Netflix’s survival competition show Outlast‘s filming location brought a lot of challenges for the sixteen cast members brave enough to signup to be stranded in the Alaskan wilderness. And boy did Outlast‘s show producers pick a tough climate to pit four teams of four against each other. Alaska’s inhospitable Neka River is located on the Chichagof Island (also called Shee Kaax) which is part of the Alexander Archipelago and fifth biggest island in the US.
Outlast’s narrator wasn’t lying when he said the island has the highest population of bears per square mile of anywhere in the world. Only 1,342 people live on Chichagof Island making it very sparsely populated.
“The Neka River region is classified as a rainforest, receiving an average of 60 inches of rainfall per year,” the Outlast narrator also told us. “Rainstorms can last up to a week at a time.”
Where Is Outlast‘s Filming Location On Island & What Wildlife Is There
The Neka River is surrounded by dense forests and mountains. The climate is so wet that the area is classified as a rainforest. Google Maps shows you just how remote the Neka River is and how far it is from humanity and the civilized world. No wonder Outlast‘s production have to use motorboats and helicopters to reach the sixteen self-described lone-wolves competing to be the winners of the $1 million prize.
“The show doesn’t do it justice, how awful it is,” Outlast executive producer Grant Kahler told Netflix in an Interview. “The first week, it was 35 degrees and raining every day — truly the most awful environment to try and be in. You can’t get dry. Your feet stay wet for weeks. You can’t light a fire… and of course, there’s the bears.”
“Whenever I scout, I meet with local experts, local hunters and survival people.” Kahler also said. “A lot of times, I’ll take along survival experts who’ve gone through military SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training. We go out and evaluate the area; like, there’s mussels here, there’s salmon during these months, there’s this type of deer, fish or crab. [We ask] what type of wood is there? Is there enough dead wood to burn? If you don’t choose the right place, the contestants are going to end up having nothing.”
During filming the show, Outlast cast and cameramen spotted both a brown bear and grizzly bear. They also found lots of evidence of nearby bears, like scat and the remains of a bear’s prey. Besides bears, the local wildlife includes deer, squirrels and plenty of fish: Chum Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, and Dolly Varden.
Alpha Team led by Detective Jill Ashlock caught eight (not three like the show claimed) Coho Salmon during the one challenge.
When Outlast Was Filmed By Netflix
Netflix is notorious for being quite slow in post-production for its reality TV shows. Outlast was no exception. The cast members were plopped in the middle of Alaska in the fall of 2021. One of the winners said it was very tough to keep the secret for 18 months before the show finally got released on Netflix on March 10, 2023.