Being Outdoors: Lived Experience on the Franklin River


  • Marcus Morse La Trobe University
  • Sean Blenkinsop Simon Fraser University



Being outdoors can provide experiential possibilities not readily available indoors. In this paper we draw on phenomenological research undertaken with participants on 10-day outdoor Franklin River journeys in Tasmania, Australia, to illustrate such possibilities. By exploring multiple aspects and variations of participant lived experience outdoors we focus, in particular, on the potential ontological implications of these experiences. We detail three key findings that emerged from participant descriptions: i) a feeling of humility, ii) being alive to the present, and iii) paradox and living with the irresolvable via anecdotes, experiential structures and quotes. In doing so we highlight and discuss what, we suggest, are profound possibilities for participants’ ways of being outdoors with/in this vibrant riverscape.