Are you an old backpacker?

Posted by: DJ2

Are you an old backpacker? - 04/13/05 05:15 PM

I'm 60 and still backpacking regularly. I've run out of older role models, however.

If you are over 60 (the older the better) could you stand up and be recognized. Hearing from you would help me visualize my hiking future.

Posted by: longhair29

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/13/05 05:25 PM

I just wanted to say it's FANTASTIC you're still Backpacking at sixty!

HIP,..HIP,...HIP,..HORRAY!!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

To bad ole' Mr. Fletcher got bounced off that old Lady's hood as he'd surely be the one to beat. LOL

I'm forty something now and plan on hoisting a real Backpack for another 20-years.

Did you post this over at website. There are several different interest forums there.

Take care,
Posted by: Rich_M

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/13/05 08:26 PM

Not 60 but I am 59 in two weeks and still going strong. Am going on a 5 day backpack trip next month and looking forward to it. I can't imagine not backpacking. I hope to still be out there when i'm 70 too. Age means nothing to me.
Posted by: dinghy3

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/13/05 10:29 PM

Anyone heard of GeezerJock magazine? Pretty funny I know but it's real - I'm headed in that direction. It's put out by the Masters Athletic people. Anyway, there's tons of people over 60 on the trails - keep up the search.
Posted by: Gary

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 12:00 AM

I'll be 62 in August. The Grand Canyon was my most ambitious trek in recent years. Happy hiking
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 03:57 AM

Will be 65 in July. Just got back from a 3 day solo. Tenativly planning a 2 week + trip in Alaska across Sewart Penn. About 175 miles w/o resupply.

Posted by: millergear

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 05:23 AM

No, I'm not an old backpacker, I'll only be 66 next month. With several friends that backpacked into their late 70's it's hard to feel old at 66!


Posted by: TDale

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 05:59 AM

I'm 60 and still backpacking regularly. I've run out of older role models, however.

You ARE the role model now. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Keep on keeping on.
Posted by: SpiderJohn

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 06:16 AM

I'm almost 40 now, so it's good to know that I have a chance at another 30 years on the trail <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Slightly OT:

A gentleman in his early 70's got me and my buddies started into BP'ing back in the early 80's. He had been at it since his stint in WWII. Never slowed us down either. That's living right.
Posted by: alanwenker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 07:59 AM

Not yet, I'm 41, but I hope to be someday. When I'm 60, my now 30 year old vintage gear will really be cool to use.
Posted by: Gary

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 08:50 AM

We have a senior group in Bellingham, Washington and many are in their 70's and quite a few are older. I'm a youngster.
Posted by: midnightsun03

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 09:25 AM

Back in 1984 I met Paul Petzoldt, who was still going strong well into his 80's. One of my current mentors is 71 (has summitted Denali 4 times, the last time when he was 69). One of my skiing partners is in his 60's. Another backpacking buddy is in his 60's. My climbing partner is >50. Both of the Washburn's (Brad and Barbara) still hike, though not as much as they once did (I think they are in their late 80's now). I turn 40 this year, so, like you, I look around for peers in my age group and beyond, and happily I see them everywhere.

Posted by: JohnTheBaton

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 09:53 AM

My wife and I were on a chairlift for a black diamond run on Mammoth Mountain in CA 2 years ago with a woman who looked like she was 50. Turns out she was 73, and had shuttled up there with a seniors club of skiiers where no one was younger than 70. We were way impressed.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 09:59 AM

I was 60 in January and I've only just started. Just got back from a 3-day winter camp in the Sierras.
Posted by: tarbubble

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 11:19 AM

Norman Vaughn plans to celebrate his 100th birthday on top of the ANTARCTIC mountain named after him - 10,302 foot Mt. Vaughn (he was a sled driver on Admiral Byrd's 1928 Antarctic expedition). He climbed it back in 1994 just before his 89th birthday. this article doesn't mention it, but i think Vaughn was actually the first to ever summit the mountain and has done it a number of times.

so there's our new role model. you GO, Norman!
Posted by: benlyon

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 11:51 AM

Glad to see all of you going strong. So I've got 45 or so more years to look forward to?

I am only 24, but I thought I'd mention that my 81 year old Grandmother, who got me into hiking when I was a kid, still goes on the periodic day hike with me. She likes to carry her things in a grocery sack <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />...whatever, I'll stick to GoLite Hare.
Posted by: photohiker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 12:56 PM

I am 59 & have been backpacking since I'm 20. I am anxiouly awaiting age 62 so I can retire from the day job & backpack whenever my wife allows.
To the GrumpyGord poster, I also plan a Alaska trip for summer of 2006 along the Kesugi ridge in Denali STATE Park.
Posted by: ringtail

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/14/05 01:40 PM

Did "the gems" in the Grand Canyon with a guy that was 72. Age is no barrier.
Posted by: musicimprovedme

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 10:38 AM

Does 36 count? I feel like I am ninety most days.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 12:51 PM

That's because you work with kids.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 02:53 PM

In dog years I'm 273. Seriously though, between 7 and 10 years ago I had two different chiropractors tell me I had the joints of someone past 50. The results of indiscretions of a misspent youth I guess. My philosophy is use it or lose it so I continue to hike.
Posted by: Chongo

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 04:10 PM

Oh geez, two of the people who went with me to the Yosemite backcountry last month are into their 60's and took lead most of the way. Neither is slow. They're considering either a return to the Dolomites or a couple of weeks in the eastern Sierras (depending on mood and budget) late in the Summer and another trip into the mountains of Montana or Wyoming just before winter. Both allow that it was lightweight gear that allowed them to really do this stuff, but there's no question that they've got a lot of miles ahead of them. It's getting hard to think of 60 as "old," at least in backpacker terms, any more.
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 05:26 PM

Thanks for the response. You are the type of role model I was looking for even though you only have about 5 years on me.

A two week long trip without re-supply would be well within my capabilities. With about 21 lbs of food and 15-20 lbs of gear I'd be up to about 40 lbs. That's OK for me.

