The Three Types of Fun

backpacking in the wrangells

Who doesn’t like to have fun? If you polled the general population, I bet you’d get 99.9% of people agreeing that they like to have fun. But I also bet you’d get a wide range of answers if you followed up with the question “What is fun?” Here at St. Elias Alpine Guides, we like to think we work in the “having fun” industry, so we decided to research it a bit further. Here’s what we found…

Did you know that there are three types of fun? Well, here’s an overview of each – give them a read, and keep them in mind the next time you’re having Type 2 or Type 3 Fun!

Type 1 Fun:

Examples: Going to a party, amusement park, or taking a pleasant hike
This is the “typical” type of fun, and what you think of when someone mentions the word. You’re having a good time in the moment and are enjoying what you’re doing. Most likely, you don’t want the powder day or good fishing to come to an end.

Type 2 Fun:

Examples: Running a marathon, or a long backpacking trip in inclement weather
This type of fun could be classified as “enjoyment in retrospect.” During the actual event, you were tired, achy, or sopping wet, but looking back (it might take a week or two), you have fond memories of your suffering. You might even have a few good stories too! So next time the weather unleashes on your backpacking trip, keep Type 2 Fun in mind.

Type 3 Fun:

Example: Earnest Shackleton crossing the Antarctic
We wouldn’t want to wish this type of fun on anyone, however we know it’s inevitable. The failed expeditions, and larger injuries are hard to think of as “fun,” but looking back, these are the learning experiences that allow us to appreciate the times things do go well. So strive for Type 2 fun on your expeditions, but remember that the occasional Type 3 Fun can provide for some interesting stories when you can (finally) look back on the situation and crack a smile.

May your days be filled with Type 1, your memories full of Type 2, and your judgement based on Type 3 Fun!

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