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Alone In The Wilderness

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Forum topic by Chip posted 12-06-2010 01:08 PM 1586 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chip

1904 posts in 2780 days


12-06-2010 01:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

I know this has been posted before, but I’m not sure how long ago that was so I thought I’d post it for the young people on here or anyone else who may have never heard of it.

In 1968 Dick Proenneke moved to a place called Twin Lakes in the high mountains of Alaska. He lived there, alone, for the next 30 years surviving with only a few woodworking tools, a gun and the things that nature provided for him. He documented the first couple of years of his life there with a movie camera, and that is the documentary, Alone In The Wilderness.

Proenneke built virtually everything he needed himself, from his cabin to furniture to the utensils he cooked and ate with. At the ripe old age of 82 he finally gave up his cabin at Twin Lakes and moved back to civilization. I hate putting it this way because these days I feel he left the civilized world behind when he left his cabin actually. If you watch the documentary you’ll know what I mean. His cabin is now on The National Register Of Historic Places and maintained by the National Parks Service.

Dick Proenneke was no Grizzly Adams. He wasn’t exactly big in physical stature, but was huge in heart and soul. A soft spoken man with a wondrous reverence for the beauty of nature, he was also a genius when it came to woodworking IMHO. I’ve watched Alone In The Wilderness from beginning to end at least a half dozen times. It’s an amazing, awe inspiring and poignant documentary and if you ever get the chance to see it, even with your spouse, please do. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you did.

You can usually catch it on PBS (it was just on and that is what prompted me to post this). It’s one of their most watched programs. I think you can rent it online also.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!


27 replies so far

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rance

4142 posts in 1848 days


#1 posted 12-06-2010 01:45 PM

Thanks for the heads up Chip. I’ll set it to record tonight.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2848 days


#2 posted 12-06-2010 01:59 PM

sounds wonderful.
I, too, have difficulty with the term “civilized world”

here are some video clip

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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Chip

1904 posts in 2780 days


#3 posted 12-06-2010 02:02 PM

I don’t think you’ll regret it Rance.

I hear ya Deb. I couldn’t do what he did but some days it’s awfully tempting. Here’s a very good intro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJKd0rkKss

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2848 days


#4 posted 12-06-2010 02:03 PM

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2848 days


#5 posted 12-06-2010 02:09 PM

when my husband died I was told that I needed to move to the city – to civilization.
“Civilization” apparently is 20 minutes away from me and has a population of 100,000 people.
I didn’t know!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2848 days


#6 posted 12-06-2010 02:11 PM

ha.. you posted the link before me – to the intro.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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Chip

1904 posts in 2780 days


#7 posted 12-06-2010 02:20 PM

They skip a lot of the show in the YouTube video Deb. It’s been edited down.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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ShopDogs

228 posts in 2045 days


#8 posted 12-06-2010 02:34 PM

I love that show, Chip. I too, endorse the time and effort it take to catch that program.
Thanks for the reminder.
Michael

-- ShopDogs, Tulsa, OK The tools aren't the problem-It's the organic interface!

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lou

340 posts in 2130 days


#9 posted 12-06-2010 02:59 PM

a lot can be learned from that video.

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Maveric777

2691 posts in 1764 days


#10 posted 12-06-2010 03:05 PM

Never heard of this. Thanks Chip for bringing it to my attention. Sending myself an email right now to look it up tonight. How awesome it would be to find this on NetFlix?... Crossing fingers….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

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Howie

2656 posts in 1611 days


#11 posted 12-06-2010 03:51 PM

“comment” :-)

-- Life is good.

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helluvawreck

15960 posts in 1554 days


#12 posted 12-06-2010 04:09 PM

I remember it well and have seen it a few times and I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. It had special meaning to me in the sense that when I was 16 or 17 I wanted to go to Alaska to homestead some land and tried to talk my wife into going up there with me. She didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to leave her. We weren’t married then but we got married 4 years later and I’ve often wondered how it would have turned out if we had gone. We’ve had a good life together though so I’m glad I didn’t leave her for Alaska. That’s been 43 years ago and I often think about it. :)

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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8iowa

1489 posts in 2449 days


#13 posted 12-06-2010 04:15 PM

I remember seeing this show a few years ago. He built the cabin in one summer, all by himself, with hand tools. I especially remember the unique wooden hinges that he built for the door.

He hunted for all his meat with a semi-sporterized ‘03 Springfield, and kept the meat in a small elevated enclosure that you had to climb up to on a ladder. I suppose this was to protect it from bears and woves.

While we certainly enjoy our life in the middle of the Upper Peninsula’s Hiawatha Naational Forest, Proenneke really lived in a true wilderness isolation.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1649 days


#14 posted 12-06-2010 04:16 PM

Wreck, I know what you mean. My wife and I were watching a bit of an outdoor show in a western state. I asked her why we didn’t move west 38-1/2 years ago????? She replied with a shrug of her shoulders and said “I don’t know.”

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Bluepine38

2907 posts in 1773 days


#15 posted 12-06-2010 04:54 PM

I enjoyed watching this also, if I remember right, he had all his logs cut and laid out atop other logs from
the previous year so they were somewhat seasoned and dry, will have to watch it again (only saw it once)
to see if he had removed the bark from them. His meat safe was necessary, just as all campers, hikers,
hunters are asked to keep all food away from the sleeping area and suspended in the air when in the
wilderness. The one item that I keep trying to find a burl to duplicate was the bowl he made one winter,
he tried to make sure he had projects to keep his mind and body busy. If I remember he did have friends
and neighbors, although not all that close by our standards. Will definitely have to watch this again. Thank
you for the reminder.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

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