The mileage you are aniticipating however (175) would be about twice my normal pace. I tend to go slower and take more time off from actually hiking. Most trips here in Washington include a few thousand feet per day of elevation gain.

By the way, I've noticed that walking on the level hasn't been affected much by the aging process. Up hill with a pack has, however......big time. My up hill pace is roughly half of what it was 30 years ago.......with half the weight. Used to be able to go up switchbacks at about 3MPH with 60 lbs. Now it is 1.5 MPH with 30 lbs. Feels just the same but the watch and maps don't let me maintain the illusion that nothing has changed.

Thanks again for the response.
Posted by: Haiwee

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/05 06:19 PM

About ten years ago, when I was in my mid-thirties, a friend and I hiked up to Big Pine Lake #1 in the Eastern Sierra. This was before I went lightweight, and the two of us just about died making it up, lugging 50 pound packs (out of shape, knee problems, general whining). On the way back down two days later, dragging along and whining all the way, this guy passes us up like we were standing still (come to think of it, maybe we were standing still). He had a spring in his step, and looked fresh as a daisy.

When we finally got back to the trailhead, he was still there, and we struck up a conversation. He had hiked all the way to Big Pine Lake # 8, several miles further than we'd gone. Turned out he had just celebrated his 69th birthday. That guy became my role model, and at that point I resolved to still be backpacking at 70.
It's great to hear that so many of you "youngsters" are still going strong -- gives me renewed hope.
Posted by: hafdome

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/21/05 07:34 AM

When I was in the Winds a few years back I met three little old ladies in their sixties. They had matching hats and packs and were all former thru-hikers. Year before last I met a guy who was 85 and section hiking the Colorado Trail. He told me he could only go twelve to fifteen miles a day because of his age. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: bearbait

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/23/05 01:50 PM

I didn't start backpacking untill I was 49.
It truly amazed me when I ran into these older kids in their 60's and 70's. After trying out backpacking, I know that this was something I wanted to do when I retired. Its been 3 great years of backpacking and I am looking forward to the time I can go out for more then 6 days at a time or more then 2 weeks a year.
Posted by: tpdwr

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/23/05 04:00 PM

I'm 60 1/2 and hoping to get older. I've been backpacking 35 years and hope to continue for a long time. I'm constantly amazed at the number of hikers I meet on the trail that are loder than me and that's encouraging!
Posted by: Toothless

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/03/05 07:32 PM

I'm not quite 60 but close, I think. A group of us are sectional hikers on the AT since 1998. We took a new guy this last trip who told me he was 60 and had to realize that he needed to slow down. I told him he was lucky I didn't have my hiking stick or he's we wearing it. He was in a lot of pain over this 32.5 mile leg.
One last note: I remember my birth month and day but forget (on purpose) the year. I want to be in my 80's and someone will ask "how old are you?" I want to answer, "I really don't know". My philosphy is that age is a state of mind!
Posted by: jonnycat

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/03/05 08:11 PM

One last note: I remember my birth month and day but forget (on purpose) the year. I want to be in my 80's and someone will ask "how old are you?" I want to answer, "I really don't know". My philosphy is that age is a state of mind!

I honestly have a hard time remembering my age; I can usually get it within a year or two, but I have to do math to know for sure.
Posted by: CJC

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/03/05 10:22 PM

I was told this quote is from Sachel Page: "How old would you be if you did not know your birthdate?" His answer to a reporter asking how old he was. I think it works wonderfully regardless how old the calender says you are.
Posted by: rgarling

Batch - 05/04/05 05:34 AM

This year I did a section of the AT from mIle 100 to mile 230. I was doing 15 mile days, and for several days, I crossed paths with a guy named Batch. Batch hikes without poles and is stopping at most of the shelters and signing the shelter log to document his passage.

If Batch completes his thru hike this year, which is his current intention, he will be the oldest to do so. He is 83 years old. I have a picture of him eating a cheeseburger at mountain mommas with EZ DOES IT (5x thru hiker).

Not sure how long this link will be active:
Posted by: bash

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/04/05 02:42 PM

Keep it up!!! I sure hope to be backpacking into my 60's and 70's. Pure inspiration folks!!!!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 07/23/05 06:20 PM

I was 59 my last birthday, and I plan to celebrate my 60th on my 2006 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Taking a 6 month leave of absence from work and just doing it!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/29/05 03:21 PM

I'll be 64 in December. I've done the AT (in sections, not through-hiking), the Horseshoe trail in Pennsylvania, the Flint River in Georgia and the Ozark Highlands Trail in Arkansas, among others. I've also walked across Viet Nam and done the Chipyong-ni march (but that's another story.)

A friend of mine went to the doctor. The doctor looked at his chart and said, "I can't believe you're 95! You're in fantastic shape."

And my friend said, "I'm a backpacker. All that up and down hill hiking keeps me in shape."

And the doctor said, "How old was your father when he died?"

"Who said my father's dead!?!?"

"Well, how old is he?"

"He's 122."

"And where is he?"

"Out on the trail -- he didn't have a doctor's appointment today, so he though he'd get in 20 miles."

"Wow! How old was your grandfather when he died?"

"Who said my grandfather's dead!?!?"

"Well, how old is he?"

"He's 141."

"And where is he? Out on the trail?"

"No. He had to come into town to get married today."

"Why would a 141-year old man want to get married?"

"Who said he wanted to get married?"
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/03/05 08:50 AM

I'm turning 52 this month (Nov.) and two weeks ago went on a 50 miler with a pack weight of 65lbs.. I lost ten pounds in the three days on the "Rita ravaged" trail. It was an exercise in endurance but I felt great afterwards. I can still do 60 pushups at a time.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/03/05 08:55 AM

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/04/05 08:12 AM

50 miler with a pack weight of 65lbs..
Holy schmackerel. Just because you can doesn't mean you should! ;-)

Where do you go hiking up there? I would like to find a good place to go around here.

