The long-term influence of expeditions on people’s lives

Maria Jose Ramirez, Pete Allison, Tim Stott, Aaron Marshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter seeks to address a significant research gap in studies of outdoor experience. Although most of such research focuses on the benefit of the experiences, the work has rarely been concerned with more than the 2–3 years after the experience. Few empirical studies are available from which we can assess the long-term outcomes of youth expeditions. In this chapter the authors concentrate on the longer-term value of outdoor experiences, and the philosophical ideas surrounding the idea and possibility of ‘life-changing experiences’. The chapter provides a synthesis and analysis of three very recent (and currently unpublished) studies, which shed some light on the long-term outcomes for participants of three different types of youth expeditions. The three retrospective studies, in different outdoor settings, explored the perceived long-lasting influence of expeditions in participants’ lives. In terms of implications for future practice, the key conclusion is that these studies confirm the importance and long-term value of such expeditions to young people and add vital evidence to the case for building such opportunities into young people’s lives. Themes identified included: increased environmental awareness and appreciation of nature and the outdoors; awareness of their good fortune in having participated in an expedition; gratefulness, service, and transfer to others; appreciation of leadership; and the importance of planning and preparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperiential Learning and Outdoor Education
Subtitle of host publicationTraditions of Practice and Philosophical Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781000692792
ISBN (Print)9780367279295
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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