In find it interesting that Gary Paulsen prefers to live away from densely populated areas. One of his reasons is that when he is under the influence of people and crowds, he tends to feed his drinking habit. Recognizing this, he prefers to feed his desires to live off the land instead - even making his own boots and clothes.
Paulsen has been in some scrapes during the course of his life, and he has been able to incorporate those experiences into his novels for young people, revealing truths about the world along the way. His real experiences include forced plane landings, living in a cave, and being attacked by a moose (but not eating raw turtle eggs). When he was young, he endured his parents' bad relationship and subsequent divorce, and even that made its way into one of our favorite books about survival - Hatchet.