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Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing


Postby Sgurr » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:38 pm

A friend got me to fill in a questionnaire about outdoor enthusiasts and ageing. Its author would like more people, so if you are over 65, why not give it a go and return the answers to geoffcooper548@btinternet.com These are the questions What were your early childhood experiences that inspired an interest in the outdoors?
Can you identify any key events, people or organisations that have influenced your interests in the outdoors?
What outdoor activities have you been involved in over the years?
How do you as an outdoor enthusiast cope with the ageing process?
What changes have you made to adapt to physical and mental capabilities?
How do you make decisions about taking up new outdoor activities and interests?
Do these changes relate to wealth, education, family and community ties?
What do you gain from and like about being in the outdoors?
Have your outdoor interests influenced any community/voluntary work you have been involved with?
How has the Covid19 pandemic affected your outdoor activities and interests?
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:24 pm

Thanks Sgurr for posting this. I’m 8 years too young to fill in the questionnaire but it is still very interesting to see it.

The question about childhood experiences is an interesting one. One of my earliest memories was of looking out of car window and seeing Tryfan. As the car moved along the A5, Tryfan slid into view from behind another hill. I still have that impression vividly now.

But why was I impressed - when others might not have been? It is a mystery why some of us like the hills.

An oddity is that in later years I traced my biological father. It turns out he has been a keen hillwalker all his life and has done the Cuillin ridge traverse, and Liathach in winter.

Tim
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby mynthdd2 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:06 pm

Whilst not 65 til end of March I could do it now?
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Sgurr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:17 pm

mynthdd2 wrote:Whilst not 65 til end of March I could do it now?


Don't see why not. Half Man, Half Titanium VERY interesting.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby matt_outandabout » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:35 pm

Would this not be a lot quicker for those sending information and (more) the poor chap gathering the information?

Also, can I ask what/who the research relates to - I assume a University or Third Sector organisation?
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Sgurr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:51 pm

matt_outandabout wrote:Would this not be a lot quicker for those sending information and (more) the poor chap gathering the information?

Also, can I ask what/who the research relates to - I assume a University or Third Sector organisation?


This is what I was told

"Ageing and Outdoor enthusiasts survey.
Most of my work has been in outdoor education teaching and managing two
residential outdoor centres for Wigan Council in the Lake District. At the centres
we introduced young people to the outdoors through a range of adventurous and
environmental activities. It was great to see how these outdoor experiences
encouraged confidence, self esteem and enthusiasm and teachers who
accompanied groups often talked about the social, educational and health
benefits gained by children many of whom underachieve in the classroom. Over
the years I’ve been keen to promote the value of outdoor learning through
articles, workshops for leaders and talks at conferences.
Since retirement I’ve increasingly become aware of the value of outdoor
experiences for older people. This has become a common topic for discussion
during the Covid pandemic. There is now a great deal of evidence to support the
many physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors taking part
in a variety of activities from gentle, nature-based walks to adventurous pursuits.
There is, however, an absence of research on how this can be encouraged as a
continuous process throughout a person’s life. I discussed this fact with two
friends who have been involved in outdoor education, one through social work
with young women and the other as a researcher in leisure and social science.
We decided that some worthwhile pointers to a healthy lifestyle might be found
by considering the stories of older outdoor enthusiasts.
Last year we collected narratives and interviews from 14 older people who have
been engaged in a variety of outdoor activities throughout their lives. We are
keen to extend the survey to a wider group of outdoor enthusiasts over the age
of 65. We are particularly interested in how people become involved in the
outdoors and how they adjust their interests and activities during their lifespan.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Gordymck » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:58 pm

I'm not at that age yet but as I'm turning 50 this yr and knowing older ppl who have loved the outdoors but physically struggling to participate to the same extent now, it's made me more aware of the limited time that I may have left to get out more, post-covid hopefully.

I've always loved being outdoors and a keen walker, not necessarily ticking off lists but just being outside; family holidays to Girvan and it was always a ritual to walk up Byne Hill when we immediately got there and the last thing we did on leaving. That was probably what started it for me, that and the campsies; a great escape from Glasgow when I was younger.

