Bando is the first human friend that Sam makes on the mountain.
One day Sam hears police sirens on the road leading up to the mountain then finds a man at his tree (Sam's hollowed tree). Though Sam believes that the man is a criminal fleeing the police, he approaches him.
After a time, Sam learns that Bando is not a bandit at all, but rather a college professor who got lost on a hike.
Staying with Sam for a while, Bando and Sam share a good time together making music and eating from Sam's supply of food.
Bando later returns to visit Sam on several occasions and becomes Sam's primary link to the world outside the mountain. A caring and intelligent man, Bando enjoys Sam's company and does not try to persuade Sam to go back home.
Sam learns from Bando that newspapers have picked up on Sam's story and word is spreading about a boy living wild in the woods.
Bando is Sam's first human visitor. At first Sam thought he was running from the police, but he was actually a professor who has gotten lost on the mountain. Bando likes Sam right away. He calls him “Thoreau” because the real Thoreau also left his town and he made a home for himself on Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He lived off the land just like Sam did. Bando really admires Sam and is proud of him. He doesn't return Sam to his family, but he does makes sure that Sam is eating well, that he is taking good care of himsef, and that he is happy.