you learn about your area and what its pattern, rules, and wildlife are like, the more you will be able to live off the land easily. It can be a great option for those hoping to sustain themselves in a natural way.
Like I’ve mentioned a few times, Alaska can get cold! You need to be ready to heat and protect your cabin from the cold wind and snow that may try to penetrate your sanctuary.
Different parts of the state have different weather patterns, but snow is almost always guaranteed. You have to be prepared to endure negative degree weather. When living remotely in Alaska you need to get used to preparing for the harshest times of year.
Whatever you need will be harder to get during these times and so needs the most preparation during calmer seasons. Keeping your cabin warm can happen a little naturally by the way they are designed and built, but it’s important to have a plan for keeping your family warm.
You will need to have ample supplies of wood already pre-prepared for your fires. You also need to think about the necessity of blankets and protective clothing for those harsher days and nights.
All in all, life off-grid is hard but completely doable if you are ready for hard work and patience. Being prepared is key with these lifestyles and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
No matter what hardships await you, it will be worth it for the pure beauty of the landscape and the great adventures awaiting you in Alaska!
How many families live off the grid? According to a few websites, there are close to 200,000 families that can be considered off-grid dwellers. This is a loose term, though, because producing your own power or food can sometimes label you as “off-grid”. About 17% of Alaskan residents live in places that are considered rural, so it is a popular option to live off-grid.
What does living off the grid mean? Living “off-grid” simply means that you are providing the basic necessities of life for yourself. This can show itself in hunting and growing your own food, producing your own power, and essentially doing everything you can to not rely on the public offerings as often as others (or at all).