Into the Wild Into the Wild question


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If Chris had a companion and necessary supplies in the wild, could he have survived?


I was going to mention the lack of a map, but Tweedledum got to it first. Great book about a troubled young thinker profoundly lacking in common sense.

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Peter Higgins When one is in the fervor of the scented moment, a map was secondary. He didn't even have proper footwear. Just shows his zeal. Noble. Wild. Full of y ...more
Dec 04, 2014 04:59PM · flag

If he had a companion and proper supplies yes he would have survived. However the way he went on his journey, alone and unprepared was the way he had intended it to go.


I don't think Chris would have taken a companion--to someone else's point, it wouldn't have made him who he was. He welcomed the unusual challenges and took risks that we would not have in the name of being the Supertramp. :-)


I think he would have survived in the spring, summer, and fall, but he probably would have died in the winter.


I think he probably would have eventually gotten killed by a bear, much like Timothy Treadwell, therefore getting his companion killed as well. In my opinion, he had not equipped himself well enough in many ways.


I think he was to unstable to survive any time in the winter because he refused to take some one to be with him!


I thought Krakauer's point was that for all Chris was unstable and perhaps unfathomable, there was something eerily willful about his fate which the reader can faintly relate to? Does that make sense or did I just disappear up my proverbial?


If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. If you are going to ask silly questions, then you get silly answers.


Chris McCandless was no fool; he knew how to survive and he was able to survive for a couple of months. He didn't go into the adventure ill-prepared; he read up on vital information like edible vegetation and stuff. He just made a small mistake at the end that unfortunately ended his life. Who would have known that mold could have been so fatal?


I agree with Tyson. If Chris had had supplies, maps, a companion, common sense, etc., then he wouldn't have been who he was--Alexander Supertramp--so the question is moot. Not sure, Tweedledum, what your point is re: well-prepared adventurers also having mishaps, since you stated in your earlier post that all McCandless needed was a map.


All he really needed was a map, then he would have known where to cross the river.


That kind of seems like asking "If Flight 93 had lacked hijackers and landed on its wheels on a runway at proper speed, would it have crashed?"

I'm not trying to be rude, it just seems like a non-question.


I think Krakauer mentions that originally Chris wanted to take his sister's dog with him, but his parents said, "no" because the dog had been injured and was healing. Krakauer speculates that if he had taken the dog with him, he may not had taken some of the risks he did, because he loved the dog and would not want to put the dog in danger. This is an interesting speculation.

Krakauer also mentions that McCandless did not take a map with him because McCandless wanted to get lost in the wilderness and have a sense of really being deep in the bush. In reality Chris wasn't that deep in the bush and a map would have confirmed this. I think Krakauer speculates that is the reason Chris didn't take a map. He didn't want to know how close to civilization he really was.

Krakauer doesn't think that McCandles was unstable. He argued against that point in his book.

As for surviving in Alaska in the winter, McCandless goes on his adventure on the Stampede Trail in the Spring when the winter thaw makes travel harder. Mud from the ice melt, beaver dams, and rivers roaring with melting snow are the danger in the Spring and Summer. I think Krakauer even says that is why Chris didn't run into any hunters in his four months in the Alaskan Wliderness. It is too hard to travel with all the melting snow and everything that ensues from snow and ice melting. In the winter there probably would not have been an as much food in the form of animals and vegetation, but there would have been more people out on the Stampede Trail. I think Krakaeur even mentions that McCandless might have had a better shot at survival in the winter than in the Spring and Summer. But maybe I am not remembering the details correctly.


He could have survived if he had only taken a map with him. If he had had one and found out that he could have traveled a different direction as opposed to trying to wait out the river he could have survived.


Properly supplied does not insure survival without COMMON SENSE. Philosophy won't save you either. Going off into the wilds of Alaska on a whim is asking for trouble.

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Firstname Lastname This. He didn't -just- need a map. He needed a dope-slap or five. He wasn't smart enough to realize in advance that 'being a vegetarian' is not suffic ...more
Apr 23, 2013 12:46AM · flag

Technically, all he needed was 17 more days of food, and he would have been found alive.


I think Krakauer's point in spending many pages on the danger and awesome scale of the Alaskan winter is that even experienced outdoor adventurers are in mortal danger in Alaska in the winter. No - if it wasn't one thing, it would have been another with or without a friend and additional supplies. Moral of the story - pros die in Alaska in winter, don't do it.


There's a thread (I'm sure more than one) about McClueless on one of the survivalist boards, and one guy posted about how his uncle had a trapping cabin up in the Alaska wilderness and he'd talked Uncle into letting him spend a year up there, or something.

Uncle tried to talk him out of it and he went anyway IIRC, and once he realized the kid was determined he worked with him to get what he needed together. They arranged for 2 air supply drops during the winter (not uncommon in Alaska) The cabin was partly equipped to begin with, and even with that he had to (a) bust his ass to stay warm and (b) continually cope with SERIOUS problems he hadn't counted on. IIRC (again) he went back for another year - and took MORE stuff based on what he'd badly needed while he was there - and most of what he had to say was Don't Underestimate An Alaskan Winter.

If McClueless had gotten himself into a position where he HAD to try to "Hike Out", or "Get Rescued", he'd already lost the game. He didn't need a companion, he needed a clue...


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