Richard Proenneke: Alone in the Wilderness
You think you’re tough? You’re not. You know who’s tough? THIS GUY:
Richard Proenneke lived alone until he was 82 years old, in the high mountains of Alaska…in a log cabin he built by hand.
I recently caught a PBS special about his process and was blown away.
The first part (and it looks like the second part) is on youtube, but it wasn’t until a little later that things got mind-blowing.
Alone in the Wilderness documents the entire building process. Proenneke builds every part of the cabin with natural materials (save for a sheet of plastic on the roof), and no power tools of any kind. Even hinges are made of wooden fittings. He whittles his own utensils and bowls, puts together a stone fireplace…eats what he catches and gathers (with the very occasional simple grocery shipment).
This man is so intensely efficient that it’s almost comical to the modern day technology-saturated member of society. I found myself laughing in astonishment as he built a wall by noon, then went off to clear two acres of moss for the roof. He carried almost everything on his back, too.
Proenneke’s work and life are a true testament to unadorned human capabilities. I highly encourage you to watch this intriguing look at one natural, self-sufficient life.