This Man Lived Alone For Nearly 30 Years In The Mountains of Alaska In a Log Cabin Which He Built With His Own Hands


Richard Proenneke was an amateur naturalist who lived alone for nearly thirty years in the mountains of Alaska in a log cabin which he built with his own hands near the shore of Twin Lakes. Proenneke hunted, fished, raised and gathered his own food, and also had supplies flown in occasionally. He documented his activities in journals and on film, and also recorded valuable meteorological and natural data. The journals and film were later used by others to write books and produce documentaries about his time in the wilderness.


Sam Keith, a close friend of Dick Proenneke, wrote: One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey – Paperback

Bob Swerer produced the video “Alone in the Wilderness” in 2003. Bob edited more of Dick’s previously unseen footage to create this film of Dick and his adventures in Alaska.

Bob Swerer produced the video “Alaska Silence & Solitude” in 1998. In 1997 Bob Swerer and Bob Swerer Sr flew to Twin Lakes to visit with Dick Proenneke and explore the Twin Lakes region.

Bob Swerer produced the video “The Frozen North” in 2006. Dick Proenneke shot over 3000 feet of 8mm movie film. Bob edited the film and added sound to create this fascinating film of one man living alone in the Alaska wilderness.

Bob Swerer produced the video “ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS PART II” in 2011 after Dick’s brother Raymond discovered more old footage that had never been seen before, which includes more building and carving, canoeing and outstanding wildlife footage.


28 Responses to “This Man Lived Alone For Nearly 30 Years In The Mountains of Alaska In a Log Cabin Which He Built With His Own Hands”

  1. Rich Woman says:

    Amazing.. what a man

  2. Mike Hunter says:


  3. David Loehmann says:

    I saw the documentary on this man years ago on PBS. It is one of the best I’ve ever seen. He filmed it all by himself, setting up a camera and recording his daily activities. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in survivalism. Truly inspiring and a movie I’ll never forget.

    • Bruce Alatalo says:

      The DVD set of his experience is available from your local PBS station. He was a remarkable man.

    • Jackie says:

      Watched it years ago as well. Recommended it to everyone I knew. Guy was so independent. Do you know when he died?

  4. CarltonR13 says:

    Highly descriptive blog, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  5. Jew Jizsue says:

    So, where is the bathroom/outhouse? Did my man not ever poop or pee? Is my man here Kim Jung-Un?

  6. Brian Lies says:

    If you’re interested in Dick Proenneke’s experience, read the book which inspired the documentary, “One Man’s Wilderness,” written by Sam Keith. Also Keith’s Alaska memoir of his experiences in Alaska 1953-55, when he met and had adventures with Proenneke.

  7. Cindy says:

    What is name of the doumentary? I’d like to look it up and watch it.

  8. John says:

    That;s the best you can do?

  9. Dennis Fish says:

    Alone in the Wilderness.
    I bought the documentary.

  10. George says:

    The Jack Pernicky story alone in the wilderness

  11. Roger Vines says:

    When I was young I dreamed of living a life like Jeremiah Johnson. It finally occured to me, a life of isolation in the wilderness would be a wasted life. Relationships is too important in my opinion. I love the outdoors, but a life without other humans would be totally self focused. We all live and we all die. All we leave behind is our relationships and the impact for good we have had on other people. While a life of isolation in harmony with nature sounds glamorous, not really. If not for those who knew him and wrote about him, this guy could live his whole life and nobody would ever know he existed. That said, it still appeals to the Jeremiah Johnson in me.

    • yorgiskyra says:

      This stuff is very impressive to see on a computer screen in a house with all modern comforts, including a nine-to-five (or whatever) job.
      Trying to live like that, and even trying to make the very first steps toward being able to live like that for one week, is a very different matter. Life skills and even more so survival skills are imprinted during a person’s childhood and youth. In later ages they don’t come easy, or don’t come at all.

  12. Monkeyshuffle says:

    Very lame

  13. Angeline says:

    Would love to see this on Netflix

  14. TrollSlayer says:

    How constructive. Crawl back under your tarp, maybe it’ll suffocate you tonight.

  15. Randy Otto says:

    Watched this faithfully when it was on PBS. Still think about it to this day. An amazing man.

  16. Jayme says:

    Read the book after seeing the PBS special. Amazing and so cool! The real “My side of the Mountain” man!

  17. Andrew says:

    April 20th 2003 he passed

  18. Nknya bizinus says:

    This untrue story keeps going on and on

  19. Cecille De lumen says:


  20. Cheryl says:

    He is lucky to have no drama in his life

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