I just finished watching the mediocre Into the Wild. I can tell I'm getting old, because I kept having to fight the idea while watching it that he's one broken bone, twisted ankle, etc., from a serious problem. Also, he wears glasses, so I'm thinking the way things go, he'll eventually break those. Finally, although I admire McCandless' idealism, I've experienced enough to know it was simply that - idealism. Unfortunately, his experience sort of proves me right.
From the Wikipedia entry:
McCandless grew up in Annandale, Virginia, located in affluent Fairfax County. From early childhood, teachers noticed McCandless was unusually strong-willed. As he grew older, he coupled this with an intense idealism and physical endurance. In high school, he served as captain of the cross-country team, urging teammates to treat running as a spiritual exercise in which they were "running against the forces of darkness....all the evil in the world, all the hatred."
He graduated from W.T. Woodson High School in 1986 and from Emory University in 1990, majoring in history and anthropology. His upper middle-class background and academic success masked growing contempt for what he saw as the empty materialism of American society. In his junior year, he declined membership in Phi Beta Kappa, on the basis honors and titles were irrelevant. McCandless was strongly influenced by Jack London, Leo Tolstoy and Henry David Thoreau, and he dreamed about leaving society for a Thoreau-like period of solitary contemplation. With little food and little equipment, hiked into the Alaskan wilderness to live a life of solitude.