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    JEL62's Avatar
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    Into the Wild

    I watched this film and at first I was very sympathetic to the main character, and the film really moved me, but at the same time I can't help but think: what a dumbass. I'd love to know what the general consensus is here about Christopher McCandless and whether or not you enjoyed the film.


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    He certainly wasn't a dumbass. He took some calculated risks and things didn't work out. In the end he was poisoned by a fairly unknown fungus that was growing on some of the wild potato seeds he was eating, if I remember correctly. He survived alone in the Alaskan wilderness for several months. That's a very difficult thing to do.

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    The bus he was living in is about 50 miles from my house. I've been there many times, although now the state has moved it to this side of the river because too many dumbass tourists were getting hurt trying to get there in summer when the water is highest.

    From an Alaskan's viewpoint, he was pretty stupid and got lucky on a few occasions. The only reason he lasted so long was because the river was too high for him to get back to the road. He was forced into survival mode. He lasted about as long as anyone would have under the circumstances. If he'd had a fishing pole, rifle, traps, all the licenses to use them and some good camping gear he could still be out there. Many people live in way more secluded spots than where he was at and do just fine.

    Want to read about a true "Into the Wild" story? read about River Mike, a good friend of mine... For River Mike Cranford, isolation is in-tent-ional - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News

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    McCandless was a dumbass, IMO. I live in Alaska. He went into the area woefully unprepared. A map alone would have saved his life, as there was a cable crossing about 1/2 mile up the river from where he wanted to cross and it was marked on the map. Heck, just a proper scouting up and down the river would have yielded a different result. He wasn't trapped. What happened to him is sad, but he made some terrible decisions. He didn't even know how to properly dress out the moose he killed (with his .22) and most of the meat rotted. He didn't leave a trip plan. He didn't have anyone checking on him. He didn't have a map. He didn't have some of the most basic supplies - items I would take on an overnight backpacking trip.
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    He was disillusioned with society, and wanted something better for himself, and believed he would find that internally, in an isolated spot in the wilderness. But he didn't think it through, he was idealistic, and sadly he got his wordly wisdom (that life is nothing unless shared with others) on his death bed. I don't think he was a dumbass. I think he was just young, and a dreamer.

    I also think he had a death wish.
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    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

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    As the Alaskans here have said, he did t know what the hell he was doing. He did have the skills nor did he put in the time learn from an experienced local. I have training in wilderness survival and I wouldn't attempt what he did without accessing local knowledge.

    I'll give him credit for his enthusiasm. The movie OTOH was dumb and directed by a dumb ass.

    There was a show on Discovery recently called "Back to the Wild" There was an interview with Samuel Thayer (sp). In his book on edible plant Samuel spends a good deal ripping the movie. Thayer is one of the best with wild edible plants among professional survivalists. But the Discovery show had edited his interview to maybe 1 minute. I would've liked to have seen the rest of that interview
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    This is an interesting article, although very long. Basically, he died of starvation.
    Into the Wild and other Poisonous Plant Fables Forager's Harvest
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    This is an interesting article, although very long. Basically, he died of starvation.
    Into the Wild and other Poisonous Plant Fables Forager's Harvest
    Yep, that's the ripping I refered to.

    As an aside. We have a lot of these BS fables coming out of Hollywood and put onto the public as some kind of reality. The latest is the fable about gas fracking.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    This is an interesting article, although very long. Basically, he died of starvation.
    Into the Wild and other Poisonous Plant Fables Forager's Harvest
    Thanks for posting the link, it was long but well worth reading. I have run across the Poisonous Plant Fable myself several times usually with regard to foraging for mushrooms, some one always mentions some story where an experienced mushroom hunter died (usually kills family members too) from eating the wrong mushroom. The message is: Fear nature, it's dangerous!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantrebolls View Post
    think so,We have a lot of these BS fables coming out of Hollywood and put onto the public as some kind of reality.thanks
    How is it a fable? It's not an unusal thing for a young person to do (minus the dying part) - I travelled quite a bit in India and you see people like that dude all the time going off to live in caves, or the desert...
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

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