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Alone in the Wilderness - The Story of Dick Proenneke

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I bought the hour long DVD a few years back.  And here is the full movie:




This is a 9 minute summary of the real thing. 






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Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I might have to track down the dvd. I didnt' want that clip to end! I want to know more details!


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paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The DVD goes into a lot of detail with this guy building the log cabin with nothing but hand tools.  He even builds hinges for the front door out of wood.  He builds a countertop out of a log.  He makes bunkbeds out of branch wood.  The roof is a green roof.

Amazing.



Susan Monroe


Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
It is said that patience is a virtue.  Wish I had that much. I would drag something up a mountain from Goodwill. 

Sue
Steve Nicolini


Joined: Nov 15, 2008
Posts: 224
My friend says he watched a series of half hour shows on pbs.  I wonder if we could get that series.  He also watched the movie and said that the shows went into more detail. 

That guy inspires me so much.  I want to make everything with hand tools now.  I probably won't, because when a power drill is sitting next to you in the workshop smiling and laughing, and you are using a hand drill to try to boar a 5 inch hole into a maple log...
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
ha ha ha . yes I find it inspiring too but in reality I am not using an axe over a chainsaw. I it find very inspiring to see how little "stuff" people can really live with and think about how liberating it must be.
                              


Joined: Jun 08, 2008
Posts: 79
Steve Nicolini wrote:
My friend says he watched a series of half hour shows on pbs.  I wonder if we could get that series.  He also watched the movie and said that the shows went into more detail. 

That guy inspires me so much.  I want to make everything with hand tools now.  I probably won't, because when a power drill is sitting next to you in the workshop smiling and laughing, and you are using a hand drill to try to boar a 5 inch hole into a maple log...


I believe you can. Just go to pbs.org and look for links to their gift/book store. You would need the title of the series.

I think I know the one you are talking about... the guy in Alaska, lived there for years on his own?

Leigh
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
My grandmother has one of his shows.  Between him and Little House on the Prairie, I've always wanted to take up the challenge to build a house (cabin) with absolutely nothing but a few tools and the materials I could scrounge from my area!

Kathleen
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Well, they will sell the DVD to anybody.
Mark Reaves


Joined: Dec 09, 2009
Posts: 12
I think there's 2 DVDs. The Alone in the Wilderness and another detailing further. I seen the Alone in the Wilderness and was amazed. He was considered retirement age if I'm not mistaken and he went in the middle of the wilderness with some basic tools and built his home. He lived in that wilderness till he was "tool old to deal with the -50 degree winters" (if my memory serves me right, been awhile since I seen it).

The Alaskan wilderness isn't for me though, I'd rather live in the country at most maybe a 30 mile drive from town. However I can't live in a "typical" home. Too big, too much stuff, too cluttered and too unhealthy.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I haven't seen anything with more detail.  Do you have a link?
Mark Reaves


Joined: Dec 09, 2009
Posts: 12
paul wheaton wrote:
I haven't seen anything with more detail.  Do you have a link?


http://www.dickproenneke.com/

Apparently a lot more DVD's than I recall lol.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Absolutely great  video. Inspirational...
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
found these 2 on a chinese site , they were great to watch!
about 30min each.
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/z8w-Jb_DgFY/
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/27Of9HvFJlY/


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Bradon Wesche


Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 38
You can also find it here.


http://www.bradonw.com
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
yes if kosher to post these type links.
a 3 movie series is here along with lots of other permaculture videos
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I've seen the whole movie (which is self-filmed, [sort of obviously] for the most part) and love it.  Thank you for posting the links!  I think it's offered on Netflix, for those of you who participate.

He's an example of what that kind of living does for a body.  (SPOILER, sort of) The last clip, he's in his 80s, and he skips down (walking down it like stairs) a 20' tall and steep AND flexible ladder (which he'd built, of course) like it's nothing.  !!!  Makes you blink once or twice.  (END SPOILER)

But...the nosey part of me wants to know the WHY.  There's no information about what lead this man to live in utter isolation for decades.  It's very manly: "This is how I do this task," and that's cool but I want the lifetime version with black and white photographs of his beautiful but tragically dead wife......or something! 

FYI I've never been to the website, this is just my reaction after watching his movie without any further knowledge about the guy.
Ken Peavey
steward

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2201
Location: FL
    
  57
marked for library material


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http://farmwhisperer.com
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
It is supposedly self filmed.  But there is one part where he is walking and the camera pans!

Henry Finland


Joined: Jan 13, 2010
Posts: 27
Location: Finland
Hello to everyone!

Dick Proenneke is also the hero at our site here in Finland. We aim to build a straw-bale village or as a matter of fact a village where as much as possible is: stone, (thinning)wood, clay, sand, recycled glass, self-made windows and doors, crushed glass, bottles.
The saw-mill we will build from scrap-metal, except for the electrical motor and some details.

Wikipedia tells about his life here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke

The "tent" on the left side of the map shows the location of Richard Proenneke's cabin:




The green arrow points at his cabin:



I could not find where to introduce myself, but as we write about alternative building and DIY, I think I can open a new thread and present me/us properly.

This is our blogpost about Dick Proenneke:
http://provillage.wordpress.com/category/in-english/

I have also some questions about lime-render and such. But that will be later.


Henry


[center] Everything is allowed. - Except 90 degree angles.

http://provillage.wordpress.com/ [/center]
                                              


Joined: Sep 01, 2010
Posts: 42
Absolutely loved this, just watched the 1 video so far, did so about 5 weeks ago. Since then, my mind seems to wander back to him and the amazing things he did. That said, 40 years alone in the woods of alaska ain't exactly my cup of tea.
                            


