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INSPIRE #310: Life Lessons & Adventure from Arctic Alaska!

Nick Jans Shares Lessons on Survival, Happiness & Connecting with Nature from ‘A Giant’s Hand’ Arctic Alaska!

Listen to the podcast below!




If you’ve ever felt the call of the wild, a desire to live in the great outdoors, for adventure, to spend time by yourself, or simply to visit the giant state of Alaska, then do we have the show for you.

Today I’ll be talking with Nick Jans, award-winning writer and photographer and author of numerous books including the Grizzly Maze, A Wolf Called Romeo, and his latest, the Giant’s Hand, a life in Arctic Alaska.

Today we’ll talk about living in Alaska, North of the Arctic, Circle, what it’s like, how it’s changed, what we can all learn from it, and what the words Nature and Solitude really mean to us.

That plus we’ll talk about the dangers of EDD, just how much a house weighs, what’s a 3 Dog Night, and why there’s a lot of chicken inside.

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Best-selling author Nick Jans is one of Alaska’s most recognized and prolific writers. A longtime contributing editor to Alaska Magazine and a member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors, he’s written twelve books and hundreds of magazine articles and columns, and has contributed to many anthologies and other books. Jans is also a professional nature photographer, specializing in Alaska wildlife, landscapes, and Native cultures in remote locations. He has been the recipient of numerous writing awards over the years, and his photo exhibit, Visions of Wild Alaska, is currently being shown on all Princess Cruises ships in Alaska waters. An accomplished public speaker, he makes multimedia presentations on a variety of Alaska-related subjects, including wildlife and natural history, climate change in Alaska, development versus preservation, and his first love, wolves and grizzlies.

Jans lived for 20 years in northwest arctic Alaska, and currently resides out the Haines Highway with his wife, Sherrie, and their dogs, and travels widely in Alaska. He returns each year to the arctic Inupiaq village of Ambler, and the surrounding country he calls home. He is currently working on several book projects, including a long-simmering literary novel set in the Arctic; a collection of Alaska animal essays; and another book with photographer Mark Kelley, on the Mendenhall Glacier.


Nick Jans Online: Website

Black Wolf Special Fund:

Key Topics:

  • How is Nick’s Sprint-Marine Turbo-Wave
  • How did he end up in arctic Alaska after college
  • What happened when he was 10 and visiting Northern Michigan
  • Where his love of the wild came from?
  • How he was gradually welcomed into an Eskimo community
  • How Clarence Wood was more than just attuned to the natural world
  • What solo journeys into nature have brought him
  • What’s the God of Narrow escapes
  • Why nature is far less dangerous than ‘civilization’
  • What is the spiritual or meditative experience of being out in nature?
  • Why all of nature wants to live, and what this really means (and to love life)…
  • What does ‘sure always share’ means to the Inupauq Eskimo
  • Why Alaska is the last best place (wildnerness) we have
  • What is climate change in Alaska right now?
  • What is happening with Polar Bears in Alaska right now with climate change?
  • What is an ‘elder in a can’?
  • Who is Minnie Grey, his adopted Eskimo Mom
  • How Minnie Grey helped heal him with indigenous medical techniques
  • How much does a house weigh, and how does he know it?
  • What’s an arctic mirage?
  • What is the quality of the light in the Artic
  • What is the light like in Alaska?
  • How he traded in his rifle for a camera
  • Why the Giant’s Hand is a “love poem to life”
  • Why his book, A Giant’s Hand is self-published and only available from his website – you can also find out about A Wolf Called Romeo on his website (which we spoke about in a previous Inspire Nation interview)
  • What was Nick’s Dr. Phil moment?
  • Why he’s 100 miles north of Juneau presently just off the Haines Highway, and what the view’s like from there.
  • Why it’s so important to find the natural world wherever you are

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #282: Lessons from “A Wolf Called Romeo” (Nick Jans)


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