Chris McCandless was a unique figure in American history, as Jon Krakauer documented in his 1996 book Into the Wild, made into a film starring Emile Hirsch in 2007. Inspired by the Transcendentalism of 19th-century author Henry David Thoreau, who lived an austere and simple life in the woods he documented in his book Walden, McCandless also idolized the rugged American author Jack London. McCandless had few possessions and sought enlightenment through a deep connection to nature. When he died in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992, McCandless left behind his most important legacy: the wisdom of a modern person who tried to live up to classical American ideals.
The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
I just couldn’t bear the idea of throwing away food since Chris had starved to death.
Well, we weren’t gonna get you a brand new Cadillac, Chris. We just want to get you a nice new car that’s safe to drive. And you never know when that thing out there just might blow up.
The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.
Happiness is only real when shared.
And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head
A lot of people in the valley just love me a lot. Everybody now, I think, in the whole world is just loving me. And I want to have the wisdom to love them back. And that’s about it. So, I really get excited.
He had trouble with the whole idea of parents.
A new car? Why would I want a new car? Datsun runs great. Do you think I want some fancy boat? Are you worried what the neighbors might think?
The whole idea was to lose our bearings, to push ourselves into unknown territory.
They will think they have bought my respect.
He acted like it was hard for him to be around people.
Tramping is too easy with all this money. My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal… I’ve decided that I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.
No phone. No pool. No pets. No cigarettes. Ultimate freedom… No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become Lost in the Wild.
You can’t fix it. Most things you can fix, but not that.
Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one.
12 years? Twelve years – to paddle down a river?
You are really good. I mean, you’re like, a hundred thousand times better than like any apple I’ve ever had. I’m not Superman, I’m Supertramp and you’re super apple. You’re so tasty, you’re so organic, so natural. You are the apple of my eye, ha!
I now walk into the wild.
Yeah, a leather tramp. That’s what they call the ones that hoof it, go on foot. Technically we’re rubber tramps.
If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
How is it … that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?
Strong. You can do anything. You can go anywhere. Money, power is an illusion. It’s up here. You can be here. Me and you.
It’s funny how things happen at particular times. I’ve loved that woman for a lot of years, bro. But, you know, she’s got a story. We’ve been going through this thing, real quiet. So, when we ran into you yesterday, this thing that we’ve been going through real quiet, she’s talking about it. You know what I mean?
He was so enthralled by these tales he seemed to forget they were works of fiction.
You’re just living, man. You’re just there, in that moment, in that special place and time. Maybe when I get back, I can write a book about my travels.
I will miss you too, but you are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships. God’s place is all around us, it is in everything and in anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at things.
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit.
Blow up! Blow up? Are you guys crazy? It’s a great car. I don’t need a new car. I don’t want a new car. I don’t want anything.
Circumstance has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon… what it means to you.
No longer would he answer to Chris McCandless; he was now Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny.
I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth
You don’t need human relationships to be happy, God has placed it all around us.
I couldn’t resist stealing up to the edge of doom and peering over the brink.
The freedom and simple beauty is too good to pass up…
I need your help. I am injured, near death, and too weak to hike out of here. I am all alone. This is no joke. In the name of God, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries close by and shall return this evening. Thank you, Chris McCandless.
That poor girl’s about ready to vault herself onto a fencepost.
Although he was rash, untutored in the ways of the back country … he wasn’t incompetent—he wouldn’t have lasted 113 days if he were.
I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters.
Society, man! You know, society! Cause, you know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand why people, why every fucking person is so bad to each other so fucking often. It doesn’t make sense to me. Judgment. Control. All that, the whole spectrum. Well, it just…
I went to South Dakota. I worked at a grain elevator for this guy named Wayne. He was a really good guy. So, I took the Colorado River all the way down through the Grand Canyon and did rapids, which is by far one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. And I took the Colorado down into Mexico, Golfo, where I got stuck. Salvation Mountain. The Slabs.
And he was big-time hungry. Hungry, hungry, hungry.
It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations. Absolute freedom. And the road has always led west.
Alaska, Alaska? Or city Alaska? Because they do have markets in Alaska. The city of Alaska. Not in Alaska, in the city of Alaska, they have markets.
Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause “the West is the best.” And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. – Alexander Supertramp May 1992
I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong… but to feel strong.
What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?
The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences
It is … the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found.
I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!
I had an idea. You know, my mother was an only child and so was my father, and I was their only child, so when I’m gone, I’m the end of the line. My family will be finished. What do you say… you let me adopt you? I could be, say, your grandfather.
Children can be pretty harsh when it comes to their parents. You planning on seeing yours?
Nah, I’m afraid of water. Always have been. Something I’ve gotta get over sometime though, huh? So, I will swim in it if you’ll carry the firewood back to camp.
When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines on you.
I thought he’d probably get hungry pretty quick and just walk out to the highway.
When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.
I don’t need money. Makes people cautious.
Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.