Sue Aikens is as tough as the grizzly bear that attacked her and left her for dead six years ago. “I had to sew my own head together, my arm, and before my hips popped out, I went across the river, found the bear, shot him, called the trooper, and there I lay for 10 days.” At that time, Sue did not know if the bears would come through the wall of her house and she knew she could not defend herself if they did.
Sue lives 500 miles from the nearest city and 80 miles from the closest road. She is the warden of Kavik River Camp, a base for hunting groups, that she also calls home. She has lived there for seven years, but has been in Alaska for 30 years. She loves to share the unique experience of her camp with people during hunting season, and it can house up to 83 hunters at a time.
While some women collect shoes, Sue collects bullets, beer, blood and guts. Sue recognizes that she lives in bear country, not the other way around. The ground is frozen all year round, so there's no way to dig a well for water. Instead, Sue must treat the river water herself. And when the electricity generator goes down, as it often does in the extreme conditions, it is Sue who has to fix it.
During hunting season, she hosts the hunters with hot showers and food; but from October to May, she faces the freezing temperatures, penetrating winds, and savage bears all alone, holding fort. Time has no meaning to Sue. She is not lonely; she simply lives alone. However, Sue entertains herself and often cracks herself up. Although she considers animals her friends, she is aware that if something bad were to happen, there is no one to help her. Her motto: "If it hurts, don’t think about it."
My hats off to you lady, hope you have a long life up there with what you love to do. Love your fox companions and your comments on your life there. Hang in there, and thanks for sharing your life there.
I love you Sue! I'm watching you on tv right now. Just gotta say you put most men to shame! I would love to come spend a couple of days with ya and drink a few! Sttay safe and warm :)
Hello Sue! I so much enjoy the program but mostly tune in to see your portion of the program. Your way of life is a lesson in appreciation of even the smallest things.You are an excellent teacher! Your inner strength is inspiring to me. I hope the filming will resume. Take care and God bless for all you do.
I'm on National Geographic .com to say I LOVE SUE!! Sue you are soo great! I root for you the entire show. I love the show... everyone is so wonderful.. Thank you for everything you do! You are an inspiration to us all. Always remember there are good people in the world! we care about you .. we care about life... together we are strong... you are an inspiration .. keep up the good fight!!! SUE SUE SUE!!!! hahaha
May I send you a sample of the Speedy Sharp knife sharpener to your nearest post office for delivery to you? Totally free and I know you will use it all of the time. Perfect for use in your neck of the woods. Small, versatile and will last a life time. Just want you to see how easy it is to use. Just let me know where to send it to and what you think of it.
Sue your 1 hell of a women, besides your hardships wish I was up there. we have more A-Hole per square inch down here, But hear that most up there keep eye out for each other, down here we have to watch your back, stay well.
How are you? Any filming going on at this time? How much does it cost to stay at your camp? I don't think I would be able to withstand the weather or the bugs, but it's sure something to think about.
I am trying to bring alternative fuel sources to cold weather regions throughout Canada and Alaska. Can you send me information about the guys (air delivery) you use to deliver your diesel and gasoline to your remote location. Thank you in advance Sue...love the show! Warm regards-Arnie
Okay I have to say to those of you that don't think there should be so much swearing.. umm if I woke up to a bear breaking down the wall of my house 2 inches from my head I can promise you I wouldn't jump up and say.. ."well golly gee a bear is here shucks I better move my bottom and grab a gun" It would be more like a string of words I have heard.. some sh_t I make up on the way and a few words that would make the bears stop and say wtf did she just say?? Because gosh darn will not be the first words out of my mouth lol..
Omg I just found this show on hulu and I cant wait to keep watching the episodes Sue I am sorry but you are the coolest person I know.. I crack up laughing at your sense of humor, You are so tough and I am sure that you never get bored up there but if you ever do I would LOVE to keep in touch with you and just say hey and how cold it is and what you did.. you ROCK
I really like everyone on the show. They all add something different. I would like to know if you get to meet any of the other characters. If you do, tell Erik we miss him.....not sure if he is still on the show but the last six episodes that aired in our area have Glenn Villeneuve as his replacement. We would feel just as sad if you were gone.
