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Old 11-20-2009, 09:05 PM
AKpredator AKpredator is offline
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Default Winter Caretaker Jobs... Red Rum, Red Rum...



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I should have posted this before.

There are 275+ fishing, hunting and natural history lodges in Alaska. Many of them are very remote locations that have openings for Caretaker type jobs during the winter months.

It's a unique opportunity for people who are self-sufficient and don't mind a solitary experience.

You are basically looking after the often multi-million dollar operations during the 6 month winters and into the early spring before the lakes and rivers break up.

Duties are pretty simple:

Shoveling snow off the roofs of buildings and making trails if they have a winter clientele, cutting firewood, watching for tresspssers and vandals, etc.

You need to be fairly healthy. You need to know how to run a generator, propane utilities, maintain a snowmachine, 4 wheeler and chainsaw. Someone who knows a little about everything will do well.

Many of them are weather stations and you will need a NWS Certification for Weather Reporting (Paid for). This requires constant close proximity to the lodge and is often ideal for couples... if you can tolerate each other. It also pays better.

The oppurtunity to run a trap line, hunting fox, wolf, hares, and upland birds is available at many of them. Can be superb in some areas.

Winter activities include cross country and downhill skiing, snow machine riding and guiding, snoweshoing, trapping, predator hunting, ice fishing, reading, fly-tying, arts and crafts, and photography which can be interesting and even lucrative for those interested in publishing. It can be quite long, lonely and boring if you don't know how to keep yourself busy and entertained. Some places provide Satellite T.V., Internet, etc. Others don't do squat.

Compensation is usually $700-$1500 per month with all food, supplies and transport paid for. Some will pay RT airfare from the lower 48 states. Often other job oppurtunites at the lodge for the summer, which is always an interesting experience.

None of them allow you to stay in the lodge itself. There is always a good little cabin with outhouse, stove, generator, and other stuff. Not usually any running water as the pipes freeze.

I worked at these locations for few weeks and months in the mid-90's. I worked as a guide for them during the summer and could fill in if they had problems. They were both situated on the Iditarod Trail and frequent destinations for snowmachiners and winter recreation. I had to care for a dog team at one, which was an adventure in itself.

I was able to go heli-skiing for a full 2 weeks one winter when they hosted a big group here. Whipped up 3000 flies that I sold to local shops and the lodge for their customers. I also read about 60 books in two months. I had to do the weather every two hours, which really sucked but it was interesting. http://www.withinthewild.com/about/

I guided here all summer in the mid to late 90's. About 3 hours from my house. Other lodges in the area with other caretakers. Lots of snowmachiners. Cook a hamburger for them to make a buck. http://riversonglodge.com/

Those interested can start here: http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...fishing+lodges

I know many of the owners and operators as I was fully immersed in this lifestyle for 15 years so if you are serious and have questions, send me a PM and I will be happy to answer any questions.
Old 11-21-2009, 01:33 PM
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Now if I could just coax my wife into this I'd be all set!
Old 11-21-2009, 05:09 PM
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Sounds like a great opportunity for me to work on that novel I've been talking about so long.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:43 AM
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Sounds like a great opportunity for me to work on that novel I've been talking about so long.
Definitely good for that. I wrote most of one in a few weeks. Lots of time to think, read and write out there.

One thing that bothers people is the intense quiet.... It can be maddening for someone unused to it. The Northern Lights crackle on a crispy night. You can hear a wolf howl for miles. The darkness, too. It's a little depressing if you are used to the beach. In the spring when the rivers break, it shakes the ground at your feet.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:09 PM
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If I had more experience with maintenance and wasn't chained down by the army I would totally do this.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:45 AM
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this is a great idea! right up my street. i will have to look into it. thanks for the heads-up
Old 11-24-2009, 12:31 PM
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I dunno. I'd have to spend almost a month's pay in airfare. Maybe more if I actually brought luggage.
Old 11-24-2009, 01:45 PM
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"Workamping" is becoming increasingly popular. There are opportunities like this all over the country, year round, and websites that list this sort of work exclusively. A lot of the places provide lodging and food, like the OP stated, more often though, they provide parking spots and rv hookups. I have been contemplating something like this.

