In My Side of the Mountain, what supplies did Sam bring with him from New York to the Catskills Mountains?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Sam Gribley finally makes good on his plan to leave New York and disappear into the Catskill wilderness, the seeming lack of preparation on Sam's part is shocking. He carries with him only a "pen knife, a ball of chord, an ax, and $40." Furthermore, he carries a flint...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

When Sam Gribley finally makes good on his plan to leave New York and disappear into the Catskill wilderness, the seeming lack of preparation on Sam's part is shocking. He carries with him only a "pen knife, a ball of chord, an ax, and $40." Furthermore, he carries a flint and bit of steel for the making of fires. At this point in the story, the reader remains largely uninformed, and Sam's journey seems doomed to failure due to his minimalist preparation.

However we soon find that Sam, through careful study, has become a master survivalist. He is able to create everything he might need, down to kitchen utensils and clothes, and lives off the land expertly. Sam creates everything from hunting tools to his own home within a tree with seeming ease, and eventually, he barely needs his original items at all.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

My Side of the Mountain is a novel written by Jean Craighead George. This novel is about a young boy named Sam Gribley who runs away to his great-grandfather's farm. Sam lives in New York with his many siblings and parents. His father allows him to go because he believes that Sam will realize how hard life can be without any running water or electricity and believes that Sam will come back after a few days. Sam surprises many people with his journey towards independence.

When Sam goes from New York to the Catskills Mountains, he brings only a few supplies. Sam brings with him a penknife, a ball of cord (or string), an ax, flint, steel, and some money (forty dollars). This answer can be found in the second chapter of the novel.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The answer to this question can be found in chapter two. This chapter sets the story in May, and Sam is preparing for his extended stay in the wilderness. He plans to get himself out of the city and live in the country. One of the men whom Sam gets a ride from finds this quite amusing, because the man did the opposite many years prior: he ran away from the country to head into the city. Sam has a huge task in front of him, yet he takes next to nothing with him. It's incredible that he has the confidence and desire to do that. The book was published in 1959, and that is almost a full decade before the minimalism movement really took hold. Modern-day readers might be able to compare Sam with a minimalist, but at the time of publication, his unbelievable lack of supplies had to be shocking. Sam takes with him a penknife, a ball of cord, an ax, flint, steel, and $40.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Sam does not bring many supplies or tools with him into the wilderness. 

It is May when he leaves New York with “a penknife, a ball of chord, an ax, and $40” as well as a flint and steel for making fires.

He is able to wear all the clothes he brings to the mountain - three sweaters and two pairs of pants. For the late spring and summer, these clothes offer enough protection for Sam. Later he makes more clothes out of animal skins. He also makes shoes for himself to replace the ones that he wore on his way to Gribley Farm on the mountain.

While on the mountain, Sam makes many new tools, from forks and other dinnerware to a shovel and a mallet. However, he is able to make these new supplies and tools by using his pen knife and his axe. 

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team