The Collins Twins trapline in northern Alaska offers us a glimpse at what life in the last frontier used to be.
Once in a while, folks in the world do things the hard way just because that’s the way they are done. Like a cowboy still saddling up everyday because that is the way he has always done it, or an woodsman splitting wood by hand.
Sure there are easier ways to do the job, but sacrificing on tradition would rob something of the experience. So it is with the Collins Twins trapline in Alaska.
If you’ve never heard of the Collins Twins trapline, or only recognize them by the title of their book, you are in for a treat when you watch this video National Geographic put out about their unique lives.
What a great story, and what a great example of two people who have enough courage to live life by their own standards.
I’m sure people have probably called them crazy for using dogs when a snowmobile would be much easier and probably allow them to cover more miles. At the end of the day, they are the ones running their trapline, and they decide how it runs.
The pitfall for a story like this is to say something to the effect of “what a great story. Now that is what trapping is supposed to be about.” The Collins Twin trapline sure is enticing, and makes a guy dream of simpler days gone by, but their way of trapping doesn’t exhibit the only way to trap.
In other words, not everyone has to trap the Alaskan bush, or run a self-sustained dog team, to be considered a true-blue trapper.
This is how they trap and it is truly admirable, but so is the story of the old timer who runs a few traps close to the road, or the young lady who catches a muskrat in a local pond. If they march along with integrity, ethics, and respect for the animals they pursue, they should be admired just as much as the epic Collins Twins trapline.
So, to all the young men and women out there who don’t “care about the clothes they wear,” and are more interested in “what kind of bird is that?” hopefully the Collins Twins trapline offers some inspiration to tune into to that soft voice.