Bill in Houston
Posted by: redroach

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/04/05 11:53 AM

He went on the Lonestar Trail that I keep harping about Bill <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/04/05 01:12 PM

Oh fine. I guess I need to get the maps. I just don't feel like carrying water, but I don't know if it can be avoided around here.
Posted by: redroach

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/04/05 01:48 PM

The Western half runs around Lake conroe a lot. I don't think you have to carry too much water on that end.

Then again, some of them creeks in the area might make me think twice about filtering out of them.

Posted by: Pika

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/10/05 04:43 PM

I'm 68 this year and I'm still going fairly strong. So far this year: Grand Canyon twice, both solo, once via the South Bass Trail in May and once via the Hermit trail in October; one two-week, long-loop, mountaineering trip with my nephew in the Sierras in August that was mostly off trail; another six day solo trip in the Sierras in September plus four, three day trips in the southern Arizona mountains near where I live. The long trip in the Sierras was under a starting load of about 65 pounds; thank heavens it was mostly food. I have been backpacking and climbing since 1946 mostly in California, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. I recall when REI was a single store about the size of a two-car garage upstairs from the Green Apple Pie restaurant on Pike Street in Seattle. I bought my first climbing boots there in 1953.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/11/05 05:59 AM

Not quite 60 yet. Got back to backpacking when I was 42 after family grown up (I didn't get a single hiker in the bunch!) I'm working on the North Country Trail in sections. Current mileage is 2893 miles.
Posted by: CJC

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/11/05 10:27 PM

I can only hope that I can do that much hiking and take such trips when I am in my late 60's. My hats off to you!! Happy trails. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: WyoBob

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/12/05 06:02 AM

Chronologically, I'll be 59 in May. Mentally, I may be older. Way older. I couldn't remember if I posted to this thread or not and had to go back to the beginning and go through the thread.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/12/05 06:16 AM

46....going on12

I too hope to be hiking well into my 60s

Grow up....... not old
Posted by: Coosa

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/31/05 08:22 AM

Am I an old backpacker? I've been backpacking since I was 28 years old. I'm 61 right now, turn 62 next October and RETIRE as of September 30, 2006!

Retirement plans include Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007 and kayaking some of the Inland Waterway along the Gulf Coast with my dog (half Blue Heeler half Cocker Spaniel) when I can find a couple other kayakers who want to do the same, sometime after the Thru Hike.

I also plan to do a lot of "rails to trails" biking in the Southeast. I'm moving to L-A (Lower Alabama) where there are 4 great-weather months and 8 hot-as-hades months, but since my daughter is giving me another grandbaby in 2006 and potentially more than one (they've got two now), it seems like a great area to live. I can kayak in the hot months and bike in the cooler ones.

THEN, when my niece graduates from college (2009), I'm taking her to Italy for at least two weeks, where we'll stay at campgrounds and hostels while we sightsee Rome, Florence and the Italian Alps. I'll only be 64-65.

THEN, I'm hoping one of my grandchildren will want to Thru Hike the Appalachian Trail when he or she graduates from High School, and I plan to be support and do some hiking with him or her (could be as early as 2009 or as late as 2024, based on this last grandchild. I'll ONLY be about 80 years old in 2024.)

You are NOT old unless you want to be. And of course, having good genes helps -- the women in my family has a tendency to live to be 96 - 103, so that Hike when I'm 80 years old could happen. (My parents are both 82 and going stong.) (see for more info about a retirement option)

HAPPY 2006 everyone!
Auntie Coosa
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Spock

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 01/11/06 02:13 PM

My lady friend recently did 1700 miles on the AT at age 69.
I've met dozens of folks over 70 and a few over 80 on long trails.
You might not hike faster, but you sure can hike smarter.
Keep on truckin'.
Posted by: Chrisandco

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 01/16/06 04:59 AM

You might consider yourself a role model! I'm still a youngin, but I've learned a lot from those people with brilliant silver hair hiking along the trails. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Noel

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/19/06 04:21 PM

Excellent plan to visit Italy via backpack - the wife and I were there in fall 2005... no summer heat, and our backpacks meant we were ultra-manouverable and ultra-quick in the big cities.

To see all those folks (old and young alike) struggle, panic, and strain with overloaded, oversized, and over-numerous suitcases and not enjoy the trip.... such a shame.

And we didn't even camp because we stayed in small hotels (2 stars, by their measure), we only had to cart clothes + toiletries; I started at 15 lbs + 5lb pack (too many guidebooks) and at the end I re-weighed and it was 45 lbs... most purchased in the last 3 days.

Anyhoo, practice lots of stairs, take an extra pair of sox, look at the water, drink the wine, and hike the Cinque Terra.


ps. My uncle is in his 70's, and he is still active in the area of Hefly Creek, BC. Amazing fellow - he has done more 'past his prime' than I did 'in my prime' .... either our family are late bloomers, or this 'prime' thing is hooey <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: cliff

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/19/06 06:16 PM

I'm 63 and have been doing it for 56 years.Thanks to poles for down hill safety.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/27/06 02:32 AM

I'm turning 50 this year. My loads are alot lighter 25 lbs. or less. I can remember hauling 95 lbs. into the Sierras for three week trips in my early twenties. I was crazy...

Posted by: Dennis

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/15/06 12:08 PM

Hmmmm..... judging by the responses I'm not going to make the cut for "old backpacker" at only 54. Though first morning out on a trip it sure FEELS like it....
Posted by: farpost

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 04/16/06 11:13 PM

60 is not old for a hiker; at least at 57, that's what I tell myself. On the Pacific NW trails where I spend most of my miles, a goodly number of folk are well into their 60s and more. For the stamina to do more miles, I now play soccer 3 times a week. One of my teammates is my role model: he just celebrated his 70th. Not only is he an asset to the team, after hiking the Grand Canyon last year with his wife, they now plan a cross-Alps trek this fall.
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/04/06 11:43 AM

I'm 63 and still backpackin' and still collecting the latest backpacking gear. It's a chronic sickness (the gear buying) but when I'm on the trail with 10 or 15 fewer pounds than I had in 1980 I'm a very happy camper.
Keep working out, taking conditioning hikes, taking Glucosamine/Chondritin tablets and the occassional Ibuprofen. You'll be able to do this 'til you're 80 or more. [color:"green"] [/color]
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 05/04/06 11:51 AM

Good GAWD! You ARE an old backpacker.
I too started in the '50s in Boy Scouts with the Yucca Pack. (It was a canvas box with two top flap buckles, two cotton web shoulder straps, and six D rings on each side of the pack. That was it, PERIOD!)
I used farm shoe clodhoppers for hiking shoes. No REI in Pennsylvania in the '50s.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 06/13/06 05:58 AM

Yup....I'm old!

