Andy Bassich is not your average TV star. He is a survivalist, a hunter, a musher, and a lover of nature. He lives in the remote wilderness of Alaska, where he faces harsh weather, wild animals, and unpredictable challenges every day. He is one of the stars of the National Geographic documentary series Life Below Zero, which showcases his adventurous and courageous lifestyle. Andy Bassich was born in Washington D.C. but he moved to Alaska to pursue his dream of living off the grid. He built his own cabin by the Yukon River near Eagle, where he resides with his sled dogs. He also runs his own business as a dog mushing school instructor. Andy Bassich has faced many difficulties and dangers in his life, such as a life-threatening hip injury, a divorce from his ex-wife Kate Rorke, and annual floods that threaten his home. But he has also found love again with his girlfriend Denise Becker, who joined him from Florida to Calico Bluff. Andy Bassich is an inspiration to many people who admire his resilience, passion, and determination. He is a true hero of Life Below Zero.
Who indeed is Andy Bassich?
Andy Bassich is a reality television personality, carpenter, hunter, trapper, fisherman, musher, and outdoorsman. He rose to fame following numerous television appearances in the National Geography show “Life Below Zero.” He is an American of Caucasian ethnicity. His birth sign is Aquarius and shares the personality traits of being rebellious, unique, charismatic, and spontaneous with other people born under the same zodiac sign.
Andy Bassich was born on January 25, 1958, in Washington D.C., United States. The birthday makes him 65 years old. He grew up in Wheaton, Maryland where he also attended school. Andy was interested in fine arts during childhood. He would visit museums and places that would captivate his imagination. He attended John F. Kennedy High and graduated in 1976. However, he opted not to pursue Fine arts or College and chose to travel around the country. He also had the urge to visit Alaska sooner but his sister’s marriage commitment pulled him back to his hometown where he worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker for some years. And as a grown-up Andy has shared about his early experience while also revealing that he did not miss the hustle and bustle of the urban or suburban lifestyle of Washington. Reminiscing one of his cherished memory Andy said:
“When I was a kid, I used to ride my bike down Rock Creek Parkway and go to the Smithsonian and things like that when I was 12, 13 years old, on my own.”
Moving to Alaska:
Andy decided to follow his dream after working as a carpenter in his hometown until he was 22 years old. He traveled to Alaska in 1980 and spent the early two years in Anchorage. He made his move to Eagle, Alaska in 1984 and the first thing he did was buy a dog name Muzzle for a truckload of wood. He lived in a cabin home by the Yukon River. Adapting to the new surrounding, Andy learned trapping and mushing from a local trapper. He also acquired Coast Guard Merchant Marine Captain License and worked as a riverboat captain for 20 years.
Life Below Zero:
Although originally from Washington, Andy learned the ways of outdoorsmen. He is the first generational survivalist in the family. Over the years, Andy indulged in the act of survival gathering and growing food of his own, with no heating system depending on wood as the fire source, hunting, fishing, and trapping different animals like moose, black bear, caribou, wolf, and salmon. Andy also raised sled dogs for mushing and trapping support. He also ran a mushing school.
Acknowledging the lifestyle, showrunners came asking Andy for a part in the reality show Life Below Zero. Although had the experience of tackling the adversity of Alaska, he had no prior experience in television acting. Andy took the chance at the heartbeat and made his “Life Below Zero” debut during season 1 episode 1 “End of the Road” which premiered on May 19, 2013. Andy has appeared in over 98 episodes until 2023.
Andy has been raising sled dogs for many years and instead of depending on industrialized food, it is his work ethic and fishing ability that feeds them. Nonetheless, Andy Bassich is rich for a guy living a self-sufficient life hunting, fishing, and mushing. He has an estimated net worth of $250,000 with a major sum of money coming from his reality television appeareances.
Meeting and Marriage to Kate Rorke:
Andy was married to Kate Rorke, a native of Canada. While there is no information on Andy’s past affairs, Kate was previously married and had children from the relationship. Her youngest born was a daughter.
The pair met in Dawson City back in 2003 when Andy was working as a riverboat Captain and Kate was a tourist. The pair soon hit it off. Kate started living with Andy in a Cabin home and shared a self-sufficient lifestyle by the Yukon River at Calico Buff which is 12 miles from Eagle, Alaska. The pair together raised many sled dogs and mushing School.
In their time as a married couple, the pair tackled many hardships and adversity of nature however on one particular occasion the pair needed rescue for survival.
In 2009, during the ice-breaking period which is the most pivotal time for hunters and food collectors, Andy Bassich and his wife were hit by one of the most dangerous floods in the history of Eagle, Alaska. The couple and their 21 sled dogs were rescued by a chopper.
Divorce & Children:
Andy and Kate were together since 2003 however they do not have children together. After over a decade of relationships, the crack in the marriage began to appear. Allegedly, Kate suffered verbal and emotional abuse. Also, odd their family dispute made into the TV show “Life Below Zero.” From time to time, fans showed their discontent with Andy’s behavior towards Kate Bassich.
Even though the pair tried to reconcile the marriage could not work out. Kate left her home in Calico Bluff in January 2015. The divorce was finalized in 2016.
After the divorce, both individuals had their own set of troubles as Andy was left alone to survive and make a living in Alaska while Kate had no home and had to live with her friends. She now lives in her hometown Carbonear, NL, Canada.
Kate runs the blog alaskayukonadventure.blogspot.com which she began in 2010. During the early days, she used to share her Alaskan lifestyle, but since the divorce, she has taken off her time from writing. Her last post was titled “Truth” posted on October 10, 2016, which has a picture illustrating raising awareness for an abusive relationship
Moving on after divorce:
After the divorce, Andy lived alone in Calico, Buff. He met with an accident in the winter of 2018 while moving a snow machine that had struck in the snow. He suffered a hip injury with the infection extending to muscle and bone. For treatment, he went to Florida and had the company of his girlfriend, Denise Becker. Andy met Denise when she was on a Canoe trip with a Boy Scouts troop and during that time she gave the indication she can live in the wilderness. After the pair hit it off Denise followed him into the wilderness as well to help him recover in Florida.
Denise, by profession a nurse, is a Canadian by origin. She grew up in a hard-working culture in a family homestead in northern Saskatchewan. She now lives a self-sufficient life in Calico, Buff alongside Andy. The pair is yet to get married or to have children.
January 25, 1958
65 years old
Washington D.C., United States
Calico Buff, Alaska
John F. Kennedy High
Television Personality, Hunter, Musher, Trapper, Outdoorsman