Krakauer goes to some pains to debunk the notion that McCandless was some kind of transcendentalist, like Emerson or Thoreau. McCandless was not interested in theorizing about nature — he was interested in being in nature, in the work of survival. As Andrew Liske points out, McCandless‘s journal is “almost entirely about what he ate.” I think when you talk about “God” and ”nature” in connection to McCandless, it always comes down to what he did, rather than what he thought. In that sense he was truly a hermit, I suppose. His faith was expressed through his practice.
A great quote that shows this is from Chapter 16. It’s the part where Krakauer discusses McCandless’s reading of the “Higher Laws” chapter of Walden, in which Thoreau discusses the ethics of eating:
“YES,” wrote McCandless and, two pages later,
“Consciousness of food. Eat and cook with concentration... Holy Food.”
On the back pages of the book that served as his journal, he declared:
I am reborn....
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 690 words.)