Over 60 and headed for the Gunflint trail toward the end of the month. Plan to
do as many hikes in a seven day period as I can.

I have been doing this since I was ten years old and have hiked, backpacked and
camped around the world...if the Army counts?

I like getting away from the phones and work for weeks at a time and have big plans of doing this fulltime when I retire in less than two years.

I have the opinion that if I keep doing this.....the longer I'll be able to do this!
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/11/06 12:08 PM

At 63 I'm still going strong.
I hike with the Las Vegas area Sierra Club and the "Meetup" online hiking group to stay in shape for backpacking.
At present I'm purchasing more and more lightweight equipment for summer camping. That's why I'm at this forum and likely why you're here too.
Good luck and, as they used to say in the '60s:
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/12/06 08:21 AM

Thanks for posting. I had somehow lost track of this post and missed most of the responses. Your response helped me find it again.

I'm glad to see so many older people are still hiking. I haven't run into many on my recent backpacks in Washington and was concerned that they might have died off or moved to Florida.
Posted by: moondust

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/21/06 04:45 PM

Our group of 6 who just summitted Mt. Langley (14,042) ranged in age from 46 to 57. Our oldest expedition member (62) had to stay home at the last minute to care for her 91 year old mother. She is just as strong a hiker as the younger members.

We are all members of the Kern River Valley Hiking Club, founded by Ruby Jenkins (author of the Exploring the Southern Sierra books) who is 80 and still hiking and backpacking regularly. I hear she will be up in Mineral King soon, and there are NO easy hikes in Mineral King!

Some of our older members (70's and up) don't care to go as far as youngsters like me (51), but some do. I find the biggest difference in hiking is that the oldsters tend to go slower on the downhills to preserve their knees. I have to include myself in this category. Long downhill is not much fun, even with hiking poles.

The youngest member of our club is my son who will soon be 13. Not many other young people.

Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/26/06 08:10 PM

Thanks for the post.

Music to my ears!
Posted by: Howie

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/18/06 09:19 PM

I'll be 54 next next month.

Posted by: futureatwalker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/19/06 12:40 PM

I am a 40 year old male. Very good job, small children, run to keep fit. Here's my question:

My ambition in LIFE is to thru-walk the Appalachian Trail. My plan is to wait until I retire at 65 or 67, and then hike the trail. But is this leaving it too late? It's obvious from the messages above that hiking into one's 60's and 70's is possible. But if my goal is to complete the entire trail, should I be more realistic....

Any advice, particularly from older hikers, is much appreciated!
Posted by: Howie

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/19/06 08:55 PM

Futureatwalker. Personally I would not leave it that late. Several of my friends are over 60 and many of them seem to have developed some kind of physical impairment. Few of them are backpackers, but just because we try and keep fit, the unexpected can and most likely will happen sooner or later. Some medical problems seem to hereditary and no amount of exercising, eating the right food etc is necessarily going to prevent illness. Also, we donít heal as fast when we get older. I have a friend who is over 70 and an avid walker. He seemed to be in pretty good shape and had worked hard all his life, but he took a fall off a step ladder a couple of year back and has never been the same since. He still walks, but only on the level, as hills are now out of the question. I do see a lot of folk on the trails who are much older than I am, but I bet that for every old codger on the trail there must be at least 10 in the city who arenít capable of such a workout. That isnít to say I donít plan on hiking when I get older. There is a well known Scottish saying, ďthe plans of mice and me gang after gleeĒ. It means they go wrong.

Posted by: billk

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/19/06 11:01 PM

It's from Robert Burns' "To a Mouse":

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley"
Posted by: Howie

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/20/06 09:28 PM

Thanks Billk. I should have known. My dad was a Robert Burns fan. That is where I heard it.

Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/24/06 08:28 AM

Do it while you can, in my opinion. There are too many uncertainties for you to plan, with certainty, to do this hike 20+ years in the future.

Many of my friends (I'm 62) have had things happen that would prevent them from doing the hike if they wanted to at this age (e.g. arthritis, death, cancer, heart ailements, kidney disease=dialisis(sp?), etc.

Everyone hopes to be fit and healthy later in life but no one can count on it.

Perhaps you could do portions of it, a little each year?
Posted by: dkramalc

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/25/06 01:28 PM

Well, my hope is to do at least the JMT, if not larger portions of the PCT and other long trails, after I retire. I'm 51 now, and may be able to retire as early as 55 (but who knows?) if I keep my $$ expectations low. My philosophy is that I will do what I can in the outdooors now (which isn't a lot due to my busy schedule, but enough so that if I suddenly were stricken with terminal illness or disability, I wouldn't have to smack myself on the forehead and say "why have I wasted my life?" or words to that effect). Then HOPEFULLY, when I do retire, I will have a long trip to really look forward to. If I never get to do that trip, I have still had wonderful adventures. But I think I'd advise anyone hoping to do a long trip far in the future to take into consideration how "cheated" you'd feel if it turns out you never got to do it - if the answer is "a lot", then do some of it NOW!
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 09/27/06 09:58 AM

Thank goodness, children do grow up! When they get to be old enough, make it a requirement of your helping with college $$, that they have to do the thru-hike with you. Moreover, have the kids carry most the weight (after all look at how many hours you hauled them around!). My daughter "worked" for some of her college money by backpacking with me, however poor old Mom carried more weight!

