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Andy and Kate Bassich

Andy Bassich and his dogs take a break while deciding how to proceed with the jumble ice.

Andy Bassich (View larger version)

Photograph by 2012 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

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Andy Bassich and his wife Kate live on the Yukon River, where the only way in or out is by boat or snow machine. Andy moved to Alaska from Washington, D.C. after coming to explore the area, which he knew little about at the time. He spent two years living in Anchorage before moving to the Alaskan bush. When Andy first arrived, this was raw land. He built his life from scratch from a vision he had. To live and survive in the Alaskan bush, Andy learned to make something out of the raw materials provided to him from his environment.

Living miles off the grid, Andy and Kate run a survival and dog mushing school. They have 26 sled dogs. Together, Andy and Kate hunt, harvest, grow, and brew 80 percent of what they eat and drink — moose, black bear, caribou, wolf, salmon, mountains of vegetables, and beer. Andy’s nickname is MacGyver. Although they have solar power, they bathe in an outdoor steam bath and sauna that is heated by wood.

Andy's survival knowledge is largely self-taught and he will turn his hand to anything, whether it is making his own bullets, knives, brewing his own beer, or building his own house. Andy can skin and butcher a moose complete with just his Leatherman. His goal is to live off the grid with class, style, love, and comfort. Andy finds it satisfying that he develops, builds, and lives the life he wants.

Andy measures his quality of life by how much free time he has to do what he wants. To Andy, living in remote Alaska is the best place to be. He is passionate about his lifestyle and feels that he has achieved his dreams... and there is nowhere else he would rather live.

Dive Deeper:

See how ingenuity plays a major role in Andy and Kate's Life Below Zero.

Explore what it really takes to live off-grid in this interactive companion. 

More of Andy and Kate's Life Below Zero

Photograph by National Geographic Channel

Explore what it really takes to live off-grid in this interactive companion. 
55 comments
Lucy Loo
Lucy Loo

I am shocked at those defending Andy's abusive behavior. They have no idea about domestic violence. To say Kate is a grown woman and can leave if she wants proves this fact. I suggest they research they psychology of battered woman's syndrome. I don't fast forward Andy's segment because I love to see Kate smiling beautifully in spite of Andy. Yelling, controlling, starving and depriving basic needs is the same as physical abuse. What disturbs me most is, if this is how he behaves on camera. I shutter to think of how he treats her when he's not on his best behavior. IT'S NEVER OK MISTREAT OR DISRESPECT ANYONE AT ANY TIME!!!

Kate M.
Kate M.

I just finished watching the premiere episode of the new season.  Was blown away by how fantastic your fishing boat works and how many fish you catch.  Loved viewing the entire process from beginning to end but would love to know how many days it actually took.  Always wondered about those frozen fish the dogs eat.  ADORE your dogs.  They're treated well and are lucky to have you.  ...and vice versa!


I enjoy your show.  Love you two.  Thanks for letting us take a peek into your lives.. 

Yolanda Pomposello
Yolanda Pomposello

Whenever Andy is on the show I fast forward on my DVR until he is gone.   What a jerk.

Lynn Manderson
Lynn Manderson

I usually watch all of this show, and enjoy most of what I see. However, I will now be excluding any part of the show that includes watching this man "Andy" treat his intelligent wife Kate, as if she is one of his dogs! Anyone can have a bad day, but that seems to be the norm for him, and taking his frustrations out on this woman is not my idea of entertainment. He is disrespectful to her, first of all as his wife, and secondly, as another human being trying to live in such a challenging environment. She works very hard too, and I don't hear her degrading and verbally abusing him. I am afraid to think of how he treats her off camera, if this is what he shows the viewers. I repeat, This is Not Entertainment.

Gary Hoskins
Gary Hoskins

Thought this was more about Andy and "Kate". Need to balance the info here, Kate is an equal partner, where is she from what's her story?

judy isbell
judy isbell

I do not like the way he speaks to his wife!

Ella Preuninger
Ella Preuninger

With all the negative comments about Andy, I have to say he is THE hardest worker I have ever seen. Please work a little harder at keeping your temper in check.  Aside from everything else, it is not HEALTHY!!! Love you guys.

Ella Preuninger
Ella Preuninger

Kate and Andy have a very complex relationship, but they clearly do love each other. Perhaps Andy does need medication or counseling, but Kate is able to leave if she wants. It does make one wonder, however, if these are his actions on camera, what is he like in private? I love the show and they are part of it. I have never seen anyone work as hard as Andy, and there is little to argue there, it just hope he can get some control of himself, His and Kate's leaving would be a loss, so I do look forward to seeing a lot more of them. Glenn, on the other hand, is a real jerk and I have trouble listening to him tell the world how so much more capable he is than "other people"... I feel he really detracts from the show.

k oconn
k oconn

Andy is a jerk and a bully.  He needs anger management classes.  I'd just love to see Kate speak up and put him in his place which is not far from the outhouse!

