Port Protection Alaska: Separating reality from reality television

Port Protection Alaska may portray a unique way of life, but it seems like the show is more reality than reality television, after all.

To most of the viewers watching Port Protection Alaska, this remote and self-sufficient life is a reality far removed from their own daily lives.

And hunting for your own meat and pelts, fishing for sustenance, chopping your own wood and using a skiff to get around are pretty much foreign concepts to most people living in busy cities worldwide.

Is Port Protection Alaska real or fake?

Since most people who watch the cast of Port Protection Alaska go about their daily lives off-the-grid have little to no frame of reference as to what such a remote style of living would actually look like in real-life – it can be quite difficult to distinguish what is real about the show and what is simply good reality television.

Fortunately though, it seems Port Protection Alaska’s portrayal of this quaint, unique way of life is not that far from reality and the show is actually a pretty good portrayal of what life in this distant part of Alaska is really like.

Port Protection Alaska in a nutshell

Unfortunately, accurate or not, Port Protection Alaska will be coming to an end very soon.

But if you want to make sure that you are all caught up by the time that the series finale episode rolls around, the entire show can be summarized briefly as follows:

Detail Description
Series premiere episode “Between Water and Wolves”, which first aired on July 19, 2015
Most recent episode “Don’t Look Back”, which aired on May 7, 2024
Total episodes aired (to date) 80

Port Protection is really like it is portrayed in the show

Outside of travelling to Alaska yourself (and then travelling a few additional hours to reach Port Protection), the best way to verify whether this area is really as it appears on the show – is to rely on the opinions of third-parties which have no affiliation with the show.

Videos like the Culinary Edge TV’s Escape to Port Protection, Alaska series (or even this video from Hans’ YouTube channel, or this video from Morgan’s TikTok page) prove that the natural beauty of this area is just as stunning in real life as it appears on the show.

And several sources, including Gregg Dockweiler (who listed his longtime Port protection home for sale on in 2016) and Mark Hofstad (a Petersburg resident who spoke to Alaska Public Media about the show in 2022) have confirmed that the show is real and that it portrays the town accurately.

The people living in Port Protection are real

Port Protection Alaska is not the only extreme survival show that has come under scrutiny by viewers who are suspicious of the show’s accuracy.

In fact, the stars of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People show have come under fire in the past for not being “real” Alaskans (and various other controversies which spanned the show’s 14-season run).

However, while the jury may still be out on the accuracy of some of the other so-called ‘Alaska shows’ on television – the cast members of Port Protection Alaska are really Port Protection residents.

Some Port Protection Alaska stars, like the old-timer Sam Carlson, have lived in the area for over 50 years, at this point.

And since Port Protection only has about 40 full-time residents (according to the United States Census Bureau), the show’s cast represents a fair percentage of this area’s actual population.

For the most part, it seems like most of the cast remain in Port Protection all year round (even when the show is not filming) and judging from the cast’s off-season social media posts, they hunt, fish, pant wood and drive around in their skiffs even when the cameras sop rolling.

The aspects of Port Protection life that the show does not show

On the whole, it seems like Port Protection Alaska is one of the more accurate docuseries on television currently. But that does not mean that a little bit of “television magic” does not sneak its way into the show from time to time.

And while the show does not necessarily “fake” any aspects of daily life in Port Protection, the show has omitted a few things about living in this remote landscape.

For instance, though Port Protection is only really accessible by boat and by plane year-round, some visitors do drop by the area as part of chartered fishing excursions or Alaskan tours.

Port Protection also has a small general store (including a Laundromat, liquor store, fish shop, shower, fuel station and post office) called the Wooden Wheel Trading Post.