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I think hope. As I thought about the question I wanted to say something like overcoming adversity, but that isn't it. It's the hope that with whatever effort, a goal might be achieved. Hope is unbounded optimism, and I find that inspiring.
My single person three season tent is the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1. It is very much not a "stand up in" tent (troischiens), but it's very lightweight. I've never used it in severe weather, either heavy rain or winds, but I've been happy with it so far. I plan to use it in the winter, too, but never have. My winter camping plans would be cancelled if high winds or heavy snow were forecast. I packed it in eight miles each way last fall for a two night trip that went really well.
I recently bought an MSR liquid fuel stove. I think it's the Whisperlite? It's supposed to be good for cold temperatures. The big purchase I need is a winter sleeping bag. I've sort of settled on the Big Agnes Blackburn UL but am waiting for a sale or coupon.
I also might need a bigger backpack. My 65 L pack gets pretty full even in the summer, though skipping a bear canister would gain some space. More and bigger gear probably means I need an 85 L bag. I'm looking at this Osprey one.
McCandless was twelve years older than me. My generation was around for the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union, but I think I was too young to understand the significance of either. My generation saw world events like the impeachment of a president over a blow job.
I read Generation X in college, and I agree McCandless would fit in perfectly. I'll have to go back and re-read it. My generation had its share of burnouts but not in a GenX sort of way. Our burnouts smoked pot or because alcoholics and worked dead end jobs, walking away from society only metaphorically.
I completely agree with your assessment of Krakauer and the idea that McCandless's ignorance was somehow more noble. It isn't just that a book about a well prepared person spending for months in the woods wouldn't be as compelling, I think Krakauer would be almost disappointed.
- For most of 16 weeks McCandless more than held his own. Indeed, were it not for one or two
innocent and seemingly insignificant blunders he would have walked out of the Alaskan woods in July or August as anonymously as he walked into them in April.
Yeah, Krakauer is an idiot for saying that. His blunder was not walking out after four or eight weeks.
My take isn't that Krakauer wanted to make McCandless an accomplished outdoorsman but that he wanted to make him out to be the type of person who would find a solution to overcome whatever came his way with the suggestion that we all should try to do the same. Then the "fates conspired against" stuff I agree.
I've never known anyone quite like McCandless. The closest I can think of is a high school friend who once told us, "I have a great idea to make a lot of money, all we need is a dead body." He was the type who did ok at stuff but never really went anywhere. He didn't necessarily blame the world, but the impression was his break was just around the corner.
One more complaint I should have said originally: for all his desired independence, McCandless still relied on the bus for his shelter, a bus other people had hauled out there.
I started Into The Wild today. I'm not quite sure where to insert this but figure I'll just do it here.
- it paled beside the prospect of rough congress with nature
I'm not sure if I hate McCandless or Krakauer here, but I definitely hate at least one of them (this is page 66; I already hated McCandless about fifty pages ago). "Rough congress with nature" pisses me off. Nature has no fucks to give about anyone.
What I hate about McCandless is he seemed to think of himself as some sort of individualist, but so far at page 66 all he's done is bounce from one person who helps him out a bit to another person who helps him out a bit. We know how this ends: he leaves a note asking for someone to help him, and when nobody happens by to help him, he dies.
You've done winter overnights? All my winter hiking has been day hiking only, but I want to get into winter camping this year. I bought a liquid fuel stove and am looking for the right sale for a winter sleeping bag. I figure I'll need a larger pack, too.
My snowshoe experience is if you're reasonably comfortable hiking, adding snowshoes to the mix isn't a lot more challenging. It can be much slower depending on how much snow is there, but there aren't a lot of new skills to learn.
Neat! That was my first overnight to test out my gear. It's a nice spot even if it isn't incredibly remote.
troischiens if you have any questions on that trip or other hiking in the area, let me know! I've started working on the Ice Age Trail, and it has some backpacking opportunities, too. There are some dispersed campsites along the trail that aren't heavily advertised because they're intended for hikers doing long stretches of trail.
- pay attention kidz, grades are nice'an all but they sure ain't the beallendall.
Know what else isn't the beallendall? A good paying job that you're capable at with a nice work environment that isn't something you like. I'm speaking on behalf of some people I know. Both told me it wasn't what they wanted to do. Both are very capable. Both have impressive educations. Both do decent work. Neither do great work. There's no passion, no desire to understand the work and take it further. They only do what they're told because they have no interest in thinking about it deeper.
And then I know people with 2.something GPAs from modest schools that are great because they love the work.
Last week I tripped while running and scraped up my knee. I ran all winter and never once fell on ice, and then at the tail end of winter on one of the last dark runs before daylight saving time changed, I trip and slide along the sidewalk.
I'm fine, other than some road rash. I can see the direction I slid in the scab. The front of my knee hit first, then I rolled into my side, leaving a diagonal scrape. I'm glad it was cold. My glove ripped, but my hand is fine. No upper body injuries through two layers. The knee road rash was through tights; it'd probably be up my thigh if I'd been in shorts. The tights survived! I love these tights.
A few months ago I decided whenever I saw an article like this, I'd move a few percent of my funds out of stocks and into either cash or bonds. Looks like it's time to do this again. As a total amateur who remembers 2007 and also remembers what my "value" was then and knows what it is now, I don't mind being a little more conservative than being all in.