Into the Wild

Who did most of the negative correspondence come from after the article was published?

Chapter 8

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After the article about Chris appeared in Outside magazine, most of the negative responses came from Alaskans.

Much of the negative mail was sent by Alaskans. “Alex is a nut in my book,” wrote a resident of Healy, the hamlet at the head of the Stampede Trail. “The author describes a man who has given away a small fortune, forsaken a loving family, abandoned his car, watch and map and burned the last of his money before traipsing off into the ‘wilderness’ west of Healy.”

“Personally I see nothing positive at all about Chris McCand-less’s lifestyle or wilderness doctrine,” scolded another correspondent. “Entering the wilderness purposefully ill-prepared, and surviving a near-death experience does not make you a better human, it makes you damn lucky.”

One reader of the Outside piece wondered, “Why would anyone intending to ‘live off the land for a few months’ forget Boy Scout rule number one: Be Prepared? Why would any son cause his parents and family such permanent and perplexing pain?”


Into the Wild