What supplies did Chris McCandless bring to Alaska in Into the Wild?

Expert Answers

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

The short answer is not much, and sadly, not enough for him to survive. He had basic clothes, personal care items, camping supplies, and a tent with him before he hitchhiked from Carthage, South Dakota to Fairbanks, Alaska. He also had a small library of favorite and inspirational books. In Fairbanks, he bought a ten-pound bag of rice, a book about local plants, and a used gun. His intention was to live off the land as much as possible: eating berries and roots, as well as killing and butchering game. The last ride he got was to the Stampede Trail with Jim Gallien, who gave Chris two sandwiches, a bag of corn chips, and a large pair of rubber boots. In turn, Chris gave Jim his watch, his comb, and the last of his spare change. Then off he went, into the wilderness and wildness he had been seeking for most of his life.

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

This was one point in the story where I was almost angry, as McCandless brought almost nothing with him before he trudged off into the Alaskan wilderness, even as winter approached.  I could never decide whether this was because he was simply ignorant of the challenges he was going to face or the reality of an Alaskan winter, or if he had some manic tendency that disconnected his thinking processes from logic.

As he was hitching a ride to the frontier trailhead, the man dropping him off knew full well the danger McCandless was embracing, and even though he was a stranger, gave him a heavy jacket and a pair of Alaskan boots out of fear for Chris' life.  McCandless then severs the last tie he'll have with humanity in his short life by handing the man the last handful of coins, the last money of any kind, that he still possessed, and marched off to his eventual death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial