Into The Wild

Sharon

* * * * * * * * *
Staff member
PREMO Member
The author of the book about him believes that the stash of wild potato seeds he had gathered had gotten a certain type of mold that induced an alkaloid toxicity that prevented his digestive system from properly absorbing nutrients.
That's a little different than what I understood from the scene in the movie. He ate the wrong plant by confusing two similar ones but he didn't realize it until after he got sick. According to the plant book he had in the movie, the one he ate was highly toxic and causes starvation if you don't seek treatment.
 

hvp05

Methodically disorganized
He did go off with virtually nothing, but that was his plan. He wanted to totally immerse himself in the experience and live off the land. I guess not taking a detailed map was his way of pioneering his trip and blazing his own trail instead of relying on the info of those who had been there before him.
Like I said, I can empathize with some of his feelings to journey off alone and explore (the land and myself). But I am also logical, and know that any good bushman will advise you to listen to the elders, learn from their experiences, absorb their knowledge.

I'm not saying he should have driven in an RV stocked with microwave meals and L.L. Bean clothing, but I am surprised and somewhat bewildered why he would not go off better prepared. Seems like common sense to me to cover certain basics. :shrug:

beerlover said:
I just admire the courage it took to strike out all on his own and attempt to live his life by the ideals he held dear rather than just becoming another cog in the machinery of society.
I feel all that - both admiring him and not wanting to be just another "cog", and I appreciate your saying it. :yay: He was obviously determined and I respect him doing what he wanted with his life, how he wanted to do it.



The author of the book about him believes that the stash of wild potato seeds he had gathered had gotten a certain type of mold that induced an alkaloid toxicity that prevented his digestive system from properly absorbing nutrients.
That's a little different than what I understood from the scene in the movie. He ate the wrong plant by confusing two similar ones but he didn't realize it until after he got sick.
His Wiki article says that Krakauer has speculated on a couple theories, but none of them quite match with the forensic evidence. I guess different people believe what they want, but the only definite is that he starved.
 

Cowgirl

Well-Known Member
Wow, I'm really glad I didn't read this thread until after I saw the movie. I didn't know anything about it...and I didn't know he died before I watched the movie.

I liked the movie. I thought his whole journey was interesting, especially the friends he made along the way. Yes, maybe it was stupid of him to be so ill-prepared, but that's the way he wanted it. :shrug: I thought it was an interesting movie, and I'm disappointed that such a small decision (eating wild peas) killed him.
 

beerlover

New Member
...I liked the movie. I thought his whole journey was interesting, especially the friends he made along the way. Yes, maybe it was stupid of him to be so ill-prepared, but that's the way he wanted it. :shrug: I thought it was an interesting movie, and I'm disappointed that such a small decision (eating wild peas) killed him.
According to the forensic evidence, the wild sweet pea was not toxic enough to cause any major bad effects. The theory now (in the 3rd edition of the book) is that the potato seed had become moldy from the damp weather and storage in plastic and the mold had a high alkyloid content that was enough to poison him to the point where digestion was stopped. But he could have survived that, also, if he had been in a better state when it hit him. The thing that killed him was just a long term caloric deficit. The sickness from the potato seeds just probably pushed him over the edge.

One thing that kind of shocked me that I didn't "get" from the movie was that he was only out there a total of 4 months over the summer. The movie sort of made it look longer.

I really enjoyed the part of the movie leading up to his Alaskan adventure and all his travels and the people he interacted with more than the Alaska part. I thought there was alot of great acting, especially the "good-bye" scene with Hal Holbrooke.

The book is a good read and gives a few more details than the movie as well as some stories of other people who have gone "into the wild" in Alaska never to return. It's only about 200 pages, so it's not a big investment time-wise, either. It also tells that there is a cable/basket traverse across the river gorge just 1/2 mile downstream from where he tried to cross, and that the river upstream braided out into several less-torrential streams just a few miles upstream. Also, there were several cabins in the area within a 6 mile radius of the bus where he could have broken in and gotten food. All of these are marked on maps of the area, but he only had the outdated gas station map with him. He could easily have survived if he had prepared a little more, but that is not the point of the story.
 

