Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): David N. Cole; Troy E. Hall
    Date: 2010
    Source: Ecopsychology. 2(2): 67-75.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (463.6 KB)


    Privacy and its functions are desirable attributes of the human experience in wilderness areas, where outstanding opportunities for solitude is legally mandated. Privacy, the ability to choose how and when to interact and exchange information with other people, enhances opportunities for both personal growth and interaction with the wilderness environment. This study assessed the effect of use level and length of stay on the degree to which privacy and its functions were experienced on wilderness trips. Factor analysis identified one privacy experience factor and two privacy function factors, release, and personal growth. Compared to more heavily used trails, hikers on less congested trails experienced more privacy - being significantly more likely to experience "solitude," being "away from crowds of people," and "feeling isolated." But there was no difference related to use level in achieving the beneficial functions of privacy. Hikers on longer trips experienced both more privacy and more of the beneficial functions of privacy - release and personal growth.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Cole, David N.; Hall, Troy E. 2010. Privacy functions and wilderness recreation: Use density and length of stay effects on experience. Ecopsychology. 2(2): 67-75.


    privacy, wilderness recreation, Use density, length of stay

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page