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Alone in the Wilderness

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posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:01 AM
Amazing what one can do with determination and resource!
This fine tale chronicles the reward of concentrated work revealing a completed dream, living in the splendor of the land!

"In 1967, Proenneke began building his cabin in Twin Lakes. He was 51 by then, says the Vancouver Sun, and the 150-square-foot one-room log house he designed would take a spring and summer to complete, for he worked alone.
He felled trees and peeled logs, harvested and hauled several acres of moss for the roof, crafted a wood-burning chimney with lake stones, built a “picture window” framing the lake view and hand-chiselled everything from door hinges to soup ladles to chairs and even his bunk bed, all of it with nothing more than basic tools and an affinity for fine craftsmanship.
Twin Lakes was Proenneke’s dream, and he would live it for the next three decades, turning to the land for inspiration and for sustenance, revelling in the splendour of the mountains and forests and lakes, growing vegetables, shooting game and gathering berries."

courtesy of

Living the Dream


posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 01:55 AM
What an inspiring story. I'm amazed it only took him two seasons to do that, by himself. I'm sure it's a nice place he built!

More people should be brave enough to do this.

Interesting story.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 02:03 AM
is there any land left to do this? seems like everywhere is either a park, or private property. I would love the chance to do this but again, I see no escape from the system when you have to buy the land just to do this.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 02:57 AM

Originally posted by tracer7
is there any land left to do this? seems like everywhere is either a park, or private property. I would love the chance to do this but again, I see no escape from the system when you have to buy the land just to do this.

Yes, it's unfortunate that you need vast amounts of money to live in nature, what a nightmarish world we live in!

I hope that I didn't come off as sarcastic.

By the way, tracer, who is that in your avatar? The face is not familiar to me.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 02:57 AM
Ive read about this before, but thanks for posting. S&F from me, if I didnt have a family and big responsibilities I would be thinking of doing this myself. Thanks!

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 05:27 AM
Well worth watching just for the clips of him sharpening his tools. Definitely a lost art that few can do nowadays. Im afraid the era of homesteading like he has done is gone. Was that the American dream?

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 05:31 AM
I watched this series on PBS, it was a very wonderful watch. I would suggest that everyone watch this video to know what it is like to survive in Alaska.

This man built his house from the ground up.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 02:20 PM
the story of Dick Proennke

Alaska, Silence and Solitude

"Alaska Silence & Solitude" is the follow up to "Alone in the Wilderness", filmed about 20 years later. Bob Swerer and Bob Swerer Sr. visit Dick Proenneke at his famous cabin on Twin Lakes where wildlife is still abundant and the scenery is spectacular."

The Frozen North

"For more than 30 years a man by the name of Dick Proenneke lived alone in the Alaskan Bush. His only neighbors were the wolves and grizzly bears and his only transportation was his canoe and a good set of legs."

Richard (Dick) Proenneke's cabin 2008

"A video tour of Richard (Dick) Proenneke's cabin from our 8-29-08 visit."


posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 03:07 PM
Wow thanks for this -- I had googled les stroud Survivorman and got the ATS thread connected to this dude in Alaska -- anyway Survivorman now has a show for teaching survival skills to kids... and he has a travel video blog which is cool - Borneo.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 03:14 PM
Well, I really hope he lives his life out there to the fullest.
Not having to deal with the frustration and corruption of the human race will be a huge breathe of fresh air for him I'm sure.

Even though it must be wonderful, the loneliness would get to me eventually.

I'd bring at least 2 dogs, male and female.
Or 2 White Tigers, whatever your poison.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by tracer7

When he did this it was on land owned by a friend of his.

If we were to do it we'd have to come up with some way to pay property taxes year after year, hiding our shelter from the authorities or paying the fines that come with chopping down the federal trees or taking the kings deer for food.

the government has made sure you cant get away with this anymore unless under the radar (being a criminal) or being so damn rich it wouldnt matter what the hell you did.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by awake1234

That's a great article -- and I bet this book is excellent:

This is great -- I can definitely relate to Proenneke's attitude towards "editors" -- the whole writing fetish is terrible.

Some of those journals, edited by Sam Keith and published in 1973, became One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey, a fascinating insight into Proenneke’s wilderness education, in the self-tutelage of the rhythms and language of nature, including the big bear that charged the door of his cabin and seemed oblivious to the gunshots fired in the ground to scare it off.