Cowgirl

Well-Known Member
I really enjoyed the part of the movie leading up to his Alaskan adventure and all his travels and the people he interacted with more than the Alaska part. I thought there was alot of great acting, especially the "good-bye" scene with Hal Holbrooke.
Aww...what a sweet old man. :huggy: That part was really touching.
 

AK-74me

"Typical White Person"
Wow, I'm really glad I didn't read this thread until after I saw the movie. I didn't know anything about it...and I didn't know he died before I watched the movie.

I liked the movie. I thought his whole journey was interesting, especially the friends he made along the way. Yes, maybe it was stupid of him to be so ill-prepared, but that's the way he wanted it. :shrug: I thought it was an interesting movie, and I'm disappointed that such a small decision (eating wild peas) killed him.



While that is the version the movie took, according to what I read, samples were taken by the University of Alaska Anchorage of the plants from the area he was staying and none were found to have the alkaloid toxin that supposedly caused his death.
 

Cowgirl

Well-Known Member
While that is the version the movie took, according to what I read, samples were taken by the University of Alaska Anchorage of the plants from the area he was staying and none were found to have the alkaloid toxin that supposedly caused his death.
So he just starved.... I was wondering why he didn't shoot the bear and eat it. :shrug: He was freaky looking at the end of the movie. Kinda freaked me out to look at his face. :twitch:
 

AK-74me

"Typical White Person"
So he just starved.... I was wondering why he didn't shoot the bear and eat it. :shrug: He was freaky looking at the end of the movie. Kinda freaked me out to look at his face. :twitch:
Well he had a .22 rifle, using that on a bear would be about as effective as a feather duster, even with a perfect head shot.
 

AK-74me

"Typical White Person"
But he shot the moose. :shrug: I guess you're right, though.
A big brown bear's hide and bones are thicker and tougher, besides I pretty sure that if the moose didn't go down it's first instinct would be to flee, not to say that a moose can't be dangerous, especially a rutting male, but a bear's first instinct would probably be to defend itself and even go on the offensive.
 

Cowgirl

Well-Known Member
A big brown bear's hide and bones are thicker and tougher, besides I pretty sure that if the moose didn't go down it's first instinct would be to flee, not to say that a moose can't be dangerous, especially a rutting male, but a bear's first instinct would probably be to defend itself and even go on the offensive.
I kinda thought the moose was going to charge him when he shot it. :lmao:
 

Kyle

Let's Go Brandon!
PREMO Member
Well yes, there was that. :yay:

Remember when the bear came by his trailer and he just stood there while the bear sniffed him. Even the bear decided there wasn't much of a meal on him and went elsewhere.
That got a laugh out of me but damned if I can think of one good reason for this film being made.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
FWIW way after the fact, I enjoyed both the book and the movie.


“No one is yet certain who he was,” said an Associated Press article that appeared in The New York Timeson Sept. 13, 1992. “But his diary and two notes found at the camp tell a wrenching story of his desperate and progressively futile efforts to survive.”

The young man in question was Christopher McCandless. His identity was not confirmed for weeks, but in time he would become internationally famous as a bold, or very imprudent, figure.


Mr. McCandless died alone in an abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail, a desolate stretch of backcountry near Denali, in August 1992. He was surrounded by his meager provisions: a .22-caliber rifle; some well-worn and annotated paperbacks; a camera and five rolls of exposed film; and the diary, 113 cryptic notes on the back pages of a book that identified edible plants.


Before Mr. McCandless died, from starvation aggravated by accidental poisoning, he had survived for more than 110 days on nothing but a 10-pound sack of rice and what he could hunt and forage in the unforgiving taiga.
NYT article
 
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