A couple days ago, I got a comment from a YouTube viewer named Lanthanaas in response to Prepisode 129, The Best Survival TV Show. In his comment he mentioned that while it’s not really a tv show, there are some really cool videos of Dick Proenneke alone in the wilderness.
I had never heard of Dick Proenneke before, but it turns out that he was a “frontiersman” of sorts, who moved to the Twin Lakes area of Alaska in the late 60’s. There he built a log cabin with some really rudimentary hand tools, and proceeded to live there for the next 30 years!!
His log cabin was constructed out of spruce trees that he had hewn and trimmed with an axe, saw, and some chisels. He made the place secure, decently sheltered from the elements, built a chimney out of rocks, and cut doors and windows.
He hunted, foraged, and was able to get occasional supply drops from a buddy of his who was a bush plane pilot (via Sears catalog ordering).
While Dick Proenneke was living in true, 100% off-grid fashion, he also brought along his trusty camera, and got a lot of footage of his adventures.
Some time later, producer Bob Swerer turned his footage into several 60-minute videos. They are:
- Alone in The Wilderness
- Alone in The Wilderness II
- Alaska – Silence and Solitude
- The Frozen North
The videos are available for purchase here, but you can also watch a bunch of footage on Bob Swerer’s YouTube channel. I’m told these videos have aired several times on PBS over the years, so I’m betting that you can find them for rent or streaming online as well.
While I don’t think that many of us modern survivalists will (or need to be) running off to Alaska to carve a homestead out of the earth with their bare hands, I do think that Dick Proenneke’s videos are a good reminder of how self sufficient somebody can be, even with a minimum of today’s luxuries.
Check out these videos if you’re interested, and let me know if I’m missing out on some other goodness like this. I love this stuff!!
Watch chunks of each video on Bob Swerer’s YouTube Channel here.
Buy the full length videos here.
Check out One Man’s Wilderness, the book written about Dick’s adventures.
also…. pretty sure you can find a free stream of the full length movie here.