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View Full Version : Embrace the simple life?


wesintl
11-23-2009, 10:20 AM
Did anyone read this article.

Kinda interesting. :cheers:

http://www.denverpost.com/frontpage/ci_13843274

Jacket
11-23-2009, 10:33 AM
I heard about that guy a while back. They definitely romanticize the situation, which has to be a somewhat rough and lonely life. Certainly magnifies the amount of usable waste us humans generate.

Bobzooki
11-23-2009, 10:36 AM
That's profound.

What's the line from Fight Club?

What you own comes to own you.

RockRunner
11-23-2009, 10:43 AM
I have met this guy during CM 08 when Jay and I needed to fix my truck. We were behind the parts shop and he was digging through the trash. He stopped and commented on my rig and we BS'd about stuff for about ten minutes. Cool guy, never knew his lifestyle till now. Would have been very interesting to sit down with him and talk about it face to face.

Maybe we'll see him again this year.

Chris
11-23-2009, 11:08 AM
His "lifestyle" will continue to work as long as he's the only one. Imagine how "successful" he'd be if a couple dozen people reading his story decide to try it. Every town seems to have a guy like this. I don't find it admirable at all but digging through trash suits some people better than others.

Hulk
11-23-2009, 11:55 AM
Wow, what a cool story. I'd love to simplify my life, but I don't see it coming anytime soon. I don't think I'd ever live out of a dumpster or completely give up money. I like a warm bed on a cold night. It's worth noting that he's out there alone, too.

subzali
11-23-2009, 12:06 PM
I could have a little more respect for him if he was living off the land; the fact that he's living off the trash of the economy and culture that he's renounced is something of a paradox in my mind.

My dad has a video of a guy who retired when he was 55 or so, moved to Alaska, built his own cabin with a few simple tools, and apart from a bush pilot flying in a little supplies here and there during the summer he was completely self-sufficient out in the wilderness. Lived there until he was 80 some-odd and got tired of the -40F degree winters and 12 feet of snow, so he moved back to the lower 48. But for about 30 years he was on his own.

This guy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

he had a video camera and took shots of himself performing various tasks. Now that it's all edited he actually did a pretty good job.

Chris
11-23-2009, 12:13 PM
It's worth noting that he's out there alone, too.

He's not alone, everyone in town knows him, the cops ignore his rummaging through the trash, etc. When it gets cold and he mooches off people in warmer climates. Like Matt said, he's not self-sufficient. Throw in words like "spiritual" and "philosophical" and it makes it sound so much more admirable.

As I said earlier, every town seems to have someone like this but they rarely make the newspaper. Usually they're called the "town bum" which is all he is.

wesintl
11-23-2009, 01:31 PM
so you can call him a bum that's fine but I think it's a little bit more complex than that. The way he chose this vs falling into it etc. I tend to think most bums would accept money too. Maybe he's just and eccentric bum.

It would be awful hard to live off the land in moab imho, you can just live off others. Alaska I could see.

It just seems a little bit more dynamic than just your average bum though.Of course I don't really know any

PabloCruise
11-23-2009, 02:15 PM
I could have a little more respect for him if he was living off the land; the fact that he's living off the trash of the economy and culture that he's renounced is something of a paradox in my mind.

My dad has a video of a guy who retired when he was 55 or so, moved to Alaska, built his own cabin with a few simple tools, and apart from a bush pilot flying in a little supplies here and there during the summer he was completely self-sufficient out in the wilderness. Lived there until he was 80 some-odd and got tired of the -40F degree winters and 12 feet of snow, so he moved back to the lower 48. But for about 30 years he was on his own.

This guy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

he had a video camera and took shots of himself performing various tasks. Now that it's all edited he actually did a pretty good job.

Have you read the book about him?
One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey (ISBN 0-88240-513-6)

PabloCruise
11-23-2009, 02:16 PM
He's not alone, everyone in town knows him, the cops ignore his rummaging through the trash, etc. When it gets cold and he mooches off people in warmer climates. Like Matt said, he's not self-sufficient. Throw in words like "spiritual" and "philosophical" and it makes it sound so much more admirable.

