Far Out

Heimo's Arctic Refuge - Part 1

In 1980, Jimmy Carter established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Alaskan Interior, cutting off 19 million acres of prime boreal wilderness from the mitts of fur trappers, oil tycoons, and would-be lodge owners alike. Only six families of white settlers were grandfathered in and allowed to keep cabins in the refuge—of them, only one still stays there year-round living off the land. His name is Heimo Korth, and he is basically the Omega Man of  America’s Final Frontier. Raised in suburban Wisconsin, Heimo set off in his teens to the Alaskan Bush to pursue the Davy Crockett lifestyle in more or less the only place it was still possible. Amid numerous setbacks and misadventures, Heimo gradually learned how to master his terrain, provide for his Eskimo wife, and rear children in one of the most inhospitable environments in North America. In this premiere edition of Far Out, we take a bush plane to the middle of nowhere, Alaska, to catch up with Heimo and his wife, Edna—now reaching their golden years. Over the course of our ten-day stay, the Korths show us everything you need to know about fur-trapping, caribou-hunting, caribou-eating, river-crossing, boredom-staving, bear-avoidance, and bear-defense to live happily over 100 miles from the nearest neighbors. Vegans, you have been warned. Heimo’s epic journey and adventures have been documented in the critically acclaimed book, THE FINAL FRONTIERSMAN, written by Heimo’s cousin, James Campbell. Read more about the book here

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