Tok Alaska Winters are So Dry…

…How dry are they?

Winters are so dry here that

  • you can’t consume enough water in the day to make up for the moisture you lose. Even the requisite 8 glasses a day barely makes a dent.
  • the only place drier is outer space. (Just saw a doctor in Fairbanks who pretty much addressed all that has been ailing me since I moved to Tok and said that doctors in Fairbanks treat their patients with an eye toward what astronauts do to address the dry climate. Only Minnesota comes close).
  • you tend to get chronic sinus infections each winter. Long timers are seemingly immune so at some point your body must get used to these abnormal conditions although chronic nosebleeds are common.
  • you wake up every morning with dry mouth, dry tongue, dry throat, dry cough.
  • your hands and feet feel like sandpaper and no amount of moisturizer seems to bring relief.
  • the doctors in Fairbanks recommend slathering your body with Vaseline or Eucerin after every shower. I’ve been avoiding petroleum products for many years but am tempted to try this because I can’t bear the parchment dry skin.
  • you get a shock every single time you touch a light switch.
  • your computer can freeze up to a dozen times a day because of static electricity surges.
  • anti-static dryer sheets can only do so much because the static electricity is so powerful.
  • humidifiers can burn out struggling to keep up and have only a minimal effect on the atmosphere moisture here.
  • all the snow on the ground has little to no impact on the moisture levels in the air.
  • you leave Interior Alaska for a few days and suddenly 90% of the symptoms you were experiencing chronically for weeks or months disappear.

This is what I’ve been going through but until this past week, nobody in Tok mentioned these issues because I think everyone – including the health practitioners – just take it as a given.

Now that I know what the problems seem to be, I can work toward being creative with solutions.

One thing the doctor in Fairbanks gave me was Ponaris sinus emollient that had been used by NASA. In 24 hours, my sinuses went from inflamed and parched to normal.

What are remedies you’ve heard about for very, very, very dry climates?