Alaska is huge and each slice of the Alaskan pie adds its own unique element to social customs. Yet, there are habits which are common statewide, and when you leave, these are often hard to give up. Here is a list of 35 Alaskan habits that are hard to break.
1. Checking for wild animals every time you open the door.
2. Making regular DIY runs to the local dump.
3. Referring to spring as “break up” as if everyone understood what you were talking about.
4. Repurposing the porch and designating it ‘a temporary refrigeration zone.’
5. Refusing to own or even consider a vehicle without 4WD capabilities.
6. Expecting people to know how to drive like sane human beings in a snowstorm.
7. Scanning the horizon for mountains in order to calibrate your sense of direction (and check for termination dust).
8. Getting Christmas-morning level excitement over the annual champion Alaska State Fair giant vegetable weigh-off.
9. The overpowering urge to check whether or not the sunglasses you’re thinking about buying are polarized.
10. Wearing the baseball cap that’s taken on qualities similar to lichen and is now permanently attached to your head.
11. Sporting the flannel shirt that you wear everywhere and for every occasion no matter how formal.
12. Wondering whether or not you should throw your Xtratufs or Boggs in the backend of the vehicle ‘just in case.’
13. Freaking out when you can’t figure out where you last put your lip balm and favorite tube of hand cream.
14. Expecting a picture postcard view everywhere you go and being crazy disappointed when the place you’re in is hard on the eyes.
15. Keeping an eye out for bears in order to avoid becoming a tale in the next volume of Alaska Bear Tales.
16. Wondering how the reds are running every day between May and August.
18. Spending the next twelve months planning how you’re going to maximize your PFD.
19. Keeping an antenna tuned in to the price of oil per barrel.
20. Assuming people care as much as you do about keeping their city, town, and state beautiful.
21. Expecting the midnight sun in summer and feeling robbed when that’s just not gonna happen.
22. Packing everything (including the kitchen sink) for a simple day trip.
23. Preparing for an apocalypse with extra food and supply stores.
24. Keeping tabs on “the tripod” during the Nenana Ice Classic.
25. And getting over-the-moon excited when it goes down because it’s way more telling than any groundhog.
26. Anticipating and preparing for winter.
27. Barbecuing outside year-round as though it were the global norm.
28. Assuming everyone loves fishing as much as you do.
29. Thinking everyone loves being “away from it all” as much as you do.
30. Believing that camping looks and means the same thing everywhere.
31. Thinking everyone knows how to build a campfire.
32. Assuming everyone you meet is basic survival and first aid skills capable.
33. Not bothering with sunscreen and regretting it terribly afterwards.
34. Feeling intense ire when non-Alaskans mispronounce glacier and salmon. Please people! It’s glay-sh-er not gla-cee-er and sa-mon not sal-mon.
35. Mulling over how awesome Alaska is 24/7/365 and wishing you were there right now.