I bet at your age, you can do some long-term planning to take a leave-of-absense. Shoot- get a sponsor and give "mileage money" to charity. Waiting until 65-67 may be too late. I would aim to do it in your 50's. Where there is a will, there is a way!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 12/23/06 01:15 PM

Have great hope futureatwalker. I started the AT 30 pounds overweight without any previous long distance hiking experience and a limited number of short day hikes, turned 65 on the trail, and summitted Katadin less than 5.5 months after starting. It is very achievable if you do excellant planning, go as lightweight as suits you and use common sense in all that you do. Good luck - you can and will do it if that is what you really want.
Posted by: Spock

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 12/23/06 05:09 PM

Not old. Nope. Just 59. My significant other is 72. At 69, she did 1,700 on the AT, and she's still trucking.

Me, I don't recognize age as a factor. Well, ok, I have a bionic knee, but other than that, I see 20 year olds gimping around camp and groaning as much as I do.

We may get older, but hopefully, we also get smarter.
Posted by: wildthing

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 12/30/06 12:36 PM

I would start the "training" for this project immediately!! Even with small kids, you should be able to steal away for a weekend or two to train and then, once a year try a section of the trail for a week.

Better start now, and you'll be fit as a fiddle and ready to go the distance when those kids hit college age. They can drop you off and pick you up when they have their licence, you'll be near enough to retirement so you can take the time off!
Posted by: Slosteppin

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/30/06 06:13 PM

I will admit I'm old when they are shoveling the dirt over me, I'm only 69.
I've been away from backpacking for about 5 years due to bad health, my wife not me. She has gotten enough better I plan to start again this spring.
First several overnights, to make sure all the new gear works right. Then Isle Royale (again) in July or August. Planning on the Long Trail in VT next year, 2007.

Posted by: Paul

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/21/07 02:43 PM

A friend of mine's dad passed away last year at 92. He was backpacking into his late 80's. When they knew the end was near, his family dressed him up in his hiking clothes so he could hit the final trail properly dressed. Now that's a true enthusiast.
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Are you an old backpacker? YEPPER! - 02/23/07 08:09 PM

I'll be 64 in April. But I feel 44 and some ladies tell me I "look 45" so I' guess I am blessed with picking the right parents, gene wise, that is.

My worst problem is the 2 moderately herniated L4 & L5 discs but they really don't seem to bother me. Anyway. most of my pack weight is on my hips, not my shoulders/spine. And I carry two Leki hiking poles, not one. More support, less chance of slipping.

So I alpine, telemark, XC and backcountry ski camp in winter and hike, backpack and sea kayak in spring.summer .

Howsomever... this year I bought a LOT of lightweight equipment (pack, sleeping bag, tent, stove) for 3 season camping. No sense carrying my old Dana Terraplane at over SEVEN pounds when my REI UL 60 weighs only 3.3 lbs.
Or no sense in hauling my heavy PUR Hiker water filter when all I need is a funnel, coffee filters and Aqua Mira. All my heavy, old backpacking equipment ended up as winter camping gear, including my MSR Dragonfly white gas stove.

"We get too soon old, and too late smart." Old Pennsylvania "Dutch" saying.

Wish I'd carried UL stuff years ago.

Eric B.

Posted by: just_another_Joe

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 03/06/07 05:09 PM

Over the hill?
I don't remember any hill.

Posted by: fingerlakeshiker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 06/28/07 05:14 PM

I am 54 and am just getting back to it after 25 year absense, did my first winter trip this year.
Posted by: Damian

Re: Are you an old backpacker? Advice sought! - 06/29/07 01:55 AM

Futureatwalker. Personally I would not leave it that late. Several of my friends are over 60 and many of them seem to have developed some kind of physical impairment.


I'm living proof of that. I'm 42 and have been very active all my life. A year ago I discovered that I have osteoarthritis in my left hip, the legacy of a childhood accident. The doctors are suggesting a partial hip replacement now with a full one down the track ... the point is it was a complete surprise to everyone, including the three specialists I'd consulted about my sore back (it was referred pain). The operations will probably work out but there's always the risk that they won't and then there's the whole getting fit again thing ...

But like you I also have very young children (I started late) so there's a lot I won't do because I hate being away from them.
Posted by: nimby

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 07/01/07 12:04 PM

Just turned 50; also getting back to it after about 30 years. I'm looking forward to trying out the newer light packs. I keep watching the developments in lighter, thicker sleeping pads-as a side sleeper with Hips I want depth for comfort. Right now all I can manage is day hikes, but in a coupla more years look out! I am trying to take good care of my joints so they will still be good to go when I am.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 07/27/07 03:13 PM

Ah Yes. Reminds me of a story of someone's grandfather. When my time to leave this earth comes, I hope I die peacefully in my sleep like he did. Not screaming hysterically like the other people in his car.
Happy Trails...
Posted by: JAK

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 07/29/07 09:00 AM

I am 45. My vote would also be not to leave it too late. The problem is finding the time of course. It would be nice if employers, including the employers of the self-employed, were a little more flexible. I think if people could take 6 months to a year off in their 40s for something like a thru-hike it would pay great dividends in the long run. That's another thing I have against mandatory retirement at 65. People should spread the work out more. Sure you should slow down some after 65 to take time for more things, but it seems nuts to go from long hours with little vacation to zero hours overnight. It seems we live in a world of kitchens designed by men, and lives designed by corporations.
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 07/30/07 05:01 PM

I'm an early baby-boomer. Took up kayaking three years ago because a bad knee would not let me hike. Had a knee replacement a little over a year ago so I'm back on the trail and loving it! Will continue as long as I am able. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/01/07 12:06 PM

I'm 51 and still hiking away. When the kids were smaller it was difficult to go very far. But, now the boys are 23, 20, 18, and 13 and love the outdoors as much as I do. I've convinced them that since they're in their prime of life it's only fair that they carry heavier packs than mine. we just spent a week in the cloud peak wilderness area of the Bighorn Mts. of Wyoming. It's a fantastic area and I got by all week carrying about 10 pounds less than the rest of them. It's payback time for 15-18 years ago when I'd be carrying gear and them.
Posted by: whcobbs

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/03/07 02:08 PM

No, I'm 62. Well, yes I do have knee trouble, so no more running. Please tell us about your experiences of knee replacement vis a vis hiking, backpacking, aerobic exercise program, biking,.... I took my Dad through bilateral knee replacement when he was 82, not an easy experience, but he did regain mobility.
(still on the trail episodically)
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Knee replacement] - 08/04/07 01:13 PM

My orthopedic surgeon put NO limits on backpacking <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> . Running and jumping are out. I only had my right knee replaced, as I had a six-year-old injury that was only getting worse. Obviously, I try to keep my weight in good control [both mine and my pack's <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />]. I like to keep my total pack weight at 30#, a weight I find quite comfortable. My aerobic conditioning [such as it is] consists of carrying my fully-loaded backpack up and down as many hills as I can find. Since I live in the mountains, finding steep grades is not difficult.

