Christopher Johnson McCandless (February 12, 1968 – August 1992) was an American adventurer. He ventured into the Alaskan wilderness in April 1992 with little food and equipment, hoping to live simply for a time in solitude. Almost four months later, McCandless’s starved remains were found, weighing only 30 kilograms (66 lb). His death occurred in a converted bus used as a backcountry shelter, along the Stampede Trail on the eastern bank of the Sushana River.
In January 1993, Jon Krakauer published McCandless’s story in that month’s issue of Outside magazine. Inspired by the details of McCandless’s story, Krakauer wrote and published Into the Wild in 1996 about McCandless’s travels. The book was adapted into a film by Sean Penn in 2007 with Emile Hirsch portraying McCandless. That same year, McCandless’s story also became the subject of Ron Lamothe’s documentary The Call of the Wild.
A full-length article on McCandless also appeared in the February 8, 1993, issue of the The New Yorker magazine. A recent PBS documentary uncovering some additional information, with interviews, is titled “Return to the Wild: The Chris McCandless Story”. It first aired on the PBS network in November 2014 and will be rerun.