These last few yrs I now cherish my time cycling, wandering the kilpatrick and campsie hills and camping. It's def gave me more focus to do more walking trails and monroes, whether I'll bag them all; only done 8 so far so unlikely but it doesn't matter; what does is making the most of my time off at wkends to get out while still fit enough to do so cos time truly does fly. I'm fortunate that family members also share my love of the outdoors so it's quality time when we manage to get together.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Sgurr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:20 pm

Gordymck. I had only done 20 Munros by the time I was a granny at 52. Done all the others under my name since then, so plenty of time. I must admit that I wished we had done Ben Aden before I was 70, and doing Suilven at 73 meant we had to bothy instead of doing it all in one day...but once you are retired, that is no hardship. The only thing I would have done differently was to get out the book and do all the hills that started off "This remote and inaccessible hill...." at the beginnings rather than at the ends of my rounds. Slat Bhein, Beinn nan Lus and An Stac at 73 for the Grahams were a bit taxing.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby gaffr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:42 pm

Hello... I can recall, sometime ago, asking the question 'has attending an outdoor education course' influenced you in spending time in the hills during later life.
I didn't get any reply to this.
Coming from Edinburgh during school years there were several opportunities to be away for two weeks at Camp School... I think that it was called thus. Also two weeks away with History and Art folks to Paris and Avignon. A two week course at the
Original Glenmore Lodge offering opportunities to take part several outdoor activities
I was at work when the organised Outdoor Activity folks came along to offer getting away from school into the Highlands periods of challenges. However for the young working folks there were several Clubs offering hillwalking and Mountaineering.... Buses from Waterloo Place every fortnight. All this before anyone had the means for car ownership.
Not forgetting the Ferranti folks who would fit a few of us into their transport.
Many other influences from like minded Hillgoers.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby duchally » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:11 am

Gordymck, I didn't start until I was 51 so hopefully that's an encouragement for you.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby ChrisButch » Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:01 pm

Many hillwalkers now in their 70s or more, like me, feel that they're making up for lost time. A point often not realised in today's world of universal instant information is that you were unlikely to get into this or any other niche activity unless you had personal contacts who were already doing it. Granted, there were a few small-circulation specialist magazines, but you were unlikely to come across these by chance. In my case I happened to be brought up in a cycling-focussed family in the south of England, and the mountains were an unknown world to anybody in my family, friends or school, etc. It was not until I was in my 30s, had gone through university and was now living in the north, that I began to discover the Wainwright guides, Hamish's Mountgain Walk appeared, etc. Once I dipped my toe in the water I was off. But ever since I'm conscious of having missed those crucial years in my youth - and try doggedly to stride away from time's winged chariot.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby maxie23 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:51 pm

duchally wrote:Gordymck, I didn't start until I was 51 so hopefully that's an encouragement for you.


Same here, I was 51 before I did my first proper hill, Ben Ledi.

ImageBen Ledi 11th Sep 2015 by robert irvine, on Flickr

Wish I'd discovered hillwalking a lot earlier.
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Sgurr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:26 pm

Join the club

Image
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:14 pm

Posting this here, Sgurr, in the hope that you see it. I wrote you a reply but it is just sitting there in something called an Outbox.

The Courier article is great! - thanks so much for sharing.

I was positively discouraged by my adoptive parents from hill walking. They especially liked to tell me Mountain Rescue news stories. They are no longer alive, but they would have loved the recent Lake District “covid camping leads to tragedy” story.

Nor have I had walking friends. Almost all my walking has been done alone. For the first 30 years, especially, my only companions were OS maps, Wainwright and Poucher.

Walking alone has given me the chance to explore the secret places hidden in our hills. There is one spot, for example, near Shenavall, with a fine waterfall that’s off the tracks and rarely visited. One day out of the blue my biological father started talking about exactly the same place.

Being asthmatic ( like my biological father) I never did sports at school, thankfully! - I’m the least competitive and most unsporty person I know. Despite that I have somehow managed to do some hard stuff, including the first ever ascents of some 20,000ft peaks in the Andes.

I’ve always loved art and literature, then I find out that my biological father is one of Britain’s leading potters, and that later in life he did a degree in American literature. One of these days I will maybe get round to getting my own books published...

Tim
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Re: Outdoor enthusiasts and ageing

Postby Gordymck » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:17 pm

Sgurr wrote:Gordymck. I had only done 20 Munros by the time I was a granny at 52. Done all the others under my name since then, so plenty of time. I must admit that I wished we had done Ben Aden before I was 70, and doing Suilven at 73 meant we had to bothy instead of doing it all in one day...but once you are retired, that is no hardship. The only thing I would have done differently was to get out the book and do all the hills that started off "This remote and inaccessible hill...." at the beginnings rather than at the ends of my rounds. Slat Bhein, Beinn nan Lus and An Stac at 73 for the Grahams were a bit taxing.


That's a really good idea, the hardest/most remote first. Thanks for that.

duchally wrote:
Gordymck, I didn't start until I was 51 so hopefully that's an encouragement for you.


Yeah it is. I done Ben Lomond just before lock-down with my nephew(19) and boy(26) and they're up for it so give it a go when we're allowed on the hills again.
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