Hey, you know that cabin the man's trying to get to in "To Build a Fire"? You know, the one located on the left fork of Henderson Creek? Well Jack London is probably writing about the exact cabin that he himself lived in as a young prospector, which was located on the very same creek. And that hike that the main character of this story is making? It's very likely an exact route that London would have walked when he was twenty-one years old, but hopefully in better weather. (Source)
When he was only in his mid-teens, Jack London decided that 18 to 20 hour workdays for little pay weren't all that great, so he borrowed some cash and bought a sailboat called Razzle-Dazzle to begin life as… that's right, an oyster pirate. London turned out to be so good at stealing oysters that he was soon known as "The Prince of the Oyster Pirates" by people all around San Francisco Bay. (Source)
Check out the original 1902 version of "To Build a Fire." For you keeners out there: try to compare the two versions to see how much the classic version has changed from the earlier one.