Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Stretching and Challenging the Ingenuity? (specific example, general principles)

    Here is one specific example (from a bike tourist/multi-modal tourist/adventurer who loved being out there on his own, with nothing to rely on but his own ingenuity):

    You are out in Alaska. You go into a remote area during the spring. You set up a base camp for a couple of months. When the time comes and you are ready to go, and you're actually trying to leave, you discover that the river you crossed a couple of months earlier, while coming in, has now swollen because of the warmer weather and increased snowmelt. The current is way too strong, and the crossing is much too dangerous.

    You can go back to the base camp, but you've lost some weight and food is low. You can forage and hunt, but it isn't easy and there might not be enough calories. If you can make it for another couple of months, the river will be lower and passable again.

    So one option is to wait it out.

    The actual person (who was in this situation) decided that he was trapped. There may have been some other alternatives to those he had in mind, though.

    So the challenge is this: if you were in that situation, and decided to leave rather than wait, how many ways can you think of that might get you out of the situation?

    (One other aspect: you aren't carrying any electronic devices that would allow you to make calls.)

    How many possibilities, how many ways out can you come up with?

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have no idea, but I'm curious: what did he actually do after deciding he was trapped? Did he wait? How a single cyclist can possibly carry enough food for few months in the first place unless he can hunt?

    Adam

  3. #3
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boston Area
    My Bikes
    Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti
    Posts
    1,999
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmmm, this sounds vaguely reminiscent of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild".

    Probably the best possibility is to avoid going into the wilderness in such an unprepared state to begin with.

    Speedo

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    My Bikes
    Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB
    Posts
    4,856
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    So the challenge is this: if you were in that situation, and decided to leave rather than wait, how many ways can you think of that might get you out of the situation?
    What is the terrain like? What sort of tools do I have access to?

    First thing I'd do is scout up- and down-river, while hunting and foraging for food, to see if I could find a better crossing point. I'd probably begin rationing food immediately. I'd do both regardless of whether I decided to wait it out or try and escape.

    From there, the next actions depend on what resources I have available: How much food do I have? Are there trees nearby? Do I have an axe or saw? Rope? What is the terrain like? How wide is the river? What's the air and water temperature?

  5. #5
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, agreed: more info needed.

    Adam

  6. #6
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boston Area
    My Bikes
    Univega Gran Turismo, Guerciotti, Bridgestone MB2, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Serotta Ti
    Posts
    1,999
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Yeah, agreed: more info needed.

    Adam
    Christopher McCandless

  7. #7
    It's true, man.
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem
    Posts
    2,726
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Yeah, agreed: more info needed.

    Adam
    The short answer is: he ate some bad stuff, messed up his guts and starved to death alone, slowly.

  8. #8
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, so he took off into wilderness unprepared and he chose to die starving while there was a tram quarter mile from where he was. Brilliant. Why was the word "ingenuity" used here?

    Somehow I can't find this story inspiring or feel bad for him. But... he has a webpage on Wiki and he's a hero

    I'm much more awed and inspired by this couple's life: http://www.downtheroad.org/

    A.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    What is the terrain like? What sort of tools do I have access to?

    First thing I'd do is scout up- and down-river, while hunting and foraging for food, to see if I could find a better crossing point. I'd probably begin rationing food immediately. I'd do both regardless of whether I decided to wait it out or try and escape.

    From there, the next actions depend on what resources I have available: How much food do I have? Are there trees nearby? Do I have an axe or saw? Rope? What is the terrain like? How wide is the river? What's the air and water temperature?
    That's the sort of thing I was trying to get at.

    Air and water: water is way cold. Probably in the thirties, possibly mid-thirties.

    River is raging, about a hundred feet across, and more than chest deep.

    Food: virtually none left. There are wild berries and mushrooms, but getting enough calories from them is virtually impossible.

    Hunting: you have a .22 long rifle with scope.

    Game: scarce. A good day might be two squirrels. There's some chance of moose and caribou, but they have been scarce.

    Trees: scrubby spruce, maybe eight-inch diameter and less than twenty feet tall.

    Tools: minimal. One hunting knife. No axe. No saw. No rope. Some twine and parachute cord, but not a lot. A basic hand sewing kit.

