About Lifka's Bear Necessities

Welcome! My name is Alison Lifka and I hail from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The saying "The mountains are calling and I must go" by John Muir has always struck me. As a teenager I was always searching for different ways to explore the natural world around me whether it was by backpacking, kayaking, or mountain biking. Not only was I passionate about the outdoors, but also with the creatures that shared the world with us. My parents became very used to the "can we keep her?" question. However, they drew the line at cats and dogs, otherwise we would have had a zoo! 

At the age of 7, I traveled to Alaska with my family. Upon our return from the rugged and beautiful state, all I could talk about was Alaska and in particular the sled dog huskies we had met. With my dog, Misty, a fluffy mutt resembling a black retriever more than a husky, I attempted to train her to pull me around on roller skates. It worked fairly well considering neither of us knew what we were doing. Alaska left a mark on my heart and I promised myself I would return as soon as I could.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Sweet Briar College I couldn't see myself working in any of the jobs labeled as appropriate for someone that had just earned my degree, so I fled to the place that called to me from my childhood, Alaska.


In Alaska I have been able to combine my passion for exploring the natural world with my love for animals by working with sled dogs. For the past 5 years I have been running Alaskan huskies over frozen rivers and through the quiet snow-laden spruce woods of the north. 

My team, the Bear Necessities came to fruition this past winter when my dream of travelling across the state of Alaska with 14 wild and crazy canines became a reality. This summer I will be signing up to participate in a unique tradition in Alaska, the running of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. For those of you who ask, "What in the world is the Iditarod?," it is a 1,000 mile dog sled race run across the state of Alaska in March. To learn more about my journey to the start-line visit here

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