ANCHORAGE - You might think you've heard this story before.
A man sells most everything he owns and goes into the wild in Alaska, but this time the man is well-prepared. And he plans to document his adventure and see it televised afterward.
Charles Baird intends to live like an Alaskan pioneer of 100 years ago.
But as a filmmaker and photographer, he wants to document it with all the digital video technology and social media tools of the 21st century.
"So we'll be sending out Facebook updates to our Alaskan pioneer fan site, so people can track what's going on throughout the year."
On May 27, Baird intends to sail to tiny, unpopulated Latouche island at the western entrance to Prince William Sound and live there alone for at least 365 days.
When it's all over he hopes to sell his video footage for a television show.
"It's kind of very unusual reality TV, you might call it, but it's not staged, it's not acting. It's real. What happens, happens."
Baird, an engineer, is leaving his job at BP on May 15 and a few days later will get his first look at the land he purchased on the island.
On his next trip there he'll go with cameras, laptop computers, some preserved foods, vitamins, a couple of guns and some rudimentary tools, and will begin building a cabin and gathering firewood for the winter.
He said he'll hunt rabbits, squirrels, beavers, porcupines and waterfowl, and take a kayak out to go shrimping, while catching rainwater to drink.
Baird said he's a Christopher McCandless who's going into the wild prepared or a Timothy Treadwell who doesn't plan to be eaten by bears. But he says whatever happens, he won't regret it.
"Regardless of how it goes down, I intend for them to use the footage. Regardless of how it plays out. Yeah, no regrets right now. I'm comfortable with the way things go, regardless."
Baird’s friend and frequent photographic subject, Bella Coley, said his low-key demeanor masks serious ambition.
"He's kind of fulfilling that secret desire that almost every man on earth has – to survive the most epic adventure of one's life and live to tell the legacy."
He also will be incommunicado – a living time capsule.
"I won't know who the president is for four or five months there. I won't know what's going on in politics or entertainment or, I don't know, there may be new people born, die. And it'll be kind of fun to get back and see my family and learn what happened."
And then perhaps the world will learn what happened to him.
Dorene Lorenz, another friend of Baird's, said he tasked her last night with finding a dog to accompany him during his year on the island.
Baird said he has consulted with psychologists about maintaining his mental health in isolation.