10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marty Raney


Compared to some of the reality television shows that are on the air today, one would be hard-pressed to call ‘Homestead Rescue’ one of the same. There is no competition, and no one is vying for dates with a handsome bachelor or bachelorette. Instead, ‘Homestead Rescue’ examines life ‘off the grid’ by documenting the day-to-day occurrences that take place in the life of the Raney family, of which Martin Raney is the head.

Episodes consist of showing how life is lived in the remotest areas of Alaska without electricity and other modern conveniences. Marty has been living like this for years, making his life simpler and more fulfilling for himself and his family. In turn, they teach others to do the same by sharing the skills they have both learned and taught themselves, thereby doing a good deed for the other people, and doing a good deed for the planet in the process.

What an interesting individual. Compared to many so-called celebrities today, Raney certainly stands out. He’s not in it to bask in the glow of the limelight; in fact, one wouldn’t come within miles of any kind of light where he has chosen to live. Instead, he chooses to do something that contributes to his morals and values as a human being, and it has resulted in a bit of fame for him.

Let’s get to know this unique man a bit better. Check out the ‘10 Things’ list we have compiled for you this time…it’s all about Marty Raney. This is not only a great opportunity to get to know the man a bit better, but you may also get a little education about living a more conservative life that you may find more fulfilling in the end. Read on and learn…

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Marty Raney:

1. North to Alaska

Raney moved to Alaska in 1974 — 45 years ago, to be exact. Initially, he was only travelling, but he wound up staying and making the place his home. But what does he do for money? Well, he doesn’t need money like the rest of us do, because his lifestyle is so different. But he does do some guide work for expedition parties, and this has led to his appearance in films. In addition to that, Raney’s experience with living off the land has led to living off the grid, and he began to educate others about this way of life. He can be seen along with his family in ‘Homestead Rescue’ on the Discovery Channel.

2. Personal Life

Marty, or ‘Marty’, currently lives in Haines, Alaska with his wife Mollee Roestel and their children: Misty, Melanie, Miles, and Matthew. Marty hails from North Bend, Washington, but at the tender age of 16 he left home to pursue greater opportunities. By 1974, at the age of 18, he had made his way to Alaska. It didn’t take long for him to commit himself to staying and living off the land, an idea which has since progressed over the years into what you see on television today.

3. A Bit of Everything

Marty doesn’t just live off the land and teach others to do the same; he is also an avid mountain climber, and he expresses himself musically by playing the guitar and writing songs. As we mentioned, Martin has appeared in several movies, including playing the role of a Denali guide in ‘Spirit of Alaska’, a sound man in ‘Surviving Denali’, and a musician in ‘Han-Denali’. He also participated in the PBS film ‘Against All Odds’, and many more. Most of his appearances have included playing music, which has attracted so much attention from fans who wanted to obtain his music for themselves that it is now available for public purchase.

4. Being ‘Instrumental’

Another thing that managed to get the word around about his existence was his creation of a very special instrument. He is responsible for designing and crafting the only guitar in the world that is shaped like a state: Alaska, to be exact. His website comments (tongue-in-cheek, we suppose) that only songs referring to Alaska are allowed to be played on it. A stunning photo is featured on the site of Marty playing the gorgeous instrument.

5. Net Worth

Considering all of his film projects, the fact that he has a television show on the Discovery Channel, his building of the only house constructed of stone and wood in Alaska, plus another in progress that is four-stories tall, one would think Raney is super-rich. However, the opposite is true; it should be noted that he never got into the lifestyle he lives for the money. According to sources, Raney has a net worth estimated at over $1 million, yet he still lives a life full of challenges, like extreme elements and living off the grid. It is also worth noting that he is quite accustomed to the ‘off the grid’ part.

6. About Mollee

Marty married Mollee in 1974, the same year he moved to Alaska permanently, so it’s safe to say she has been with him through both the good and bad times. She has remained loyal to him despite the large number of bears in the area, citing that they prefer a life of quiet and seclusion to one of hustle and bustle, which is what they would find in the city.

7. The Traveler Guitar

Raney not only designed and built the Alaska guitar, but he also collaborated with the Martin guitar company to evaluate how a prototype Martin guitar would perform under the challenging conditions of Denali. He did as the company requested, and the prototype eventually became a mass-produced product. Nowadays, the ‘Mini Martin’ guitar is sold worldwide, and even guitarist Vern Tejas can boast of having played one on each of the world’s seven summits.

8. The Work of His Hands

Raney takes great pride in the fact that he does custom stone and log work, resulting in wonderful homes that he has built all over Alaska. The homes have even been featured in the magazine ‘Alaska Home’. He himself built his own home, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the state, and he is currently working on another structure that will be four full stories of stone and log when completed, making it the largest of its kind in the world.

9. Climbing Denali

Yet another claim to fame for the Raney family has to do with climbing, of course. So, in addition to taking the Mini Martin on Denali, creating the only Alaska-shaped guitar, and building the largest stone and log structure in the world, the Raney family also holds the distinction of being the only family of six to successfully climb Denali. Yes, consisting of himself, his wife Mollee, and their four children, they are the only family of six on Earth to have achieved this feat.

10. Working with Nat-Geo

Marty Raney and his family have certainly proved themselves to be quite impressive. Before ‘Homestead Rescue’, Marty worked for three full seasons on the National Geographic Channel’s ‘Ultimate Survival Alaska’. The show documented teams competing against each other while surviving the Alaskan elements and terrain. Unfortunately, none of the teams Marty headed won the competition during the show’s duration, though his son Matthew was part of the competition during the program’s first season.

Well, what can we say? It seems to us that Marty Raney and his family are among the most impressive folks to scale a mountain we’ve ever seen. What’s more? They may not live as luxurious a life as most like to brag about, but they are happier and healthier than most, and they have done all the things we only see in movies and dream about while sleeping, and they also contribute to a better lifestyle and planet by living off the grid and teaching others to do the same. Whatever the future holds for this man and his clan, we’re sure it will be something to watch…on TV, that is. Until next time…

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