Andy Bassich is not just a TV personality, but a survivor. He is one of the stars of the popular documentary series Life Below Zero, which follows the lives of people who brave the harsh conditions of Alaska. Andy has been living in the remote wilderness for over 40 years, relying on his skills as a musher, hunter, and carpenter. He has faced many challenges and dangers, from wild animals to extreme weather, but he has never given up on his dream of living off the land. He has also overcome personal struggles, such as a divorce, a hip injury, and a near-fatal infection. He has found new love and happiness with his girlfriend Denise, who shares his passion for nature and dogs. Andy Bassich is a man who has a lot of stories to tell, and a lot of wisdom to share. In this article, we will explore his fascinating journey, from his early days in Washington DC to his current life in Calico Bluff, Alaska. We will also learn about his net worth, his TV show, his dog mushing school, and his plans for the future. If you are curious to know more about this remarkable adventurer, read on and discover the amazing world of Andy Bassich.
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 named Muzzle for a truckload of wood. He lived in a cabin home by the Yukon River. Adapting to the new surroundings, Andy learned trapping and mushing from a local trapper. He also acquired a 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 appearances.
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 did not give birth to any children during their time of togetherness. After over a decade of relationships, the crack in the marriage began to appear. Allegedly, Kate suffered verbal and emotional abuse. Also, their family dispute made it to 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 it did not work. Kate left her home in Calico Bluff, Alaska in January 2015. The divorce was finalized in 2016. Following 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 her time off 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 could live in the wilderness. Denise followed him into the wilderness as well to help him recover in Florida.
Denise is a Nurse by profession and is of Canadian 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.
Andy Bassich Wiki/Bio Facts
January 25, 1958
65 years old
Washington D.C., United States
Calico Buff, Alaska
John F. Kennedy High
Television Personality, Hunter, Musher, Trapper, Outdoorsman