Into the Wild is a non-fictional account of the wilderness survival and eventual death of Christopher McCandless, a teenager who left home to experience nature's grandeur. The survival of McCandless's journals and the accounts of those he met with on his travels paint a vivid picture of a determined young man wrestling with personal demons through travel. McCandless dies alone in the Alaskan wilderness at the conclusion of the novel.
Sam reveals that he originally read the article about the hiker, but didn’t think it could be Chris. However, when he receives the description, it is familiar and so he is called on to identify Chris from photographs. Sam and his wife are left the duty of driving to Maryland, where Chris’s parents are, to inform them of what’s happened.