Why do people go bushwalking?

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Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby davidmorr » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 12:40 pm

There has been a lot of discussion here lately about bushwalking clubs and why people do or don't join them. It has also extended to how to make clubs more appealing to various sectors of the population.

It seems to me that part of the issue is making "bushwalking" more attractive as an activity. There are probably many people out there who would enjoy doing what we do, whether in a club or not, but don't know that the option exists. Certainly, I have met a number of them.

So I would like to try to understand why people use their time bushwalking rather than doing some other activity, whether they are in a club or not.

For me it is mostly the experience of being away from civilisation and all the pressures, hustle-bustle and responsibility. I like the feeling of being in the bush, and especially on wilderness backpacks, being totally reliant on my own skills, knowledge and preparation.

But I also have interests in history, photography, aboriginal art, etc. And I like a nice day (or several) out with my closest friends.

So I would be grateful for comments on why you go bushwalking. I would be especially interested in what attracted people new to bushwalking to take up this activity. This information could be valuable for encouraging more people to bushwalk.

Cheers

David
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Strider » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 2:15 pm

To get away from my wife! :lol:
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby MrWalker » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 2:58 pm

I like to walk. Preferably walk fast, so I try to use good tracks, not go off-track. I have done off-track walking but just don't enjoy it. However, I mostly walk faster than anyone else wants to go so I'm not looking for company.

I like to get away by myself. So I can't think of any reason why I would join a club. They might expect me to go with them. I'm sure I could learn something from a club but I just prefer to be on my own.

This probably hasn't helped much in terms of making clubs more appealing.However, they don't need to appeal to nuts like me. :roll:
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby doogs » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 3:37 pm

The challenge, the scenery, the comraderie, the exercise AND THE LACK OF BOGANS :)
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby flatfoot » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 4:11 pm

doogs wrote:The challenge, the scenery, the comraderie, the exercise AND THE LACK OF BOGANS :)


Bushwalking for me is an outlet for enjoying the bush, nature and fitness. I also enjoy the social aspects, and that's one of the reasons I'm in a club. I also walk solo and around 30-40% of my walks last year were solo.

You are much less likely to find wildly drunk people in places you can only walk to, that said we do have a happy hour tradition in my club but the people are unlikely to drink to excess (particularly if they have to carry the alcohol in).
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby davidmorr » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 4:52 pm

MrWalker wrote:I like to walk. Preferably walk fast, so I try to use good tracks, not go off-track. I have done off-track walking but just don't enjoy it. However, I mostly walk faster than anyone else wants to go so I'm not looking for company.

I like to get away by myself. So I can't think of any reason why I would join a club. They might expect me to go with them. I'm sure I could learn something from a club but I just prefer to be on my own.

This probably hasn't helped much in terms of making clubs more appealing.However, they don't need to appeal to nuts like me. :roll:

At this stage, I am not really concerned why people do or don't join clubs. I am more interested in what attracts people to go out in the bush. Why does the average man or woman decide to take up bushwalking?

I take it from your comments that your main goal in bushwalking is to get away from other people? And possibly for the exercise as well?
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby gayet » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 5:20 pm

I walk to escape a built environment, for time by myself (even if walking with others), to go somewhere I haven't been before that isn't going to be full of people, to see different places and environments and just get away from life for a bit. Exercise is an added bonus.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby JohnM » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 5:41 pm

I need to detox from the complexities and stresses of city life, every now and again. I like disconnecting the umbilical cord by hiking... Leaving the 'world' behind.

My (desk) job immerses me quite heavily in popular culture, so being out in the bush with everything you need on your back is a great antidote to that, and a reminder that the world doesn't begin and end with the stuff people built.

I love going to bed and rising to the sun, not worrying about watches.

Having a background in endurance sports, I enjoy the fact that it can be a physical and mental challenge (should you choose).

And you know what: I really like sleeping in tents. It's always been fun.

I don't like pooing in scat-holes, but you can't have everything.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby MrWalker » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 5:54 pm

davidmorr wrote:
MrWalker wrote:I like to get away by myself.


I take it from your comments that your main goal in bushwalking is to get away from other people? And possibly for the exercise as well?


Yes, I like keeping fit and although I've taken part in many sports, since leaving school most have been non-team sports (triathlon, orienteering, running, etc). So exercise is probably the main goal but getting off by myself is part of it.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby stepbystep » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 7:40 pm

GETTING REAL and KEEPING IT SIMPLE - life is way too complex, stressful and fake.
Walking can be complex and stressful but the reality of your abilities and your situation breaks down the complexities and stress into simple steps - one after the other..... hence my user name.

