Fans of the National Geographic show Life Below Zero may have wondered what it's really like to live in such an Arctic tundra. It's only natural when watching the show's last remaining pioneers survive in one of the coldest places in the U.S. With so many challenges and little to no modern technology to see them through each day, it's a lifestyle that not many are capable of enduring - let alone succeeding at.

Enter: Kavik River Camp, located on the North Slope of Alaska. If this sounds familiar, it's because Sue Aikens is the owner and the one running the remote camp's B&B.

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Updated by Lauren Feather, March 6, 2022: More and more people are choosing off-the-beaten-path camping spots as part of a unique retreat from the stresses of modern life. And the more daring in search of even more extraordinary experiences are choosing those in colder regions. One of these unique camping regions is the North Slope of Alaska, where the ever-incredible Kavik River Camp welcomes intrepid travelers to experience the region's pristine remoteness, amazing landscapes, and diverse wildlife. With even more travel and camping set to occur this year, we've included more information about this vast region to excite and inspire campers to pencil in a trip to this truly untouched, awe-inspiring place.

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About Kavik River Camp B&B

Known as one of the most remote B&Bs in the world, the Kavik River Camp accommodations cater to those who are truly comfortable with the isolation that the Arctic typically calls for. With the only neighbors being those with four legs and a heck of a lot of fur, it's not unusual by any means to run into wildlife by simply stepping outside the front door. There's no telling what one might encounter during their stay at the Kavik River Camp B&B, and that all happens to be part of the allure and intrigue for those booking a stay.

According to the Kavik River Camp website, Aikens invites visitors to, "go ahead... test yourself.. find your boundaries.. and exceed them!" The site also states that the Kavik River Camp has been utilized by hunters and travelers seeking a stop in Alaska's remote Arctic for centuries. This, alone, makes it an important landmark in regard to Alaska's barren wilderness. Guests headed to the Kavik River Camp are permitted to try their hand at hunting and fishing (with proper permits prior to arrival!), as well as exploring the nature of the area and observing its wildlife (from a safe distance). Overall, the experience is one that's rewarding and altogether life-changing for those who embrace the remote nature of this place.

  • Cost/Night: ~ $350

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What It's Like Staying At Kavik River Camp

For the first time, photographers, hunters, and nature researchers all have one thing in common at Kavik River Camp: the desire to experience something truly tremendous. Whether it's reawakening for love and passion for the Arctic and the power it wields or being so fully immersed in one's surroundings that they forget about modern technology, it's bound to happen here. According to an interview with Radio Times, Aikens said this about guests wanting to visit the remote B&B:

"Hunters do come up during the month of August but that leaves 11 other months. I call it a twisted bed and breakfast. I don’t care why you want to be in the Arctic. I will cook you breakfast, drink single malt with you and tell you stories."

While hunters aren't the only ones making the long - and slightly complex - trip to this wild area of Alsaka, it's certainly well-suited for those who wish to try their hand at true Arctic survival. When it comes to the best time to visit, Aikens, along with anyone else familiar with an Alaskan winter, will strongly suggest saving the sightseeing for the warmer months. Arctic winds can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, and it's not uncommon to see temperatures dipping as low as 60 below zero. Needless to say, winter in Anchorage, Alaska, is no walk in the park - especially not when the closest city (Fairbanks) is 500 miles from the camp.

While staying at the Kavik River Camp, Aikens is available to suggest wildlife tours or area tours for those who wish to see more of the North Slope. Despite its remote nature, the camp does offer hot showers, laundry facilities, and food and drink services. Visitors who make their way to the North Slope during the summer (mostly August) should be prepared to familiarize themselves with its Arctic daylight. The weather certainly won't be hot, but daylight will be abundant, while the winter plunges the region into darkness for months at a time.

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  • Best Times to Visit: Between late June and early September
  • Reservations: Inquiries about bookings can be made by emailing reservations@kavikrivercamp.com

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Visit The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

A few miles away from Kavik River Camp sits the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where those interested in learning or observing Alaska's native species have a chance to see the landscape in action. The refuge has attracted hunters, fishermen, and even rugged campers from all over to be one with its ecosystem. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times, however, and should not venture into the High Arctic alone.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge covers a massive 19.6 million acres in northeast Alaska, and includes the Mollie Beattie Wilderness, which at 8 million acres is the second greatest wilderness in the USA. at 8 million acres. The vast lands are truly a magnificent sample of untouched nature and wildlife in action, incorporating fully intact and functioning Arctic and subarctic ecosystems. The refuge is home to intensely diverse habitats playing host to equally diverse fauna and flora that cannot be compared to anywhere else in North America, or moreover, the world.

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Species abound and thrive across the rich refuge lands, including caribou, water birds, arctic foxes, black and brown bears, moose, Dall sheep, muskoxen, and even polar bears, all whom rely on the landscapes' habitats to survive. What's more, the region's coastal plain is one of the most significant land denning areas for threatened polar bears in the winter months, and is also an important location for the Porcupine caribou, who breed and give birth in summer.

The region is also crucial migration point for approximately 200 species of birds who all call Arctic Refuge home at certain times of the year. Bird species to be observed here include Artic terns, golden eagles, and snowy owls, to name just a few of the incredible kinds to watch out for.

Finally, it's not just animals who roam the Artic Refuge - it's also indigenous communities who've called the region home for countless years. It's home to the Inupiaq village Kaktovik, which is situated on the Arctic Ocean coast, while other villages along the Artic Refuge border in the south houses the Gwich’in people.

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