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Into the Wild | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1985

    McCandless withdraws from his parents after discovering they hid family secrets.

    Chapter 12
  • 1990

    McCandless graduates from Emory University and leaves his family for a life on the road.

    Chapter 12
  • July 1990–October 1991

    McCandless crisscrosses the West Coast and Southwest. He survives a disastrous canoe trip to Mexico.

    Chapter 4
  • October 1991–January 1992

    McCandless works in Bullhead City, Arizona, and then stays with Jan Burres in California.

    Chapter 5
  • January–March 1992

    McCandless stays with Ron Franz near Salton City, California.

    Chapter 6
  • March–April 1992

    McCandless works for Wayne Westerberg in Carthage, South Dakota, to fund his trip to Alaska.

    Chapter 7
  • April 1992–August 1992

    McCandless camps in Bus 142 on Alaska's Stampede Trail where, trapped by raging rivers, he dies.

    Chapter 18
  • September 1992

    McCandless's body is found by hikers and hunters.

    Chapter 2
  • January 1993

    Jon Krakauer publishes a controversial article about McCandless in Outside magazine.

    Chapter 8
  • Spring 1993

    McCandless's parents visit Bus 142, leaving a memorial plaque and emergency supplies for visitors.

    Epilogue

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Jim Gallien, an electrician, was driving from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Anchorage when he spotted a hitchhiker. The hitchhik... Read More
Chapter 2 Chapter 2 details the geography of the Stampede Trail and the area surrounding Bus 142, where McCandless set up camp. Al... Read More
Chapter 3 The author lays the groundwork for two of Chris's relationships. The first is with his friend and boss, Wayne Westerberg... Read More
Chapter 4 McCandless's abandoned Datsun is discovered in the sands of Detrital Wash in the Mojave Desert by a park ranger. The cha... Read More
Chapter 5 After tramping around the Pacific Northwest during July and August of 1991, McCandless headed for Bullhead City, Arizona... Read More
Chapter 6 The author begins the chapter with a letter he received from Ron Franz regarding the article Krakauer wrote about McCand... Read More
Chapter 7 McCandless arrived at Westerberg's place in mid-March 1992 with firm plans to stay one month—enough time to earn the mon... Read More
Chapter 8 The chapter opens with Krakauer citing parts of letters from readers, many of them Alaskans, responding to his article a... Read More
Chapter 9 Krakauer relates the story of Everett Ruess, who, like Chris McCandless, turned his back on civilization for a nomadic l... Read More
Chapter 10 Chapter 10 details the difficulty the Alaska state troopers had trying to identify the body in Bus 142. There were no ID... Read More
Chapter 11 Chapter 11 offers details about McCandless, his family, and the life they shared. Although Walt, Chris's father, was bor... Read More
Chapter 12 The chapter "Annandale" continues Krakauer's analysis of McCandless and his family. In the spring of 1986, McCandless ga... Read More
Chapter 13 Carine McCandless Fish and her husband, Chris Fish, live in Virginia Beach. Together they own and operate a successful b... Read More
Chapter 14 Chapter 14 details Krakauer's decision at age 23 to climb the Devil's Thumb Mountain on the Stikine Ice Cap in Alaska. K... Read More
Chapter 15 In Chapter 15 Krakauer completes his story about his challenge of the northwest face of the Devil's Thumb. For three day... Read More
Chapter 16 McCandless left Carthage and crossed the Canadian border on April 18. On April 24 he arrived in Liard River Hotsprings a... Read More
Chapter 17 In July 1993 Krakauer visits his subject's camp accompanied by three seasoned hikers: Roman Dial, Dan Solie, and Andrew ... Read More
Chapter 18 The author pieces together McCandless's journal entries to form a timeline of his days from July 8 to August 18, the mos... Read More
Epilogue In July 1993, 10 months after Sam McCandless brought Walt and Billie McCandless the tragic news that their son had died ... Read More
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