Alone in the Wilderness

When someone brought a DVD of this for me to watch. I thought it was going to be boring. I ended up watching it twice in one sitting. It will draw you in.

A 50-year-old man named Dick Proenneke is in Twin Lakes Alaska in 1968 and films himself building a retirement cabin. He starts out by staying in a friends cabin. He starts gathering wood and making some of the tools he uses on the way.

This man…is a real man. if he needs a spoon…he starts carving himself out one. He builds this cabin and makes everything including wood hinges for the door. He gathers rocks from somewhere down the lake and brings them back…at then he starts building his chimney.

He is by himself and sets up the camera everywhere he goes. He goes out fishing when he is hungry and hunting for meat for the winter only taking what he needs.

He makes most every from scratch. He uses his tin canisters for different things. He buries one and covers for a refrigerator. The only help he receives is a pilot friend of his that lands every now and again to deliver supplies. He is a master craftsman, to say the least.

It doesn’t sound that special but I have watched it 2 more times since the night I watched it twice. He makes it look so easy.

He filmed enough to have a few more short documentaries which were released but nothing matches that first one. This man made me feel like a mouse. He is so talented and tough.

He ended up staying there until 1999 and then left to live with his brother at age 82. Dick passed away at 86 in 2003. The cabin is still there and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

9 thoughts on “Alone in the Wilderness”

    1. You know I really thought I would be bored with this but this man was a great craftsman. I think it inspired others to try what he did…but what they didn’t understand was this man knew what he was doing and he didn’t freeze to death. He made me feel inadequate…to say the least. Thanks for reading (despite the mistakes) because I know this was off the beaten path. I hope you enjoy it.


    1. Yes, this guy was amazing. I was watching it and it was like he needed a spoon…so there he goes carving one out. He made it look so easy. Not that I would ever get to go but I would love to see that cabin.


  1. Thanks for the post and the recommendation- Just finished watching both documentaries- it is amazing to me that someone could do this for one year- and he did this for over 30. Very enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked it. The first one just knocked me out. I told the wife not to get any ideas about me making anything…way above my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He made it look easy… I think of that guy a while back who tried something like that and froze to death… I can’t think of his name.

        Liked by 1 person

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