Gueneth Johnson
Gueneth Johnson

PPeople who critize about how Andy speaks to Kate never spent 24?7 working 10n1 with there husband. When Andy looses his temper he is not yelling at Kate his wife he is yellinfg at the guy who is helping him and not the woman he loves.I know because my husband an I moved to maine and built a house and a campgroung. We,ve been married 55 years.Been there done that !

Steven Renda
Steven Renda

After reading some of the comments, I've really got to hand it to Kate the way she keeps her cool.  I remember when I was shoveling snow from our driveway one time and my Dad came out to tell me how I was doing it wrong.  Nearly 50 years later I still remember that.  However, look at all that Andy, with Kate's help has accomplished over the years.  He has to be a type A personality and Kate knows it and how to live with it.  Now he's building a new house.  I hand it to both of them.

A. Thibado
A. Thibado

Kate is a big girl and if she wanted to leave I am sure she would....it is not our place to criticize there relationship....Different strokes for different folks...the good probably out weighs the bad and we have no idea what there relationship is like behind closed doors....They seem to have a great mutual love for each other no matter how messed up it may seem to people look in from the outside it works for them....

P Stewart
P Stewart

Kate...when Andy throws a fit, walk away. As long as you are standing there he will blame you. He has to blame someone else because he is unable to take the blame for anything. It's aversion therapy. If you make him do things along maybe he will grow up.

P Stewart
P Stewart

Andy is an adult and needs to control himself better. He gives himself a pass by saying he is type A which he thinks excuses him. Doesn't. His wife should leave while she has an ounce of self esteem left. No amount of sense of humor he supposedly has can make up for the embarrassment of his fits. And btw, why does he keep putting things down by the river? Do people loose their sense of logic when they are isolated?

PoCampo 1959
PoCampo 1959

Anyone judging this relationship based upon some highly edited footage is off base.  This is an incredibly capable guy with a temper, but who in my view clearly loves his wife.  In the last episode where he laid the foundations for their house, this was clearly a labor of love for Kate, and she knew it.  Men are simple creatures - much of what we do is to protect our woman and our children and it's motivated by love.  They are well matched - she is patient and puts up with his irascible nature because she knows that underneath it all he loves her and is doing these things for her.  As long as she keeps affirming him, telling him that he is awesome, his irritability and temper will mellow.  This is a wise woman

Mia Jules
Mia Jules

It looks to me as Andy is just rough around the edges. You can't be a wimp in a place like that. I'm sure if Kate was miserable she could've left with her daughter, and if he was abusive he wouldn't have wanted her daughter there in the first place. Kate can hold her own. After all Andy went through to get the rocks up the river to get their foundation in place, there is definitely love there.

Sharon Grems
Sharon Grems

Kate tell Andy to shove it a few times and walk away .There is no reason for him to talk to you or treat you the way he does , other then he's a bully . He never gives you credit for the work you do , he always refers to everything as" He did it" or 'How he did that' . He never says' We" . I don't care that he owns up to being short tempered , big deal , that does'nt give him a pass to act or treat you poorly . Andy , grow up ! Kate , grow a set!

phillip autrey
phillip autrey

I do not understand why kate is still there. His name should start with a not b.........

Annonymous Person
Annonymous Person

I thought this was supposed to be about Kate and Andy, but all I saw was Andy Andy Andy.  He is incredibly disrespectful to Kate, and blames her for his own shortcomings.  No one is perfect, but a real man would own up to his own failings.  That being said, Kate needs to stand up for herself.  Bullies will keep going until you stand up to them. 

Darryl Hall
Darryl Hall

I love this show,  Sorry guys i like Sue better,  i don't care much for you Andy, dont get me wrong you are the hardest working person i have ever see, but poor Kate tries so hard to do right, and you treat her like dirt, Shame on you,  she is a brave woman to put up with you, Treat her better she is all you got out there,  some day you will realize just how much she means to you.

Dee Jordan
Dee Jordan

Andy is such an ass, bully and whiner. It's a wonder he gets anything done with all the cussing and stomping around he does when things don't go his way. Kate has the patience of a saint. If he was my husband I would have already hit him upside the head with one of those boards he just planed.

scott pierson
scott pierson

Andy & ,kate. love the show and wish i was there , I have something very similar in northern California but don't live there full time just the summers, I have one question, how do you guys keep the animals from getting to the fish you are trying to dry out? take care

JoAnn Smith
JoAnn Smith

You are a baby Andy, If you choose to live where you do, deal with it and get over it! Don't say on one hand how great it is to live where you do and then get extremely mad when things don't go right. Be a man! You are truly a contradiction in everything you do!  Do you like having a wife that is more like a "yes" companion rather that a wife that is your equal? And Kate, you are just as wrong for letting him treat you like you do.  He has you just where he wants you.....in the wilderness!

I like this show, but you two are my absolute worst ones.  Take a lesson from Chip Hailstone, what a guy and he truly loves and respects his wife and lives with much less than you and Kate do.

JoAnn Smith
JoAnn Smith

Andy, you are so not the example of someone living in the wild.  Go back to DC you big baby.