On another note the reason I haven't joined a club to date is highlighted by the quite bizarre series of threads on this subject, that seem to be driven by precisely the type of people I avoid in life and are apparently attracted to and driven by, the pursuit of organising other peoples lives.... hence making them unnecessarily complex!
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby corvus » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 8:35 pm

According to some posters on this forum to get from A to B as fast as possible without any social contact or taking in the sights :lol:
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Nuts » Sat 07 Jan, 2012 9:43 pm

Good post sbs, i had some similar thoughts
(my walking is always complex and stressful though :( )
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby stepbystep » Sun 08 Jan, 2012 8:23 am

Nuts wrote:Good post sbs, i had some similar thoughts
(my walking is always complex and stressful though :( )


haha yup we tend to do these things to ourselves and others don't we!!! :roll:
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Ent » Sun 08 Jan, 2012 9:57 pm

First and foremost the social event. If you have a good group you can wander along left to your own thoughts or be engaged in social conversation. With a good group camping can be the highlight of a walk. There is nothing like a good walk to find out the best qualities of people and as such resuscitate my faith in human nature.

Secondly, a feeling of accomplishment and completion. I have a job that at times there as some-things that never seem to be put to bed. When you have done a section of a walk it is done. This makes headaches and stress disappear after a short while. To hell with OH&S and the nanny state. You come across a problem then it is up to the people you are with and yourself to solve it, which inevitability you do thus re-enforcing independence and team work better than any "training course" :D

Thirdly the scenery. I live in a very pretty part of the world and it is great to see it and get out the camera. Honestly I love the seasons and when walking you get them all, often in one day :lol: It makes me feel part of nature again and you can not fully experience the rain forest without the rain :wink:

Fourth, the exercise. The first fifteen minutes of a walk is hell in Tassie as it nearly always is up but then a rhythm sets in and and I can feel my body responding.

Finally to appreciate life's little comforts. As much as I enjoy being out, a good shower or bath plus proper bed takes on a new meaning when home. We take these things for granted in our normal lives but have them removed for a while and I understand how much more comfortable is modern life compared to the past.

Cheers

PS and excuse to appeal to my inner magpies love of bright shiny new toys and to get out there and use them.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby flyfisher » Mon 09 Jan, 2012 9:42 pm

Ent wrote:PS and excuse to appeal to my inner magpies love of bright shiny new toys and to get out there and use them.


You're very honest there Brett, I know it's the truth. :lol:

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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby corvus » Mon 09 Jan, 2012 9:45 pm

flyfisher wrote:
Ent wrote:PS and excuse to appeal to my inner magpies love of bright shiny new toys and to get out there and use them.


You're very honest there Brett, I know it's the truth. :lol:

John


What he said :D
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby flyfisher » Tue 10 Jan, 2012 6:53 am

I've always found that walking appeales to my love of exploring new and different areas, whats up that gully, whats over that hill etc. It's a fascination that has never been satisfied nor can be. Still love it after all these years.

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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby igor » Tue 10 Jan, 2012 4:15 pm

the whole week is really a preparation for a weekend walks for me and my wife. I am very lucky that she also loves bush walking, kayaking, but not so much mountain biking though. For us it is mostly to get away from all this urban environment into the natural world. Away from city crowds, offices, mindless coffee talks. Then I can stand another 5 days at work. And so it goes.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby WarrenH » Wed 11 Jan, 2012 5:34 am

Going bushwalking to me, is about exploring where I live and how interesting and pleasing it is interacting with natural weather and light. Here in the ACT we are surrounded by 11 wilderness area and it is impossible to resist being seduced by the greater region. I ride my push bike to go bushwalking nowadays, so bushwalking happens for (up-to) several weeks at a time. The bike carries the weight and I end up carrying the bike.

This level of involvement I find extremely satisfying. A major part of the time is spent enjoying photography. Sitting on mountains and watching the light change, is another good reason to be out there.

Warren.

PS, if anyone wonders how do I take a bike on walking tracks in National Parks, NSW NP&WS are taking along time to re-write the Cycling Policy of May 2003 (page 3) ... which was due for review in 2006? Pushing or carrying bikes is allowed.
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why do you bushwalk? what does it offer you?

