Presentation Title

Situational Influences on Experiences of Long Trail Hikers: An Application of Means-End Theory

Location

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

Session Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail are arguably the most popular long distance hiking trails in the United States, and together they span a collective 4800 miles of recreational trail. With the increasing need for recreational space these trails and other long trails like them are experiencing heavier traffic and impact. Recently more research has been done on the benefits of recreation as a means of justifying, acquiring protection for, and funding the creation and maintenance of sites such as these. With this in mind the purpose of this study is to utilize the Benefits of Hiking Scale (BHS) (Friedt, Hill, Gomez, Goldenberg, 2010) to determine whether outcomes of hiking experiences on the AT and the PCT vary based on duration and location. The BHS measures six domains Prevention of Worsening Condition, Improved Condition, Recognition of Psychological Experiences, Attributes, Consequences, and Values. Hikers were divided into non-thru hikers, thru hikers of the AT, thru hikers of other long distance trails, thru hikers of only one trail, and thru hikers of multiple trails. This study utilized an online survey which generated 292 complete responses that were in a usable format. Data shows that participants that identified as non-thru hikers scored higher in the domains of prevention of worsening condition, and improved condition with the other four domains showing no significant differences. This data implies that non thru hikers are seeking physical health benefits when they are hiking.

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-16-2016 10:45 AM

End Date

4-16-2016 12:00 PM

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Apr 16th, 10:45 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

Situational Influences on Experiences of Long Trail Hikers: An Application of Means-End Theory

Nessmith-Lane Atrium

The Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail are arguably the most popular long distance hiking trails in the United States, and together they span a collective 4800 miles of recreational trail. With the increasing need for recreational space these trails and other long trails like them are experiencing heavier traffic and impact. Recently more research has been done on the benefits of recreation as a means of justifying, acquiring protection for, and funding the creation and maintenance of sites such as these. With this in mind the purpose of this study is to utilize the Benefits of Hiking Scale (BHS) (Friedt, Hill, Gomez, Goldenberg, 2010) to determine whether outcomes of hiking experiences on the AT and the PCT vary based on duration and location. The BHS measures six domains Prevention of Worsening Condition, Improved Condition, Recognition of Psychological Experiences, Attributes, Consequences, and Values. Hikers were divided into non-thru hikers, thru hikers of the AT, thru hikers of other long distance trails, thru hikers of only one trail, and thru hikers of multiple trails. This study utilized an online survey which generated 292 complete responses that were in a usable format. Data shows that participants that identified as non-thru hikers scored higher in the domains of prevention of worsening condition, and improved condition with the other four domains showing no significant differences. This data implies that non thru hikers are seeking physical health benefits when they are hiking.