As I said earlier, every town seems to have someone like this but they rarely make the newspaper. Usually they're called the "town bum" which is all he is.

I think Matt means that his chances of getting a date are fairly slim. That kind of "alone"...

Chris
11-23-2009, 02:29 PM
so you can call him a bum that's fine but I think it's a little bit more complex than that. The way he chose this vs falling into it etc. I tend to think most bums would accept money too. Maybe he's just and eccentric bum.

It would be awful hard to live off the land in moab imho, you can just live off others. Alaska I could see.

It just seems a little bit more dynamic than just your average bum though.Of course I don't really know any

He's made the choice to live off the grid thanks to everyone else's choice to live on it. He simply lives off everyone's trash and generosity. I know a guy who has chosen the same lifestyle except that he works periodically to feed his friends who he lives with under a bridge. Much more commendable IMHO. If any reporter approached him to do an article about him he'd shoo them away simply because he's rejected all of the mainstream. I know another guy who lives the same way in Mexico but since many live that way down there he's just another scavenger.

I guess I'm not big on idolizing one guy because of where he lives and demonizing another for the same reason.;)

ElliottB
11-23-2009, 02:32 PM
I'm with FrontRange on this one.

It's also a bit hypocritical to live off the byproducts of a capitalistic society whilst denouncing it.

wesintl
11-23-2009, 02:38 PM
I guess I'm not big on idolizing one guy because of where he lives and demonizing another for the same reason.;)

huh.. who's doing that?:rolleyes:

Chris
11-23-2009, 02:47 PM
The article presents this guy as a rather admirable fellow. ;)

Bobzooki
11-23-2009, 03:13 PM
I guess I'm not big on idolizing one guy because of where he lives and demonizing another for the same reason.;)

Odd, because you seem to be demonizing him.

Chris
11-23-2009, 04:44 PM
If you see it as that I'm okay with it. ;)

Hulk
11-23-2009, 05:39 PM
I think Matt means that his chances of getting a date are fairly slim. That kind of "alone"...

Yup, exactly. He's not sharing his cave with any hot babes. That's definitely a deal breaker in my book.

He's made the choice to live off the grid thanks to everyone else's choice to live on it. He simply lives off everyone's trash and generosity.

I agree: he's not self sufficient. But so what? He's not hurting anyone. If he wears clothes from the trash and eats food from the trash, all he has done is reduced the amount of trash going into a landfill by a very tiny amount.

I know a guy who has chosen the same lifestyle except that he works periodically to feed his friends who he lives with under a bridge. Much more commendable IMHO.

The guy you know is more deserving of respect because he lives under a bridge and occasionally does odd jobs for money -- compared to the Moab guy who lives in a cave and occasionally does odd jobs for NO money? :confused:

I don't idolize the Moab guy, but I don't demonize him either. It's an interesting story about a guy who chose to live a very unusual lifestyle. He had other options. Many people who live under a bridge don't have a University of Colorado degree in anthropology.

Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild" (also a movie) was about a young, very educated kid who did a similar thing and cast off the rules of society. It ended badly for him, but his story connects with some truths that many people agree with. He lived a life that I long for.

These stories are popular because there are many of us, especially in this club, who don't see today's structured society as the pinnacle of the way a man should live. I sit in an office breathing filtered air staring at a computer screen 8-10 hours a day, except when I'm sitting at a conference table at a meeting. I don't know how to herd cattle or make bricks. I've never built a house from the ground up. These are things that perhaps a man should do.

My dreams are certainly not about living in a cave with no money, electricity or female companionship. However, the Moab Cave Guy (MCG) recognized that his life wasn't working for him, had the cojones to make a dramatic change, and found peace. I think that's worthy of respect.

DaveInDenver
11-23-2009, 06:26 PM
Have you read the book about him?
One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey (ISBN 0-88240-513-6)
I have his book, if anyone wants to borrow and read it. Dick Proenneke worked for years up in Alaska as a heavy equipment operator and basically just walked away from it one day to homestead. He was 50 when he did it. Had something to do with the union and being pressured to do things and hire people he didn't want.

Chris
11-23-2009, 08:46 PM
Deleted by me...

:blah:

jacdaw
11-23-2009, 08:47 PM
Have you read the book about him?
One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey (ISBN 0-88240-513-6)There is a program on PBS that airs upon occasion. Runs like a documentary and is quite inspiring.

I have often thought about monastic life, but the religious structure no longer appeals to me. So self-imposed hermitage is the current eventual fantasy.

nakman
11-23-2009, 11:05 PM
I do agree that living off of other people's trash doesn't exactly make you special. But whatever, who wouldn't love to camp in Moab all the time?




Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild" (also a movie) was about a young, very educated kid who did a similar thing and cast off the rules of society. It ended badly for him, but his story connects with some truths that many people agree with. He lived a life that I long for.



that's actually a pretty good movie, we got it from Netflix a little while back. The highlight for me was he meets this older dude in Arizona who drives a pristine early Bronco.. as if I didn't already lust after those things.. :o

http://www.thelastminuteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/into-the-wild.jpg

It was sad though in the end when he dies from eating the wrong plant... then you kind of realize it may actually be a good thing to be able to hit 911 on the cell phone.

Anyway I have often thought if I ever come down with severe Alzheimer's, dementia, or some other disease that makes me unpleasant to be around just sell some of my stuff and get me some gear and drop me off in a place like that in Alaska or somewhere... or plop me in a canoe and shove me off... I'll figure the rest out. wouldn't ever happen now that I have a family to support, but the fantasy of escaping it all still lingers.

jacdaw
11-24-2009, 01:17 AM
The highlight for me was he meets this older dude in Arizona who drives a pristine early Bronco.. as if I didn't already lust after those things.. :oMy entry into rock crawling in CA was my '73 EB back in '94. Fun, capable little trucks with 289/302 V8s from the factory.:)

DaveInDenver
11-24-2009, 05:41 AM
It was sad though in the end when he dies from eating the wrong plant.
That needs to be noted that Krakauer speculated that he ate poisonous wild sweet pea seeds, there is no proof of that in his body. The official records says he starved to death. It's plausible but many people think that is Krakauer sympathizing with McCandless and trying to find an explanation that is less the kid's fault. I have Krakauer's book too, if anyone wants it.

Chris McCandless was by most accounts an idiot for doing what he did, terribly unprepared for Alaska. He's another one throwing off the shackles of modern society but without it he wouldn't have made it 2 days much less the 4 months that he did. He lived in an old Fairbanks city bus that hunters had dragged up there and outfitted with a stove, for example. He also did this a lot, setting off unplanned, unprepared and made it through. But that was in popular places in the lower 48 and often that was with the help of strangers who would give him a lift, some food, etc. There is no one in the interior of Alaska to give you hand-outs (it was those hunters who I think found his body after he'd been dead probably a month). I will give him props for killing a caribou with a .22LR, though.

subzali
11-24-2009, 08:25 AM
tragedy of Chris McCandless is that he was only a handful of miles away from a major roadway IIRC the story correctly (I have Krakauer's book too, been a while since I read it). He wasn't really in the complete wilderness he thought he was in. Far enough to not have help though...

Mendocino
11-24-2009, 08:46 AM
I think MCG is a crack-pot. Chris McCandless was a foolish romantic who embodied Natural Selection in action.

Hulk
11-24-2009, 09:40 AM
I think MCG is a crack-pot.

Who?

Chris McCandless was a foolish romantic who embodied Natural Selection in action.

Too true. :lmao:

Mendocino
11-24-2009, 09:50 AM
Who?



Too true. :lmao:

Moab Cave Guy--the acronym YOU came up with!!:D

wesintl
11-24-2009, 09:52 AM
and kraukauer is just out to make $

Red_Chili
11-24-2009, 10:12 AM
I will give him props for killing a caribou with a .22LR, though.

I don't. And after the fact, he didn't either. For the same reasons. Horrible thing to do. And he wasted game on top of it due to ignorance and unpreparedness.

Maybe it's just me, but I have come to believe as a hunter that life is a sacred and precious thing, and if taken, it should be as many native peoples do: as effectively as possible, with solemn gratitude to one's maker and to the animal itself.

