Filming Preppers in Alaska

By: Jessica Van Garsse, Doomsday Preppers Field Producer

Things I Miss About Alaska:

  • I have been fortunate enough to travel to some of the world’s most beautiful places. And still, Alaska took my breath away and put me at a loss for words – the latter, truly a rarity. It was hard to put the camera down, or to feel satisfied that you could do the beauty of Alaska any justice, no matter how many beautiful images you captured, with eye-candy galore everywhere you turned.
  • We were also lucky enough to experience the true Alaskan wilderness, joining Craig and Don on their respective journeys from Fairbanks and Juneau to their bug-out-location, a 12-foot diameter dome they have constructed 200 miles from civilization where we lived for three nights. It’s commonplace to those who live in Alaska, but a rare and lucky treat for those of us from “the States” to walk where no one has ever walked before. It’s that remote, that untouched, and really hard to comprehend without having been there – but this fact which Craig shared with me, may help put it in perspective: if the population density in New York City was the same as Alaska, there would be a total of 15 people living in NYC.
  • Fresh caught salmon – smoked, pickled, and my favorite: the belly strip. I’ve come to understand that this may be the only time I will ever have belly strip in my life – it’s so good that most fisherman keep it for themselves. Luckily for us, Don is both a great fisherman and one of the most giving people I have ever met – he wanted nothing more than for us to fully experience and fall in love with his home. He took joy in watching us devour with wide eyes and oily fingers the sacred belly strip. I will say, I’m a bit angry with him though, from now on any salmon I eat will be sub-par.

Things I Miss a Bit Less About Alaska:

  • The cacophony of snoring that occurred nightly in the dome, which, thanks to the acoustics created by its “cozy” shape and metallic nature, created an admittedly impressive and yet nightmarish orchestral effect, too powerful for even the best earplugs and a hefty dose of Nyquil.
  • Not being able to go to the “ladies room” without taking my “bathroom buddy” with me (a .45).
  • The special challenge of directing, and just moving around, while wearing every single article of clothing in my pack all at once, as well as every spare layer of clothing to be found amongst or thoughtfully donated to me by my crew. It’s COLD in Alaska!
  • Sleeping, waking, eating, living in a 12-foot windowless metal shell hundreds of miles from civilization, with ten men who love to prank the boss and, god-bless-‘em, know no boundaries. Who am I kidding – I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

Tonight on Doomsday Preppers: Pain is Good, Meet Craig, a proud Alaskan living in the woods of Fairbanks fearing the collapse of the American economy. He’s secretly built a bug out dome, designed by friend and Prepping Partner Don, 100 miles away in the feral Alaskan wilderness. Only accessible by boat, the dome will serve as a refuge for his wife and two daughters. Then we follow David, a new age spiritual prepper from Hawaii who fears a catastrophic tsunami will strike Hawaii.  He plans to bug out to the top of a mountain with his girlfriend. We’ll join these two preppers as they alter their lives to prepare for doomsday.


  1. bob aka james
    klamath falls
    February 20, 2013, 12:01 am

    You idiot with all your money and your stupid ass shows I’m reading this f****** country so stop it stop saying the Lord’s us when you are part of the US dumb f****

  2. Melvin Grove
    Wasilla Alaska
    February 23, 2013, 2:21 pm

    If you really want to experience the ultimate prepping scenario and in Alaska send me an email. Having access to your prep site only by water is a limiting factor and a stationary site will soon be overrun or captured. Staying mobile is the key to surviving with a vehicle that goes where most can’t walk.

  3. doug jones
    February 23, 2013, 7:10 pm

    A great prepper novel set in Alaska is The Raven’s Gift, by Don Rearden. Folks interested in Alaska as a setting for an end of the world scenario will enjoy the novel.

  4. Ani Ore
    United States
    February 25, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Glad to read this entry ~ I often wonder about the film crew on survival and the Doomsday shows ~ where are you when that boats going crazy down the river or that bear nonchalantly walks into the picture? How do you put up with the weather and extremes etc ~ so it was nice to read some perspective (and from a womans point too)

  5. ddavidson
    slc, utah
    February 27, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Where can I buy a cool boat like that!

  6. Guy
    March 1, 2013, 8:49 pm

    The boat looks like a Honda Jet Kayak
    Looks fun and can be paddled if you run out of gas or it breaks down but it is a Honda so it will probably out last your gas supply if you can’t replenish it. 🙂

  7. Far Fetched
    March 27, 2013, 9:43 am

    What kind of guy wires trees with explosives. Does the state of Alaska condone this or is this just made up rubbish like most tv reality shows these days?

  8. john
    June 14, 2013, 11:41 pm

    where can i get one of those domes from,

  9. Craig
    July 11, 2013, 12:42 am

    I was born and raised in Alaska living here 53 years and you see all types. Having survived and experienced the 64 earth quake there was no me me me; bug out? There was a community that worked through it. This culture of people who have moved here saying they are Alaskans and not really getting what being an Alaskan is. It’s not shooting the most game and trying to impress everyone with your wannabe outdoor skills. If you want to see real outdoorsmen go visit the kids in the outlying village areas who have to use a chainsaw in the winter to cut ice for drinking water etc. people are always concerned about bears; I’ve never been attacked by a bear but I sure have been by Mosquitos. I understand this is for TV but it encourages the social misfits and morons to move here and destroy the real spirit of Alaska.

  10. simplerbackwoodslife
    August 10, 2013, 1:03 am

    Was the dome purchased from a company or did he built it himself?