Hiker on trail: information practices in the wild. A mixed methods approach to investigate real-time mobile technology use by long-distance backpackers

Perla Innocenti, Ed Hyatt, Morgan Harvey

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Abstract

Long distance hikers' information practices are considered via an 'in-field' methodology that generated rich experiential data. Participants documented and reflected on their experiences and use of mobile digital technology while undertaking a two-week coast-to-coast walk across the Scottish Highlands. Empirical evidence on the adoption and use of mobile digital technology by backpackers, and the implications this has for their practices and interactions is scarce. "Research in the Wild" (RITW) mixed methods facilitated exploration of how and why mobile digital technology is employed via analysis of in-field video-logs, interviews with eight participants, and a survey. Analysis of the research interview data provides insights into fieldwork participants' reactions to, and experiences with, the methods employed. The affordances and issues of the approach are discussed, highlighting the benefits and challenges of mixed methods for Human Computer Interaction and Information Behavior research in the arena of outdoor recreation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101200
Number of pages10
JournalLibrary and Information Science Research
Volume44
Issue number4
Early online date12 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • long distance hiking
  • backpacking
  • information behaviour
  • research in the wild (RITW)
  • in-context research
  • mixed methods
  • information practices
  • ubiquitous consumer electronics
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • The Great Outdoor Challenge (TGO)
  • Scottish Highlands
  • outdoor recreation

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