Joined: Aug 07, 2010
Posts: 271
What amazes me is the capabilities, problem solving and general know how, get it done knowledge that people used to have. Maybe I just missed out on my share. I struggled just to put up a small A frame, 8x8 for storage!

I grew up in southern Idaho. One of my very favorite all time places is a place called Johnny Sacks cabin. In that part of Idaho, you could be alone, or not as you chose. Johnny died a few years before I was born, but several of the people I knew as I was growing up had known Johnny... and most of them were of the adventurous persuasion too!

With the right knowledge and motivation, just because you live in a log cabin and make your own furniture doesn't mean you need to be totally rusticated.

Here's some links to some information about Johnny--his cabin furnishings are gorgeous and... because he was short, they are my size!:

http://www.co.fremont.id.us/departments/parks_rec/big_springs/johnny-sack_big-springs.html
http://travelingdancers.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-johnny-sack-cabin-at-big-springs-id/

Different style of living than 40 years in AK, I know... but I find it fascinating none the less.
                        


Joined: May 26, 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
marina phillips wrote:
But...the nosey part of me wants to know the WHY.  There's no information about what lead this man to live in utter isolation for decades.  It's very manly: "This is how I do this task," and that's cool but I want the lifetime version with black and white photographs of his beautiful but tragically dead wife......or something! 


Well, it could also be due to a tragically alive wife who's gunning for him after finding out about his other wife and the pregnant girlfriend. 
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Muzhik wrote:
Well, it could also be due to a tragically alive wife who's gunning for him after finding out about his other wife and the pregnant girlfriend. 


Is this true, or just your surmizing?

Kathleen
Matthew Fallon


Joined: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 307
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
    
    1
muzhik is kidding.
he never married or had kids,
there is a wiki for him  here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke
                    


Joined: Dec 01, 2010
Posts: 4
If you liked that video you might like this one too: http://www.vbs.tv/watch/far-out--2

It isn't really about building but it is still really interesting. 
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
the video doesnt work anymore but is this the guy who built a cabin up in alaska mainly with his axe? hes got a roof of moss and even grows veggies? i saw something on PBS once where they were trying to sell the DVD i think.


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
                    


Joined: Dec 01, 2010
Posts: 4
I'm not sure why it doesn't work for you... I just clicked on it and it worked fine.  I also checked the address through searching that web page and it worked fine too.  It's called far out.  Anyways, yea its about this guy that was born in Wisconsin and decided to live up in Alaska alone as an adult.  He actually lives in three different cabins because hes a trapper and he has to rotate his living areas so as not to exhaust resources in one area.  He actually got married and had a family up there.  It was pretty entertaining.  His name is Heimo Korth
allen lumley
pollinator

Joined: Mar 16, 2012
Posts: 2726
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
    
  40
Thanks for posting, Big AL !


Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan

LOOK AT THE " SIMILAR THREADS " BELOW !
David Livingston
pollinator

Joined: Apr 24, 2013
Posts: 904
Location: Anjou ,France
    
  28
If you enjoyed that film you might also enjoy this


A French canadian chap

David


Living in Anjou , France
Lee Morgan


Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 34
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Story of Dick Proenneke is great. Relaxing and inspiring. I really like the following video where Caesar builds a canoe with a crook knife and an axe basically. In three languages but mostly no talking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRFCxxAKafc


www.traditional-skills.com
J.T. Croteau


Joined: Feb 16, 2013
Posts: 34
Location: NH and MO
Dick has always been an inspiration to me as I will be developing my 5-acres in the woods mostly by myself.


"A house built of logs will look like none other, for it will glorify the stick."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Ben Mosley


Joined: Nov 08, 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Upstate,SC Zone 7a
    
    1
I saw his movies on PBS and it got me into homesteading way of thinking.I have since been studying and learning up on homesteading.I'm not in a location that will accept the life style.If I wasn't living on a fixed income and could make more money,I could live my own version of alone in the wilderness.
Diane Emerson


Joined: Jan 27, 2012
Posts: 18
I am so grateful to have seen this movie. How, where, when could one ever do that now? How rare on this planet to do such a thing! I was really touched when Dick shared his deep concern that he was cutting down all these trees for his cabin and not replacing them. That provided a bit of insight for me into his soul. Also, when he mentioned his regret at killing the mountain goat for some winter food. This movie is inspiring on many levels for me. Thank you, Paul.


The transformation of society must begin with the transformation of the individual. C. Key Chapple
Ben Plummer
volunteer

Joined: Nov 15, 2012
Posts: 344
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
    
  20
I've watched the DVDs countless times, he was an astonishing man who was good enough to document what he was doing.

There's a lesser known story of a family alone in the Taiga, fascinating.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15212
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The full movie

Michael Forest


Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Posts: 79
    
    8
I've noticed no mention of the book of the same name, consisting of his initial diary entries covering the period of the cabin and beyond. The book adds much more depth, infers his reasons for prefering the company of Nature most of the time. He liked people but at the same time was frustrated by the thoughtless attitudes of many "hunters" who came to the region. He loved "glassing", watching all that was happening around him. Preparing a simple but hardy meal excited him.

Since the writings are diary collections ( although edited, which he didn't particularly like) you get the sense of the daily routines, which the film can't really cover. And it is the small daily things which hold the most meaning for Dick. A contemplative person who found his heart's desire.

Only about a third of his writings were published via that book. The rest is held by the USFS and one or two more volumes may be published.


Doing is Secondary to Being
B.E. Ward


Joined: Feb 25, 2014
Posts: 49
Location: Urburban Western Washington
There's a second volume of journal entries that I first saw at Title Wave Books in Anchorage (and I should've bought it then and there!). This thread resurrection got me to search for it. Lo and behold, the whole book has been made available online by the NPS!

http://www.nps.gov/lacl/historyculture/more-one-mans.htm
 
 
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