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Thread: Outdoor Recreation Research

  1. #1
    Widdler Nick L's Avatar
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    Hi. I am from the University of Gloucestershire and we are conducting some research on attitudes to risk and challenge in relation to outdoor recreation on behalf of CCW. As part of the research we are asking people on various forums what they think about a series of statements.

    We would like to invite comments on the following statements:

    ·Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. Could other activities such as Scrambling or Climbing offer similar experiences?

    ·Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities?

    ·You enjoy hiking/scrambling more if you are good at it.

    Please be assured that all responses will be treated anonymously. The unit that I work in can be found at the following link:
    http://www.glos.ac.uk/faculties/ccru/index.cfm
    The University research guidelines and principles can be found at:
    http://www.glos.ac.uk/currentstudent.../appendix6.cfm

    I look forward to hearing comments. We have posted on other forums, and had interesting responses. Permission has been granted by Jon Doran - Editor of this site. I will also do my best to deal with queries as they arise. Thanks

  2. #2
    Übermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    ·Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. Could other activities such as Scrambling or Climbing offer similar experiences?

    If you're asking if scrambling and climbing are activities that stimulate adrenaline, then yes, of course. I'm not a young man, so can't comment on the first part of this statement.

    ·Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities?

    Well, climbing is my main activity. I do some scrambling and walking, but mostly climb. I think women get just as much of a buzz from adrenaline as men do, and for me, the more challenging the activity, the more I'm interested in it
    Regarding danger and risk, well obviously I do everything I can to minimise both.

    ·You enjoy hiking/scrambling more if you are good at it.

    I don't think this is true. I'm not really fit, and nor are several people I walk/climb with. Some aren't up to high level walks and stick to valley paths. I think they get just as much out of the day as others who are peak-bagging. I don't climb hard things and often choose to climb well below my limit just to have a good day out, but I think I have just as much fun as people climbing mid E grades. Possibly more so since I'm less likely to fall off, and consequences of a fall are likely to be less serious!

    I'd be interested to know how your research relates to the CCW. I can appreciate questions about facilities and activities have obvious uses, but I'm not sure about this. If people generally enjoy high risk activities, what are CCW going to do about it? Build more mountains? Or if people are more risk averse, what then?

  3. #3
    Widdler Nick L's Avatar
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    Cara-Lyn, thanks for being the first to respond - hopefull that will get the ball rolling.

    What CCW intend to use the information for is to find out what type of experience people want so that they can better provide for this. It is being partly driven by the Welsh Assembly's desire to see a greater diversity of users and encouragement of greater use of the countryside.

    Although these statements are looking at risk and challenge, we intend to post a few more questions in a few days of a different nature once this thread has run its course.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Initiate Man on stilts's Avatar
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    "Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk"

    This question is ambiguous: Are you asking:

    a/ Whether young men are more attracted to risky activities than other groups of people (eg women, children or older men)?

    or

    b/ Whether young men are more attracted to risky than to safer activities.

    or maybe, even

    c/ The reason that young men are attracted to some activities is associated with their generation of adrenaline and a liking for taking risks.

    I might give you different a different answer depending on which interpretation I think I'm answering - but it may not be the one you intend.

    Similarly:

    "Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities".

    Do you intend to ask whether women have a different attitude from men and children, or (possibly) whether some women have differing attitudes from other women? Again, your question is ambiguous, and I might answer a different question from the one you intend to ask.

    Sorry to maybe seem to be pedantically critical. But I do think you need to think about your questions a little more, in what I am sure is a worthwhile project.



    Edited to correct spelling


  5. #5
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. - more likely than what? Knitting? Bungee jumping?

    I totally agree with the Man on Stilts - your questions are either ambiguous or meaningless. You can't ask for a comparison when only giving a single item to compare.

  6. #6
    Übermensch Hamish Fenton's Avatar
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    How can you tell if you are good at hiking or scrambling? I enjoy both of those activities, I've never had any major injuries from them, but accept that at times I have been poorly prepared and and made some bad decisions, but I still enjoy the experience. what splits a fantastic day from a good day is often simply down to the weather conditions.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    what splits a fantastic day from a good day is often simply down to the weather conditions

    Or the company, or the location....there's you so many variables and the questions are too loose and wooly.

