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Thread: please help me with my dissertation

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    hi, i am a final year university student and am writting my thesis. i am a keen walker and am writting about whether the development of walking equipment has all been good.

    i'm playing with the idea that walking is as much about getting back to and seeing nature than challenging yourself and that new manmade materials and technologies can get in the way of the 'communication' process between the walker (us) and nature.

    what do you guys think?? can the overwhealming presents of man made products get in the way of the reason for hill walking??

  2. #2
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    As a senior examiner, the first thing that screamed out at me was your English.

    Writing
    overwhelming
    presence

    Sorry, but it got in the way of your message


  3. #3
    I love overwhelming presents! ;-)

  4. #4
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    not the manmade and man made uncertainty?

  5. #5
    Mini Goon leni's Avatar
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    I love presents, any presents

  6. #6
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    See what I mean, David - you've totally lost the meaning....

  7. #7
    David,

    Most 'outdoor equipment' enhances my enjoyment of 'getting out there' and indeed, some kit enables you to go and do things that would otherwise be difficult (e.g. crampons). There are exceptions to this: notably, a new rucksack with built in speakers...

  8. #8
    By the way...

    How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker had got him for Christmas?

    He felt his presents!! :-)

  9. #9
    Mini Goon leni's Avatar
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    And a tent that flashes when you call it ??????????????????


    But the fact that the more advanced fabrics and designs allow us to get out in all climates and conditions has too be seen as an improvement. Do we want to go back to the heavy wool jackets and plus fours of yesteryear?

  10. #10
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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    David I did my dissertation on the economic impacts of outdoor pursuits on the Peak National Park, not too dissimilar a subject. To do mine I had to physically get out and talk to people actually taking part in activities, place magic eye counters on major roads into the area, talk directly to councils and industries etc.

    It will be very hard to get quantitative or qualitative data on the purely subjective question of peoples feelings about technology. If I were you I'd try and change the emphasis to maybe the economics of outdoor technolgy and relate it to peoples opinions. You would then be able to access data on sales of new equipment and use it to support your conclusions.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Richard Watkiss's Avatar
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    ... and try to wangle some overwhelming presents from gear manufacturers!


    Hmmmm. Cold, wet and traditional, or warm, dry and happy. Not really a tricky question.

    Dayglo and noisy = bad bad bad

  12. #12
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    David

    I have to agree with Leni. The introduction of 'technical' fabrics and the reduction in cost of a base model made of these fabrics has made getting into the outdoors a far more pleasurable experience, available to the masses (im talking about regattas isotex for example versus gore-tex).

    The introduction of digital mapping and navigational hard/softwear has made the navigational challenges easier (i however pride myself in being able to navigate accurately to 10 figures in any weather and very rarely use the GPS)

    Anyway i think you get my point.

  13. #13
    Ultra King Ninja Marmot's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. You need to select a particular 'focus' for your dissertation. ATM, it's too broad and woolly.

    Maybe a short questionnaire is needed to help you to focus in? Write one and ask us on here.

  14. #14
    Initiate Man on stilts's Avatar
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    David: I think that if there were any validity in your hypothesis there would be a demand for simple, 'organic' or 'retro', equipment and clothing made from wood and wool and similarly natural materials. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't (or if there is, it's a very small niche) - except where the traditional, natural product (eg merino wool base layers, down fillings for sleeping bags) is demonstrably superior in at least some respects to its artificial alternative.


  15. #15
    Initiate Man on stilts's Avatar
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    Sorry. Getting tired, grumpy and pompous - I'm nearing the end of a longish day!


  16. #16
    Ultra King Weird Darren's Avatar
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    Isn't there a film on at the film festival about some climbers making repro gear of the first north face of the eiger ascent and how they got on using it?

  17. #17
    ‹bermensch
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    I like rambling in the nude - I find ripstop and rubber gets in the way and diminishes the pleasure of being out in the open air.

    Naked dew-baths on a warm morning are nice too.

    If by man-made things you mean the M6 then yes it is a pain in the neck.

  18. #18
    Mini Goon Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    Hi David

    I know what you mean, I have had similar thoughts myself about losing some of the experience of a day walking in the drizzle if i'm coated in expensive laminates. This only applies up to a point however, as the new materials allow you go out and up into conditions that you would not be able to experience without them.

    With regards to your thesis, you haven't told us your discipline. Getting quantitative may not be relevant if say you were doing philosophy.


  19. #19
    Ultra King Ddyrchafedig Gyrrwr (Beic Modur)'s Avatar
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    ;-)))

    Oh you are a cruel lot!!!

  20. #20
    Mini Goon
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    i thought id contribute a little...

    Outdoor gear is getting better. We frown apon people for going into the outdoors without what we would deem "neccessary kit", for example, walking boots, a windproof and waterproof layer, fleece, and compass. as fabrics are upgraded, and new, lighter materials are invented inevitably the standard of this gear will rise, which will make trekking easier and lighter than it did before. this new innovation also brings money to the companies that supply us, so it works in there favour as we have to re- buy kit. New innovations such as walking poles will therefore emerge, as people seek gear that will make their expeditions easier.

    Because of the fact that mankind are tool users by nature, we used objects to aid us in the great outdoors and this tool use has stopped us adapting as other animals do, also the fact that our explorartory nature means that we feel we must constantly explore and visit environments we are not biologically suited for.

    All of this puts us on the spectrum of tool use. At the extreme end we have planes, spaceships, cars and boats for traveling through extreme environments. At the other end you have simple items such as wooden sticks,and crude sandals that the people from times past used to aid their travels .

    inbetween the two ends to have your average walker, using a form of travel that has been outdated for at least 50 years, as motorveichles came into civilization. indee d many of us walk routes that a 4*4 could in theory navigate. so why do we do it? i certainly do it to get closer to nature, to think, and to gain a sense of achievement.


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