Man Emerges After 6 Months Alone in the Wild

Kristoffer Glestad lived out his childhood dream in Northwest Territories
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 10:04 AM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2015 11:54 AM CST
Man Emerges After 6 Months Alone in the Wild
Oscar Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories is seen from above.   (PRNewsFoto/The Pew Environment Group)

"People aren't meant to be alone." That's Kristoffer Glestad's revelation after spending six months in isolation in the Canadian wilderness. Living off the land with a few hundred pounds of gear probably sounds like a nightmare to some, but it was Glestad's childhood dream. "The dream was to go out to Canada, live off the land, fish, and see the nature," he tells the CBC. After a year and a half of planning, the 26-year-old Norwegian—who once tried to ski to the North Pole, per the Digital Journal—hired a pilot to take him to a nameless lake about an hour outside a community of 800 in the Northwest Territories. "It was a really weird feeling, dropping a guy off with a one-way ticket," the pilot says. "I shook Kris's hand and more or less said, 'Good luck to you.'" Armed with a rifle, axe, saw, tent, and rations, Glestad got to work on a log cabin and tried to get used to the quiet.

"You get so tired of thinking. You think all the time," he says. "The only entertainment is what you do yourself." Glestad made occasional calls to friends, family, and his doctor using a satellite phone, but he remembers realizing at one point that he hadn't spoken aloud in two weeks. "I tried to sing. I can't sing," he says. "I tried to talk to myself, but I felt foolish, so I told stories to myself." While he "didn't find the meaning of life," he says looking at the lake made him feel "like the richest man on the planet." One of the most exciting moments happened one night when he was sleeping in his tent. "I heard a wolf howling on the left side of the tent, really close. Two others answered on the right side, even closer," he says. But wolves aren't great company. "I knew I liked my family. I knew I like being with friends," says Glestad. "I didn't know I cared that much, that I could long for being with those people so hard." (The author of Into the Wild has revised his theory on what happened to Chris McCandless.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.