Long Trail Hikers Are More Creative

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — December 14, 2012

A recent study finds that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in the wilds.

The study, Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings, by David Strayer of the University of Utah and Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley of the University of Kansas, was published in PLOS ONE, an online journal of the Public Library of Science.

Creativity in Wild Study
Long trail hikers are more creative than those who don’t venture out. Image by Public LIbrary of Science.

Strayer tells the Salt Lake Tribune, “We start think differently when out in nature. Our thoughts become more clear, more coherent, not as fragmented.”

The study found that backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after time spent in the wilds than those that did’t venture out. Those tested were on four- to six-day wilderness trips in Colorado, Main, Alaska, and Washington state.

If backpackers improve so much, just think how much smarter we are after five or six months on a long trail.

Brett on the PCT!

Thanks for reading. Let us know what you think about creativity in the wild or any other thoughts you have on this post in the comments section below.

Happy trails!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *