picture survey group

Group Isolation and Self-sufficiency

In this cluster of similar processes, there is a very strong correlation between the findings of various studies. The overarching finding is that the specific type of expedition activity is of little importance in itself, what really matters is that the expedition is self-sufficient and in a remote area. It is under these conditions that 'expedition behaviour' develops, and that the personal & social development outcomes are achieved. This process is one which the research does tie to a specific set of outcomes. The self-sufficiency indicates that the group is in a wild environment (removed from normal physical structures), whilst the isolation means that the group is removed from normal social structures. Although we cannot identify a causal link, we can therefore claim that the self-sufficient & isolated expedition group is a necessary condition of the learning outcomes detailed above.

Self-sufficient living arrangements (Beames 2004)
Heightened stress levels / lack of privacy (Potter 1994)
Self-sufficiency in a challenging environment (Sheldon 2009)
Time out of normal social structures (Andrews 1999)
Group diversity (Beames 2004; Sheldon 2009)
Group isolation (Beames 2004)