Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 253–268 | Cite as

Peeling back the layers: an exploration of dietary perspectives and practices of journey-based outdoor leaders in an Australian context

  • Jaclyn MungeEmail author
  • Brendon Munge
  • Marcus Morse
  • Adrienne Forsyth
Original Paper


Journey-based outdoor leaders can be at risk of nutrient deficiencies due to repetitive menus and/or poor dietary practices, with implications for resultant personal health and work performance. Careful meal planning and nutritional understanding can help alleviate this risk. However, overall intakes are also partly dependent on the dietary practices and preferences of outdoor leaders in the field as well as during their days off. This study identifies factors influencing the dietary practices of outdoor leaders from an Australian outdoor education provider and the resultant strategies they implement to manage their diets. Focus groups explored dietary preferences and motivations for dietary practices, with findings corroborated by field observations on two journey-based programs. Inductive thematic analysis identified three key themes influencing the dietary practices of outdoor leaders: food limitations, personal preferences, and social context.


Outdoor leaders Dietary practices Nutrition Outdoor education Dietary intake 



The authors would like to thank all participants as well as the research assistants for their support in data collection and analysis: Victoria de Lacy, Natasha Evangelou, Sara Smilevska, and Charlotte Nason. The authors did not receive any internal or external funding for this research, nor have they received any funding for the publication of this article in an open source format.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Outdoor Education Australia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dietetics, Nutrition and SportLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydoreAustralia
  3. 3.Outdoor & Environmental Education, School of EducationLa Trobe UniversityBendigoAustralia

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