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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Wang, Grace A.

Second Advisor

Rossiter, David A.

Third Advisor

Myers, Gene (O. Gene)


This paper examines the intersection of technology and nature. The advent of mobile technology has created new frontiers for using technology while in nature. Engaging with nature is placed within the context of outdoor recreation, specifically hiking, as hiking provides opportunities for interacting with the environment while simultaneously using mobile technology. Examined is the relationship between the experiences, benefits, and participant characteristics associated with outdoor recreation and mobile technology use among hikers in Mount Pilchuck State Park in Washington State. Surveys were used to collect information on the recreational experiences and behaviors of hikers (n=155). Results suggest that participant characteristics, outdoor recreation experiences, and outdoor recreation benefits are all related to mobile technology use. Participant characteristics are linked to both type and volume of mobile technology use. The type of mobile technology use may have a stronger relationship with outdoor recreation experiences and benefits than the level of mobile technology use. Generally, several types of mobile technology use are positively associated with outdoor recreation experiences and benefits. The majority of hikers did not significantly use the mobile technology device while hiking but did have the device while in the State Park. Participants took steps to mitigate the intrusion of the device on the outdoor experience and brought the device primarily for picture taking, safety, and because carrying the device is a habit. Mobile technology can both aid and hinder outdoor recreation. Recognizing the ways mobile technology changes recreation experiences encourages a world where humans can benefit from nature as well as technology.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Mobile communication systems--Washington (State)--Mount Pilchuck State Park; Hiking--Washington (State)--Mount Pilchuck State Park; Outdoor recreation--Washington (State)--Mount Pilchuck State Park

Geographic Coverage

Mount Pilchuck State Park (Wash.)




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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