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Life Below Zero° follows seven people as they battle for the most basic necessities in the state with the lowest population density in the United States. Living at the ends of the world's loneliest roads and subsisting off the rugged Alaskan bush, they battle whiteout snow storms, man-eating carnivores, questionable frozen terrain, and limited resources through a long and bitter winter. Some of them are lone wolves; others have their families beside them. All must overcome despairing odds to brave the wild and survive through to the spring. Only the mentally fit will be able to endure the extreme test of isolation and endless work required to survive the many months of winter in the Alaska bush.
When the caribou that Sue depends on migrate unusually late, she is forced to search for alternatives. Seasoned hunter and registered guide outfitter Erik must secure the next harvest prior to the start of the next guide season. Kate and Andy begin the tough task of fencing in their garden to protect the yearly food crop. Agnes and Chip have taken their annual 85-mile journey to Kiwalik, where they will remain until the thaw's end focused on preparing for the cruel winter months.
Chip and Agnes aim to pass their tradition of surviving off the land to their daughters. The girls are put to the test as they hunt a herd of caribou to feed the family. Andy knows there are limited summer months left and decides to take on an ambitious project to reduce the strain of physical labor. Glenn feels a sense of urgency and resorts to a new tool to aid his quest for sustenance. With the heavy costs of having produce flown into her camp, Sue decides to take matters into her own hands.
As summer draws near, unpredictable weather is shaking up life in Alaska. Faced with scarce caribou, Sue Aikens tries her hand at fishing to gather food for the winter. While the season quickly approaches, Andy and Kate must train their dogs for survival during the summer months. For the Hailstones, the spring means the harvest of a special delicacy, seagull eggs. In response to long days and bitter cold, Glenn is looking to build a sweat lodge. But living hundreds of miles away from the nearest hardware store means he must build everything by hand.
With the freeze quickly approaching, the race to prepare has Alaskans on edge. Sue Aiken calls on a World War II vehicle, the Nodwell, to safeguard her camp from nearby predators. With limited resources, Glenn Villeneuve must trek over rugged, thawing terrain to secure a spring food supply. Chip and Agnes Hailstone are 85 miles away from home on their seasonal fishing trip on the Kiwalik River teaching their two youngest daughters the fishing skills. Andy and Kate Bassich venture 30 miles down the Yukon in search of materials for an upcoming project, a masonry heater for their home.
With winter on its way, Alaskans battle the clock to stockpile everything for their survival. Sue Aikens' livelihood is threatened by a summer storm that prevents delivery of fuel. Andy and Kate Bassich find themselves struggling after salmon fishing has been closed to secure enough food before the river freezes over. In a last effort to harvest meat for winter, the Hailstones teach their daughters native hunting methods and stalk flightless male ducks. Glenn Villeneuve protects his camp from unwelcome guests. Without access to tools, he uses his bare hands to build a new refrigeration unit.
As the thaw comes to an end, the last-minute push to prepare for winter means the pressure is building. The Hailstones have one last opportunity to score a catch of summer salmon. For Andy and Kate Bassich, the coming wrath of winter has turned their focus to building a cabin. Erik and Martha Salitan's quest for food hits a snag when shallow waters stall their harvest plans and leave them with a burning boat motor. Mechanical failure puts Sue Aiken's camp at risk. Sue and her clients are left with no power and no means of communication.
Summer is drawing to a quick close, and the Alaskan winter lurks right around the corner. Sue Aikens has limited time to hunt enough caribou to sustain herself for the harsh winter ahead. Luckily, Sue gets some help and rare family time as she teaches her grandson the skills he needs to survive in the Arctic. Glen Villeneuve treks the tough tundra terrain, looking for firewood to survive the harsh winter season. The Hailstones begin packing up and preparing for their journey home. Luckily, the Hailstones avoid some very close calls as they build a cache for their supplies.
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