Brooke and Dave Whipple

Brooke Whipple
Age: 45
Fox, AK / Reed City, MI
Outdoor Educator

Brooke Whipple has been passionate about the outdoors since she was a kid. She grew up in rural Michigan hunting, fishing, and trapping while dreaming of moving to a place with mountains and unspoiled wilderness. Her first job out of high school was in Yellowstone National Park, which led her to becoming a ski bum in Colorado, and then a wildland firefighter in Montana. After that, she ventured off to Alaska with a backpack and $200 to her name.

Along the way, Brooke completed a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor/Adventure Recreation Management and has worked as an outdoor educator, guide, and recreation director. She is an author, filmmaker, picker, and award-winning baker. In 2010, she won the Alaska State Blueberry Pie Championship.

She is currently a public speaker and teaches outdoor education to youth in schools. In the summer she can be found at her fresh-squeezed lemonade stand at the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market in Fairbanks, Alaska. Brooke and Dave will be leaving behind their two children, who will never be far from their hearts.

Dave Whipple
Age: 40
Fox, AK / Reed City, MI
Builder

Dave grew up in rural Michigan, and has spent most of his adult life in Alaska. Along with Brooke, his wife of 18 years, Dave has built three homesteads in interior Alaska. Carving out a place to call home from raw land has been a way of life, and Dave can make the claim of being one of the few true modern day homesteaders. Whether at the family’s remote fish camp, or cutting logs for their next cabin project, Dave, Brooke, and their two children have lived a life far removed from the normal nine to five. With solid “hands on” skills and real-world grit, Dave has traded modern comfort for the satisfaction of doing life the “old school” way.

Dave is more likely to talk about the philosophy of living than about bushcraft skills. In the summer he can be found in Fairbanks, Alaska working as a freelance cement finisher, and a part-time guitar dealer. He and his family have spent the last few winters in Michigan where they reconnect with their extended family, buy and sell antiques, and occasionally deliver a public speaking gig. A lifelong musician Dave also plays guitar and sings in his 3 piece rock band, The Atomic Honkies.

Here are the ten items Brooke and Dave selected to bring on their survival journey to Vancouver Island:

  • Bow saw
  • Pot – vintage aluminum coffee pot, 2 quarts
  • Tarp – 12′ x 12′
  • Bar of Soap
  • Rations
  • Ax – full-sized felling ax
  • Tarp – 12′ x 12′
  • Fishing line and hooks
  • Pan
  • Rations