  8. #8
    Übermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    Cheers Nick. I can understand that CCW want to provide what people want. But I don't understand how this relates to the concept of risk. Unless they want to, at one end of the scale, cause constant rockfall to rain down on the Miners' Track, or, at the other end of the scale, put a ladder of bolts up Cenotaph Corner, I don't see how CCW can affect what risk there is for those who do or don't want it.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhh Via Ferrata Cenotaph Corner, great idea. Maybe bolt Gogarth for sport climbing while they're at it ;-)

  10. #10
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    With Hamish on the "are you good at it."

    How does someone know if they are good at it? what is the point of reference?

    They know if they enjoy it or not, but who says whether they are good or not?

    Many people enjoy painting, but not everyone who enjoys it are going to become a modern day Constable or Cyffin Williams!

  11. #11
    Übermensch John Bailey's Avatar
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    ·Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. Could other activities such as Scrambling or Climbing offer similar experiences?

    Well at least I'm male and young so can respond to this first question.
    I don't go mountain biking and I'm not particularly attracted to it.
    I think in their very nature climbing and scrambling differ from mountain biking in that there is an easier progression on a mountain bike onto progressively more difficult terrain. Walking, Scrambling, Climbing have a series of points at which the nature of the activity changes along with the techniques and safety requirements. I think these barriers obstruct the natural progression.

    Someone can get on a mountain bike and ride until they find the limit of their comfort zone, this provides the adrenaline buzz required.
    I doubt many "young men" are likely to get such a buzz from normal walking or simple scrambling. There is then a sudden change where technique and equipment become necessary to push the activity further.
    I think that climbing could probably supply a similar buzz, although generally delivered in a slower way, but the techniques required act as a barrier to entry.

    ·Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities?

    I wouldn't know what it's like to be a woman. However, I think there is a danger of stereotyping here. I probably know as many women that do such things as I do blokes. I quite like baking cakes too (not for any type of adrenaline rush), does that make me any less male?

    ·You enjoy hiking/scrambling more if you are good at it.

    There's probably a lower limit that would likely make people seriously dislike the activities. For example, being seriously overweight. Other than that I don't think it's that much of an issue. Walking isn't generally treated as a competitive sport so you can take what you choose from it and modify the activity to suit your abilities.
    I'm a truly rubbish scrambler but I still enjoy it and as I regard walking as a social activity then the day I got my arse stuck in a crack on Jake's Rake has provided endless amusement to my "friends".

    I think perhaps the questioning used has been a little biased. Perhaps a more structured survey may be tried after some initial investigation has been carried out.

  12. #12
    Widdler Nick L's Avatar
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    Morning everyone, thanks for those who have posted. As this is work related and not having internet access at home, I was unable to respond to comments until now.

    Firstly, we are not looking for answers, rather what people's thoughts are with regard to the statements. This is why the statements may appear ambiguous - they are merely aimed at intiating discussion.

    Man on Stilts-as to how you interpret the statement, there are likely to be certain elements implicit in ALL the variations you pose, but really we are simply asking you to take the statement at face value rather than consider what we might or might not mean.

    With regard to the second statement - we have asked only women, and these statements have been posted on around 10 other forums.

    As for being 'good' at hiking/scrambling, my own personal opinion would be that you are able to improve navigation skill, scrambling techniques (spotting routes/holds etc) and also that technique of pacing yourself on the hills. Ive had some great days out in the hills in foul weather because I have been able to navigate myself across some rubbish terrain, so I dont personally think that a great day out in the hills is necessarily determined by weather - although I agree it does help. WIth regard to the point of reference on being 'good'....this could simply be self awareness of improvements in points I mention above, or some other aspect. I am also a keen runner, and know plenty of people who run, but dont necessarily improve their race times etc, but they love doing it more so because of the social side of things.

    Cara-Lyn - although these statements refer to risk etc, what CCW want us to do is find out what people are seeking (in terms of experience) when they do an activity - so an adrenaline rush for downhill mtb perhaps, or intense physical exercise if fell running, what kinds of people are most likely to be interested in a particular activity and then use this information to encourage more users to get out into the countryside. As you say CCW cant affect the risk etc, but they (and the assembly) are intending to promote certain types of activity based upon experiences you can get while engaging in them.

    John Bailey - As mentioned before we are only using the forums as a means to obtain a few thoughts and opinions on the statements. We wanted to speak to a wide range of outdoor recreation users groups, and this simply was the easiest method of doing so. We we have posted on Caving sites, climbing, cycling, fell running, moutain biking and numerous others. I appreciate that the statements may appear to be sterotyping, but they are in effect the same as attitudinal scales. They do not necessarily reflect our own personal opinion, but we have based them on existing research which we have examined a great deal. As for conducting a more structured survey with pilot etc that would be great, if we had the time, and means to do such a thing - which sadly we do not. One final point - what you say with regard to your comments about walking being for you a social activity - this is something we have found a very common response. Although many people say that inevitibly as you do an activity you tend to get better, the social aspect is often equally if not more important. Oh and I take it the bit on Jacks Rake is just after the 'airy' gap where the tree is?

