Online documentary about one of the last people living in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Vice has a fascinating 5-part documentary on Heimo Korth, "the Omega Man of America's Final Frontier." The first two parts are up now, the rest will be posted throughout the week.

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.

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.

Watch Far Out - Heimo's Arctic Refuge  Part 1, Part 2


  1. swansea love story and guide to liberia are definitely great as well. i don’t work for vice. i am, in fact, desperately unemployed, which is why i have seen 85% of the interwebs

  2. Just read a book on the Korth’s called “The Final Frontiersman” by James Campbell. Great book and a fascinating lifestyle, even for a vegan like me.

  3. It’s kind of Woody Allen meets Jeremiah Johnson. But my hat’s off to the kid and crew for going up there and getting the footage. Really interesting stuff. Everybody hollers about the Refuge. It’s good to see a piece of it.

  4. I got to meet a woman like this when I was a kid, she lived in the Boundary Water Canoe Area area between Canada and the US. She was the only person allowed to live there and had been grandfathered in. She was also one of the only private citizens allowed to use a motor vehicle. Her name was Dorothy Molter and she made root beer and sold candy bars to kids and adults canoing by. It was really, really cool. Her house was moved into town after she passed and made into a museum.

  5. After watching the video, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had seem them somewhere else before. I finally figured it out. They, along with 3 other Alaskan families were featured in a National Geographic episode on PBS called “Braving Alaska” back in 1993. It follows the families over the course of a year and really shows the challenges of raising and schooling children in such and environment. So if you want to seen the Korth’s in their earlier days and with children, I suggest you try and see it.

  6. “Only six families of white settlers were grandfathered in and allowed to keep cabins in the refuge ”

    Nothing was said about who else happened to be living there already. I think most people know that various indigenous tribes live in Alaska.

  7. After watching that North Face ad, I was practically on the edge of my seat waiting for Pee Wee’s Playhouse to come on.

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