Hiking Leisure: Generating a Different Existence Within Everyday Life
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This study explores how hiking trips in the forest afford two Norwegian families experiences of leisure during the trips. In situ interviews were analyzed using a descriptive phenomenological research method, which brackets theoretical or ideological assumptions during data collection and analysis. The results show that three levels of experience are interwoven. First, individual family members, parents as well as children, are immersed in the activities in their physical environment, which evokes positive bodily feelings. Second, interactions and dialogue between family members concerning actual events during the trip give rise to a sense of belonging and togetherness. Finally, the family creates a narrative about itself in the light of its own future as well as sociocultural expectations. We characterize this tapestry of experiences as an act of hiking leisure. We conclude that the experience of the hiking trip goes beyond a simple duality of a core versus balance activity theory and answers the call for research that incorporates the natural contexts in which leisure activities take place.