Sue Aikens, 50, is as tough as the grizzly bear that attacked her and left her for dead three 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."
Just had to say I am fascinated with your life, your such a tough spirit and woman! You remind me of some of my family (them there Canadians, lol) , Just love watching you on the show! Quick question though, have you had visitors come there just to be at the camp? Take care, sending prayers from Michigan!
Dear Sue, as I am unable to see what it. is I am typingI just wanted to take a second to commend you on your style of life. I find you to be one bad b****. I mean that in the most respectful way. I have read some of the above negative comments and I have to say I find them to be from people who could not spent one second in your shoes. I am a 4 0 year old man who grew up in the wilderness of northern Maine and Ill tell you that that was no joke but. what you do on the other hand is simply amazing I honor you and your way of life and if there is anything I can do be it assist you there in Alaska be t finically or morally or even come up and help please feel free to count on me.
It has been my pleasure to communicate with you and I hope you get around to writing
back. . Peace to you and you have my prayers.
sincerely your friend
Hi Sue,, there should be more kick a** gal"s like you in this world!!! or atleast in my village lol ,, your awsome Sue !!!! be warm be safe peace and tranquility always Lyle
You go for it Sue, clearly Jorge and Steve don't have a life so they focus on yours. I am one of the fans who watch for and respect you and put yourself out there for jerks to take pot shots of. You do have a great sense of humor.And men are intimidated by a women who is strong and happy with a life without them
Greetings from France. The show is now on French TV and my husband and I are fascinated by the life you chose. A bit horrified as well, the temperatures, snow, and blizzards are not what we look for in the countryside. :) And we cheered when we saw you buy the camp.
We were however a bit baffled by the previous explanations. Your voice is covered by the French translation so we can't hear the original words and I think that the translation is not the best. Anytime I can hear the voices of the cast members there's a translation error (and we don't get the cussing, instead you have much more polite words to my great amusement).
Before you bought the camp you were the keeper of it. However you seemed to say that you rented it.
So our question is, were you hired by the previous owner to take care of the camp or were you renting the camp yourself and working for yourself when receiving the people in summer?
Thank you for showing us a life unlike anything we could imagine, and a woman not afraid to go for her dream and hold on to it. We are glued to the screen for more.
The lower 48 are getting hit by an arctic blast, Sue. How cold is it where you are? Do you stay warm in those tents?
Hello Sue, I hope the day finds you in good spirits. Just curious, what brought you to Alaska in the first place ?
Hi Sue Happy New Year. It has been really cold here-20'yesterday and didn't reach the single numbers by noon, I want to say how bad I felt when you found out about your oil theft.It had to be someone who knew you were in Fairbanks as well.Im 74 and on my bucket list is to shoot a deer. Shot AT a couple but have missed. I wish I were nearer so I could help you do your shopping.. What a price to charge. I have been to AK several times and in the winter too. I am an avid snowmobiler as well. Stay warm . Looking forward to more of your adventures.
Just found the show, about 6 episodes in and I kinda like Sue.. her part of the show is quite a bit different than the others and doesn't appear to be so much about subsisting but I give her props for being there and doing what she does. I think a lot of people are put off by a strong independent woman, even unconsciously, and attitudes and ways that would be "ok" in a man make them uncomfortable.
Anyway.. keep on keeping on~
When Sue pointed to that big old plane that was billowing smoke as it prepared to take off having delivered thousands of gallons of fuel for the planes and said "She's like me. She's an old bitch but she still likes to smoke." I laughed right out loud. Sue is intelligent, very funny, honest, direct, yet tender. There is no punishment strong enough for the thieving jackasses who stole her fuel and food and left the taps open jeopardizing her life. Man, I wish there was a way to find them. This woman is the real deal in the best possible sense.
Hey Sue! Just viewed a few old shows and now have a better grasp on who you are as a person and why you do what you do. Just my kind of gal!!!! Maybe you could show Andy how to grow a pair and stop abusing his wife!
Great show.....Is there a way to communicate with you through....e-mail----face book or even snail mail ...well that would be a letter every 5 years at best.
Hi Ms. Sue,
My friend Stacey Evans and you look so much alike and have the same traits , Stacey is a OTR Truck driver. Strong women , I would love to send you her picture. I swear some where in your family lone you to are related. If ou can find her on face book,
Both my wife and I feel Sue is such a Debbie Downer. She tries to be a realist but she just comes across as such a downer. It's depressing really
Both my wife and I think she's such a Debbie Downer. We see how she tries to put a positive spin on what task she tries to accomplish but it doesn't work for her
I sat back a read, with much laughter, the comments about Sue. It makes me wonder what show I've been watching! By no means am I trying to say I could live up there, now would I want to, but Sue, do you have to cuss about everything you talk about or act like such a flaming D***?
What you do up there is more then enough testament about how difficult everyday tasks are without having to act like you have a "set" swinging between your legs. I find it unatractive and you make yourself sound uneducated.
With all the people that National Geographic follows on Life Below Zero, I find Sue the most difficult to watch, and believe. The way she talks and acts, to me, seems like she's overacting and exaggerating. And since everyone is allowed to their own opinion, I don't expect any flack for mine.
All I'm saing is that I would have such a hard time watching Sue if she didn't always have to act like such a cliche.
Other then that...keep your peepers on the horizon that you know so well. Kinda funny that right in the middle of your speech about keeping your eyes focused on the horizon, you had to break formations because there was a "black thing" that wasn't there before. Really?!? Get over yourself Sue, and take a darn bath already.
Out of the show Sue you are the best. Good Looking, Wise and Resourceful! Thank You for showing us your world.
Great looking LADY. I would love to spend time listening to her adventures. Love her part of the show. Nothing but admiration courage. Keep it up.
Not sure where Erik went but Glenn is certainly a most interesting man to watch as he challenges himself every day with nature's many twists and turns. Enjoy Sue so much! One tough lady - so impressive! Agnes & Chip have a wonderful relationship & family. So good to see a family who live and work so well together. Such hard workers! Kate has such patience with Andy & he surely is a work-aholic but does accomplish alot! This is a great show - we really look forward to it every week! Thanks & keep 'em comin'!!
Can't imagine living out there Sue--- don't think I could last a week. Thanks for sharing your lifestyle with us. All the best to you !
Sue, I would love to come out there and lend a hand. I can operate machinery and I'm a generator engineer. I've always wanted to live in Alaska.
Sue love the show. You are like me in a lot of ways, I always say that I would rather be with me than anyone else. This simply means that I can entertain myself and really don't need anyone to entertain me. Do you have a tv with DVD's that you can watch? Why do you live in a tent more or less instead of a solid building that that would be harder for a bear to get into?
Hello Sue. I love the show, very impressive. Do you have a facebook or a blog so I can follow you in the future? Take care
@Caroline Thibaudeau Bonjour! Merci pour le grand message! J'ai été embauché par le propriétaire précédent pour gérer le camp, puis ils m'ont loue (payer le loyer) au cours de 2012 à 2013 jusqu'à ce que je l'ai acheté au printemps dernier. yay! J'imagine la traduction de moi en termes plus polis que j'utilise rendrait les choses sonnent différemment lol ... encore merci beaucoup!
@Steven RendaIt was -35F last night but a blizzard blew in and my temps went back up to -15F. Stay warm where you are at! The tent stays warmish, but in an Arctic Blizzard the goal is not to be warm, but to keep it above freezing
@Mike Grabowskimy mom
@Garnet RedThank you so much!
@Dennis B.I am who I am. I also do not edit the content. I get many many children here in the summers and do not swear around them, but when I am alone, again... I am who I am
@Apple JacksonLOL.. you go girl. If you were so well versed on the Slope you would know that the wolverines are not 1/10th my size they are 3-4ft at the shoulders and weigh in around 120-140 lbs. But more to the point, thank you for your opinions. Life is all about diversity.
@RIP PARSELLSBecause it is where I live. Also hunting is one small percentage of the people who visit, mostly ologists and eco-tourism
@RIP PARSELLS She has to be there to maintain the camp.
@April M. I looked at the Kavik website, and she charges $20 for a shower. After seeing that episode where she demonstrated how she pipes the water in, I can understand why.
@Jess Holland Nobody needs a "set swinging between the legs" to be tough. Just because you are clearly intimidated by a strong woman doesn't mean you should insult anyone! Yes, you got flack for your ignorant comments. Sue is strong and a woman and I don't think she's trying to be anything other than herself. Maybe I don't agree with everything she does (or with everything anybody else on the show does for that matter) but still, they are doing what they need to do to live in Amazing Alaska! Sue and Erik are my favorite segments of the show. And I love the show.