I just started watching the show today and Sue, you are so
inspiring and you say the funniest
I also really like your quote - "The minute you stop learning, you start dying."
Hello Sue! I love watching you on Life Below Zero. I would love to live in Alaska, since I love winter. But I don't thin I would survive out in the vast wilderness alone. I am living out my dreams watching you on TV. Be safe and hang strong!
Hello Sue, I love to watch this show and mostly it is due to you. I see you and I always say that you are the woman I always wanted to be. However at 5 feet tall, that would be very difficult. I am however a registered nurse and for that reason I wish I could accompany you on your journey. Good luck out there and stay the course.
Sue, I think you are terrific and look forward to the show when you are on. You're my favorite character. I would like to have the courage to spend time in that environment. When will you be opening the camp for hunters and will there be any filming of that time in your life? God Bless you and I hope you are enjoying the summer. I guess what looks worse then the snow are the black flies!
Thank you for allowing us to correspond with you.
Sue, When you harvested that bear was it with a 30.06, or a 338, and of the two which do you prefer for bear.
No offense but you cant shoot a rifle worth a tinker's damn...you try shooting off hand and the barrel waves around and if you hit anything,it usually is in the gut,back,leg,etc-----you need a Bipod that extends to at least 36 inches or more. Then shoot a few shots using it and you will see the improvement instantly
Ive just discovered this show and you rock.I love your attitude bravery and stamina.Your kids must be so proud.Would love to spend time there and challenge myself.
Hi Sue I have watched this series and I must say learned a lot about "never" taking anything for granted although I don't..you are an inspiration of the power of a woman's tenacity and survival. I don't know if you are able to respond to me but if you can I'd enjoy it. Take care and god bless.
We love watching the segments with Sue. Ever since we saw her on Sarah Palin's show and another which I cannot recall, we knew she would be a hit. Sue got a sweetheart deal on Kavik camp but I cannot see how she can keep it operating without LBZ money. Too expensive to operate as it ages. And too remote to be profitable without the celebrity appeal. Sue, you do work so hard and your values seem to be in line with living in the wildness. while you do treasure living alone, every time so say farewell to a visitor, you become quite sad. And the third person talk belies a bit of loneliness. I suspect you are clinically dysthymic. Maybe some meds would be appropriate. We will make a reservation to visit Kavik and will definitely bring a Cuban or three and a single malt or two unless you are in a local option area, in which case we will bring it anyway!! You are a hoot and provide a lot of joy!
The show portrays you as one extremely paranoid person Sue. Like you are trying to talk yourself through everything as if you are constantly having an anxiety attack. It's like everything you keep saying is how everything is out to eat you and you live alone and have to fix it all or die. It's like you are still trying to convince yourself that you enjoy the life you live...
Makes me wonder if you are living life or simply surviving it. Perhaps you are guarded and it is the only thing you feel comfortable talking about to the camera crew that is on you 24/7. The Sue that makes it to the TV does't seem happy and seems like she is stressed and working hard at surviving and not actually living. I would like to see you having more fun.
@vinny goombada I suppose I wont make a reservation for you then Vinny?
@Kathy Candler Thank you Kathy!
@Donna Stickling Thank you Donna!
@Wayne Mague Thank you Wayne! The snail mail is on the website, how nice of you!
@Robert Wise Thanks so much Robert!
@Linda Sivieri Hi Linda! I cant talk about the filming but people do stay here and there are nightly rates as well as weekly rates inclusive of round trip airfare
@Arnold Rusch It is Everts Air Fuel in Fairbanks
@lisa haukos Thank you Lisa! I crack myself up alot too hehehe!
@McIntosh McIntosh I have met some of them! Erik and Glenn kind of bounce between the spot as they both take personal time during the year
@Marian Tabb Thank you so much! My daughter is your size, but she is 10ft tall inside
@Linda Sivieri The filmies come and go in small crews when there are things going on, and camp is always open to peeps, but in winter I dont see many
@Matthew OBrian it was the AR-10 308. Each weapon is good in different circumstances so I cannot say I refer one over the other as the situations change. overall the 45/70 would be my first grab around camp
@john lallemano all the animals you have seen on the show have been clean kills, but true as with anyone sometimes a shot doesnt get as well placed as you would like. I have never lost an animal though, but thanks for the info on the sticks!
