Ford Falcon Econoline, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Absolutely, but like another poster detailed, his death wasn’t due to poor preparation, it was a simple, relatively easy-to-make mistake. He just mistook a plant that’s only poisonous to certain individuals in certain conditions, which he happened to fall into. If anything, Krakauer is more at fault for leaving out or minimizing the years of preparation the kid had. In reality, it was the story of a dedicated, smart kid making a small, easy-to-miss mistake. The fact that he was able to survive up there for more than a few weeks shows that he knew what he was doing.

Kids latch on to it because it’s a great book full of ideas that match their own. McCandless would be far more positively-received if Krakauer had emphasized the actual preparation the guy had taken. People’s opinions seem to fall one of two ways – either an overly-hopeful, unprepared idiot, or a model example of following your dreams. He’s neither – he figured out his dreams were wrong (isolation sucks), and he was very prepared.

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