Alone in the Wilderness

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke

Forget Man Vs Wild or the rest of the garbage they try to pass of as wilderness survival on T.V. When it comes true, real-world survival nothing can beat Alone in the Wilderness.

The story of Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke

Alone in the Wilderness is probably one of the best outdoor survivalist documentaries ever made. The movie tells the story of Richard Louis “Dick” Proenneke, a naturalist and survivalist who lived alone high in the mountains of Alaska, at a place called Twin Lakes.

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke

Inspired by self-reliant minds like Walden and Thoreau, on May 21, 1968, Proenneke started building his infamous Twin Lakes cabin.

While Thoreau inspired millions, and helped people understand the value of self-reliance, wilderness living, and survival through his writings in Walden, Proenneke inspired us by example. For over 30 years he took Thoreau’s philosophies and lived them, inspiring a countless number of people through his practical application of those writings.

Dick Proenneke in His Cabin

Proenneke built his cabin utilizing, almost exclusively, local materials that he found on or near his land and his own ingenuity and grit. He truly was a shining example of the independent wilderness man, living a lifestyle of self-reliance and independence.

By himself, he built the entire log cabin. But even more impressive, he did it with homemade hand tools — most of which he built using materials he found on his own land.

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke's Twin Lakes Cabin

For over 30 years he lived a solitary life, surviving off the land and recording his experience. Those recordings were eventually used in his documentary, Alone in the Wilderness, which has aired on PBS numerous times over the years.

The video documentary highlights his adventure, and shows him living and surviving in the harsh Alaskan Wilderness. If you haven’t seen this movie, and you dream of living a self-reliant lifestyle, you absolutely need to buy it and watch the whole thing.

Here is a brief clip from Alone in the Wilderness:

This video is only a small part of the documentary. I highly recommend the entire two-part series of Alone in the Wilderness.

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1 Comment

  1. For those who want to emulate Proenneke, remember this: he was a renaissance man in the true sense of the phrase. He came to the wilderness with the skills of a master carpenter, a diesel mechanic, a hunter, a farmer and so on. He had spent significant time in Alaska before he ever built his cabin, and had hung around and listened to others who had been in Alaska for awhile. I think that this is what was lost on McCandless and others like him. This man had wisdom and skills and thought things through. Further, he was not totally off the grid, which he knew, wise man that he was, to be almost impossible. He had supplies flown in regularly, and did have basic woodworking tools–auger drill, adz, saw, chisels, etc. I somewhat admire McCandless for his attempt to do without all this, but this is where the wisdom of age and experience come in.

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