    Terrain: Slow hiking due to thick brush and absence of trails.

    Weather: Heavy rain (though you don't know how long it will last), followed by temperate August/September weather.

    You're underweight -- if you were 5'8", you'd weigh about a hundred pounds, maybe a bit more. (If taller or shorter, scaled up or down proportionately.) If you lose another ten pounds, you will be seriously weak.

    ***
    What if scouting hadn't worked? [it would have worked for CM -- downstream was a steel cable, and old hand-operated tram (parked on his side of the river) from a former USGS hydrology station. Upstream a couple of miles, the river was 'braided' or spread out into channels that were shallower and possibly able to be crossed] -- what if in your case, though, you tried looking upstream and downstream, and the river was too cold, wide, and raging, and you had to find another way?

    How many possible ways out can you find?
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-08-10 at 06:28 PM.

  10. #10
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    OK, so he took off into wilderness unprepared and he chose to die starving while there was a tram quarter mile from where he was. Brilliant. Why was the word "ingenuity" used here?

    Somehow I can't find this story inspiring or feel bad for him. But... he has a webpage on Wiki and he's a hero

    I'm much more awed and inspired by this couple's life: http://www.downtheroad.org/



    A.
    Looking at it from a different point of view -- not McCandless, but *you* in that situation, how would you get out? How many ways can you come up with to get out?

    I'm not just looking at this one situation -- it is an example. People do get into all kinds of binds on bike tours, and stimulation of ingenuity is part of the game. Some play it safer, some are intense gamblers.

    Part of the thrill for McCandless was the level of challenge.

    If you choose very mild challenges, it's different. You're not in the game.

    One writer said it this way, "Most people choose to live a very safe life, and so they die very safely."

    McCandless chose another way, and I have to respect the way he did it (from certain points of view at least). He was *living* -- if you read his letters and journals, he says things like, "It's in the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent that meaning is found. God it's great to be alive."

    I'm not exactly defending him. I don't think he had it entirely figured out. But everyone who met him seems to have appreciated the degree to which he was inspired and intense about living. As he put it when he had lost quite a bit of weight: his way of living was taking a toll on his body, but his spirit was soaring.

    I'm interested in that aspect, and in the awakening of life that can come when you're out there facing intense and real challenges, rather than spoon feeding yourself all the time.

    This is an aspect of self-supported touring. No one is holding your hand and nursing your wounds and carrying and babying and coddling you all the way.

    You're out of the comfort ruts (which seem, in part, to put people to sleep).
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-08-10 at 05:09 PM.

  11. #11
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    My Bikes
    Bob Jackson 853 Arrowhead w/ Chorus (road); Swobo Del Norte (street), Catrike Speed (recumbent trike)
    Posts
    343
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If I've got nothing better to do (and apparently that's the case) I start working on a bridge. Or a raft. Or both. If there are enough big rocks in the area, I'm going to start piling them in the river to create a bridge. If there are enough downed trees or limbs, I'm going to figure a way to lash them together into a raft. If I can steer the raft close enough to the opposite bank that I can bail out and make it the rest of the way, I'm golden.

    But yeah, hopefully I don't put myself in that position in the first place.

  12. #12
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That seems like a viable possibility. There might have been some empty containers around that probably could have served to increase buoyancy.

    How many other possible ways out are there?
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-08-10 at 06:42 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    682
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I've always admired McCandless' desire to challenge himself, I'm disappointed because his greatest challenges came from his lack of forethought and knowledge. He was quite willing, but not so able. If only he had thought to challenge himself by adequately preparing.

    A couple of the many alternatives to starving to death: make a signal to attract attention or figure out one of the many ways to cross the river.

  14. #14
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    While I've always admired McCandless' desire to challenge himself, I'm disappointed because his greatest challenges came from his lack of forethought and knowledge. He was quite willing, but not so able. If only he had thought to challenge himself by adequately preparing.

    A couple of the many alternatives to starving to death: make a signal to attract attention or figure out one of the many ways to cross the river.
    There's something that is unresolved about these two approaches -- (1) the heightening of life and energy that can come from strong, vivid, real challenges on one side (McCandless was engaging this approach), and (2) the lowering of the adventure when one has safety nets or is overprepared.

