12 Things that Are Completely Normal for Alaskans but Weird for Everyone Else

We all know that life in Alaska isn’t easy. There are long winters, harsh terrain, dangerous animals, and a high cost of living. That means Alaskans have to be tough and resilient to get by.

It also means that Alaskans do a lot of things that would be completely weird anywhere else in the country, starting with these 12.

1. Signing Up for a Roadkill Lottery

alaska road kill lottery

Approximately 700 moose are killed in Alaska each year by cars. That equates to over 250,000 pounds of organic, free-range meat on the road.

It’s not very Alaskan to waste food. But the state didn’t want to create a roadkill free-for-all. So, they set up a road kill list instead. When a moose gets killed, the responding state trooper calls up someone on the list. They’ve got 30 minutes to get to the location and haul away their free meat.

2. Getting Annoyed when Tourists Ask, “Do You Live Off the Land?”

While Alaskans are more self-reliant than most Americans, the idea that they live off the land is somewhat ridiculous, considering the harsh climate. The question particularly irritates Alaskans because a lot of idiots come to the state thinking they can and inevitably have to be rescued.

3. Everyone Owning Xtra Tufs

These neoprene boots are so popular that Alaskans complain about going to parties and finding their pair among the vast sea of other Xtra Tufs by the front door.

4. Pooping Onto a Newspaper…

Yes, more than one Alaskan has confirmed that they’ve pooped onto a newspaper and thrown it into their wood stove. Why? Because it beats having to go outdoors to use the outhouse when it’s -40F!  

5. Toddler Snowmobiles

Kids get tricycles or plastic cars to push around in other parts of the country. Not in Alaska! Snowmobiles are such a part of the culture that even toddlers have their own.

6. Putting Trash in Bear Proof Containers

Alaska has more than 140,000 bears, so you better think twice before putting your trash out in a regular bin. You’ll not only have a mess to clean up but might get a frequent visitor who has learned that your home is the best restaurant in town.

7. Dip Netting

Most people in the lower 48 have never heard of it, but dip netting has been the way to fish in Alaska for decades.   True Alaskans will even plan their vacation from work for dip netting season!

10. Not Throwing Away Any Food…

Because food is stupidly expensive since so much is shipped in from the lower 48.

9. Orange Peels On Wood Stove = “Air Freshener”

You paid $14 for those oranges, so you might as well get one more use out of them. 🙂

10. Consider It Shorts Weather When It Hits 32 Degrees

The average high temperature in Fairbanks during winter is a frigid 16 degrees F. So, when the temps finally hit 32F at the end of March, Alaskans consider it time to break out their shorts and t-shirts.

11. Using Rubbermaid Totes for Luggage

Go to an Alaskan airport, and you’ll immediately know who the true locals are. They are the ones using plastic totes for luggage. Why? Because they are the most space-efficient way to pack baggage and, the Rubbermaid Roughneck totes won’t crack in -20 degree F temps!

12. Fashion Means Fleece-Lined Pants and Plaid Shirts

Bought from Fred Meyer’s or Costco, along with lots of wool socks.

Image credit: “Expensive Fruit” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by jimmywayne.

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  1. Those totes are Gucci-class luggage. We lived way out on the chain for a few years and when in Anchorage on a trip, visit or a sanity check, we loaded hard-to-get goodies into plastic garbage cans then secured the lids with duct tape to safely haul our stash back to the island. LOL

    Alaska is not a place – it’s an attitude and a way of life and a cool way to live.


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