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My brother Pat wrote me:

Check out “Alone in the Wilderness” featuring Dick Proenneke living alone in Alaska. It’s on our PBS affiliates a lot here (in Florida). He is a true pioneer, a 1960’s “maker” at work, building everything by hand, using tools he made.   He has no electricity. Shoots it all on his Brownie camera. Awesome techniques he demonstrates!

I especially like how he builds handles for his tools. Proenneke says that building a cabin in the wilderness was just “something he had to do” and by doing it test himself.   The YouTube video below covers ten minutes of the show and shows him building a cabin just before winter sets in.

According to an article about him in Wikipedia,

Proenneke remained at Twin Lakes for the next 16 months, when he left to go home for a time to visit relatives and secure more supplies. He returned to the lakes in the following spring and remained there for most of the next 30 years, going to the lower 48 only occasionally to be with his family.

He passed away in 2003.  The complete set of his videos are available.

Ever dream of living alone in the wilderness?  I have, especially after reading “Call of the Wild” but I would not be able to do it.  Now I can vicariously through Dick Proenneke, and idly sit by and watch him do it all.  Incredible.

Dale Dougherty

I’m founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire. I am CEO of Maker Media, the company that produces MAKE, Maker Faire and Maker Shed. I am Chairman of the Maker Education Initiative (www.makered.org).


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