This book is written "by Sam Keith from the journals and photographs of Richard Proenneke" - so although I read it and visualized the events within as if it had all been written by Richard Proenneke, it wasn't. Sam Keith tells us in the preface: "Using Dick Proenneke's rough journals as a guide, and knowing him as well as I did, I have tried to get into his mind and reveal the "flavor" of the man. This is my tribute to him, a celebration of his being in tune with his surroundings and what he did alone with simple tools and ingenuity in carving his masterpiece out of the beyond." I've seen the PBS presentation of "Alone in the Wilderness", which uses selections from the text of this book along with movie footage of Proenneke building his cabin and living there. Those selections are read by someone other than Proenneke, but the voice is a perfect fit to the text and image. Because the text is not exactly Proenneke's and the voice of the video isn't his either, our experience of the man is filtered though these interpreations. Sam Keith hasn't shown us any unedited examples from the "rough journals" he used to compose the book, so it's difficult to know how far this beautifully crafted language matches the character and psychology of Richard Proenneke.

Ah so Proenneke exposes how the "writer" changed the meaning of his own journal.... and so the film narrative is not even Proenneke's own words....

But wait there's a second book:

This book, unlike One Man's Wilderness by Sam Keith, gives us Dick's own words. The editor, a friend of Proenneke's, honored his request that, if this part of his journal were ever published, his words and phrasing not be changed in any way. So what you get here is Dick's own phrasing and manner of speech - which is folksy and direct. Proenneke was disappointed that Sam Keith heavily edited his prose in One Man's Wilderness (which is obvious if you read both books) and he refused to have any more of his journals published without a promise that no editing would occur. If you are a fan of Dick Proenneke, this is the best and most authentic look at his life. It contains an introduction with a brief biography which, although short, is the only such work that we have.

[edit on 31-3-2010 by drew hempel]

[edit on 31-3-2010 by drew hempel]

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 06:06 PM
reply to post by heyJude

Looks like Geitner to me.

To the O.P. very inspirational article, thank you.

posted on Apr, 10 2011 @ 12:03 PM

Mod Edit: Please spam with 1-liners. Review this link.
edit on 10-4-2011 by Gemwolf because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

What a prison this world has become

posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:37 AM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

Homesteading isn't exactly "dead"

At least up here in Canada... you can rent a few acres from the Pope (lease crown land) and make like the homesteaders of old.
Heck of a lot cheaper than buying it (95-97% cheaper in fact)

I have this DVD. Although I am not a materialistic guy, this is a prized possession. It's the kind of thing that you make sure gets passed down in your family... S&F for presenting it here.

posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by awake1234

Thank you for the post, OP. This is truly a great story. I would love to live off-the-grid. In my own experience more modern technology means more hassles and complication as well as a lesser appreciation of the simpler and natural things in live. Thanks again for sharing.


posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 09:44 PM
I hope you both figured it is an old thread from March 2010

I just saw the first part of Alone in the Wilderness. I was all about living off-the-grid before I saw this masterpiece, but I couldn't help but almost crying that I wish to have such skills, to eliminate my fears of trying something like that, even for a while.

Society has educated me to be nothing more than an idiot who's main capability is how to generate money for a false society.

What Dick Proenneke does with wood is simply amazing, he could have carved a wooden wife if he wanted to! haha

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 09:44 AM
that is a wonderful life, but very hard also especially being alone. when I moved to Alaska in 1980 I traveled north of Fairbanks, then made a three day hike down the river and built a cabin, one room, moss covered roof etc. I used a wood stove for heat, something I packed in on my back. when I started I made three trips down the river. one the first one I stashed the gear I could not carry on my back. so it took three trips back and forth to carry everything I owned to the site where I decided to build my cabin. I chose state land because unless someone found it, it would be there forever, BLM land (federal) is watched closer than state land. I spent a whole year there, alone. If you can manage to not go crazy, you definitely will find out a lot about yourself. I trapped, hunted and fished, never had time to put in a garden the first year, and only stayed one year. To be honest, it was a very lonely time, extremely beautiful, beyond description in fact. and I did have a lot of fun despite being alone. but heating a cabin in the sub zero winter takes a lot of wood, a lot of wood!!! so most of your summer is spent cutting wood. I had only the basic tool when I went in, axes, hatchet, file, a foot adze for making wood planks. and a few books (that I read many times) including a bible that I also read a couple times.

I don;t regret what I did, if I had no one, was alone now, I probably would do it again and stay this time. But I too have family, obligations and all the trapping of the modern world now. I will tell you this, I never missed tv, or radio, or anything else except maybe some conversation.

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by mcamp2011

Thanks for sharing your story, must have been amazing.
There are very few people that can really do it, although many people wished they could...

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