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Backpacker Magazine – May 2012

Backpacking and Brainpower

Does hiking make YOU smarter?


The neuroscientists behind the cutting-edge research in our May 2012 article "Hiking Makes You Smarter" (on newsstands now) are seeking volunteers who are interested in participating in future studies. Your task? Go backpacking, and take a cognitive test like the one below. Interested in learning more? Fill out the online survey at this site:

Take the Quiz
The Remote Associates Test measures key aspects of higher brain function, such as creativity. Take the following tests before and after your next backpacking trip to see how you do. No cheating! There’s no time limit, but don’t look at the words below—or the answers—until you’re ready to take the test.

(Pretrip test)
1. Bass Complex Sleep
2. Foot Collection Out
3. Blade Witted Weary
4. Gold Stool Tender
5. Coin Quick Spoon

(Post-trip test)
6. Cherry Time Smell
7. Barrel Root Belly
8. Cloth Sad Out
9. Cotton Bathtub Tonic
10. Sore Shoulder Sweat

Click here for the answers.

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Reader Rating: -


May 09, 2012

RIGHT-ON..Great idea to promote at work. I will be giving the test to 2 adults and 9 scouts (high school) between the ages of 14-18 on a 20-day high adventure canoe trip in remote wilderness in central Manitoba. No radios, cells, i-whatevers for at least 12 days. We will see. I would like to have additional groups of words as difficult as these. I plan to give the test every 3 days...start...3...6...9. maybe a 5th at the end of 12 days. To see if there is a "level-off". Could use help with the extra word groups

Steven Law
May 09, 2012

Very insightful article. I definitively can relate,

Clint Allison
May 06, 2012

Also, I'm in the infantry so I do a bit of hiking, especially during deployment. Do you think the research could apply to that as well?

Clint Allison
May 06, 2012

Such a great article, thank you for the outstanding work you do! This was the first edition I bought, I'm hooked for life. As I read this I couldn't help but relate it to a book I read, Wild at Heart by John Elderedge. It's a religious look on your research but still very much to the same findings! Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Apr 19, 2012

Great article in the magazine, very cool!

Apr 19, 2012

The print article says: "Figure out a fourth word that fits with each of the others. For example, if the set reads FLOOR, PLAY, FAIR, the answer is GROUND. (Get it? "Ground floor," "playground", "fairground.")"

Laurence Phillips
Apr 16, 2012

Ummm ... how does one answer each "question"? The i"instructions" don't give any sense of what the test taker's response should be. C'mon! Give us a hint!


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