DaveInDenver
11-24-2009, 10:35 AM
I don't. And after the fact, he didn't either. For the same reasons. Horrible thing to do. And he wasted game on top of it due to ignorance and unpreparedness.

Maybe it's just me, but I have come to believe as a hunter that life is a sacred and precious thing, and if taken, it should be as many native peoples do: as effectively as possible, with solemn gratitude to one's maker and to the animal itself.
Nope, it's not just you in that sense. I agree in that he wasted the bulk of the animal not preserving it correctly. I still thought it's impressive for a history major born in L.A. who lived most of his life in suburban Washington DC could do that. I'd stereotyped that the first time he'd ever shot his rifle was probably on this trip. I vaguely remember that he said he shot a moose but the hunters who found him were the ones who said it was really a caribou. Did he not get either?

Nay
11-24-2009, 10:46 AM
My brother went to high school with McCandless. Just a dude who took a long walk to suicide it seems.

I personally don't care about MCG's choices. I just don't like going on vacation with my family and watching people sift through the trash.

You can add $10 a year to my taxes so I don't have to deal with that on my $2K vacation.

Hulk
11-24-2009, 10:51 AM
Moab Cave Guy--the acronym YOU came up with!!:D


Ha! I gotta get more sleep. :rolleyes:

wesintl
11-24-2009, 10:53 AM
http://blogs.sltrib.com/slcrawler/uploaded_images/moab-future-799995.gif


http://www.freewebs.com/malleouse/moab.jpg

DaveInDenver
11-24-2009, 10:56 AM
and kraukauer is just out to make $
Just like Into Thin Air, which stands in disagreement with Anatoli Boukreev's account of that '96 royal screw up. I generally trust the Boukreev version, mostly because Krakauer's involvement with Outside on that climb and Rob Hall's company Adventure Consultants advertising in it. This is again a place where Krakauer takes the position of what seems like covering up for some sort of ineptitude or mistakes, in this case Rob Hall I think being unable to make the right decision to turn around or being unprepared (and by extension his client's preparation) for the task.

DaveInDenver
11-24-2009, 10:58 AM
Nice cartoon Wes! The photo, yeah, not so much.

wesintl
11-24-2009, 11:02 AM
you don't happen to have Boukreev's book?

nakman
11-24-2009, 11:02 AM
Nice cartoon Wes!

Hey at least they got rid of those pesky Cottonwoods.. we'll all but one at least.

DaveInDenver
11-24-2009, 11:23 AM
you don't happen to have Boukreev's book?
Some place, have to look at home tonight if I can find it. Groucho can attest, I tend to lose track of my books. :-/

BTW, another book that I love that fits in with the 1996 Everest debacle is Goran Kropp's Ultimate High. Goran is the nut who rode his bike from Sweden down to Everest that summer and climbed (his goal was ride from his house, summit unassisted with no O2 and ride home). He did not summit that year wisely because of the conditions, but he did help in the rescue attempts. And he did ride home after, too. Talk about simple and tough, dang.

Jacket
11-30-2009, 01:16 PM
I really enjoyed the soundtrack to the movie version of Into the Wild. Eddie Vedder showed amazing range and drifted pretty far from his "norm." Melancholy for sure, but powerful as well.

Having a bit of McCandless in me, I really enjoyed the raw pieces of the Into the Wild story and loved the movie (sad as it was). But Krakauer's interpretive liberties and personal bias' - not so much...

Hulk
04-17-2010, 01:40 AM
Embracing a Life of Solitude (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/garden/15alone.html)

These folks do it right -- living off the land, not eating out of the town dumpsters.

Rogue Leader
04-19-2010, 10:37 AM
The bus is 12 miles off of a paved road, fun to ski into in the winter. My climbing instructor swears that some of the stuff in krakaur's book is based on him, says he lived in the bus before Chris and left some of his journals behind. As for MCG we have one up here but he sleeps in a cardboard fort in the spring summer fall and the 24 hour study area on campus during the winter. Tried to get me to believe in the toilet gods one day.