Loc: San Diego CA
Before she was Mrs. skcreidc, I took her on her first backpack. We went up to Mt. Ritter/Banner area starting at Silver Lake. Those of you that know this route also know that the beginning rises about 2k ft, most of it switchbacks, up to Gem Lake. The beginning section is a stout route. About half way, Agnew Lake, we passed a husband/wife couple in their mid 80's working their way up to spend 6 or 7 days up in the High Sierra. I remember them being in good spirits and quite an inspiration for the two of us. Since that trip, Patty and I have run into others in their 80's; vibrant and throughly enjoying the trail life. That is where I want to be in my 80's. Moving at my own pace and still enjoying these wild areas. If we are made to do anything, it is walk. And ALL you people are my inspiration to just get out there. Pika in particular lately; 77 and still getting on it!
At 56, I still love doing lots of off trail and I have plans to do things I may not be able to do any more. Up until recently I was confident I still could these things. The last 8 months I've been playing wack-a-mole with health issues; you know get one fixed only to have another pop up. As it does with everyone, past injuries have been catching up with me. But you put your head down and do what you got to do and move forward. I know eventually I will be getting out again, even if it is not on the schedule or the pace I had hoped. For instance, a number of snow trips I had planned have been put off till I feel better. I know I can still push myself, but that boundary is not where it once was; and that is OK. These things are personal goals and do not matter in the larger scheme of things. Just getting out is enough to put my mind at peace. It seems to me whether your style is fast or slow, or rambling off-trail or hiking on trail really isn't the point. The point is to connect with the wild places you enjoy and love. And as long as you are a good steward, all else is superfluous.
Oh, one last thing. Except for squad functions, "group car camping" alcohol never went with me. Period. I wonder...well a couple or three liters of wine in collapsable bottles couldn't hurt...or soothe things that do... laugh
In the interest of packing lighter, I now occasionally bring Scotch. Not because I'm so hoity toity about Scotch, but because I can really only take a few sips then I'm done. That is all I need to take the "edge off".
Loc: Washington State, King County
"I'm not a big proponent of bringing alcohol on the trail, but I have no problem with a glass of wine at the end of the day to ease those aches. Just wish it was more portable."
If you're a light hiker and not too discerning in terms of what sort of alcoholic beverage you consume, an alcohol stove and everclear can make a good combination. Bring just barely enough standard (denatured, i.e., intentionally poisoned) alcohol fuel for cooking needs. Carry spare fuel in the form of Everclear (or other brand of the same thing). If/as it turns out you don't need all or any of the spare fuel, I like to mix it at a 7 to 1 ratio of water to alcohol and then add something like Crystal Lite to flavor it.
If you've been hiking hard all day and you're at a higher elevation than your normally live at, it doesn't take a great deal to get a pleasant buzz. And that, I think is the "more portable" (for me "lighter") solution.
In fact, I almost never do this; really depends on the particular trip. But that or some sort of other concentrated alcohol (Scotch was just mentioned) are definitely the best ways to keep weight down if you want to imbibe.
I have hiked with friends who carry those special wine bladders, but I just don't see it. I like a nice glass of wine on occasion at home, but to carry it on my back all day and every day on the trail makes no sense to me.
I'm among those of you still trying to hang on. Haven't been on here in awhile because I've been away, but not hiking. I was finally getting it back together last fall after a couple of years of struggling with leukemia. Thought I had it licked. Then, as noted above, something else cropped up. It was a bit too easy for me to catch whatever was going around, and I came down with a nasty dose of bronchitis which became chronic. I'm back up to two miles most days, with the occasional three, but I'm still talking about another thru-hike in a couple (maybe three) years when I'm 80. Hang in there folks. I know what it feels like, but if one keeps at it, it's still doable (but yes, a little slower -- no more 26 mile days). Best, jcp
I'm so ambivalent about this. The idea of using Everclear as an alternative fuel seems hilarious. And practical. Does it really work? Do you worry about mixing the two up? Why not go with all Everclear?
Loc: Washington State, King County
"I'm so ambivalent about this. The idea of using Everclear as an alternative fuel seems hilarious. And practical. Does it really work? Do you worry about mixing the two up? Why not go with all Everclear?"
It does really work. Denatured alcohol is just pretty pure alcohol (as is Everclear) that's been intentionally poisoned so as to make it something you can't consume, just use as paint thinner and the like (and alcohol fuel).
I don't worry about mixing the two up; denatured alcohol has a unique nasty smell to it, plus I use very different containers. If I carry Everclear (rare), I take maybe 4 oz or so.
Why not go with all Everclear? Stuff is expensive. And last time I looked (few years ago) I wasn't allowed to buy it in my state, picked some up in Oregon when visiting friends.