I bet a lot of places that do not list these types of jobs, but would benefit from a live-in maintenance/security/caretaker could be talked into coming to some arrangement with you, if you keep the proposition from sounding too much like paid vagrancy. Like a marina, or a KOA or something. Some people however, are incapable of wrapping their head around such a situation, even if it would greatly benefit them. I could definitely dig this kind of lifestyle.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:39 PM
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I dunno. I'd have to spend almost a month's pay in airfare. Maybe more if I actually brought luggage.
Maybe not. All lodge owners I know have Alaska Airlines mileage cards (applicable to affiliates and selected other airlines) to help with airfare costs... including paying for transport of employees. Any prospective employer is obligated to provide free transport to and from a major airport. It's the law. As I posted previously, they sometimes take care of your RT airfare up from lower 48 states as well, although that is a stretch for a first time employee, unless you know them personally. I have known them to do it, though. If you bail out early on your agreement, you may wind up being docked the airfare.

With all things gained, there is sacrifice.
Old 11-24-2009, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by scipio337 View Post
I dunno. I'd have to spend almost a month's pay in airfare. Maybe more if I actually brought luggage.
I'm sure you could write it off on a tax form somewhere though..

All in all sounds like a fun job. Might do this before I join the Army after college.
Old 11-27-2009, 01:06 PM
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I need to research this it sounds like something I would love to do.
Old 12-02-2009, 03:07 PM
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I'd also like to do this. Anyone know of a website that lists such jobs in the lower 48, all year round??
Old 12-02-2009, 04:45 PM
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Default Here is a great place to start

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I'd also like to do this. Anyone know of a website that lists such jobs in the lower 48, all year round??
www.workamper.com

www.caretaker.org

Both are good sites to start looking on.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:23 PM
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Winter caretakers at lodges are frequently the camp mechanics during the summer season. This is always a highly paid position as you need to be around all the time. Typically about $4000-$5000 a month from May-September at a sizeable place and the only staff position that might be considered non-expendable. You also get a cut in tips, which is typically $3000 to $5000 for the summer. Sometimes more.

Like many people in remote positions, Camp Mechanics are sometimes a strange breed. I worked with one who hardly said a word to me or anyone else all season. I thought he was mute until he said goodbye to me at the end of the summer.

If you know something about plumbing, electrical, welding, carpentry, heating & refrigeration and outboard motors, then you might could get the job.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:12 PM
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You would have to take the shining on DVD and watch it on your own!!

lol gives me shivers thinking about it
Old 12-02-2009, 06:30 PM
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I have been a housesitter since college, starting with a cabin at Lake Whatcom.

I still housesit. I like it.

I have housesat for one-off architect designed homes, nearby resort communities and a national park.

I have looked after rural property. I have even been a designated "custodian of the land".

I didn't know this was all so organized.

I just make sure the place is exactly as they left it, the animals, whatever. I had two llamas once.

The owner comes in for one or two weeks. The place is fresh, and exactly as if they left that morning and returned.
Old 12-03-2009, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheftothestars View Post
You would have to take the shining on DVD and watch it on your own!!

lol gives me shivers thinking about it
Haha! There was a guy at Rainy pass who played Bagpipes during cold nights. You could hear them from like 5 miles away and perfectly clear.

Strange stuff happens out there now and again. I made lunch for a Blackhawk crew that landed on the lake with some 3 star on board who wanted to use the phone. The next week, an ESPN crew was out covering the Iditarod with a hottie producer that I spent some quality time with.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by AKpredator View Post
Haha! There was a guy at Rainy pass who played Bagpipes during cold nights. You could hear them from like 5 miles away and perfectly clear.

Strange stuff happens out there now and again. I made lunch for a Blackhawk crew that landed on the lake with some 3 star on board who wanted to use the phone. The next week, an ESPN crew was out covering the Iditarod with a hottie producer that I spent some quality time with.
OK... I'll buy the Blackhawk crew landing so the general could use the phone. But the ESPN hottie is gonna require pics of said "quality time."
Old 12-06-2009, 03:13 AM
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OK... I'll buy the Blackhawk crew landing so the general could use the phone. But the ESPN hottie is gonna require pics of said "quality time."
Well, suffice to say that I was crowned the "River Booty King' by my fellow guides.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:21 PM
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if only immigration wasn't in the way. This kinda job sounds like my dream.
Anyone know of a way for an Englishman to become an American?
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