@Kelly Glanville Thank you so much Kelly!!
@H. Tate Thank you so much! I sometimes get so busy that I forget to check here but I try to respond when I can :)
@Zippy Miller hahaha! The third person is because people are asking me about me so I have to go third person to reply. The camp holds it's own for the most part financially, as it must to be compliant with the leases from the State that allow me to be here. Woo hoo... it would be awesome to share a stogie and swap stories, thank you! No meds for me, not a good option to clutter your mind with things that are only designed to make you more palatable to the majority in society. I prefer to be ok with being outside the box
@Stuff McBudley We are the authors of our own reality. The fact you see Sue as paranoid says much about your own personality. Read through some of the other comments to center yourself. As for Sue.....you are amazingly brave. If something took a bite out of me I would be walking around in a shark cage, lol. The fact that you chose such an isolated, harsh lifestyle also attests to your fortitude. I am sure there have been days where you wished you were someplace else but I don't think you would have bought the Camp if you didn't enjoy your life.
Stuffy Budley, most people in the world do what they do to survive.....very few truly love what they are doing....and I think Sue is one of them.
@Stuff McBudley Great observation! The show in the background is always asking me to point out the dangers, and I am obligated contractually to answer what they ask. I am not paranoid, but I am hyper aware. You dont get to see the snow-surfing we do behind the scenes and the cards against humanity games we play and fun.. but it is there. I am one happy smiling girl all of the time, but when someone asks me something I do focus pretty hard to describe the answer
what a completely ignorant comment---The Suester lives the way she wants to---liberasl whack jobs like you are the reason America is in the terrible obummer shape it's in now
@Stuff McBudley you are very critical of Sue and the way she is...makes me wonder how you would survive out there under those circumstances McBudley !
@Stuff McBudley I ran a 110 acre working farm in the boonies by myself for one year. The house was 100 years old. Yikes... looking back .... a large part of the work is in your mind is that no one is there to talk with... like a partner to understand and share. Being alone makes daily chores and upkeep so much harder. I think most people would have a very hard time of it.
@Susan Aikens @Marian Tabb I miss the show. i do hope you guys come back on. i think i could give it a go ~ you have shown us a lot of what to focus on and thinking ahead for different tasks. love the peace and power. Miss you guys.
Good on ya ! I will recant my meds comments. You are right! We are watching the reruns of LBZ and enjoy it even more. We will connect at some time. Friends have a camp at Lake Clark we will visit in the Fall. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to your fans shows character. Have you always been an Alaska resident?
@H. Tate Grow a friggin brain H. Taint... And while you are at it, work on your reading comprehension. How exactly was I critical? I gave my opinion about what I was seeing that made it to the TV and said I would like to see Sue have more fun. (kinda hoping NatGeo picks up on that as well).
And Yes, I actually have lived out there under those circumstances. When not working, I did a lot of fishing and a lot of soaking in nature and enjoyed the heck out of it (I did hunt, but hunting was more of a necessary chore for food, the fishing was what I really enjoyed)... Yes, I was on guard 24/7, but I was still able to relax and enjoy life. I suspect that may be different if I had been attacked by a bear and I suspect I might not enjoy it all that much after a bear attack. Glenn looks like he is out enjoying nature, tasting spruce trees, making trails, etc. Sue looks like she is hyper alert, understandably paranoid, and talking herself through everything in a way that doesn't look enjoyable. But again, that could be editing on NatGeo's part.
@Candace Noel I did it for 4 years in a row Candace and I loved it. I agree, most people couldn't cope, but I enjoyed the heck out of it. I had a wood stove that I used for all my heat, cooking, bathing water, etc. (I actually lived more like Glenn, but in a cabin I built). I only had 5 conversations for that entire 4 years. I did a lot of reading and writing, enjoying nature, a little gardening, fishing, hunting, And cut a few tons of firewood. I think I might have lost the love for it had I been attacked by a bear though.