Into The Wild Essay

753 Words4 Pages
Chris McCandless was an emotionally tormented young man whose failure to prepare himself for the Alaskan wilderness led to his death from starvation due to novice mistakes. A moose hunter in Alaska discovered Chris’s moldering body on September 6, 1992, after he went into the backcountry unprepared for the climate, wildlife and territory. What a wonderful dream to live the experience of the rough country, but living this dream involves preparation or else meeting the fate of Chris McCandless. McCandless had a college degree and traveled around quoting noble-minded literature but lacked the common sense to stay alive. He was practical enough to overcome his reluctance to kill animals because hunting is necessary when living off the land. After he shot and killed a moose using a .22 caliber rifle, Chris labored six days to preserve the meat. He dug a cave to preserve the meat through smoking but maggots got to it and the meat was lost. One mistake McCandless made was not cutting the meat into thin slices. Krakauer writes that McCandless tried to smoke “the immense slabs of purple flesh.” Cutting the flesh into very thin strips discourages flies from depositing eggs into the meat. The advice that South Dakota hunters gave him was not effective in the extreme cold of Alaska. The effective preservation technique to use is to place the thin strips of meat on a rack over a fire or simply air-dry the meat. To smoke the meat, he needed to build an enclosure using overlapping tree branches around a small fire to hold in the smoke. Resinous wood should not be used because the smoke will ruin the meat. Green hardwoods create a small fire that will produce smoke not heat. The meat should be sliced into thin strips about two and a half inches thick and suspended over a green branch about one inch in diameter. The slices should not touch each other. The branches

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