Returning from the Wild: Exploring Participant's Experiences of Re-entry from Extended Wilderness Trips
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The experience of a strong sense of community developed while participating in extended wilderness expeditions is one of the most significant and meaningful experiences associated with taking part in this form of outdoor recreation. The experience of returning to a home community from an extended wilderness expedition is explored through the impacts associated with psychological sense of community (McMillian & Chavis, 1986; McMillian, 1996). A phenomenological approach was used to investigate the re-entry experiences of six individuals through the use of semi-structured interviews. Twelve main themes and seventeen subthemes emerged within the findings and illustrate a lack of preparation for the difficulties associated with re-entry, negative impacts associated with the experience of sense of community, and problems transferring aspects of a wilderness community into participant’s post-expedition lives.