How to survive winter in Alaska | Tips for Alaska winters

How to Survive Winter in Alaska

Alaskans know cold. After all, here in the Anchorage and Eagle River area, temperatures can drop down as low as minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit for days at a time. But despite the frigid temps, locals know how to survive winter in Alaska. We’ve gathered up a few tips for covering your basics (warmth, food, water, safety and mental well-being), and shared one big misconception at the end that you for sure want to avoid. Here goes:

Tips for How to Survive Winter in Alaska:

 

Warmth

If you don’t stay warm, you can forget the rest. Staying warm and dry is the name of the game here! Dressing for Alaska winters doesn’t necessarily mean piling it on until you’re waddling across the parking lot and unable to get in your car. Too many clothes will only make you perspire, and once you stop moving around, that moisture will freeze, feeling like you’re wrapped in an icicle. Instead, the secret is to dress in layers, using materials that wick moisture away from the body, rather than soaking it up. Choose fleece or performance fabrics instead of cotton. Warm socks and boots should always be nearby, even if you’re going to a dressy occasion – you never know when you might need to make a quick change. Mittens are better than gloves. And don’t forget a sleeping bag. Yes, a sleeping bag. We know that’s not something you technically “wear,” but standard emergency equipment for traveling in Alaska in the winter often includes a subzero-rated sleeping bag.

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How to get your car ready for winter in Alaska | Alaska Homes by Brooke has tips for winter in Alaska

How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter in Alaska

While the hurricanes in Texas and Florida are a long way away from Alaska, one universal lesson we can all learn from watching their stories unfold is the value of being prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. Here in Alaska, it’s time to start thinking and preparing for winter, and we’ve got checklists for our homes, our cars and just general overall safety that we’re sharing here on our website. If you’re new to the area, use this list to get started, and feel free to reach out to use for any questions you might have about what to expect in the months ahead. But right now it’s time to get your car ready for winter in Alaska:

#1 Change to winter tires

In Alaska, salt is not used on roads to melt ice or snow, so conditions can get pretty slippery out there. That’s why most people who live in Alaska have two sets of tires – one for summer and one for winter. And winter tires can get pretty serious. Talk to your local tire dealership to find the best option for you, which can range from studded tires, to chains, to heavy-duty winter tires such as the Bridgestone Blizzak.

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Prep your home for winter in Alaska | Winter in Alaska | Tips from Brooke Stiltner, Alaska real estate agents

How to Prep Your Home for an Alaskan Winter

There’s winter. And then there’s Alaska winter. As daylight fades and the long, cold months approach, locals know it’s time to prep your home, garden and car and get your personal gear ready to help you survive and thrive until the spring thaw. If you’re new to the area, here are a few ideas to help you prep your home and get started on winterizing your home for an Alaskan winter.

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Prepare your garden for winter in Alaska | Gardens in Alaska

Winter is coming: Time to Put Your Garden to Bed

Prepare Your Garden for Winter

The first official day of fall is September 22, one of only two days a year when day and night are of equal length. After that, our daylight hours will fade fast, so it’s time to get ready to prepare your garden for winter.

When you garden in Alaska, you know you’re dealing with seasons of extremes. Gone are summer days of endless light, dahlias the size of dinner plates, and vegetables that never seem to stop growing. While some people might be desperately holding on to the last remnants of their gardens as long as they can, there’s nothing like a surprise snowfall for a quick dose of reality. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for helping your garden survive whatever winter throws at you – even the occasional moose!

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Bear Safety Tips for Alaska

Bears can be found in many places across the country, but here in Alaska we live in true bear country – one of the few places in the world where all three species of North American bears live in one place. When you’re in Alaska, there are always bears nearby, even if you don’t always see them.

Bears are curious, intelligent and tend to avoid or ignore people, but can be dangerous, as evidenced by two recent fatal bear maulings in our area. Respecting bears and knowing the proper way to behave when you see one can help you avoid conflict so you both can continue on your way, safe and sound.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder also know as SAD

How to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder in Alaska

Feeling blue. Cabin fever. The doldrums. If you live in Alaska, where the winters are long and gray and the spring and summer sometimes struggles to shake the dreariness off, some of these might sound familiar to you. The winter blues are definitely a real thing, but if your symptoms are getting more intense you might have something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 

While SAD affects people throughout the United States, it’s more prevalent in the northernmost states where winter months are darker, colder, and last longer. Which means for those of us living here in Alaska, we need to watch out. It’s normal to feel less energetic during the winter, but researchers believe that people with seasonal affective disorder have abnormal biological responses to changes in sunlight exposure, adversely affecting their health in many ways. 

Yes, we’re in the summer months now, and if you have SAD your symptoms should be better. But if you weren’t sure why your cabin fever held on so long, and suspect you might have this disorder, it’s good to know what you’re dealing with before next winter rolls around.

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Enjoying Springtime in Alaska

This is an exciting time here in Alaska as spring moves toward summer and we watch the countryside embrace renewal in every direction. Moose calves are born and bears come out of their dens. Whales and other marine life return to our oceans and bays. Snow melts and nature gets ready to bloom. While things can get a bit soggy (and muddy) during this time, it’s also a great time to take on our own renewal projects as we enjoy nature’s show and get ready for summer.

After a long winter of dreary days and inactivity, the sun and warming temperatures offer increased opportunities for outdoor activities, exercise, planting gardens and flowerbeds, and making plans for vacations or relocations in the next season or two. Daylight hours have been increasing for the last couple months, with Anchorage and the Eagle River area gaining an extra 42 minutes of daylight each week. In fact, by the end of March, we officially had more hours of daylight than anywhere in the other 49 states!

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