Kent Thalacker
Kent Thalacker

keep Kate.  get rid of the whiner Andy.  National Geographic sure knows how to pick losers for their series on Alaska.  Give us some better examples of life below zero.  These people invent their own problems and pass them on as reality.  Kate says that disaster strikes every time they seem to make headway; that they don't have time or money for problems.  Maybe they had more time and money in D.C.

Daniel Lappen
Daniel Lappen

Damn I'd love to do what they do. Alaska is so much better than the lower 48. Yeah things are more expensive but it's a lot easier than dealing with the crappy people around here. I would move up there in a heartbeat if I had the cash.

Bighair Eighties
Bighair Eighties

I love the way you put Kate in her place, Andy. Check the online Urban Dictionary every once in a while to keep up with the latest offensive lingo. Focus more on beer making and less on vegetables. Beer has calories to fight the cold. Vegetables are for shivering snowshoe hares. I will mail you a Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil for continued inspiration. 

Vince Sciacca
Vince Sciacca

Andy throws more tantrums than a three year old girl.  He treats his wife worse than his dogs. 

S. Lawrence
S. Lawrence

I'm a animal lover...that being said I love how Andy and especially Kate love their dogs!

Thomas Mech
Thomas Mech

He really needs to treat his wife better she try's so hard and all he does is scream and yell at her. I also don't like him taking gods name in vane so much

Nick T.
Nick T.

If I observed correctly you have dogs named "Ouzo" and "Drachma".  What is the Greek connection?

Pete Mischiara
Pete Mischiara

take a chill pill andy, the way you talk to kate.

Anthony Sferes
Anthony Sferes

does anyone know when new episodes will be on?? love the a show

Kim Mohler
Kim Mohler

Hi Andy - We went to school together at Spring Mill(Kim Goad).   I was watching the show for the first time and heard your name and wondered if it could be you and sure enough!  What an adventure you and Kate are living....WOW

I am still in touch with many friends from the old neighborhood and I will have to tell them to watch.  Alaska is on my bucket list one day.  Be well.  Kim

Lael Kelley
Lael Kelley

Kate, I don't know if you read these comments,(I hope you do!) but you have inspired me to live in the Alaskan bush! This would be the perfect lifestyle for me! The day I graduate high school, I'm driving to Fairbanks!

Doug Freman
Doug Freman

I'd like to see you cover someone else in  his place, take him off the show i say

Doug Freman
Doug Freman

I dont like Andy, he is my least favorite, throwing those tantrums like a little kid!

Jessica Gorman
Jessica Gorman

I love all the dogs you have. What are their names?? I know there's a lot and they all have unique names. So awesome!

linda browning
linda browning

Kate and Andy you are amazing human beings.  Impressed with your shift from Washington, DC to Eagle that obviously came through the heart.  Respect for the land  & all the living creatures is a lesson that you have provided to all who watched.  I especially enjoyed how real you are, your emotional sensitivities to your life and each other, and how well you work together as a team.  Who doesn't have quirks???  Your philosophy in life is sustainability and nature knows that respect and will honor and take care of you.   Point:  the Yukon ice break up left you standing.  I think you have supple karma banks.  And the season ending so touched my heart when Kate got off the helicopter and all was still there.  I hope you return to all of us with stories of the the AK summer, the only time I have been there.   Many well wishes for continued success on all levels in AK.  

William Eaton
William Eaton

Andy and Kate ... you have both captured my heart in the love you have for one another. My personality is so very similar to Andy's. I know how easy it is for me to get frustrated and seemingly take it out on someone else but that's not the case. I am a perfectionist and hate making mistakes. I really get frustrated at myself and love my woman beyond comprehension. Andy, I know you love her dearly. Kate, I know you understand his frustrations and know what a beautiful person you are in loving Andy. I fear that I have just watched your last episode and there will be no more. Is that correct? I hope not!

Beth Jehl
Beth Jehl

I absolutely love the show.  thank you for sharing your life.  You are living my dream. I look forward to each new episode as the show takes me to a "happy place". 

Lucy Loo
Lucy Loo

Your standards are pitifully low if you believe it's okay to be abusive just because you're with a spouse 24/7. No thanks. I prefer a loving, kind and patient husband and I'd accept nothing less.

Lucy Loo
Lucy Loo

So you wouldn't find it a little embarrassing and humiliating to be berated and belittled in front of millions? There isn't enough good in the world to balance that out.

Carmen Hatfield
Carmen Hatfield

Thank you, Thomas!!! I understand that many people don't find this offensive , but please ANDY, understand that there are many people who do! They bleep out everything(almost) else except God's name in vain. I want to watch the show. I love nature, and all the beautiful things God created. I would just love to not hear my Lord's name slaughtered!

Kate Rorke
Kate Rorke

@Albert Grosch Remington is doing well and enjoying his retirement as a house dog. He is funny to watch around the girls he loves and protects them all but Tia is his favorite girlfriend.

Christina Robinson
Christina Robinson

Kate, I love the show, but hate the way Andy always yells at you. It's humiliating. And it was his fault when he pulled the string to hard when the beams fell, and he blamed it on you. Have him watch the show again so he can see his mistake for once. Love the dogs !! Hang in there.