View Full Version : A Message to Distance & Thru-hikers! Can I probe your MIND please?

01-07-2013, 16:00
Hey Folks!

My name is MilkSweats, I hiked GA>PA last summer and I am working on a project to graduate from Alaska Pacific University this April! I hope to get into wilderness therapy after graduation and I am asking for your honest and detailed responses to a Survey relating to psychological transformation and personal growth following a long distance journey on the Appalachian trail.

The survey could potentially take an hour...

1. Read over the questions below
2. Please note the Consent Form: tell me you read it and you agree to participate!
3. Please be over 18 years old.
4. Please be honest and descriptive
5. I will email you a copy of my final paper upon completion of the project!


And feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns at: gbucci@alaskapacific.edu


Survey Questions!!!

1. Trail Name, What is the story behind your name?

2. Age, Sex:

4. AT mileage hiked/ length of trip:

5. What was your original motivation for hiking the Appalachian Trail?

6. What were your expectations about your hike before you left? Were you hoping something about yourself would change?

7. Was the transition back to ‘normal life’ difficult in anyway? Ellaborate!

8. Are you in anyway different now since your hiking experience has ending?

9. Have you experienced any inner changes? Positive or Negative? (Anything at all, likehow you feel, how you see yourself, your outlook on the world, personal beliefs,motivation etc…)

10. Have you experienced any outward changes? Positiveor Negative? (Anything at all, like improved organization, communication, changes in personal appearance, gestures, posture, eye contact etc…)

11. If you have changed at all, what aspects of the trail have brought about these changes in you?

12. How have other hikers influenced or inspired you?

13. What about the trail has made the hiking experience most meaningful to you?

14. Has hiking the trail changed how you live your ‘town life’?

15. Has your trip lived up to your expectations?

16. When the trail gets rough and you want to quit, what motivates you to keep going?

17. And of course, Would you do it again? Would you hike the trail in a different way?

18. Please say anything at all about your experience on the Appalachian Trail, anything at all that you want to express, or anything I did not cover:

Alaska Pacific University


An Interpretive PhenomenologicalAnalysis (IPA) of Appalachian Trail Thru-hikers:
Meaning-making, PersonalTransformation, Life After the Experience

I, Gabrielle Bucci, am currently a Sustainability Studies student at Alaska Pacific University (APU) conducting research for my Senior Project over the next three months (May through August). I am requesting your voluntary participation in my research.You may choose to end participation at any time without penalty. I expect thatyour participation will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

The Primary reason forthis study is to take a look into a popular outdoor setting (The AppalachianTrail) and obtain a demographic of trail-users (more specifically those solo hiking for an extended period of time) to get an understanding of common psychological changes that hikers undergo. The purpose is to identify personal transformation through the meaning-making processes that each hiker may experience differently, while incorporating my personal experiences on the trail. This study will contribute to the understanding of self-psychology via wilderness therapy and its impacton the psyche through long-term outdoor experiences, placing a focus on methods for overcoming personal obstacles to achieve goals.

Participants shall remain anonymous, and all data will either be destroyed or returned toparticipants upon request after the conclusion of research. If the data is highly sensitive and personal, only the researcher, Gabrielle Bucci, will have access to information to decide if the data will be of use. Upon use of data, only the researcher and assigned faculty will have access to information.

This project has been reviewedand approved by APU’s Institutional Review Board. There is no risk involved for participants of this survey. Confidentiality is guaranteed. All contributors of this survey will assist in the understanding of self-psychology in the outdoors.
A copy of this letter is yours to keep. If you have any questions about how this investigation is to be conducted please contact Gabrielle Bucci at: 484-714-9941 gbucci@alaskapacific.edu (gbucci@alaskapacific.edu),4101 University Dr. Anchorage AK, 99508. You may also contact my FacultyAdvisor: David McGivern (907) 244-1182, mcgivern@alaskapacific.edu (mcgivern@alaskapacific.edu).

______Gabrielle "MilkSweats" Bucci____________________ ____January 7, 2013_____
Investigator (print and sign) Date

I agree to participate in theproject as described above.
__________________________________________________ __________ ______________
Participant(print and sign) Date