Photo: Nick Starichenko/Shutterstock

16 Things Alaskans Love More Than the Rest of the US

by Kaitlin Armstrong Jan 8, 2018

If you are considering a move north to Alaska, there are certain things you might want to consider adopting into your day-to-day. From facial hair to Bushlines, here are 16 things Alaskans love more than the other US states.

1. Beards

Alaskans were serious about facial hair long before beards were sported by hipsters. When the Fur Rendezvous festival was established in the 1930s, legislation declared that only bearded men could participate. While clean-shaven men don’t face such discrimination these days, beards are more than a fashion statement throughout Alaska.

2. Duct Tape

Alaskans are natural handymen, and we love to joke that with a little Duct Tape, we can fix anything. In fact, our obsession has earned us national recognition. After leading the U.S. in sales, the City of Wasilla was named Duct Tape Capital of the World in 2003.

3. Grand openings

While our counterparts in the Lower 48 take their retail chains for granted, Alaskans treat grand openings more like Black Friday. When Cabela’s, H&M, and Krispy Kreme opened their first stores in Alaska, they saw overnight campers and lines in the thousands.

4. Guns

There are a lot of myths floating around about Alaska, but it turns out the gun-toting stereotypes are true. At 61.7 percent, Alaskans have the highest rate of gun ownership out of any state in the US — no surprise for a state where 25% of residents hunt in any given year.

5. Airline miles

Our only hope for affordable travel, many Alaskans charge all expenses — personal or business — to Alaska Airlines Mileage cards. The miles we stockpile become a saving grace whether visiting family or planning our dream trips to international destinations.

6. National Parks

65 percent of the entire US National Parks system is found in Alaska — 54.6 million acres of land. Our eight parks offer everything: fishing, camping, kayaking, watching bears in their natural habitat, the works.

7. Ice cream

Somehow freezing temperatures don’t deter us — Alaskans consume more ice cream per capita than any other state. We’re equally crazy about traditional flavors or seasonal offerings featuring berries, honey, or locally roasted coffee.

8. Trucks

Life on the last frontier is hardly complete without a truck to help with any hauling, towing, or off-road job. All Americans love trucks, but they provide more utility for those of us up north than for our neighbors.

9. Glaciers

Alaska is home to some 100,000 glaciers, and tourists and locals alike enjoy viewing them via foot, kayak, flight, boat, or scenic drive.

10. Pilot bread

The enormous, dry crackers are a winter staple and part of every Alaskan’s survival kit. Pilot bread may be bland, but it’s utterly indestructible — so we’ll be able to subsist off of it when the apocalypse comes.

11. The radio

Since many of us forgo cable TV subscriptions, radio doubles as entertainment and a line of communication for those living off the grid. Where AM radio waves are more reliable than cell service, some Alaskans send messages back and forth over public airwaves a.k.a Bushlines.

12. Coffee

It’s not just ice cream and guns — Alaska also leads the nation in coffee consumption (sorry, Seattle). Roasters and artisanal coffee joints proliferate throughout the state, and the coffee stand is a favorite local institution.

13. Bonfires

Whether in the woods, on the beach, or in a friend’s backyard, we love to congregate around bonfires. Whether summer or winter, a fire is always a great excuse to get together and enjoy some warmth, camaraderie, and low-key fun.

14. Outhouses

Outhouses are still a staple of life on the frontier. While some are housed in no-frills wooden structures, other folks get more elaborate with their decorating, adding glass work, windows, or antlers for a little extra charm.

15. Fat tire bikes

While Alaskans love to bike in the summer, icy winters can pose a challenge for avid cyclists. Luckily, Alaskans have embraced the fat tire bike, which allows them to ride with ease in all weather conditions.

16. Dog mushing

Our official Alaska state sport stretches far beyond the Iditarod. Sled-dog racing seasons lasts all winter and includes sprints, mid-, and long-distance races.

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