Life at the Last Frontier certainly differs from that in the Lower 48s. This post is about an Alaska curiosity, namely houses without running water – a thing allowed in the state for logistical reasons. Read on to learn more about the North.

  1. Alaska permits renting out places without running water
  2. Outhouses
  3. OOTD

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Alaska permits renting out places without running water

Dry cabins are a normal in Alaska. Alaska law does not prohibit to rent out cabins without running water. The permafrost – soil that remains frozen for two or more consequent years – prohibits to install water pipes in these areas. Especially, when the permafrost seals an aquifer. Drilling into permafrost can lead to artesian wells. Thus, in permafrost areas, people have no running water. Installing power lines and land lines, however, are not a major problem. It doesn’t matter when the frozen ground causes the poll not to stand straight. Thus, there is no problem to have WiFi.

Did you know that in Alaska many people have WiFi, but no running water? #AlaskaLifestyle Click To Tweet

What do they do when they need to go to the restroom, take a shower or wash their dishes and do their laundry?

street style blogger in tropical print skirt

over 50 years old woman in floral print skirt office outfit for spring

stylist in spring work outfit with tropical print skirt and sweater
Outfit details: Loft tropical print skirt with GNW Luxe cashmere wool sweater, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, statement necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle Paloma Picasso sunglasses, and Newport News leather jacket (all own)


Every cabin has an outhouse. Therein is a toilet that leads to a big septic tank. You have to go outside for your business even at 40 below. To not freeze to your toilet, you use a styrofoam toilet seat that you schlep back and forth between your cabin and outhouse. There are many laundry saloons in town. Many employers have showers to be used by their employees. Since many students live in dry cabins, the university has showers for them too as well as laundry machines. In town, there are various water wells where you can fill water in a large tank that you then haul into your cabin to use for doing your dishes, cooking and as drinking water. Read more about these water wells.

stylist in skirt, sweater, sling backs and trench coat
Burberry Brit trench coat with Anne Klein sling backs, statement necklace, Jaeger tote, Moda sweater, Ray Ban sunglasses (all own), and straight skirt c/o eShakti


The outfit above is the cover photo of my style book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. You can buy the book at this link.

The OOTD features an office look with a pencil skirt, knit sweater, slingbacks and trench coat for the commute for a humid 50F (10oC) day in Fairbanks. In the middle ground, you can see the airport and Tanana Flats, and at the horizon, the Alaska Range.

fashion blogger in spring work outfit with a striped skirt and a sweater from winter
Work outfit with Moda International sweater, Anne Klein sling backs, Jager tote, statement necklace, Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) and striped skirt c/o eShakti. In the background, Fairbanks airport, the Tanana Flats and Alaska Range
style influencer woman in trench coat
Back view of above outfit with Tanana Flats and Alaska range in the background


Lust to read another post on Alaska lifestyle?  What about Potluck in Alaska – a friend killed what you eat?

Another fun fact: Did you know that
Alaska’s summer and winter temperatures differ 120F. #Akaskafacts Click To Tweet

When you like to learn more about Alaska get a subscription to High Latitude Style.

Photos: G. Kramm

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