An Introduction to Outdoor Recreation
Bryan S. R. Grimwood
1. Introduce and explain the concept of “outdoor recreation”
2. Introduce and explain outdoor recreation research and its relevance
3. Introduce outdoor recreation @ U Waterloo
The concept of “Outdoor Recreation”
· A popular activity and form of land/water use
–84.6 % of Canadians participate in outdoor recreation
–94.5 % of Americans participate in outdoor recreation at least once per year
· So, what is outdoor recreation?
• Rock Climbinging
· A general definition:
– Outdoor recreation is any “recreation that occurs outdoors in urban and rural environments
–can be redefined by classifying activities into thematic groups
· Classification of activities
· Land-based, water-based, snow- and ice-based (Cordell et al, 1999)
· Consumptive vs non-consumptive (Mullins, 2009)
• Basis of the activity, involves consuming a certain resource, like hunting and fishing, taking home food
· Appreciative-symbolic (e.g., sightseeing, backpacking)
• Appreciation of Natural Environment, Nature photography
· Extractive-expressive (e.g., hunting, fishing)
• Coming back with a trophy!, like trophy fishing
· Passive free-play (e.g., reading, picnics)
• Restful, little physcial effort, reading under a tree etc.
· Social-learning (e.g., nature studies, interpretative walks) • learning outside
· Active-expressive (e.g., golf, swimming) (Hendee et al., 1971)
• Physical exertion
· Problem: what distinguishes an outdoor recreation activity from leisure, sport, or tourism?
–Is golf outdoor recreation?
No/its not in the natural environment
–How about cycling? Cross-country skiing?
· More specific definition:
–Outdoor recreation is “the voluntary participation in free-time activity that occurs outdoors and em-
braces the interaction of people and the natural environment”
–Emphasis on the positive INTERACTIONS that motivate participation
Outdoor recreation: Intentions
· Why outdoor recreation? What benefits are derived?
The essence of outdoor recreation is reflected in specific outcomes:
1. Appreciation of nature
2. Personal satisfaction and enjoyment
3. Physiological fitness
4. Positive Behaviour patterns
· I would add at least one more:
6. Identity/ construction/performance
a. Picture of a people on a canoe trip: all of them are wearing khakis and brimmed hats, the other thing
that they are performing is the appreciation of wilderness, and the way they perform that is when they
get to a high rise, they would all stand in a circle with their backs to each other to have a non-people
view of nature
Outdoor recreation: experience
· Reveals linkages between outdoor recreation and tourism
1. Anticipation: Planning and Preparing
2. Travel to site
3. On-site experience and activities
4. Return travel: By car/plain etc.
5. Recollection: Facebook photos, telling stories, which then leads into the anticipation of our next experience...the
cycle keeps going...
· Calls into question conventional thinking of when and where outdoor recreation takes place
– Conventionally, outdoor recreation occurs at a particular time in a particular space
– i.e., during physical presence at locations associated with public, private, or
– But, aspects of the experience may occur at home, at the office, en route, in the
imagination, in memory – Outdoor recreation: experience
• Non-for profit organizations
• summer camps
· Brief recap…
1. The concept of “outdoor recreat