Christopher McCandless
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Christopher McCandless

Into The Wild

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About Him

Grew Up… in suburban Washington D.C, with his parents and younger sister. Christopher was born with the spirit of adventure in him; at age 4, he walked six blocks away from home in the middle of the night and was found in a random house raiding the sweets cabinet. He frequently witnessed the wrath of his father, a NASA engineer, upon his mother. In high school he learned that he and his sister were bastard children, that his mother was his father’s second wife and former mistress. He never told his parents he knew this.

Living… exploring America by any mode of transportation, whether it is his beloved Datsun, foot, boxcar, or kayak. Chris adopted the alter ego Alexander Supertramp, donated his savings, which amounted to $24 thousand, to OxFam, and roamed such places as South Dakota, Arizona, Mexico (where he lived in a cave for 36 days), California, and finally to rural Alaska, where he now lives.

Profession… unemployed. Chris doesn’t believe in careers, despite the fact that he was an A-student at Atlanta’s prestigious Emory University. On the road, he’s squeaked by with such jobs as working the corn fields in South Dakota and selling books in the Mojave Desert.

Interests… reading. Chris is a voracious reader. Some of his favorite authors include Tolstoy, Jack London, Thoreau, and Lord Byron.

Relationship Status… single. Chris is an avowed loner and content to be single for the most part. He does forge a bond with one girl during he travels, a young singer/songwriter named Tracy Tatro whom he meets in the small desert town of Slab City, California.

Challenge… surviving alone without provisions, an axe, or a map in the Alaskan wilderness. But Chris’ grand adventure in the west was always spiritual and/or philosophical in nature. In adventure he seeks freedom and the truth, to discover himself, and to gain new experiences in “the most ancient of human conditions.” In his journal he writes of himself: “No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.”

Personality… kind, idealistic, and passionate. He describes himself as “an extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.” He is an anti-materialist who wants more than anything to actualize his belief system. According to his sister, he measures “himself and those around him by a fiercely vigorous moral code.” 

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