Congruency among experience dimensions, condition indicators, and coping behaviors in wilderness Academic Article uri icon


  • Understanding the way that policy translates into experiences, perceptions, and behaviors is important to managing recreation in wilderness. The limits of acceptable change (LAC) planning system was used to structure a relationship between three constructs: Experience dimensions (goals), conditions of concern (condition indicators), and coping behaviors (actions) in wilderness recreation. The Wilderness Act of 1964 served as a conceptual basis, providing five descriptors: natural, solitude, primitive, unconfined, and remote; these were used to develop experience, condition, and behavior measures. Recreationists from two wildernesses in the southeastern United States were sampled and asked to participate in a mail survey. Results indicated that wilderness experience dimensions existed that reflected the five descriptors, and that these dimensions were congruent with the constructs representing perceived conditions and coping behaviors. Natural and solitude aspects of the recreational experience were most significant in the relationships among constructs. Results suggest that recreationists use behaviors to control and manage conditions, and thus their experience, in wilderness. 1995 by Crane, Russak and Company, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Leisure Sciences

author list (cited authors)

  • Shafer, C. S., & Hammitt, W. E.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Shafer, C Scott||Hammitt, William E

publication date

  • January 1995