Postby wayno » Sat 21 Jan, 2012 4:58 am

mod: merged topics

why do you walk? what does it offer you?
what does bushwalking offer for you that other pastimes don't?
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Miyata610 » Sun 22 Jan, 2012 2:36 pm

A friend of mine compares visiting the World Heritage Area to entering the "matrix", a reference to a famous movie I believe. Once you've done it you just have to go back. Again and again.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby MartyGwynne » Mon 23 Jan, 2012 10:23 am

1. It is there.
2. What might be over there?
3. Never been there before, I should go and have a look.
4. I liked it last time.
5. Can't wait to get back out there again, I need to recharge my sanity.
6. I've just got some new bright and shiny things to try out.....
7. You really can't see it through the window of the 4WD, so I had to get out and do it.
8. Wow that was exciting, dangerous, close, wet, cold, muddy, hot, hard, adventurous, spectacular, re-invigorating, mad and we maybe shouldn't have really gone but it was worth it as we came out with a new look on life......

Oh the list just keeps going for me.

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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby wayno » Mon 23 Jan, 2012 12:09 pm

atifness
freedom
autonomiy
simplicity
challenge
fitness
fresh air
scenery
great people.
some solitude
sanity
some risk taking.
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 26 Jan, 2012 6:57 pm

Because I can.

This is at least the third thread on this subject since I joined the forum. Any possibility of a merger?
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby ofuros » Sun 29 Jan, 2012 4:22 pm

...for that first sensation of cool water entering your socks & engulfing your warm feet
...for when the wind drops & the air is filled with quietness of falling snow
...seeking shelter from a angry buffetting wind trying its best to blow you off the mountainside
...surrounded by a thick eery mist, walking almost blind & trying to navigate
...a walk-in by moonlight
...greeting the morning sun rays, thigh deep in one tassie's the numerous trout filled lakes
...early morning start & having your heart miss a beat as a startled wallaby 'thumps' its way through the bush
...a pitch black tiger snake warming itself in a sunny patch on the track
...swatting slow moving horseflies when having a brew up
...cupping your hands in a stream & drinking from it

Some simple things that make my bushwalks enjoyable....
There's more ....but that'll do little pig.....that'll do.
Mountain views are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby JohnM » Sun 29 Jan, 2012 6:01 pm

For the feeling you get when, after a 5 minute break on a hot day, you put your pack back on and it squashes against your still-wet and sweaty back.

For when you no sooner do No.2's into a scat-hole, than the blowflies come to check things out.

For the glory of eating laughing-cow cheese and/or peanut butter on crackers for the fourth straight lunch in a row.

For those uplifting moments when you think you've made it to the top of a rise, only to discover it was one of those false-peaks, and you've got another 5 contour lines to go.

For the chance to commune with ticks and mozzies and leeches in their natural habitat.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Orion » Wed 01 Feb, 2012 2:53 am

E.O. Wilson used the term "biophilia" to denote the innate human affinity with natural settings. I think that's the main thing that drives my outdoor explorations. I love to walk and I'll do it in a city too. But I think the walking and scrambling and peak bagging are in some sense just excuses I use to be out there. I couldn't just go and sit there, I have to "do" something, so I walk from point A to point B and climb peak C, and there is undoubtedly an athletic and sometimes self-competitive aspect to this. But all of that is mostly just a reason, an alibi of sorts, for being there.

It could just as easily be the sea as the bush.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby Kinsayder » Sun 05 Feb, 2012 8:13 am

Good question. I'm an aesthete, so the need for beauty drives me, but there is also the need for solitude (I'm mostly a solo hiker, sitting in an empty hut after a good day hiking, reading some poetry and stirring the pot is so serene), the sense of accomplishment, fitness, the weather (I have a very low tolerance for heat, so the Vic Alps is a nice tonic), being resourceful, precise and I do enjoy the gear side of it too. I think that covers me.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby forrie » Sun 05 Feb, 2012 9:47 pm

I think for me the draw back to the bush, has probably been the serenity and solitude. I was always a solo hiker, a good book and a quiet location to end the day is what im always looking for.
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Re: Why do people go bushwalking?

Postby puredingo » Mon 13 Feb, 2012 8:43 pm

Firstly for me it would be my love of animals and nature in general but particulary native wildlife...Infact if their was a walk organized and there was NO chance of obseving any fauna i would be reluctant to go.

Secondly It would be the adventure and challenge the occasional adrenaline rush of wondering if in fact I'm heading in the right direction!

Thirdly, fitness aspect...I feel healthier abstaining from the dreaded day to day toxins i ingest during my suburban life.
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