Chris McCandless "Never go Back unless you are planning to go that way" henry david Thoreau

Christopher Johnson McCandless known as "Alexander Supertramp" by others, was a man on the a journey to fulfill his true calling in life, and that was to be happy without measuring the consequences. Others believe that he was self testing his fortitude, but his reckless way of entering Alaska led to his demise, something that could of been avoided if not for his hubris "invincible man" mentality. He thought about it once and was determined to go, and that was the problem he didn't think things through entirely before determining the best for himself.

I'm Invincible

Hubris Actions

According to Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless was well prepared to go into the Alaskan wilderness because he was smart, ambitious,athletic, but most important conscious about his actions. That isn't the case however, he was reckless, didn't analyze things thoroughly and that is the sad truth.
"Chris McCandless’s final photo, a self-portrait holding his farewell note" stated by Jon Krakauer in his post on The New Yorker he just contradicted himself as this is a suicidal moment for Chris.
  • In an Interview from Audie Cornish Krakauer reminisces with his resemblance to him as teenagers. He shares that at age 23 he started his ambition to climb devils thumb in Alaska, and although he had tons of experience he himself said it was a hubris type of decision making any man at that age would do.
  • His very first act where he showed total recklessness and not a smart way of analyzing the situation was burning his ID, money, and abandoning his car along with the map
  • Chris shows recklessness at the beginning of his trip by taking the majority of his books as they were the heaviest items in his bag, and not a first aid kit, food, or more clothing. "The heaviest item in McCandless's half-full backpack was his library nine or ten paperbound books, most of which had been given to him by Jan Burres in Niland,"( Krakauer 162).
  • Medred an author for Adn states,"All McCandless had to do in 1992 was start a big smoky fire next to the bus in which he was squatting less then 20 miles from the George Parks Highway and a small army of firefighters would have descended to rescue him from the north side of Denali National Park and Preserve. But McCandless, who had already proven himself unable to dry meat like the early Athabaskan Indians did find the tramway cross the Teklanika River only about a half mile off the stampede road that led to the bus, didn't start a fire. Instead he wrote a note, crawled into a sleeping bag and died of starvation".
  • McCandless entered the wild as a character of one of his books childish and not ready. Without prior experience of his surroundings he entered the wild, and came out dead as a result of his stupidity or "miscalculation".
  • McCandless didn't take was needed to survive for the months he had planned to stay and that was the main problem, he took reckless action and not a well analyzed solution.

I agree with Kim Murphy statements that says the following,"He was not a hero, he was a spoiled brat who didn't even bother to learn about the land he was going into. His Hubris killed him," a com-mentor wrote after the Alaska Dispatch posted the story about the German hikers.

Heroic View
Others however see McCandless's actions as a man trying to test his abilities to the max , and they respect him for that.

His father Walt mentions in Krakauers book that Chris was slightly different than other kids, a kid with few friends that preferred books which he carried on throughout. He was adventurous,ambitious, highly intelligent, and fearless.

"When Chris was eight , Walt took him on his first overnight backpacking trip, a three-day hike... too climb Old Rag. They made the summit,and Chris carried his own pack the while way.....When Chris was a little older, Walt took Billie and his children from both marriages to climb Longs Peak in Colorado...the route above looked slabby, exposed, dangerous. Id had it okay... but Chris wanted to keep going to the top. I told him no way. He was only twelve then, so all he could do was complain. If he'd been fourteen or fifteen, he would have simply gone on without me," (Krakauer 109).

At death Chris became an icon and idol for many worldwide and according ti an article by Kim Murphy states, "The story "Into the Wild" has become a touchstone for people around the world, both those who yearn to repeat a young urban man's dangerous foray into some of the nation's last true wilderness, and those who have dismissed McCandless as a clueless adventurer who went into hazardous territory dangerously unprepared."

People have been frequently talking about McCandless since his death, and since his death he inspired people to not hold back from doing what they are truly capable of doing. They admire that he is different and he relishes it so that he is happy to himself and not where others eyes say otherwise. Sadly Chris has become a source that causes trouble from his grave by inspiring others that are with a mission to be like Chris.

  • "The thrill of adventure I gained from reading Into the Wild and seeing where (McCandless) traveled is inspirational. Wandering the country for more than two years with no phone, no car, no cigarettes, serves as a lesson that the material goods we all cherish and seek to obtain as status symbols are doing nothing but holding us back from doing what we are truly capable of doing."( Craig Medred).

Regardless of what anyone says Chris McCandless shouldn't have entered the while recklessly to prove to himself at the time that he was capable of anything. He spent his life trying to find who he was, where he fit in, and most important where he wanted to stay. Although he was a talented young man he ran most of his tramping life with luck, and sadly luck struck out a little to late for him. A brave man to the people, but a kid within himself trying to find the right way two steps at a time. R.I.P Chris McCandless.


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Cornish, Audie. "Did Jon Krakauer Finally Solve 'Into The Wild' Mystery?" NPR. NPR, 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

Crburns1990, /. "Appalachian Trail: Trials and Tragedy." Appalachian Trail: Trials and Tragedy. N.p., 2 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.

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Estabrook, Rachel. "Chris McCandless' Sisters Explain Why He Went 'Into the Wild'" Colorado Public Radio. Colorado Public Radio, 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.

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Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print

Medred, Craig. "Examining Chris McCandless, 20 Years after He Went 'Into the Wild'" Alaska Dispatch News. Alaska Dispatch News, Aug.-Sept. 2012. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.

Murphy, Kim. "Into the Wild: 3 Hikers Rescued near Scene of Fatal Alaska Adventure."Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2013. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

"Nature, Landscape, River, Snow, Winter, Mountain, Forest, Pine Trees, Cold, Frost, Alaska Wallpapers HD / Desktop and Mobile Backgrounds." HD Wallpapers - Desktop Background Images. N.p., 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.

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