• Stan Zuray is an American reality television personality, best known for his appearance on the Discovery Channel series "Yukon Men"
• He grew tired of the mundane life in Boston and moved to Tanana to pursue a life of adventure on the banks of the Yukon River
• Stan has been married to Alaskan native Kathleen for 25 years and they have three children together
• Stan's written autobiography and YouTube channel offer an insight into the life of a Yukon homesteader
• Stan worked on a 2020 documentary, "The Stan Project", which documents his life and way of looking at the life of a homesteader
Stan Zuray is an American reality television personality, best known for his appearance on the Discovery Channel series “Yukon Men”, which documents the lives of several people who live on the banks of the Yukon River in Tanana, Alaska.
The majority of people who live in this remote part of the world, especially those on whom the series focuses, make a living as wilderness survivors. From fishing, trapping, hunting and training sled dogs, the stars from ‘Yukon Men’ live by instinct and survive the harsh, cold environment on nothing but their wits and strength.
Stan is no stranger to this way of life, and quickly became one of the key figures of the Discovery Channel series, as well as a beloved fan favourite. Stan made his television debut in August 2012, appearing in ‘Yukon Men’ from the first episode, and staying with the show until its seventh and final season in 2016.
However, while Stan became famous for living an adventurous but everyday life in the snowy landscapes of Alaska, his life had not always been this exciting, as the now 67-year-old survivor once lived an ordinary life with humble beginnings.
As with quite a few others, Stan grew tired of the mundane schedules of modern city life, and as his thirst for the open wilds grew, it drove him to seek a life of adventure along the banks of the Yukon River.
With the show having come to a close, and fans continuing to express an interest in the life of a Yukon man, many might be wondering what Zuray has been up to since then.
Considering that the man is beyond the standard age of retirement, many might suspect that he would want to live out the rest of his life in peaceful harmony, but as a hardworking survivor and adventure junkie, Stan might still be busy with his usual activities on the Yukon River.
A Life Among The Urban Wilds
Born in 1953, Zuray once lived the earliest part of his life in Boston, Massachusetts, where he built as much of an ordinary life as many other American citizens. Stan held a nine-to-five job, though little is known about his profession before appearing in “Yukon Men”, and even raised a family in the suburbs of his hometown.
Very little information is publicly known about Stan’s early life, and the name of his ex-wife is as obscure as the man’s past, though it is known mostly from Zuray’s social media presence, that he fathered a child with his first wife.
The author of the essay "Fall of the Yukon King" (Dan O'Neill) just did a podcast this morning talking about the Yukon…
Stan’s oldest child Monica lives in Boston, and although Zuray and Monica are separated by thousands of miles, the two often connect on social media. Stan quite often shares pictures of his family with his adoring fans, including of Monica, and his Facebook page is decorated with pictures of his children and his current wife, Kathleen.
As time passed in Boston, Stan began to loathe the life he lived, as the mundane schedule of city life simply held no appeal for his adventurous self. As he would often describe in the show, Stan’s motivation to live in the Alaskan wilderness arose from his humble inclination for and adoration of family life.
Growing up, Stan’s father fell victim to the same insipid lifestyle of being overworked and underpaid. As a result, Zuray hardly spent any time with his father, as Zuray senior would only come home to sleep, just to get back to the everyday hustle of his working life. Zuray’s father worked multiple jobs to sustain his family, but for Stan, this made money the one thing he despised the most in life.
Happy 4th of July from Fishcamp pic.twitter.com/ILwW8sjc0O
— Stan Zuray (@stanzuray) July 5, 2017
With this motivation at heart, and following the divorce from his first wife, Zuray moved to Tanana, vowing that he would not have the same disappointing life his father lived. In his search for a simpler life, Stan discovered the wild riches of the Yukon River, and chose to settle into a subsistent lifestyle, in which his well-being depended on nothing but wit, survival skills, and his own strength. Thus began Zuray’s new life in Alaska, and with that, he began raising a new family.
The Simplicity Of Life On The Yukon River
Stan moved to Alaska during his early twenties, making the ultimate transition from urban life to surviving the harsh life of living on the Yukon River. There, Zuray quickly began learning how to fend for himself by fishing, hunting and trapping.
Stan became so enamoured with the subsistence lifestyle that he decided to spend the rest of his life living in Tanana, and began exploring every mile of the snowy landscapes on and along the Yukon River.
With the years passing by, Stan now boasts more than forty years’ worth of experience surviving the Alaskan wilderness, and is one of the oldest surviving inhabitants who live on the Yukon River.
Despite the sudden change of lifestyle, Stan would agree that it’s certainly worth it, as he now gets to spend valuable time with his family, and he solemnly believes that this is his dream life.
Of course, one can catch up on all of Stan’s adventures on the reruns of “Yukon Men”, follow his day-to-day life, and in the process also meet his family.
Once settled in Alaska, Stan met Alaskan native Kathleen, who comes from the Athabascan tribes who once lived in the area. While most romantic relationships develop over candle-lit dinners with tall glasses of wine, the setting for Kathleen and Stan’s relationship assumed a relatively different atmosphere.
The couple fell in love on the river banks, spending their time together getting to know each other beside campfires, going for long rides across thick, snowy landscapes on their dog sleds to inspect trap lines, and taking camping trips in the tundra, where they hunted for food.
In hardly any time at all, the couple decided to tie the knot, and as can be seen by pictures Stan shared on social media, they held the ceremony according to standard traditions, though the reception might have been a little remote.
Friends and family attended their wedding, though the guest list was not as extravagant as one might expect of other traditional weddings. Content with their subsistent lifestyle beside the Yukon River, Stan and Kathleen soon began raising a family.
However, Kathleen seems to be very camera shy, and as a result, she doesn’t appear too often in the series, though viewers would certainly be familiar with her. Even more so, Stan’s social media followers would see a lot more of Kathleen, as Zuray never appears to be reluctant to praise his wife’s hard work behind the scenes as mother and wife, often sharing adorable messages on Instagram and Facebook.
Through twenty-five years of marriage, Stan and Kathleen have not only weathered the difficulties of married life, but together overcome the challenges of living in the Alaskan wilderness.
From their marriage, the couple have raised three beautiful children, some of whom appear regularly in “Yukon Men”. In fact, Stan and Kathleen’s oldest child, Joey, became a regular feature in the series, as Stan’s son followed in his footsteps to adopt the same subsistent lifestyle.
Stan and Kathleen’s other children, daughters Kate and Ariella, seem to be the most elusive of the Zuray children, as they keep their lives private. At one point, Kate removed her Facebook profile to avoid the attention that the series afforded her family and is the only member of the Zuray family opposed to the life of living subsistently.
In her desire for knowledge, Kate has visited places such as Hawaii and Idaho, and intends to study at a Canadian university at some point in her life. She’s also the only Zuray sibling who works away from the wilderness, but remains family-orientated and thus regularly visits her parents in Tanana.
On the other hand, Ariella, the youngest of Stan and Kathleen’s children, remains an obscure mystery, and has only appeared in the show a handful of times. To date, very little is known about Ariella, and it seems quite clear with “Yukon Men” no longer on the air, that the series audience might not see whether or not she takes to a life of subsistence.
What Has Stan Been Doing Since “Yukon Men”?
While people might think that Stan is quickly approaching retirement, the 70-year-old survivor seems set on proving people wrong by maintaining his adventurous lifestyle as a Yukon survivalist.
Since the cancellation of the series in 2016, Stan published a captivating, written autobiography that details his life, and more specifically the transition from an urban lifestyle to becoming an Alaskan wilderness dweller.
Stan’s appropriately titled book, ‘Carry On: Stan Zuray’s Journey From Boston Greaser To Alaskan Homesteader’, is widely available to anyone interested in reading about the intriguing details of his adventurous life, as well as for those hoping to learn the trade secrets of a Yukon homesteader.
Furthermore, despite the end of “Yukon Men”, Stan expressed his desire to continue exhibiting his life to those interested, now publishing the details of his life on a dedicated YouTube channel.
Not only does this offer formerly dedicated viewers and fanatics of “Yukon Men” a continuation of is journey, but it also allows Stan to share more intimate, in-depth details of his life on the Yukon River.
If that’s not enough for the “Yukon Men” star, Stan worked on a 2020 documentary, ‘The Stan Project’, that shares even more details about his life, and documents a different way of looking at the life of a homesteader.
With so much to do, it might be a long time before Stan actually decides to retire, and those interested in viewing his intriguing life can feel free to catch up on either Zuray’s YouTube channel, biography, or the latest documentary film detailing his life. Then, if he chooses to remain in situ, what would ‘retirement’ actually mean?