    Overpreparation/safety vs. underpreparation/danger.

    Real danger often has a very sobering-awakening-energizing quality. As does radical self-reliance.

    Self-reliant touring is toward one side of the spectrum; sagged and catered and chaperoned touring is toward the other side.

    One question would be, What would bring that kind of energy to a self-reliant tour?

    Are there ways of doing it without seriously risking (or too seriously risking) death or serious injury?

    Are there other forms of risk or challenge or whatever else might bring a heightened or more-energized level of living?

  15. #15
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    My Bikes
    Bob Jackson 853 Arrowhead w/ Chorus (road); Swobo Del Norte (street), Catrike Speed (recumbent trike)
    Posts
    343
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Niles: You're creating a false dichotomy. Or comparing unalike things. Or something. Being prepared for the unknown, or educating yourself so that it is known, is not the same as being sagged and catered. Conversely, being underprepared or uneducated is not the same as engaging with risk. Your use of the phrase "radical self-reliance" suggests you might be a fellow burner. To me, that means knowing what you're getting into and being prepared for it.

    Entering into a dangerous situation can be more sobering when you're fully aware of the potential dangers than if you plunge in unaware.

  16. #16
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In situation like this the worst you can do is to stay put. I'd start walking looking for another passage, try to find a log or build a raft to cross the river and die trying to find my way out, not sleeping. But anyway, any sane, reasonable person, would come more prepared. It was stupid and ignorant of him to think he can survive in the wild on his own without preparations and training. McCandless had no approach, no method, no plan, he was either stupid, loony or... wanted to die like this so this was elaborate suicide. So, there is a difference between facing a danger and walking into a suicide.

    Adam

  17. #17
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    My Bikes
    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    6,923
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    I don't think he had it entirely figured out.
    The fact that he died due to his lack of preparation would be some evidence that you've made a painfully obvious observation here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    But everyone who met him seems to have appreciated the degree to which he was inspired and intense about living.
    As I recall, the truck driver who dropped him off in the wilderness with a minimum of equipment thought he was a nut who would run into trouble.


    In the whole spectrum of "adventure" activities, bike touring is not that dangerous, risky, or extreme. You can do things to ratchet up the challenge (based on where you travel, equipment choices, etc.) but I'm not sure I understand what you're driving at.

  18. #18
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
    Niles: You're creating a false dichotomy. Or comparing unalike things. Or something. Being prepared for the unknown, or educating yourself so that it is known, is not the same as being sagged and catered. Conversely, being underprepared or uneducated is not the same as engaging with risk. Your use of the phrase "radical self-reliance" suggests you might be a fellow burner. To me, that means knowing what you're getting into and being prepared for it.

    Entering into a dangerous situation can be more sobering when you're fully aware of the potential dangers than if you plunge in unaware.
    Yeah, there might be a false dichotomy in the sense that there are other options besides the two mentioned. Those two aren't the only choices or approaches. There are other possibilities.

    But I don't know exactly which other ones really work. It's one thing to say that there are other approaches. It's another to specify them. And it's yet another to learn or find out which ones really work and which do not.

    So what are other approaches that actually work?

    Overeducation or over-self-education about handling the dangers takes some of the spice and thrill and challenge out of it, or it can and often does.

    The sink or swim approach to education has an undeniable special quality and potency about it.

    A radical taking of responsibility for oneself and one's actions is another angle on the approach.

    In the sink or swim case, it may be involuntary; but it can also be done voluntarily.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-09-10 at 04:04 PM.

  19. #19
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    In situation like this the worst you can do is to stay put. I'd start walking looking for another passage, try to find a log or build a raft to cross the river and die trying to find my way out, not sleeping. But anyway, any sane, reasonable person, would come more prepared. It was stupid and ignorant of him to think he can survive in the wild on his own without preparations and training. McCandless had no approach, no method, no plan, he was either stupid, loony or... wanted to die like this so this was elaborate suicide. So, there is a difference between facing a danger and walking into a suicide.

    Adam
    He liked to be out there on his own in unknown territory, and to deal with it using his own intelligence and resourcefulness.

    He used to lead his cross country running team out into scary and unknown forests, so they had to deal with it.