In a way, I wish I'd had the replacement done sooner, but then I might never have taken up kayaking, which I still thoroughly enjoy [I do backcountry camping from my kayak and find it satisfying to be able to camp somewhere only accessible by boat].
Posted by: whcobbs

Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Knee replacement] - 08/13/07 01:39 PM

That's a most encouraging reply.
Happy trails!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/05/07 05:16 PM

Just turned 72 and still going strong. I said strong, not fast. I have slowed down greatly, but now I see many things that I used to miss. Leaving next Friday for a short (11 miles RT) to a favorite spot in the Sierras. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: aimless

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/06/07 10:42 AM

72 do you say? I believe that puts you at the head of this parade. For the time being. I hope you have a great trip in the Sierras.
Posted by: photohiker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/06/07 12:46 PM

Two weeks ago at age 61, I summited Mt Whitney (14,495') & returned in one long day. My two sons planned this; we started at 3:30AM w/headlamps & reached the summit at 12:30, back down at 7PM. Wasn't so bad for me & a great experience, something to add to my obituary.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/06/07 04:41 PM

Posted by: Lis

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/07/07 08:06 PM

I'm 61 and just completed the JMT solo.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/13/07 04:42 AM

I am 67 and just finished four days of solo hiking in Michigan and I will have to admit that at the end I felt old. I do not feel as old today but recovery time is getting longer and I have more aches and pains at the end. My hardest lesson to learn is that I am no longer 20 years old and 15 to 20 mile days are going to have effect. Some day I will probably learn. Every time I say I am not going to do it that way again and every time I end up doing it that way again.
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/13/07 07:44 AM

Gordy, I know the feeling! Seems like I keep playing the same notes and expecting a different melody. Partly, I think, because I've forgotten my aches & pains by my next hike. So the promise that I'll never go through this again seems distant and misguided. Since I hike mostly with younger people, there's a desire not to be the 'weakest link', too. In a solo hike [my favorite] there's no excuse other than plain ol' denial. Maybe we just can't face the fact that we need to slow down. I'm thinking 10 miles a day, depending on terrain, should be my limit. We'll see if I can stick by it! Maybe you could try it, too. Let me know what happens!
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/13/07 11:17 AM

I already know the answer. I have started out with goals of 10 miles max and 6 hour days and flower smelling expeditions but every time I end up forgetting the goals or Murphy imposes his rules. Sometimes there is some practical limit like this trip I got to a water source about 2:00 PM and I knew the next source was 15 miles away so I packed up three quarts of water and set off. The next thing I ran into was a sign which said temporary reroute, follow the yellow ribbons. About a mile later the yellow ribbons disappeared so I just took a cross country route which I knew was going to hit a road. By the time I was done for the evening I had blown an extra 1-2 hours and still had about 11 miles to the next water source and it was about three miles after that before I got to a spot where I could legally camp.

But my intentions were good on this trip. Intentions just met reality. As usual I said I will not do this again and as usual I was planning the next trip on the way home.
Posted by: DJ2

Thanks for the replies - 12/27/07 08:30 AM

Thanks for all of the interesting replies on this post.

I'm 63, still backpacking and still making homemade gear. I have several friends (men and women) in the 60-70 range who still hike with me. My 62 year old wife is still backpacking.

One thing I note, reading the replies, is that I have cut back more on my miles than many of you. I like to hike 4 hours or 8 miles (whichever comes first) per day. I rarely exceed this. When I return home I'm feeling good, not sore at all.

When home I usually spend 2-4 hours per day working around the house or at the gym. This amount of daily exercise seems to put me in good shape for the 4 hours of backpacking that I typically do per day.

One of my backpacking partners still prefers longer days of hiking. When we go together we usually camp at the 4 hour mark and then he goes on extra hikes around the camp area. That allows both of us to get what we want.
Posted by: chaz

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/28/07 05:08 PM

I refuse to admit that I.m almost over the hill. Although It's becoming obvious.
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Are you an old backpacker?/What Hill???? - 01/10/08 03:01 PM

Yeah, I feel you on that one, 'cause I don't remember no hill either...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be of those that get you there... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: mockturtle

Re: Are you an old backpacker?/What Hill???? - 01/13/08 07:31 AM

And remember, when you're going 'over the hill', that the descent is always worse than the ascent! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> As they say, Old age ain't for sissies !
Posted by: traildad

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/11/08 04:43 PM

Not 60 but will hit that milestone in another couple of months. Personally I'm thinking that I have another 10 years at least. A week long trip now is probably 40 lbs lighter than what it would have been 20-25 years ago. That for sure helps. I'm transitioning to a hammock for summertime use where I can to ease the soreness in my hips from lots of abuse over the years.

It is going to be fun.
Posted by: chaz

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/18/08 07:24 PM

Let's see, I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth.
Posted by: 300winmag

Are you an old backpacker? Yeperoo! - 02/21/08 08:10 PM

I "turn 65" (as George Carlin says) on April 4.

Skiing of all types, backpacking, sea kayaking and keeping up with leather-lunged sexegenerian women on Sierra Club hikes is the reason I work out constantly. Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in April is next -right after my two weeks skiing in Colorado this Feb. -March.

