Life Below Zero on National Geographic Channel

1078221_sled-dogs_u4otpkuoohegc34cxym6cgqbe3ncurxrbvj6lwuht2ya6mzmafma_610x457Life Below Zero

Tuesdays at 10PM National Geographic Channel

“Life Below Zero” is a candid reality show focusing on the lives of 6 people who live in remote parts of Alaska. One married couple lives near the arctic circle with 2 boatloads of dogs and One married couple lives near the arctic circle with 2 boat loads of kids. There is also a man named Glenn who is alone, totally isolated and lives completely off the land. Finally there is a middle aged woman, Sue Aikens who could be the whole show.

Glenn is a new cast member this season, replacing Erik Salitan from last season. They are similar in that they both are isolated from civilization and live exclusively off the land and hunt or gather everything they need. Everything! They are different in that Erik seems much more advanced in his ability to live off the land. Erik is also a successful businessman, traveling to the lower 48 every year to promote his Alaska wilderness guide business. Glenn lives in a uni bomber type shack and cleans his kills on what looks like his kitchen table. EWW. In fact everything about Glenn is Eww. Glenn should hire Erik as a hygiene guide. Glenn comes off to me as a little creepy and I’m somewhat surprised he was chosen for this show. Glenn does have some mad skills though which he demonstrates by showing us how to get the best meat from behind the eye ball of I forget what kind of animal. That’s good eatin’. OK Glenn if you say so.

Andy and Kate raise sled dogs and appear to be making a good living and are comfortable by Alaska wilderness standards. They raise, grow, make or kill most but not all of what they need to survive. They have a nice big house, solar panels, a steam bath and I believe I saw a satellite dish or two in the background in one scene. The dogs are very beautiful and quite amazing and Andy gets a lot of screen time with the little projects he is doing. He has quite a temper and when he needs his wife Kate to help him would appear to be treating her like shit but Kate “gets” him and they work well together. I think the main problem is Andy gets frustrated when Kate cannot read his mind and anticipate his needs. Sound familiar married people?1078228_bassich-homestead_u4otpkuoohegc34cxym6cgqbe3ncurxrbvj6lwuht2ya6mzmafma_610x457

Chip and Agnes Hailstone live in Noorvik with their 7 children. Agnes is native Inupiaq and is way way cool, no pun intended. When they go hunting for big game Agnes always takes the shot. I hate when my wife drives so  saying Chip’s got it together would be an understatement. They get almost all of their food from hunting which they do together and fishing which they bring the kids along for which is cuter than Andy and Kate’s dogs. Their 11 year old had part of her birthday party on camera. The cake was kind of gross but not as bad as Costco and the kid got some fishing net and a trap for small game which didn’t seem to piss her off though it seemed a little awkward. Like a Barbie would have awakened the Inupiaq Sun God? Have a heart Chip and Agnes.

Susan Aikens, who lives alone 197 miles north of the arctic circle is a total rock star. Sue is one of the more fascinating people on reality TV and will have a bust in the Rotunda of my Reality TV Hall of Fame.  Sue is the owner of a camp for oil company people or anyone who wants to experience the Alaskan wilderness for whatever reason. She is one with the environment more so than anyone I have seen on any of these reality shows. She doesn’t overcome nature so much as she accepts nature and does whatever has to be done. She’s very articulate inspiring and motivational with a dry sense of humor and is non judgemental and non cynical.1078239_scanning-for-predators_u4otpkuoohegc34cxym6cgqbe3ncurxrbvj6lwuht2ya6mzmafma_610x457

Life Below Zero is four amazing stories about six amazing people and National Geographic should be proud of this outstanding and entertaining show.

16 Comments

  • Buck Owen says:

    i vote for Chip and Agnes not only make a living, they support 5 of their 7 kids doing so. I think there was a time when all 9 of them were doing that, and so do thier neigbors on the river and in the village they live in.
    Glen can barely feed himself, Erick lives on the end of the road to everywhere and only feeds himself, so it seems that we have better hunters when they get married. That lady Sue runs a business and then keeps camp all winter, in all not that tough, but not that easy. For real Subsitence Hunting and Fishing, Ill go with the Hailstones.

    • Quiet Jim says:

      You left off Andy and Kate. I like Sue because she is unique and even if it’s 50% BS she’s still seems part of nature rather than fighting it off like Glenn.

  • Susie says:

    Does Agnus Hailstone have a mustache or is her chin marked?

  • Apple Jackson says:

    I HATE Sue Aikens. She has NO BUSINESS on that show. Everyone else on there is a true Alaskan – trained and equipped for survival in the bush. Not Sue. She is terrified of her terrain and really shouldnt be living in it. There was one episode where she felt she was being hunted by a wolverine (an animal 1/10th her size) so she wanders out to a random spot a few hundred yards from her camp where *surprise surprise* she was unable to locate the ‘threat’ so she fires a few shots into the air, and heads back to camp to camp while declaring victory over this horrible ‘threat’. I’ve been hunting my whole life and have a lot of experience hunting in AK and on the slope too. She is no hunter. She has no idea what she’s doing – and there’s nothing wrong w not knowing what you;re doing – everybody has to start somewhere, except Sue is SO DETERMINED to tell you how tough she is and what a survivalist she is. What a joke. For someone who lives alone in a camp like that (Except the guy that lives there and does ALL the work), she has NO hunting skills, NO field dressing skills, NO knowledge of mechanics or engineering. The only ‘threat’ she faces are the cigarettes she chain smokes.
    I like the show, but I cant stand listening to this woman try and convince me of how tough she is. RULE IN LIFE – The more anyone goes to lengths to try and tell you how tough/rich/smart/whatever they are, the LESS they are of that thing.

    • scottie says:

      are u nuttz??? Sue IS the show…Chip is a freeloader, living off of Agnes & her skills as a hunter, not to mention her family (By the way, he isn’t a native Eskimo either) He also comes off as a smart-ass & so does Erik. Erik seems to delight in killing anything that moves…I’m glad he’s outta there Andy & Kate are okay I really like their dogs. I haven’t had time to form an opinion about the new guy Glenn Basically it’s a good show, but anyone who doesn’t like Sue needs their head examined!!

      • Heather says:

        Chip is not allowed to own guns, due to his record. He got into some trouble with the law in recent history. He has been a hunter since he was young, and does ttapping and bow hunting, too. That is why you see Agnes shooting. Do some research.

  • Quiet Jim says:

    agree about the rule of life, my version is You don’t tell people how good you are;they they tell you.I don’t think that applies to Sue, she just lays out the reality in an articulate and entertaining way. I think if She were like that when off camera that guy who works for her would have stabbed her by now. I know nothing about hunting so I guess you’re right but I assume it’s better to be pro active than to wait till the bear has your head in it’s mouth. I guess I just really dig take charge independent women who do not need men to validate themselves.
    edited to add: the wolverine is half her size and could totally kick her ass and kill her. I think terrified is a little harsh considering she been doing it 10 years and must have acquired some of those skills you mention along the way

    • Apple Jackson says:

      Wolverines are usually about 25 lbs. Yes, they’re fierce little animals. Yes, a good solid kick or carrying a shotgun means they are nothing to fear. Yes, she is an idiot who has no greater survival skills than any urban dweller. She lives primarily indoors and is completely reliant on others to provide for her – her heat, food, etc. all come from other people. People think she’s hardcore cause she drives a bobcat around clearing snow? Give me a break.

      ” I guess I just really dig take charge independent women who do not need men to validate themselves.” WHAT???? Jesus, Jim. Grow a pair.

  • Miruts Yifter says:

    If the story about Sue being mauled by a bear and left laying there for 10 days before being found is true, I would say that qualifies her as being tough.

  • Michelle says:

    Apple Jackson,
    Why are you being so judgmental and cold concerning Sue?
    Why don’t you just join the show and show us all what a badass really looks like then?
    Based on the fact that you never met the woman, it sounds to us all like you’re just jealous of her. In fact, I believe your attitude is one of the reasons Sue mentioned she prefers the isolation away from civilization. Damn, get off your high horse and give this balls-to-the-wall woman you are envious of a break!
    Now, on to the positive: everyone on the show seems to have alot of heart, determination and grit and this makes it interesting human drama. But the best part of the show is anytime they are catching fish, skinning fish, skinning and cooking the animals and ravenously gobbling up this hard-fought food, which looks good! Bottom line, God is good to provide all of the sustinance to us all whether it be directly from nature, from the grocery store, or from a restaurant. Lets just be grateful and supportive of each other’s positive endeavors.

  • Deb Dinehart says:

    I really like the show. Sue can get a little boring with her tough girl talk and how she is all alone most of the time. She does seem to smoke a lot and that does not work for me with kids watching. I think the entire show has a great msg to all of us. We are generally a very wasteful society and to watch these people live there lives so simply and without all the things we think we need to have is a real eye opening experience.

  • the main vein says:

    If you don’t live the life, shut the hell up!! Is Erik done or will he be back?

  • man with camera

    Very cool! Your Life Below Zero on National Geographic Channel | Old Man … is very good!

  • Heather says:

    I believe the reason you don’t see Chip with a gun is that he got in some trouble with the law previously (perjury, along with false claim), and he is not allowed to have guns. That is why you see Agnes shoot. He does all other types of trapping, bow hunting, and fishing. Chip has been a hunter since he was young. He is from Montanna, and went up to Alaska 25 yrs ago.

    • Quiet Jim says:

      Maybe native Alaskans follow different rules? New season looks pretty cool. (pun intended). I’m an Eric fan, good to have him back.

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