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Incredible last words of the man who hiked into the wild and never came back

Incredible last words of the man who hiked into the wild and never came back

Christopher McCandless wandered off into the wilderness of Alaska and was never seen alive again

A man who left his life behind and hiked off into the woods, never to return alive, left behind some fascinating last words as part of a fairly cryptic diary that he kept during his time living alone in the wilderness.

Here's the trailer for a film made about his remarkable story:

Unfortunately this story doesn’t have a happy ending as Christopher McCandless died in those woods, living inside a rusting bus that was used by hunters as a makeshift shelter, weighing significantly less than he did when he entered the woods, just 67lbs as opposed to 140lbs.

He was just 24-years-old.

McCandless was born in California, but moved around during his childhood because of his father’s work.

His sister alleges that the children in the McCandless family were abused, which – along with her brother’s fascination with the book ‘Call of the Wild’ – may have contributed to his eventual decision to leave civilisation behind.

After graduating from university, he donated his college savings to Oxfam and left his old life behind, living largely as an outdoorsman and hitchhiking around North America.

Christopher McCandless.
Wikimedia Commons

In April 1992, he hitchhiked up to Alaska, and was last seen alive later that month on April 28 by an electrician who gave him a ride to the head of a trail.

That man, Jim Gallien, was concerned by McCandless – who introduced himself as Alex – having only a light pack, little equipment, and seemingly little experience of real survival skills.

He did try to get him to delay the trip, but despite accepting a few small things, he ultimately refused.

Believing that he’d return once he got hungry, Gallien reluctantly dropped him off at the top of the Stampede Trail, where he hiked around 28 miles before finding the bus.

With only a few books, a rifle, and some rice, he set about living off the land.

A replica of the bus that McCandless set up camp in.
Wikimedia Commons

In total, his journal accounts for 113 days in the region, including an attempt to return to civilisation that was hampered by an impassable river, despite the fact that a detailed map would have shown a hand-operated cable car just 800 metres down the river.

By this point, he was struggling, and those who found him discovered a note on the door of his camp that read: “Attention Possible Visitors. S.O.S. I need your help.

“I am injured, near death, and too weak to hike out. I am all alone, this is no joke.

“In the name of God, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries close by and shall return this evening.

“Thank you, Chris McCandless. August ?”

The exact date and time of his death are unknown, but it is believed he had been dead for several weeks before he was found.

Shortly before his death, McCandless took a photograph of himself holding a note bearing his final words.


McCandless' last words have made him famous.

It was determined that he died from starvation, although some have suggested that there could have been other factors, such as poisoning, that contributed to his death.

McCandless’ story became a non-fiction book called Into the Wild, written by John Krakauer.

That book was adapted into a feature film of the same name directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch as McCandless.

His story has divided opinion, with some accusing him of effectively committing suicide through arrogantly wandering unprepared into the wilderness, whilst others have praised his spirit of adventure and the romance of his idealistic nature.

Featured Image Credit: Reddit/u/frituurgarnituur

Topics: US News, Life