What items did Chris McCandless take on his final Alaskan journey? Approximately how long was he expecting to stay in Alaska? 

2 Answers

teachsuccess's profile pic

teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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By all accounts, Chris McCandless was planning to stay the entire summer (about three months at least). However, the text tells us that after two months, Chris was ready to return to civilization. 

Satisfied, apparently, with what he had learned during his two months of solitary life in the wild, McCandless decided to return to civilization: It was time to bring his “final and greatest adventure” to a close and get himself back to the world of men and women, where he could chug a beer, talk philosophy, enthrall strangers with tales of what he’d done.

Jim Gallien, a young electrician on his way to Anchorage, dropped Chris off at the entrance to the Stampede Trail. To Chris, the Stampede Trail was significant because it was his entry into the Alaskan wilderness. The trail was popular with dog mushers, skiers, and snowmobile riders in the winter. Few entered the trail in the summer months, however. In those months, the rain and melting snow from glaciers in the Alaska range often caused the Teklanika River to overflow and to flood the area. This made travel very dangerous, as Chris eventually discovered. 

For his final journey to the Alaskan wilderness, Chris took the following items (I list items not included in the other post's list):

  • a green plastic canteen
  • water purification tablets
  • a pair of military-style insulated flight-pants
  • a copy of the bestseller O Jerusalem!
  • wool mittens
  • brown rubber work boots
  • at least nine or ten paperback books including Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, and Michael Crichton's Terminal Man 
  • Muskol insect repellant
  • chapstick
  • various toiletries and items of clothing
  • pots and dishes
mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The book "Into the Wild" is the story of Chris McCandless, a young man in his mid twenties.  Chris gives away his inheritance and college money and goes on a trek across the states.  He has a strong desire to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness.  Chris was a loner and socially isolated himself from people.  He was a very intelligent young man but was not knowledgeable about the wilderness. 

A man with a truck dropped Chris off at entrance to the Stampede Trail.  The trail is an area where hikers enter the Alaskan wild.  Chris initially had a map but left it on the dashboard of the truck.  He carried a back pack and in it was a book of Tolstoy, a book about native plants and berries, a rifle with 400 rounds of ammunition, a writing implement, a journal, a camera, a large bag of rice, a small cooking utensil, matches, a knife, and some fishing twine and a hook.

Chris' poor planning and lack of appropriate equipment eventually led to his death from starvation.