In October 2022, PARKIT introduced you to Collin & Kendal Strachan, Two young adventures, chasing their dreams across the remote wilderness of Alaska via Air Stream. In Part I of this VI part series, we met Collin & Kendall, learned what it was like to pack up their apartment in LA, move into a 33 foot Airstream, and start traveling with no specific destination in mind. This is part II, a taste of life "Off-Grid" in the remote Alaskan wilderness.
What’s awesome (but sometimes equally challenging), is that a typical day for us is different almost every day. Living in Alaska, weather is king. Also, the weather forecast is rarely accurate. This forces us to be extremely flexible and often times our plan for the day is not determined until we wake up and walk outside to see what the weather is like. That being said, there are a few activities that we do everyday, regardless of weather.
Each morning, after breakfast, we start our day with a workout. For years, this looked like going to a local gym. However, many of the small towns here in Alaska don’t have a gym, or if they do, short-term memberships are very expensive. So over time we’ve acquired a few dumbbells and resistance bands and use stumps, rocks or whatever else we can find to get a strength workout done outside. Getting outside and moving in fresh air fresh air (yes, we even do this in the middle of winter!) has been one f the favorite parts of our day. Once we finish, our husky puppy, Bailey lets us know she is ready for her run. In the summer we hit the trails, and in winter we either throw on skis or snowshoes and get out into the mountains to let Bailey get her exercise.
Another daily routine for us is acquiring water. Since we live off grid without hook ups, we have to source our own water. The Airstream holds 54 gallons, and we have an additional 65 gallons that we hold in the bed of our truck as reserve. In the summer, we find a nearby stream or lake, use our Clearsource Nomad to pump and filter water straight from the source and fill up our jugs. During the winter, this chore gets a bit more challenging as most water sources are frozen over. Collin will chainsaw a hole into the ice (it’s crazy how thick it gets after a hard freeze!) and we then use 5 gallon buckets to fill up a large tote, which is put on a sled and dragged back to the Airstream. This process takes about 30 minutes but it’s a lot of fun to get out onto the frozen lake each day.
Another winter chore that we have to do regularly is haul firewood. Our Airstream is outfitted with a Tiny Wood Stove, which is our main heat source and in deep winter. We have to stay on top of our fire wood pile, which is a bit more challenging because our nomadic lifestyle doesn’t let us stockpile wood in the summer. About once a week, we’ll go out to the forest, chop down a dead standing spruce tree, haul it back, and split it. We really love this chore - it’s a great way to stay warm and get in a good workout while also experiencing the beauty of Alaska.
Apart from the necessary Airstream chores that we have to stay on top of, our days will consist of either photoshoots, editing/computer work, or an adventure day. As professional photographers, we work with outdoor gear brands who send us products for us to shoot in Alaska with our Airstream. It’s our full time business, so when we see a good weather day, we are outside getting photoshoots knocked out. If the weather is not optimal, we either sit at home or a local library and edit galleries for our clients. And although we aren’t the best at having a work life balance, we always make time for an adventure day which entails hiking, fishing, paddling, climbing or doing just about anything else outside! It’s so important for us to take these fun days for ourselves, as it fosters creativity and helps us come back refreshed for our work.
The beauty of this lifestyle is that each day is different. We don’t clock into an office job Monday - Friday. Our “weekend” is sometimes on a random weekday and we are so grateful to be able to make our own schedule.
Follow @kendal.strachan on Instagram to keep up with their journey as the take on the true wilderness of North America.
READ PART 1: Airstreaming Across Alaska | Meet Collin & Kendal Strachan
READ PART 3: Airstreaming Across Alaska | Other-Worldly Beauty