There's a lot of different reasons all over the internet and even some insight from his real-life sister, but I recall Christopher mentioning somewhere in the middle of Into the Wild (2007):

  • It was hinted all over the first part, but never revealed fully until the middle (approximately).
  • It was some "secret" concerning his family and/or his sister.
  • He didn't know it at first, but the learned this secret and it was partly responsible for his departure.
  • It's not likely to be abuse from his father, as his real-life sister states (though I'm not so sure here).

All in all, I remember that clearly mentioned in the film, but I can't just find that reason.

  • @Jenayah I'm not really sure if the plot-explanation is appropriate here since I believe it is not that movie revolves around that, it is more as a recurring theme and not even the single reason for his trip Mar 10, 2019 at 18:02
  • 1
    I'd say as it's part of the plot (well, maybe not the "whole" reason; but "abandon everything and go into the wild" is almost the title ;) ), so [plot-explanation], but I won't mind at all if you reject the edit, it's your question and your call :)
    – Jenayah
    Mar 10, 2019 at 18:05
  • @Jenayah "but "abandon everything and go into the wild" is almost the title" - well, can't argue with that, let this be, I just wanted to clarify that it isn't something deep and easy to miss, it's just something I can't remember :) Mar 10, 2019 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


It was the fact Chris and his sister were bastards.

I did partially rewatch the movie and this is explained at approximately 53rd minute.

Christopher's sister narrates that he found out his father had another son from his [father's] first wife to whom he still was officially married after Chris was born. Thus, Chris and his sister realized they were bastards.

This fact suddenly re-defined Chris and me as bastard children. Dad's arrogance made him conveniently oblivious to the pain he caused. And Mom, in the shame and embarrassment of a young mistress, became his accomplice in deceit.

Source: Into the Wild script

  • That, at the violence in the family. There's a scene in which is parents get into an argument about cancelling Christmas, and he starts beating her. Both Chris and his sister watch the scene. Aug 22, 2020 at 8:57

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