Imgur user theCatandthePat recently paid tribute to a bloke called Richard Proenneke by making a photo album of his lifestyle. I’d never heard of Dick, but the lad was a legend.
He wanted to spend time in the wild for one year and stayed for close to 30 years. In that time he constructed a log cabin by hand, hunted, fished, raised and gathered his own food, documented his life in journals, and recorded valuable meteorological and natural data.
He lived to be 86 years old, but I guess because his story doesn’t have a fucking tragic end it is not as documented (à la the Sean Penn flick about Christopher McCandless).
This is peaceful, calm, the story of a lad that retired from carpentry in 1968 and went on to accomplish his mission and dream.
“Eight and a half miles can be covered in minutes in a car on an expressway, but what does a man see? What he gains in time he loses in benefit to his body and mind.”
“Too many men work on parts of things. Doing a job to completeness satisfies a man.”
“I enjoy working for my heat. I don’t just press a button or twist a thermostat dial. I use the big crosscut saw and the axe, and while I’m getting my heat supply I’m working up an appetite that makes simple food just as appealing as anything a French chef could create.”
“If you don’t need to eat, well don’t kill it. I don’t confuse my digestive system, I just season simple food with hunger.”
“Learn to use an axe, and respect it and you can’t help but love it. But abuse one and it will wear your hands raw and open your foot like an overcooked sausage.”
He lived in his handmade cabin comprised of nearly all “natural wilderness materials.” He ate what he caught, grew, hunted, and sometimes even scavenged from wolves who seemingly killed for sport.
There have been several documentaries made about him such as Alone in the Wilderness PT. 1 & 2. Almost all of the footage from both parts is shot by Dick himself on a Bolex windup camera. The same with the narration, it comes from Dick’s own personal journal.
You can also Google the shit out of the book One Man’s Wilderness to discover more about Richard Proenneke.
I’m not saying we should all get naked and go do this, but boy the primordial urge is strong from time to time ey?