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Interim Research Report (3/31/05)


Personality Type and Outdoor Recreation

By Ross Reinhold, intj

Index of links to all 16 research reports

INTP -Table 1.

ISTP - Table 2.

Favorite Outdoor Activities of
INTP Types



% #1

or #2

Day Hiking



Overnight Backpacking



Overnight Canoe Tripping



Day Canoe Tripping






None of the Above



*Total N was 42, but 1 person responded NA to all questions.



As with INFPs, "Day Hiking" for INTPs is the most favorite of our listed pursuits. I expected a little higher percentage would be listing overnight canoe tripping and backpacking. Yet consider Day Hiking allows an escape into nature and physical exercise without the amount of advance planning and gear to haul along that overnight adventures require. As one person commented: ". . . my preference would be to select from the "Overnight" categories, but for a lack of time I most often take day trips."

Overall the additional comments received supported my pre-conceived idea that INTPs are drawn to more vigorous outdoor recreation activities: "white water rafting, cross country and downhill skiing" "Rock climbing, bouldering, mountain biking, trail running" "kayak camping trips" "whitewater kayaking" "sky diving" "back country skiing" "Triathalons."

Here's one comment that captures what I suspect is a typical INTP notion towards planning a trip: "Just finished 3.5 months backpacking in Europe. Started making plans, threw them out the door when I arrived. Lived by day each day. no plans except explore!" The logic of having an advance plan is appreciated, yet if the moment demands, it can get tossed aside without regret.

In terms of activities selected and comments made, it appears INFPs and INTPs in this study are birds of a similar feather.

Favorite Outdoor Activities of
ISTP Types



% #1

or #2

Day Hiking



Overnight Backpacking



Overnight Canoe Tripping



Day Canoe Tripping






None of the Above



.*Total N was 12, but 1 person responded NA to all questions.



A much smaller sample of ISTPs than INTPs make comparisons and generalizations exceedingly risky. But we'll plunge ahead anyhow!


Overnight Canoe Tripping and Kayaking seem to appeal more to ISTPs than it does to INFPs and INTPs (and other types). What is it about Canoe Tripping and Kayaking that has more relative appeal (compared to other personality types) than Hiking and Backpacking? As someone who has done and enjoys both canoeing and hiking, I'll hazard some guesses. There's a certain tactile pleasure in having a paddle in your hand, sensing the movement against the water, reacting. There's an art and grace to this movement . . . yet it is simple, direct, efficient. Then there's the fact that you are "operating" a canoe or kayak whereas in hiking and backpacking you aren't operating a vehicle - you are the vehicle! A label temperament type scholar Linda Berens uses for the ISTP temperament is "Operator." So in her view ISTPs are drawn to and expert in "operating" all sorts of things - machines, vehicles, equipment, tools, etc. A canoe or kayak is an extension of this - with the additional value of being able to escape onto a lake or into the wilderness.

And even though this is a very small sample, one of the comments about other enjoyable activities well reflect this type's attitude towards enjoying the moment: "lounging on beach, swimming, drinking bottle of red wine . . ." The following comment underscored another ISTP theme - the notion of escape: " just trying to get away from people!" This sentiment I think is more likely to be expressed by an ISTP than either an INFP or ISFP.

As with ISFPs we could use many more responses from ISTPs to better complete what is now a quite sketchy picture of the interests of this type.

Return to Research Report Page

Reports By Type:

INFP and ISFP Reports

INTP and ISTP Reports

INTJ and INFJ Reports

ISTJ and ISFJ Reports

ENTP and ENFP Reports

ESFJ and ENFJ Reports

ESTJ and ENTJ Reports

ESTP and ESFP Reports

Links for More Information on Personality Type:

Myers-Briggs Test *: What's Your Myers-Briggs MBTI Personality Type?

An introduction to the Myers-Briggs Model of Personality Type

Learn about characteristics of the 16 MBTI Personality Types

Center for Applications of Psychological Type

Association for Psychological Type


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