29 Into the Wild Quotes: Adventure, War, Nature and More

Into the Wild is a non-fiction book penned by Jon Krakauer in 1996. It is an expansion of a 9000-word article by Krakauer on Chris McCandless, titled “Death of an Innocent”. This article appeared in the January 1993 issue of Outside.

Here’s a fun fact: The bus that McCandless dies in became a tourist attraction after the book has deemed a hit. However, for safety reasons, the bus was removed in 2020 after tourists kept getting trapped in the Alaskan Backcountry. Check out the top Into the Wild quotes.

29 Into the Wild Quotes That Paint A Vivid Mental Picture

Into the Wild Quotes on Adventure

#1. “He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and willful and wild-hearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the sea harvest of shells and tangle and veiled grey sunlight.” – Jon Krakauer.

#2. “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless.

#3. “I had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last – overpowering, overwhelming,” he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. “But since then, I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life.” – Christopher McCandless.

#4. “The trip was to be an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word, an epic journey that would change everything.” – Christopher McCandless.

#5. “I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.” – Christopher McCandless.

#6. “Tramping is too easy with all this money. My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal… I’ve decided that I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.” – Christopher McCandless.

#7. “It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations. Absolute freedom. And the road has always led west.” – Christopher McCandless.

Into the Wild Quotes on Time

#8. “Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence — the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes — all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.” – Jon Krakauer.

#9. “Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies.” – Jon Krakauer.

#10. “I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters.” – Jon Krakauer.

Into the Wild Quotes on Nature

#11. “The desert sharpened the sweet ache of his longing, amplified it, gave shape to it in sere geology and clean slant of light.” – Jon Krakauer.

#12. “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but nature more.” – Christopher McCandless.

#13. “The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong.” – Christopher McCandless.

#14. “Alaska has long been a magnet for dreamers and misfits, people who think the unsullied enormity of the Last Frontier will patch all the holes in their loves. The bush is an unforgiving place, however, that care nothing for hope or longing.” – Christopher McCandless.

#15. “You can’t depend entirely on leaves and berries.” – Jan Burres. Into the Wild Quotes on Love

#16. “This is a love story that is staggering to everybody in the whole world. That God really loves us a lot.” – Leonard Knight

#17. “What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?” – Christopher McCandless.

#18. “A lot of people in the valley just love me a lot. Everybody now, I think, in the whole world is just loving me. And I want to have the wisdom to love them back. And that’s about it.” – Leonard Knight.

#19. “Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” – Christopher McCandless.

#20. “When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines on you.” – Ron Franz.

Other into The Wild Quotes

#21. “He read a lot. He used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often. A couple of times I tried to tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff, but Alex got stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.” – Jon Krakauer.

#22. “No phone. No pool. No pets. No cigarettes. Ultimate freedom… No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become Lost in the Wild.” – Christopher McCandless.

#23. “Careers were demeaning ‘twentieth-century inventions,’ more of a liability than an asset, and that he would do fine without one, thank you.” – Christopher McCandless.

#24. “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.” – Christopher McCandless.

#25. “I know how important it is in life to measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” – Christopher McCandless.

#26. “The fragility of crystal is not a weakness but a fineness.” – Christopher McCandless.

#27. “Circumstance has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon… what it means to you.” – Christopher McCandless.

#28. “Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did.” – Christopher McCandless.

#29. “You got to get back out in the world! Get out of that lonely house, that little workshop of yours. Get back out on the road! Really! You’re going to live a long time, Ron! You should make a radical change in your lifestyle!” – Christopher McCandless.


The book was adapted to a film of the same name in 2007, directed by Sean Penn. The book is an international bestseller, having been printed in 30 languages and 173 editions and formats. It is widely used in high school and college reading curricula. In 2019, Into the Wild was listed by Slate as one of the 50 best nonfiction works of the past quarter-century.

Image source: Into the Wild photo from www.thenewleam.com

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