    He was a very intelligent guy. There's plenty of evidence of that. I think all the people who gather together his mistakes and label him with a set of flaws are out of touch with the full truth. He had many other sides and accomplishments. If you take anybody and gather a few put-downs together (which you always can if you want to), you can make them look pretty bad. But that approach is lacking in truth or honesty in the sense that it omits, or it pretends to have a full and accurate picture when it really doesn't at all. There's plenty of evidence of McCandless's gifts and intelligence.

    Personally, I think it was a form of intelligence to do what he did. It took courage and intelligence to step out and experiment the way he did.

    Yeah, he died. Other people have died doing something they loved. I'm not sure it is worse or more stupid than not really living (because you're not doing something you love to do).

    He went in, in his own words, confident that he could handle anything he had to deal with. And he did a pretty good job of it, for quite a while. Others who have tried it say that it isn't easy to do.

    To me, a central oversight was his unawareness of the essential importance of keeping your weight and strength above a certain level. He wasn't careful in that area. Once his weight got below a certain point, his strength and mental clarity were almost certainly affected. And his decisions and choices were affected. Otherwise, he might very well have made it.

    I don't think he wanted to die. He wanted to live more fully. That was probably the central thing he was looking for -- a fuller and truer way of living. He talked about the way many people are just living a lie. He wanted something else.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-09-10 at 03:44 PM.

  20. #20
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Originally Posted by Niles H.
    I don't think he had it entirely figured out.
    The fact that he died due to his lack of preparation would be some evidence that you've made a painfully obvious observation here.
    Yeah, when you put it that way. What I meant was that he had some dynamic ideas (or living, as opposed to strictly theoretical, ideas) that had some real merit, but also were not yet completely mature or thoroughly worked out. He was in the process of experimenting and working them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Originally Posted by Niles H. But everyone who met him seems to have appreciated the degree to which he was inspired and intense about living.



    As I recall, the truck driver who dropped him off in the wilderness with a minimum of equipment thought he was a nut who would run into trouble.
    Yeah, I almost said something like "many people" or "virtually everyone who got to know him" -- but I left the word everyone half expecting someone to jump on it. The word has several definitions, though. My bet is that some dictionaries cover the shade of meaning that allows for some degree of license. There is a usage of the word that allows for not-exactly-literal meaning. Like the word permanent when speaking about a permanent employee or a permanent job or a permanent coat of paint. Nothing (or virtually nothing, in the physical world at least) is permanent in the literal sense. Certainly many things that are described with that word are not literally permanent. "Everyone" knows this intuitively.

    That truck driver (Gallien may have been the name) made a variety of other remarks about McCandless as well. And he was impressed by his energy and determination, and his personality, and the way he stuck to his guns in a discussion. And I believe he, along with many others, said that he made a strong impression, and not an entirely negative one.

    He also thought, as I recall, that Chris wouldn't last long at all and would throw in the towel pretty early in the game -- when he found out it was harder than he thought, to do what he was trying to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    In the whole spectrum of "adventure" activities, bike touring is not that dangerous, risky, or extreme. You can do things to ratchet up the challenge (based on where you travel, equipment choices, etc.) but I'm not sure I understand what you're driving at.
    Finding ways of making it more real.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-09-10 at 04:41 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    My Bikes
    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
    Posts
    6,923
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Finding ways of making it more real.
    Here in Seattle, the outdoors are real enough (in fact, at my kids' high school, "Into the Wild" is required reading, and each year sparks the kind of discussion shown in this thread). Plenty of people here enjoy outdoors activities -- from mild to wild -- and there are tons of training opportunities. Unfortunately, though, each year a few folks die -- recent "real" examples (not made-up Internet adventures) include deaths by falling off cliffs, getting buried in avalanches, or encountering severe weather while climbing mountains. Sadly, some of these accidents occur to really well prepared people, with plenty of experience, so it's clear that while the odds can be tilted, the chance of disaster can't be eliminated.

    Isn't that real enough?

    As for me, I've tried to make sure my kids get the right kind of training (widely available, and not that expensive) for the outdoor activities they pursue. My son, for example, had winter-camping survival classes and wilderness first aid before he was 18.

    Are you advocating that young people are more noble, more attractive, or more romantic when they go off half-cocked (no matter how bright)? I'd prefer mine come back alive.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 01-10-10 at 10:02 AM.

  22. #22
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Here in Seattle, the outdoors are real enough (in fact, at my kids' high school, "Into the Wild" is required reading, and each year sparks the kind of discussion shown in this thread). Plenty of people here enjoy outdoors activities -- from mild to wild -- and there are tons of training opportunities. Unfortunately, though, each year a few folks die -- recent "real" examples (not made-up Internet adventures) include deaths by falling off cliffs, getting buried in avalanches, or encountering severe weather while climbing mountains. Sadly, some of these accidents occur to really well prepared people, with plenty of experience, so it's clear that while the odds can be tilted the chance of disaster can't be eliminated.

    Isn't that real enough?

    As for me, I've tried to make sure my kids get the right kind of training (widely available, and not that expensive) for the outdoor activities they pursue. My son, for example, had winter-camping survival classes and wilderness first aid before he was 18.

    Are you advocating the young people are more noble, more attractive, or more romantic when they go off half-cocked (no matter how bright)? I'd prefer mine come back alive.
    Good points.

    Think back to when you were coming of age, though. When I look back, some of the best times were the totally unexpected situations that I had not been prepared for, full of the unknown. Being picked up, when I was sixteen, by a slightly older French girl while wandering the streets of a small town in Italy for the first time. Taking off on my own and telling no one. Hitching across the country. Telling my father when I was 18-19 where he could get off, and that I would be doing what I planned anyway.

    I'm not claiming to understand all the factors involved; but I think being on your own, especially at that age -- mid or late teens, early twenties -- has an undeniable magic.

    There is something about striking out on your own that is special, like a bird taking its very first flights.

    Telling dad, in one way or another (and it doesn't have to be insensitive or brutal necessarily) that you will fully claim you age of majority and *personhood* (recognized as such by the constitution and other laws) -- and the full set of rights that go with it, including freedom of decision and movement, and all the other freedoms and rights -- and that he can get over it, has its own special savor.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-09-10 at 05:00 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    101
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mr McCandless made some very bad decisions and it cost him his life.Glorify it all you like but he is still dead. The world is littered with the graves of mostly young men who have done the same thing since time began. Generally the people that think there is some kind of greatness/ nobility in this are not the ones that find/ recover the remains. I'm am pretty sure Mr McCandless would have traded the fuller and truer life he was living for the lie the rest of us are living, for a ride out and a ham sandwich any time in the last month he was alive
    Cheers

  24. #24
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Yeah, he died. Other people have died doing something they loved. I'm not sure it is worse or more stupid than not really living (because you're not doing something you love to do).

    He went in, in his own words, confident that he could handle anything he had to deal with. And he did a pretty good job of it, for quite a while. Others who have tried it say that it isn't easy to do.

    To me, a central oversight was his unawareness of the essential importance of keeping your weight and strength above a certain level. He wasn't careful in that area. Once his weight got below a certain point, his strength and mental clarity were almost certainly affected. And his decisions and choices were affected. Otherwise, he might very well have made it.

    I don't think he wanted to die. He wanted to live more fully. That was probably the central thing he was looking for -- a fuller and truer way of living. He talked about the way many people are just living a lie. He wanted something else.
    With a bit more preparations and thinking he could have lived the life he wanted for many years to come. Loving something doesn't imply you have to die doing it, you can live and love your life if you think about what you're doing and do it right. He was foolhardy, not heroic. People should learn from his mistakes, not admire them.

    I would love to leave the urban jungle behind and live in the wild, by myself, I'm getting sick of civilization but I know I'd die if tried that. I'm not prepared, I'm weak, I lack the knowledge and skills to survive.

    Adam
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 01-09-10 at 06:01 PM.

  25. #25
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,397
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So what can we learn from him -- both from the mistakes and from the good or true or useful points?

    I think he was on to something. Yes, he made mistakes. But why throw the truth out with the falsehood? Why not keep the true and build on it, or keep it going, or take it further?

    From his writings, it was clear that the times he felt most alive were not always times of danger. So maybe danger isn't the key element. It might be one or more other things.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 01-13-10 at 10:42 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •