Research in Outdoor Education


Over the last 20 years, adventure-based programs have flourished resulting in additional use of wilderness areas. One of the many factors contributing to this growth is the development and use of new technologies. "New technology ... has allowed backcountry users to greatly expand their reach ... " (McKay, 2000, pg. 150). Adventure-based programs are no exception to the use of this technology. For example, many programs now carry cellular or satellite phones into the backcountry, required as part of their risk management plans. However, the effects of this communications technology on the participants' wilderness and adventure-based experience have yet to be determined.

Overall, instructors need to be aware of how this technology influences individual and group decision-making skills and another's recreation experience. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the implications of satellite phone technology on a participant's wilderness and North Carolina Outward Bound School experience.