Alone in the Wilderness…

Richard writes –

“Have any of you ever seen this 1968 doc about Dick Proenneke? Just watched it last night on PBS. Talk about a guy who could MAKE things!! He doesn’t just build a log cabin in Alaska, he builds his own tools, dishes, pots and pans, door hinges, refrigerator etc.! And he did it all with a 16mm camera and tripod filming everything he did for a year. He explains in detail the making of the tools, etc., and all with surprisingly “professional” camera work for a mountain man. If you get KQED Encore on cable, they’re showing it several times today. Enjoy!”Link & more.

20 thoughts on “Alone in the Wilderness…

  1. My mom recorded this for me a year or so ago, and gave it to me on my next visit. It really was fun to watch – the guy is so totally into his situation and environment, taking temperature readings at the pond, making furniture, etc. I had the feeling he never sat around wondering what to do next.

  2. One of the guys I work with who is in his 50s told me about this show, I caught it on pbs once and fell in love. I ordered the move and book. When I want to have a relaxing evening when I am stressed out I watch this movie. He donated his cabin to the state and it is now a part of the state park systems.

  3. As “simply” as it’s written, I really enjoyed his book,”One Man’s Wilderness”. If you’re into the frontier, Robinson Crusoe, rebuild-the-comforts-of-society thing, it’s great.

  4. Our PBS station gave his book and DVD to contributors during a recent fund drive, so you ought to be able to purchase them. Well worth the investment. He used only hand tools, felling trees with an axe and ripping boards with a handsaw. His book provides detail that’s absent from the DVD, but you have to see the video!

  5. You can dig on more home-grown makers by checking out the Foxfire books, available at most booksellers or on the page. Southern mountain Americans, scratching out a living with their hands and their wits, who kept old ways of doing things alive, because they had to in order to survive. Mind boggling and inspirational.

  6. Most of us will live our lives unfulfilled with little to show for our time on the planet. Dick had little financial wealth, but he was a better man than me. His film helps me to escape the clutter every time I watch it.

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