Morrow, Rosie (2013) A Study to Explore the Lived Experience of Camping and Associated Effects of Escapism: A Green Exercise Approach. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Aims: The aim of the current study was to investigate the lived experience of camping, with a particular focus on the associated experiences of escapism, and the potential impact of camping on psychological health and wellbeing. Method: Four semi-structured interviews took place to gather data. Participants were asked to reflect on their most memorable camping experience, and through prompts and probes we were able to explore each experience fully. Following transcription, Colaizzi’s (1978) seven step analysis process was used to identify key themes and provide a fundamental structure of camping.

Findings: Five themes were identified throughout the transcripts: getting away, appreciation of the natural environment, relationship maintenance, tranquility and relaxation, freedom and adventure/exploration. These were used to produce an all-encompassing exhaustive description of camping, which was reduced to a fundamental structure. Conclusions: Camping does provide feelings of escapism and had a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, camping can improve relationships, become a respite, help with self-esteem and provide an escape. Further research is required to determine how common these aspects of the experience are.

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