Alaska’s Kilcher family has got it right – mostly

The Kilcher family largely demonstrated good safety practices on last night's episode of "Alaska: The Last Frontier."
The Kilcher family largely demonstrated good safety practices on last night's episode of "Alaska: The Last Frontier."

Last night's episode of "Alaska: The Last Frontier," focused on Atz Kilcher Senior's cattle ranging and Otto Kilcher, Atz's brother's, endeavour to cut and bale the family's hay fields before the coming winter.

The show centers around the Kilcher family, who happen to be the immediate family of the singer Jewel (Atz Sr. is her father), and their expansive homestead, which includes a cattle herd and other livestock, as well as several crops. During the summer, Atz Sr. lives with the cattle herd in the tidal beds near one of several rivers on the Kenai Peninsula, while Otto tends the crops.

In an interview on last night's show, Atz Sr. discussed the supplies he needs to be a range-rider. In addition to his horse, he said, you need a good gun and a good rope. He's certainly right there – but it's also incredibly important for rangers in remote areas to have high-quality, durable safety boots. Good thing he's got them.

Meanwhile, Otto ran into some trouble on the farm as he cut the homestead's 100 acres of hay. His mower ran over a fence post, leaving a number of the blades bent and unusable. This family doesn't have the option of purchasing a new one, so Otto headed back to the barn and got out his tools.

The intrepid Alaskan discovered not only bent blades, but worn-through bearings and bolts on the mower. As he set to repairing it, he donned a welding helmet to avoid the sparks flying from the rusted-out metal against his rotary tool, but went without hand protection – a serious mistake. Otto could have burned his hand or worse, caught it between the blade and the fast-moving machine.

Living on the frontier is a challenge on its own, without having to deal with an injury. The Kilcher family, with just a few extra precautions, can make sure that they don't have to.

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