For Christmas I got a copy of "Alone in the Wilderness," a film about Dick Proenneke by Bob Swerer Productions. In 1968, when Dick turned 51, he decided he'd like to live in the Alaska wilderness year round (he was an in-demand diesel mechanic in King Salmon). He single-handledly built a log cabin with hand tools, and stayed there for the next 30 or so years. Proenneke is The Man. An expert carpenter, hunter, outdoorsman and filmmaker (he records his story with a Bolex camera), he was also a terrific writer. The film uses his observations for the narration (someone else reads it) and marries them to the film he shot. I can't help wishing Chris McCandless (the subject of of Jon Krakauer's bestseller Into the Wild) had met the guy and learned how to survive from him (McCandless died in 1992; Proenneke moved back to the Lower 48 in 1999). As different as they were in skills, it seems like they were alike in many ways, each having a desire to test himself and a deep love of the natural world.