Living intentionally means living up to your standards and being mindful of the consequences that your actions could have. Abraham Lincoln once stated, “I will plan and someday my chance” You should always be ready for whatever may happen. “Learn from others’ mistakes.” Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You don’t have enough time to make all of them yourself.” Learn from others’ experiences and mistakes to improve your own. My goal is to learn and improve from others’ mistakes.
Chris McCandles, a book author, went into the wilderness without much. Alex’s backpack was light for a trip of several months in back-country. It weighed just twenty-five or 30 pounds. A hunter expert said that his backpack was much lighter than the usual supplies for Alaska wilderness. He didn’t have enough supplies to make it through the trip. Chris wasn’t living deliberately because he didn’t plan ahead. He only had what was needed to survive in wild places. Alex’s hiking boots made of cheap leather were not waterproof or well insulated. His rifle had a.22 caliber and was not large enough to kill large animals, such as moose and caibou. His clothing was unsuitable for Alaska’s harsh climate and he had no way of surviving. He would have been unable to move in his boots in Alaska, as they are not meant for use in Alaska. He could not have used the gun against larger animals. He didn’t have much food or other essentials. Alex said that his only food was a 10 pound bag of rice. The rice he brought to him was for rations, while the gear did not provide enough food for him to survive the whole trip. He was not able to eat enough food for the activities he planned. The rice bag weighing 10 pounds would be too heavy to keep him going. Alaska hunters know that cutting meat in thin strips is the best way of preserving it in the bush. Then, you can dry it on an unreliable rack. McCandless’ naivety led him to rely on South Dakota hunters for advice. South Dakota has snowy forests, which is why it’s a totally different environment than Alaska. This should have been obvious, but he ignored it which resulted in him losing the moose that he had killed. He didn’t listen to some of the advice that he received and, even though he loved books, he didn’t read the ones that would have helped him survive in Alaska. McCandless is, at last, nothing but a 20th-century burlesque London’s protagonist who freezes because of his inability to follow advice and bigtime hubris . If he had been able to find survival guides, or if he asked for advice from Alaskan hunters who have done so before, he might have survived. If he had done the research, he could have survived in the wilderness. He would also have learned some essential skills for Alaska. Although he had an edible plants guide that was useful for Alaska, it did not help him much.
Chris only left a note to indicate his death from starvation while he was still alive. While he could have done many things, he kept it simple. He only left a note on the front of the bus he was staying at to show his death. “The door was left open and a note was attached to it. Handwritten in neat block letters…”. He could have lit some fires to signal that he was still there. Instead of trying to stop the bus from moving, he decided to just stay there and slowly die. He was not prepared for the wild and ended up dying as a result. He should have been more prepared for the adventure.
He did this because he was not able to learn from Charles McCunn’s mistakes. McCunn had brought enough things to stay on his trip. However, he forgot to make arrangements for transportation home. McCunn died in the air after he failed to properly read his license. McCandles also made the same mistake that led to McCunn’s death. McCunn looked at McCunn’s hunting permit and saw why. There were illustrations of emergency hand signals that can be used to communicate with planes from the ground. He would have understood the correct way to notify the aircraft that he needs help if he had read it before.
Chris was also very careful about what he allowed others to do for him. McCandless was also offered long underwear and warm clothing by Burres. She laughs, saying that McCandless took the clothes to shut her up, but that the next day, McCandless left, most of the clothing was still there. He refused to accept charity donations, even though he did allow them to do so. He was not comfortable with people giving him gifts or rides. He was always very offended by people who offered him money. He would have been more prepared for the Alaska trip if he had declined to accept the gifts. He was offered better gear by one of his acquaintances, but he declined. He went into the wilderness without a gun of sufficient caliber to kill some of those animals that he needed to survive.
He gave away his money to charity. This was good news for those he helped. But he didn’t have enough money so he couldn’t save as much money. He burned all of the cash in his wallet, put his car in a river, then gave away most everything he owned to live the life he claimed was living intentionally. “He gave the balance of OXFAM’s bank account, filled up his car, then disappeared from their lives. His cash was left to charity, which although noble, left him with nothing to use in an emergency. He did not have the means to acquire better gear and could not get what he needed for an emergency. He didn’t have the right supplies and refused help from those who wanted to buy him new supplies. He didn’t think about everything he would require, which led to him not having enough money to purchase what he needed.
Chris was so certain that his family wouldn’t be aware of his departure, he made sure that they weren’t. “Chris had requested that the post office hold them until August 1. Apparently so we wouldn’t be aware of anything. Without telling his family, he cut himself off. This made them worry about him as he was wandering around the country. He was gone for five more weeks, and they couldn’t find him. This was not the first time he’d done this, but he did it again on his own.
Living intentionally is about living up to your ideals while also being smart enough to achieve them. McCandles lived his ideals, but he wasn’t able to do it well. He eventually died from his many failures. Living deliberately means to look back at the past and not repeat others’ mistakes, and to be ready for anything that might happen. McCandles wasn’t prepared for what was ahead of him. His supplies were minimal and his supplies for Alaskan wilderness were insufficient. He didn’t know the difference between hunting and fishing in Alaska so he took advice from people who were not qualified. He left a note on the bus door stating that he was going to die and hoped someone would come. He is not the only one who made these mistakes. He could have done more to investigate this and learn from his mistakes. His story was publicized and many others should have seen it. He refused to accept any charity during his trip, and would return it to those who gave him money. He gave away the money he had at the beginning of his trip and used it to buy better supplies, so that he was more prepared. He hadn’t informed his family about his plans, making it seem like he was immature. His father had been involved in something he did in his youth and he stopped speaking to his family earlier. Chris McCandles did NOT live deliberately. He instead chose to be foolish and rejected those who offered help. It is important to have clear ideas and to act in a way that doesn’t cause problems.