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Topic: Backpacking makes you smarter, But we already knew this< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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buzzards Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 1:10 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Study shows that a long backpacking trip makes your brain more creative. Sounds like a reason to get our employers to pay for bag nights!
Study shows backpacking makes your brain more creative


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 1:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some people aren't getting out enough.   :laugh:
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 2:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We think more clearly after time spent backpacking. No surprise there.

The less electronic distraction, the better for us. No iPhone, better thinking.

But what about GPS ? Are we finding our way contrary to our purpose for being there?


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 2:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think there's more involved than just deep thoughts. Perhaps oxygenation of the blood that occurs when physical excertion is present affects the processes of the brain.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 5:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One word: Endorphins.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 6:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(buzzards @ Dec. 13 2012, 6:10 am)
QUOTE
Study shows that a long backpacking trip makes your brain more creative...

Even a short trip works wonders as it says;

QUOTE
The most-telling number from the research is 50 percent: as in backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after four days in nature and away from smartphones, iPods and laptops.


Takes away from I Stayed in a Holiday Express Last Night...so boring

Much better; I stayed in a pristine wilderness last night...yes it does make you sharper and more creative.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 7:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not at all very well controlled. The absence from electronics or the exercise etc? Too many variables.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 7:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I'd agree that there is a serious need to separate the electronics issue from the exercise issue. Failure to do that is a major flaw, and a flaw which may be present in other such studies.

How much of the mental clarity is due to the exercise? and How much is due to immersion in nature free from electronic gadgets?

However, the lack of controls to answer such questions is very common in social psychology  experiments. So this is not so exceptional in that regard. I'd hope these folks might pursue the questions with a greater rigor.

And the questions could be expanded into many areas of recreation. In that regard, I simply do not ever expect to see "proof," or "conclusive studies." It's the questions that are important.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What about the tie to the constructs of "city" life? It may not be the electronics at all but the social aspects of focusing internally. I feel stress when on a trail but feel invigorated when off-trail.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 13 2012, 5:01 pm)
QUOTE
I feel stress when on a trail but feel invigorated when off-trail.

You are too easily stressed.  You need to toughen up!   :p

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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.  -- St. Augustine
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 13 2012, 5:01 pm)
QUOTE
What about the tie to the constructs of "city" life? It may not be the electronics at all but the social aspects of focusing internally. I feel stress when on a trail but feel invigorated when off-trail.

With people especially the other aspect is personal. Having been raised in a beach bar from birth I'm never so at peace as when surrounded by the seeming chaos of that sort of environment. I find all that swirling action quite relaxing while others get sensory overload. It's the way I go back "home".

Makes human behavioral studies way challenging for sure. Benches are much more controlled, theoretically :)

ETA: Hmm Dogfish Head Chicory Stout....
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Dec. 13 2012, 7:00 pm)
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Not at all very well controlled. The absence from electronics or the exercise etc? Too many variables.

It was a peer reviewed paper.  If you follow the link to the actual study it is well written and referenced.  I don't know how well respected PLOS in the scientific community but a quick look at their web site appears to be pretty legit.  In all fairness the study does agree with your observation to some extent by stating,  "There are multiple candidates for potential mechanisms underlying the effects observed here and in other studies. It is likely that the cognitive benefits of nature are due to a range of these mechanisms and it will require a sustained program of research to fully understand this phenomenon."

I understand that correlation does not equal causation but as my statistics prof would say you can't ignore it either.  In the end whatever the mechanism it is the effect I am happy to get from the hobby I enjoy so much.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 10:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It just goes to show you why we have so many creative posts here on the forums.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 11:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Dec. 13 2012, 7:00 pm)
QUOTE
Not at all very well controlled. The absence from electronics or the exercise etc? Too many variables.


I just want to add to charadeur's comments.

When you read the journal article, it's clear that the authors are well aware of this issue, since they write: "A limitation of the current research is the inability to determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology, or to other factors associated with spending three days immersed in nature."

Also, they went further and explained how they can address this issue in future studies, when they wrote: "In principle, a 2Χ2 factorial study with high or low levels of nature (N+ or N−, respectively) and high or low levels of technology (T+ or T−, respectively) could shed light on the issue of dissociating the effects of nature and technology on complex problem solving. In the majority of real-world urban environments, T+N− is the norm whereas T−N+ is more common in the outdoor settings."
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So the authors agree with me? Good for them. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Personally, I am not so sure about it making me smarter.  It does, however, make me more difficult to sleep with, according to reports.  I come back from a trip and I want the room colder.  So much so that I find myself sleeping in the guest bedroom, often for a week or so upon my return.  It seems to take me an adjustment period to be able to sleep in a room warmer than 60*.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What a great article, thanks for the share. As an artist whose work is dominated by nature, I always went to the wilderness whenever I needed refreshing, even if my subject matter at the time was far from natural.

I especially like this: "Everything now seems like it has to be evidence-based." in regards to how researchers handle these sorts of studies. I am a firm believer in science, but at the same time, there needs to be some flexibility to go outside the orthodox realm.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 12:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

:)  I've gotten a few bag nights paid by my employer over the years

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 8:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recently put in for a travel reimbursement when I went up to Wisconsin for an overnight. I guess I was the first to ever put in for a campground fee.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 15 2012, 11:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Life primordial.  Everything built around us is an artificial construct, so it makes sense that Nature is soothing.

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