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Quiet for a little while (and the tale of a non-me hermit)

Well, despite the chaos, life — and work — goes on. I have an article deadline this week, so I may be quiet for a few days.

Rest assured the battle to save JPFO from sellout goes on. Although I’ve been standing here in public waving my arms and yelling, I’m really only a small part of the rescue effort. Smart people are on it!


While I’m off being a hermit writer, here’s a good read about a hermit who makes me (and even desert-buddy Joel) look like a real wimp. ‘Course, Joel and I didn’t resort to thievery. But this follow-up story from GQ on Christopher Knight, Maine’s infamous North Pond Hermit, is fascinating.

Yeah, GQ does seem like an odd place for a tale of a grubby hermit. Oh well.


Sign the petition to keep JPFO out of SAF’s hands. Over halfway to signature goal now! The board doesn’t want to listen? Make them hear the voices of JPFO members and donors.


  1. Joel
    Joel August 25, 2014 8:06 am

    That guy gives hermits a bad name.

  2. naturegirl
    naturegirl August 25, 2014 6:08 pm

    Knight wasn’t as free as he liked to think he was, if he had to steal so many things in order to survive. But that was a long time out there, especially in that climate. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up just not coping in society from now on, either.

    Amazing story, but not quite as much excitement as the Barefoot Bandit’s escapades were LOL.

  3. naturegirl
    naturegirl August 25, 2014 6:21 pm

    RE: Paul’s link. I am actually astounded they weren’t separated. Astounded in a happy, good way. Finally someone did the right thing.

    It’s actually quite easy to disappear into a forest or park out in the middle of nowhere. Simply because it’s out in the middle of nowhere….Not quite so easy in cities, or populated places; but people would probably be amazed at how many are there, too. They aren’t all in doorways or alleys, just like they aren’t all drunken drug addicts. The number of children living this way has just exploded in recent years, and growing daily.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 25, 2014 7:42 pm

    I can see how that could have easily been me. Without the stealing (I say, now).

    There was a time when I was in high school, and just after I graduated, that melting off into the woods was truly the *only* thing I wanted from life. I didn’t do it because my parents kept telling me it would be wrong to do so- for a variety of reasons which never made sense to me. And kept teasing me with the carrot of civilization … which I don’t think I will ever catch.

    Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t make the wrong choice. “Sometimes”? Only several times a day. But I don’t hate people… I wonder if I would by now if I had avoided them as he did.

  5. Bear
    Bear August 25, 2014 8:39 pm

    Well, he’s an admitted thief, I figure him for a liar, too. Two and half decades of Maine winters in a tent… and he never, ever, once lit a fire.

    I won’t believe he spent all those nights in a tent without one. Once you get around -20F, even an extreme cold weather bag can only do so much unless you have a goodly supply of high calorie food. Thawed food you can eat. He might have been breaking into unattended homes to sleep overnight. Or he might not have even been wintering in the area. Frankly, I always thought large parts of his story sounded like BS.

  6. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan August 26, 2014 7:16 am

    From story, guy appears to have mental condition, form of autism. Doesn’t look at faces, can’t handle the emotions expressed in a face. Now, being out in woods may have contributed to that, but its more likely scowling parents didn’t practice staring at their newborn and share expressions through early childhood development. Brains develop in areas that get used. Stare at a baby and share emotional expressions, (cause and affect, action, reaction). Communication begins in the womb. Baby kicks, mother rubs tummy. Could he a nice thesis paper written about this dude and his family life, (his mom is still alive but it sounds like she doesn’t talk to anyone either). Very interesting.

  7. Ellendra
    Ellendra August 26, 2014 9:47 pm

    That could very easily have been me. There was a long stretch where disappearing into the wild was all I could think about.

    For a while, I even thought I knew enough that I could swing it. From the story, it looks like he started out trying to forage what he needed, but didn’t have the skills to manage. I thought I had the skills.

    But then I ran into someone who was also interested in wilderness survival, but he knew things I had never even heard of. I started researching in new directions. The internet started hitting its stride about then, making it easier to research things. I learned enough to realize how little I knew, and about the time I thought I had learned enough to make it, my health fell apart.

    I don’t think I would have had such health problems if I was living in the wild, but if I would have, they would have killed me. So now, my “escape” plans involve a quiet little homestead within a short drive to civilization. The wild still calls, but for now I’m staying near the fringes.

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