Two in the Wilderness

"Too many men work on parts of things. Doing a job to completion satisfies me."
--Dick Proenneke

Who lived inside a dilapidated bus from the civilization he fled, who left for the same wilderness as Proenneke but without the proper gear, who died stupidly and youthfully and is celebrated with 2 films, 1 book and countless articles and tributes.


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozJvg0hOwb4

  2. I offer a different view of the McCandless "story" - the book (ignore the movie for now) is not a celebration of his "stupid" death, but rather, should be viewed as an amazing piece of journalism, and further, a tribute to the successes its author has achieved. It is truly masterful reporting and journalism. Indeed Krakauer saw something of a hero in this young man, but it is a stretch to call his report a "celebration" of his life and death. Further, I suggest that the endeavor undertaken by Krakauer proves that man's own rigor.

  3. I have read the book, but something about it seemed rotting to me even then. At that time I had not known of Proenneke but within a few minutes of watching him build his cabin I was embarassed to have read Kunthaur or spent time considering Mccandless. Much can be learned about a society by the individuals it chooses to write about and venerate. Much too can be said about the man who writes about others.

    Just watch the deliberate way Proenneke moves on those videos. Listen to the simple metaphors he uses to express himself (comparing the suddenness of a fish on his line to the suddenness of a shoelace breaking). It took Proenneke 50 years of his life to prepare for the wilderness. What so many misunderstand is preparation and work, which they find boring or tedious to hear about.

    It will take you 10 years or 10,000 hours of serious study to become good at something. If you intend to go somewhere that could end your life you better have put the time in. Mccandless did not put the time in. Proenneke did. One lived and one died. Simple as that. And Proenneke was the one Kunthaur should have written about.

  4. I related to Krakauer's report in a different way. My own father was young dumb unprepared adventurer, and Krakauer himself a young dumb adventurer. This is some people's lives.

    Yes, some people prepare more, or spend their lives preparing and succeed at what they prepare to do. Others go out for adventure and hope for struggle and minor victories, and accomplish that. Who is better than the other? Who lives a bigger life, the man who dies or the man who lives? Me, the 29-yr-old accountant who has everything he wants besides offspring, or my father who died at 26 having seen untold sights and with 2 offspring? Which is better?

  5. Possibly the book gave you insight into the thinking of your father, and half of yourself. But these are personal considerations I cannot comment on. What needs to be examined in books and film and in the thinking of men are the greater lives, and between Mccandless and Proenneke the greater life is clear. The difference is as clear as the dilapidated bus and the beautifull cabin. The project was surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. Yes, Proenneke did it better.

    It is all about your project. You choose to have one and with it comes responsibilities and work. You either do or do not do that work and your project is evaluated against similar projects. The point is improvement, evolutionary improvement. Better men are possible. Proenneke was a way forward.


Copyright © Moraline Free