    I hope that covers all of the comments etc raised by people. We do intend to post some questions shortly, after responses to these statements have run their course.

    Thanks again.






  13. #13
    Übermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    Hmm I still think that's pretty simplistic. North Wales is my favourite place to climb. But it's more than an activity. I don't just climb for adrenaline, I do it to get to amazing places where walkers can't get to, with stunning views, lovely rock, the whole experience. I don't think this could possibly be conveyed in a promotional campaign. Unless someone is already intersted in climbing, you're not going to interest them in it by harping on about the quality of the rock! Similarly, you can have as many posters as you like with pictures of walkers in stunning scenery, but how to convey the joy and exhilaration that a little group share when they reach a summit just as the sun bursts through the clouds? Or how to depict the fact that getting soaking wet is not always a bad thing and can just add to the fun?

    I think if you get more specific questions together, it will be a lot easier to see where you're going with this, and people will give more constructive replies.

    FWIW, the recent Welsh Tourist Board ads with the "mud" theme were probably the best I've seen promoting countryside activities, and DID manage to convey a lot of the above.

  14. #14
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    Q) Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. Could other activities such as Scrambling or Climbing offer similar experiences?

    A) I go to the outdoors for the complete opposite and as a young man I liked to get away from the usual pressure of bring a young lad and being forced into a world of alcohol and peer group pressure, so I highly disagree with the statement.

    Q) Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities?

    A) Can't comment as I have a pen1s but from experience from my female walking friends and my girlfriend, I actually have more male friends who are scared of the ridges and scrambling than females.

    Q) You enjoy hiking/scrambling more if you are good at it.

    A) Probably true, but I like to teach myself these things but am more than willing to listen to wiser people.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    "Young men are more likely to be attracted to activities such as Mountain Biking because of their desire for adrenaline and risk. Could other activities such as Scrambling or Climbing offer similar experiences?"

    I haven't tried being a young man or mountain biking so can't comment on that.

    "Women have different attitudes towards danger/risk and challenge and as such prefer less challenging activities?"

    Women may have different attitudes towards danger / risk assessment than men / young men / children / squirrels (don't know why squirrels, but who cares?), but why on earth should that mean they prefer less challenging activities? One of the things that I enjoy about scrambling is the challenge and the risk - and pushing myself to see just how far I'll go. As a 41 year old woman with no dependents I may have a different attitude to risking my well-being than someone with dependents, or I may not. I may be more aware of the potential dangers than an 18 year old, but again, that doesn't mean I won't undertake the activity. Individuals have different attitudes towards danger which may influence them in their choice of pass-time. But walking up the Llanberis path may be a far greater challenge to one 41 year old woman than traversing Crib Goch to another.

    "You enjoy hiking/scrambling more if you are good at it"

    Perhaps, to an extent. But what is being 'good' at hiking? I think a lot of the enjoyment comes from a sense of achievement. Is the woman who's walked up the Llanberis path going to have any less of a sense of achievement, and enjoyment, than the one who's just traversed Crib Goch? I don't know if I will go beyond grade 1 scrambling and it won't bother me if I don't - I won't enjoy it any less because some might regard me as being 'less good' at scrambling than someone who waltzes up a grade 3.

  16. #16
    Übermensch jonno's Avatar
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    Mountain biking may appear more glamorous than hiking and scrambling but the exposure and therefore the fear factor can be much greater scrambling and maybe even simple hiking goes to places your average mountain biker cannot ride.
    What,s more its a slow burn process which isnt over in a flash ,you just cannot close your eyes till it goes away, the exposure will be there until you,ve climbed ,scrambled or walked away from it.Unlike a fleeting few seconds on a bike which is over before the danger as impacted on your mind .

    So ,to me at least , mountain biking as regards adreneline and risk is for pussies.

  17. #17
    Widdler Nick L's Avatar
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    Thanks once again to all who have contributed.

    As mentioned earlier, I have now posted some new questions in a new thread and we would very much welcome further resposnes.

    Thread title is called 'Outdoor Recreation Research - Part 2'

  18. #18
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