On page 12 (in Chapter 2), adventurers on the Alaskan Stampede Trail find Chris McCandless's note and eventually his body. The note reads as follows:
"S.O.S. I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU, CHRIS MCCANDLESS. AUGUST?"
“'You could tell right away that Alex was intelligent,' Westerberg reflects, draining his third drink. 'He read a lot. Used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often. A couple of times I tried to tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff, but Alex got stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.'"At one point Westerberg discovered from a tax form that McCandless’s real name was Chris, not Alex. 'He never explained why he’d changed his name,' says Westerberg. 'From things he said, you could tell something wasn’t right between him and his family, but I don’t like to pry into other people’s business, so I never asked about it.'"
On Chapter One, page five, the Alex's supplies are described:
"Alex admitted that the only food in his pack was a ten-pound bag of rice. His gear seemed exceedingly minimal for the harsh conditions of the interior, which in April still lay buried under the winter snowpack. Alex's cheap leather hiking boots were neither waterproof nor well insulated. His rifle was only .22 caliber, a bore too small to rely on if he expected to kill large animals like moose and caribou, which he would have to eat if he hoped to remain very long in the country. He had no ax, no bug dope, no snowshoes, no compass. The only navigational aid in his possession was a tattered state road map he'd scrounged at a gas station."
Chapter Sixteen, pages 161 and 162 describes McCandless's entry into the wild in this way:
"...the temperature was in the low thirties--it would drop into the low teens at night--and a foot and a half of crusty spring snow covered the ground. The boy could hardly contain his excitement. He was, at long last, about to be alone in the vast Alaska wilderness...As he trudged expectantly down the trail in a fake-fur parka, his rifle slung over one shoulder...confident he could harvest enought food to survive an extended stay in the Alaska wilderness, too."
McCandless's books and route are also described here.