• Emile Hirsch from a scene in 'Into the Wild' (2007). (MARY EVANS PICTURE LIBRARY)Source: MARY EVANS PICTURE LIBRARY
Definitely do not try this at home.
Sarah Norton

29 Jun 2016 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 29 Jun 2016 - 4:55 PM

Two hikers have been rescued in Alaska after failing to return from a trek they took in search of the bus from 2007 film Into the Wild.

According to reports, the two men Michael Trigg, 25 and Theodore Aslund, 27 had a day trip planned along the Teklanika River to find the abandoned bus. They posted to Facebook asking friends to call searchers if they didn’t return within the day. So, friends contacted the park rangers when the duo failed to return.

They’re not the first keen hikers to fail to reach (or return from) the famous bus.

Many hikers have attempted to make the challenging trek to the bus. The trail became popular after Jon Krakauer's book 'Into the Wild' was adapted into a Hollywood film. The book and movie follow 24-year-old Chris McCandless who, in 1993, left his privileged life in America, donated $24, 000 in savings and made his way to Alaska. Ultimately he died inside the (now famous) bus.

While there have been many successful attempts to reach the place where McCandless' journey ended, there have also been many failed ones including a woman who died trying to complete it.

In 2013 there were two rescue missions during the summer, saving people who were trying to make the pilgrimage. Three German hikers were rescued in May that year while trying to reach the Fairbanks city bus, situated north of Denali National Park and Preserve.

In June that same year three other travellers were rescued after signalling a passing military helicopter. One member had been slowed due to an ankle injury and the trio became stuck on the wrong side of the Teklanika River. The helicopter saved them.

In 2010 a 29-year-old Swiss woman called Claire Ackerman drowned while attempting a river crossing in her quest to reach the famed location. She was survived by a male companion.

Her tragic death sparked a debate about how best to deal with this adventurous tourist obsession.

Travellers seem to have the same desire as McCandless did; to search the wild for something that was almost out-of-reach but just reachable enough to influence the people who made it.

The locals in Healy – near the start of the trail to the bus – call the most enthusiastic hikers “pilgrims” and the journey to the bus a “pilgrimage” because their quest is often deeper than just finding a bus. It’s bordering on something akin to a religious experience.

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