Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by wadin' boot, Jan 17, 2008.
Into The Wild - Debunked
Good thoughts Dave.
However, I don't think actually walking into the woods alone is not why people think McCandless had a mental health issue. It's seen as a pretty common occurance for young men to go to Alaska to test themselves. The evidence people discuss for making the case for schizophrenia have more to do with the interviews of people that knew him, the letters he wrote, his major personality change sometime during college, and general documented behaviors and personality before he even stepped foot in Alaska.
Major personality change durring college? :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
I'd call 100+ days in the alaskan wilderness depending on nothing but my survival skills a kick ass vacation and would consider myself lucky if ever given the chance. :thumb:
Also, I didn't see the movie. How the hell did he bring a moose down with a 22?
Starving to death?
I feel like we've totally hijacked boot's thread, so I'm gonna re-post it in hopes to get it back.
I'm sure I could manage to find something to eat .
To get back to topic. I had a buddie who spend 6 months in the rockies alone. Relativly stable minded guy, liked people, loved the woods even more. He did fine with a 7mm rifle, a hundred feet of parachord, a small fishing kit(that he never used) and a good leatherman with a blade stone. He lost a bit of weight. I wish I could have gone but ended up in boot camp instead.
It can be done in a pinch, but it probably wasn't pretty. It wasn't really a moose though. He thought it was a moose, but it was actually a caribou (the movie left out this detail and showed an actual moose). Since caribou are generally pretty stupid and approachable, I'd venture a guess that it was taken down at short range with several shots. You'd think that by the time he got to Alaska that he would have seen enough moose and caribou along the highway to know the difference, which further adds to my opinion that the guy was an idiot.
I recall reading My Side of The Mountain as a kid and being disappointed by the ending when the main character's whole family moves to the mountain and starts building a house.
Definatly an idiot. A caribou carcas can provide enough protiene to last a lot longer than 100+ days.
This all reminds me of a guy I went to high school with. When we were in school Ben was your run of the mill 90210 guy. He wore the silk shirts, bolo ties. His hair was always in that perfect Brandon gallon of gel order. Some time after graduation Ben just disappeared. No one heard from him or saw him for three years. Then out of the blue he came back.
My friend Brandi was at home and heard a knock at the door. When she answered, in front of her stood a tall gaunt bearded man. He was wearing a stocking cap, tattered and patched wool coat, and some jeans with holes in the knees. From behind his dirty beard he told Brandi that it was Ben. She didn't believe him at first but realized this man was who he said he was when he removed the stocking cap.
That night all of us friends gathered at our friends Derek and Kasey's house to welcome Ben home. All of us bewildered and shocked at seeing Ben in this state. He kept us hanging on his every word as he told story after story of his travels. It seems that Ben had gotten into some trouble shortly after high school and instead of hanging around he decided to ride the rails. He sold everything he had and bought a backpack. Him and his friend Greg jumped a rail car in Tacoma and didn't look back for three long years. In those years him and Greg went there separate ways and Ben visited every state in the lower 48 with the exception of Florida. He had been chased by rail yard boss's in Chicago. He had been stuck on one side of a tunnel in Colorado for three days. Being caught on a tanker ship heading to Hawaii out of Oakland didn't deter him either. After almost four hours and many rolled cigarettes Ben was done.
Ben was nothing like the kid we knew in school. He was different. He was quiet and thoughtful. His demeanor was that of an old man with a pipe sitting in front of a fire, puffing out stories for his enthralled grandkids. Ben was....well he was Benjamin.
Ben would disappear and come back several times in the following years. The last time that he showed up at Brandi's door was four years ago. He bought her old blue dodge caravan for $300 dollars and promptly disappears again. He showed back up three days later with a white crash helmet driving the van. He had taken a saws-all and cutt all of the windows out of the van. With wood screws he had taken three-quarters inch plywood and nailed them in the holes with slits like those of a German pill-box. It was clear this time that Ben wasn't Benjamin but Ben was someone else. The last thing he told Brandi was that he was heading to Alaska to help build houses in Fairbanks.
Just in case you are wondering this is a very true story. It is amazing how truth is so many times stranger than fiction.
My Side of the Mountain was a great book. You won't learn much in the way of survival skills (ok, a few) but this book was inspirational to me when I was a kid.
Let's hope this kid in Texas planned ahead. I feel for the parents and family.
I forgot to post a picture of the Matthew Wilson, see below, 5'7 and 135 pounds with bright red hair and pale skin- not exactly a kid that is invisible should you run into him. If I was him, with that skin, and i had a notion for wilderness, I'd head North and West, to this part of the world. To the coast. $25,000 reward.
Dave- no problem about hijacking,doesn't bother me, unllike WT from Shrimp Shack thread from a while back.
I gave some more thought to the whole thing, thought of some new sources:
Cormac McCarthy- The Road
And an old madness + solitude + adventure chestnut:
The Strange Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall.
That's an awesome book.
You're absolutely right, allow me to offer this...I have nearly 18 months of ice time in Antarctica. When I am done with my second contract I will have had over 24 months under my belt, 16 of which will have occured through the winter darkness. That said, I feel I am more familiar than most in regards to the severe harshness offered up on behalf of the highest, driest, coldest, windiest, emptiest continent on the planet.
The men on the Endurance never should have been in the predicament they were. The only reason they were forced to fight for their lives in the most cruel of enviroments is due to the fact that one man, Shakelton, was too lustful for fame and glory to consider anything elsd. He failed to hede the warnings of the experienced whalers on South Georgia Island, putting his men in peril. Though a truly amazing story of survival, the fact that all his men did make it home can be attributed to luck.
That said, Shakelton was a jackass! British explorer Robert Falcon Scott who killed his entire crew attempting to be the first to the South Pole, was a jackass! If you want someone who is a badass, look to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first man to the South Pole. The guy made it to pole faster than he came back. Before embarking on his journey, he knew what day he would slaughter his sled dogs for food on his return trip. Amundsen was a badass!
Crew, badass and jackass are not mutually exclusive. Surely you have some resources down there in the deep polar nights that make your analysis of the Ice explorers less black and white, a little less anachronistic? Turn of the 20th century Arctic and Antarctic explorers were motivated in ways that perhaps we no longer understand- knighthood, prizes, titles, medals, nationalism, imperialism, propriety, election to the Royal Society or its equivalent, and the chance to pen a monograph that might cement international fame.
Take a look at the conflicted world of Sven Hedin for instance.
Or the mediocrity of Burke and Wills in comparison to that of Lewis and Clark
These guys were motivated in ways we may no longer appreciate. Or maybe we can. Don't you have to be somewhat of a Jackass to be a Captain, be it of the Endurance, the Bounty or Enron? What's ironic about your statement is the list of guys in the original thread that failed to be condemned as jackasses- Treadwell, McCandless, Bligh....
Maybe the tougher question is what explorers were NOT jackasses as viewed from our age? Top of my list?
So we ought to add, even though its a little spendy, Beaglehole's works on James Cook to the list of required reading: