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The Fun scale for outdoor fun: illustrating Type 1 fun as skiing, Type 2 fun as mountaineering and Type 3 fun as surviving a bear encounter (the best story)

The fun scale

The fun scale acknowledges that not all fun is created equal and includes the different types of fun, including Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 fun.

I assumed fun is all the same. Fun is fun. But then, when I first heard about Type I and Type II fun, I had to admit there was some validity in there being different types of fun.

Type 1 fun is like eating ice cream, or skiing with ski lifts to whisk you back up to the top — you love it while you’re doing it, and when you think back on it you remember how good it was. Straightforward— sounds like fun.

Type 2 fun, on the other hand, is the sort of enjoyment you get from something like running a marathon or climibing a mountain. You often have to admit that it wasn’t necessarily all fun at the time. In fact, it could have been quite hard and might have hurt a bit. But when you look back on it, you think of it as often more fun and fulfilling than the Type I fun.

Type 3 fun is usually type 1 or 2 fun that went wrong. Though it was supposed to be fun, things actually got a little hairy – like you got lost, or it got dark, and it got cold, or you had to be rescued — but…it sure makes a great story when you make it back.

HT: my brother shared this with me having learned it from his mountain guide doing classic Type II fun.

I updated this sketch in 2023. Here is the original fun scale sketch

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