I figure I've got at least another 10 years of backpacking in me..especially after the new helium-assisted packs hit the market!


"He (she) who wears out the most toys wins."
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/29/12 12:55 PM

I'm bumping this post from 2005. When I posted it at age 60 there weren't many responding who were older than me.

Now, in recent postings I see several who are older than me at my current age of 67.

Very encouraging.

Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/29/12 12:59 PM

I was 5 years older than you in 2005 and I still am. I think that is true of the others also. smile

Originally Posted By DJ2
I'm bumping this post from 2005. When I posted it at age 60 there weren't many responding who were older than me.

Now, in recent postings I see several who are older than me at my current age of 67.

Very encouraging.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/29/12 06:25 PM

Either we're living longer smile or (more likely) the active folks on this forum are getting older frown

Speaking as a moderator, it would be great to have more new members here who aren't trying to spam or flame everyone or post ten completely meaningless posts so they can post a for sale ad! Of course those are the ones who cause us grief. We do have several wonderful new members giving us great input on this forum, and they're a joy to have here!

As of next June 25, my dog and I will be the same age. How can that be? The general assumption is that one dog year equals 7 human years. My dog will be 11 next June; therefore he'll be the equivalent of 77!

However, we're all spring chickens here compared to my daughter-in-law's grandmother, who is about to turn 100! She's still pretty spry, too!
Posted by: jbylake

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/29/12 11:21 PM

77?....LoL,OM, if I ever see that, I'll be amazed. I'm 54, almost 55, was taking Aleve for 2 days after my last trip... crazy

Hope I'm good for about 10 more years or so, because when I got to the age where I thought I'd give it up, I then realized that I didn't want too...

All kidding aside, I do have some physical problems mostly related to my first career, the military, but also from a couple of major goof-up's in the grass as a civilian. I still can't resist the challenge though. I love the beauty of nature, being alone in a breeze in some picturesque place, but for me the best part is the challenge...everything else is icing on the cake. I know some people look down on that philosophy, some of my friends do, but hey, I don't judge them if they want to be so in tune with nature they do a 20 mile trip stark naked...I don't judge them, I just don't want to see it... grin

Hope I'm still going at 77...but more likely people will be hiking on the dirt over me....Lol...

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/30/12 01:29 AM

"We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking." --Finis Mitchell

BTW, jbylake, you're one of the new members I was thinking of when I said that we have several new members who make great contributions to this forum. Welcome, and thank you!
Posted by: JPete

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 09/30/12 08:25 AM


76 here, 77 in December, just back from a canoe trip with my child bride and trophy wife (but she's only 66). Talking about doing the AT again when I'm 80. Did it when I was sixty and again when I was 70. Hang in there kid.

best, jcp
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 10/02/12 12:04 PM

I don't know...I'm 55 so does that make me an old backpacker or an almost old backpacker. When I see people who are 80+ going by me on trail, I think to myself "that's going to be me when I'm in my 80's". I figure I still got 30 years. Use it or loose it!
Posted by: rionada

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 10/11/12 01:40 PM

I'm 50 and you guys are making me feel young...
Actually, I feel young most of the time. My kids help.
I have twin 12 year olds that are hardier on the trail than most 20 somethings.
Can't complain... But sometimes I still do.
Posted by: LookinUp

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/08/12 06:32 AM

Hi All,
I've been lurking for a while and just had to say how nice it is to see a section devoted to "seasoned" if you will, backpacker's. I'll turn 58 in a few months (just a pup compared to some of the great posts I've read here.) I've been day hiking since I was a girl scout (many moons ago),canoe and kayak, but I have some spine issues and never dreamed of backpacking. Thanks to UL gear I started backpacking a couple of years ago and it's become my passion. I'm trying to do everything I can to stay in good shape so that I can continue to enjoy it as long as possible. I've had some knee issues (mostly due to arthritis,but meniscus,patellar too) off and on since I started, and I've really struggled with the right shoes. I have long skinny feet with a moderate arch and I continue to try different shoes hoping to hit on the right's a work in progress.
Well that's enough rambling, just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement this and some of the other posts have given me.

Posted by: rionada

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/08/12 12:18 PM

Welcome Leigh,
Keep at it.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/08/12 02:41 PM

Welcome, Leigh!

Re knees--exercises for strengthening the muscles above and below the knee plus the use of trekking poles really helps me.

Re footwear--I have really deformed feet (fallen arches, bunions, hammertoes) and have found that using trailrunners instead of boots really helps--I can get a far better fit with better support for my feet, and trailrunners are both softer and lighter. (There are some soft and light boots, but I haven't been able to find any without Goretex liners, which turn my feet into a sauna.) Also, ditch the manufacturer's insoles and find after-market insoles that work with your feet. I would have avoided my latest problem (plantar fasciitis) if I'd switched to green Superfeet (which work really well for me, Your Mileage May Vary) a long time ago!
Posted by: Richard Cullip

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/10/12 07:03 PM

I just registered over here after hearing about TLB over at BPL. I don't consider myself "old" but rather I'm "well-aged" wink

I backpacked fairly extensively way back in the early 1970's, mostly out of Mineral King. Made multiple trips up and over Franklin Pass and over to the Big 5/Little 5 Lakes basins back then when I was "young". I then, unfortunately, took a long hiatus from hiking around the High Sierra - got busy raising a family.

Recently I got back into backpacking and now, at age 61, I'm looking forward to many more years of hiking around the High Sierra. I took the opportunity to upgrade all of my old equipment and now go fairly light, current base weight of 10lbs (or less if no bear canister is needed), which really helps this "well-aged" body get up into the high country.

Life is good. Eternal life is better!
Richard Cullip
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/10/12 07:28 PM

Welcome, Richard!
Posted by: Kent W

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/11/12 07:36 PM

i like this thread. I have been absent sice spring and my georgia smokies trek. on and I di 58 miles in 4 days. It killed me had to get off trail due to severe neck pain. I took afall when hammock suspension ad to be etendeed on day 3. We gave our all. Dad hiked Isle royale at 72 I may try never give up better to try and fail as never try at all!
Posted by: DJ2

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/11/12 09:47 PM

"i like this thread."

