This paper theorizes that participants in consumptive and nonconsumptive activities differ in terms of the specificity and clarity of their recreation goals and their control in achieving these goals. Such differences were predicted to influence the recreationists' reported overall satisfaction. Comparisons between consumptive and nonconsumptive recreationists were based on data collected in 12 separate studies across the United States. The 17 activities examined range from hunting and fishing in Maryland and Wisconsin to hiking in New Hampshire and white water rafting in Arizona and Oregon. Respondents in each survey were asked the same question: "Overall, how would you rate your day/trip?" Responses were coded on a six-point scale ranging from poor to perfect. As predicted, consumptive users reported significantly lower satisfaction scores than did the nonconsumptive recreationists. Satisfaction ratings for the successful hunters and fishermen were higher than those reported by unsuccessful consumptive recreationists, but were lower than those indicated by the nonconsumptive user groups.