Evidently others do too.

The stats say it has been viewed 47,000 times.

Is that possible?
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/11/12 10:02 PM

It has been around for over seven years, so quite possible.
Posted by: Backpackhavn

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/19/12 01:45 PM

Thank you for being a great role model for others. Just recently met a couple who were both 60 on the trail and found that very motivating! They said they just take it a little slower, but have reached their goal for that day and were very proud of it.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/19/12 11:34 PM

Gosh, I'm 60 and I am inspired by the people I run into on the trail who are a lot older than I am! sheesh. Now I feel old!
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/19/12 11:51 PM

I'm not old but my hiking partner is 65 and I have to work to keep up with him. I aspire to have his energy in 30 years from now.
Posted by: djtrekker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/02/13 09:58 PM

60 here. I was avid backpacker in my youth, and though I still work, have returned. I backpack, kayak-camp and fish, fish backpack, and snowshoe camp.
Last Feb I had a stent put in which solved a problem of pain and shortness of breath I thought was due to age, now I'm full speed again. My pace has slowed a bit because I enjoy rambling and taking in the sights. My comfort zone is the wilderness. Desert, mountain, no matter. I will never give it up. I am as comfortable with a 50 lb pack as I ever was, though do try to lighten a bit.
So - trek on ye aged!
My idol of sorts was Colin Fletcher - sad his passing. I have most of his books.
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/04/13 06:03 PM

Let me get this straight. DJ2 points out 47,000 hits on 11/11/2012. Right now (02/04/2013) the counter is at 52,428??? At a couple thousand hit a month, that's a popular thread all right.
Posted by: Backpackhavn

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/05/13 03:59 PM

It is great that you can still be a backpacker at age 60, hope you will be able to do this for many years to come!
Posted by: djtrekker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/10/13 10:20 PM

What it means is, Boomers RULE!
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/10/13 11:38 PM

Every year I take my entire company on a camping trip somewhere in California. And it never fails--the younger folks hang out in camp, go to the beach, or even drive to a local town to see a movie (one VERY hot summer day.)

The older folks always are the ones who head out to do some hiking. Always.

So we have a nice acronym for this phenomenon: OPKA.

Old People Kick ...

Well, you get the idea.

Posted by: BrianLe

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/11/13 12:03 PM

I'm a mere 57, but I've hiked extensively with some close friends who are over 60, a couple of guys in particular. These are guys that I met while thru-hiking the PCT. They were doing so too. One had just had double hernia surgery, but was on trail doing big miles. He went on to hike the CDT the next year, at age 65 or so I think. I hiked the majority of the Appalachian Trail with the other one.

My point here is that folks over 60 can do very extensive backpacking journeys. Certainly a degree of living sensibly prior and good genetics and good fortune all come into play. As does a modicum of backpacking experience and wisdom. And just a strong enough desire to keep getting out there.

I've run into a couple of spry 70+ years olds on trail, but definitely less of those. I'm hoping to be one of them, but time will tell!
Posted by: ndwoods

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/22/13 10:54 AM

I'm 60 and hubby is 62 and we just did 75 miles and 9 issues...:)
Posted by: JPete

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 08/22/13 11:33 AM

Did the AT once at 60 and again at 70, and was planning to do it again at 80 until the latest leukemia flare made that very uncertain. I'm 77. Best, jcp
Posted by: Geo.

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/04/13 03:47 PM

Just back from a 44 day hike that was 870 miles following the full length of the Welsh coastline. I'll be 69 this month. Was carrying tent, bag etc., and must say the average daily mileage (forced by schedule restrictions)was a bit over my usual comfort zone and I was quite happy to reach the English border! But apart from a couple of missing toenails the old bod seemed to hold up reasonably well. smile

Posted by: Drummerguy

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 11/18/13 03:41 PM

I must say I'm surprised by the older backpackers.. I've been kayak camping the last couple years and now would like to try a backpack overnighter. After all I've read here it has motivated me even though I have two bad knees..CD
Posted by: Djwine

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/06/13 02:26 PM

71 yrs old & still packing. Next summer my grandson & I are going to Philmont ( Boy Scout ranch in NE N.M.)for a 10 day trip[.
Posted by: HPD

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/22/16 03:57 PM

66 and still hoping to do some more backpacking. Missed the last two years on IR. Looking to get back at it next summer.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/22/16 04:36 PM

Also 66; didn't get out a lot this year. This year I've only been able to get in local one-night trips, and am cutting back my workweek (and workload) to 3 days starting in January, so I can go out for 2 or 3 nights more often, and get some trips on the AT, Sheltowee Trace, or Isle Royale again.

Welcome to the boards.
Posted by: the-gr8t-waldo

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 12/22/16 05:16 PM

Soon to be 69. And slowly easing back into hiking. Currently only doing one big hike a year. Summer I did a 150miles/14days. Currently dreaming up the plan for summer of '17. Most likely 200m/18day. Been focused on the p,c.t. in wa. State. It's glorious to have the time to do this again!
Posted by: antique41

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 01/29/17 03:50 PM

I know this is an old thread, but then I'm and old guy, 76!
Posted by: dralahiker

Re: Are you an old backpacker? - 02/06/17 10:33 PM

Keep on truckin' as the Dead used the sing. '

I'm not old but my knees are twice as old. Love mountain hiking, especially uphill (go figure - I've short legs so I'm slow on the flats but climb like a goat). Did the Presidential Range last summer (35 anniv. of doing them) and limped through it with knee issues.

Barely hike since then. Did one super steep climb in northern GA (Arkaquah Trail from Trackrock Gap) and that did it. Had Euflexa injections, but can only do 3-4 miles on flats. Even two hours of bike riding and the knees are toast for a few days. Growing old isn't for the faint hearted!

Time for the replacements. Was hoping to get by til next winter so I won't miss wildflower season, but if I want to be in the woods it will have to get done this summer - after rare wildflower season!

At least I can paddle!

Bill in Roswell, GA