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#207039 - 05/26/23 01:28 AM Am I Too Old?
Hey Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/21
Posts: 23
My kids are all grown. Time for me! Lol!!!
But...am I getting too old?
Ill be 47 next month. I'm a type 2 diabetic. Controlled by diet. I have some muscular issues. Possible MS. I recently lost almost 30lbs.
I try to get out and do a short hike once a week. A short steep hike. I have recently been making the hike in a shorter Time with no stops. I used to stop multiple times. Muscles were very tired and I was very winded. Not anymore!😁
I'm looking to do a hike in the Rockies of what was my great grandfathers ranch and now a state park. Plenty of original trails blazed by my family. That would be awesome to hike!
I would also like to hike Guadalupe peak. I've seen video on YouTube of people 20 yrs older than me hiking it.
I would also LOVE to do some adventure racing!
I'm also looking into going to Utah. What's the best time of year?
And planning to go North East. What are the best places to go there?

I need to be out there. Outside. I work outside!! Lol!!

My last concern...question.... Doing these things solo?

I don't know what my husband would be up for? I don't know of anyone who would be willing to go with me. I kinda get the look from people that I am nuts. Heh! Maybe I am! Lol

I've been traveling a lot lately. I bought a place to be outside more. Away from the city.

Here's to traveling!!🍻

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#207040 - 05/26/23 09:44 AM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: Hey]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2210
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Short answer: No, you're not too old. I'm 72, and still backpack; I'm also diabetic, controlled with prescription meds (no insulin) - the exercise actually helps control it.

However: I can't backpack all the places I used to. My "limber" is deserting me, so I can't do the steeper slopes or stepping up or down from one rock or tree root to another. My stamina isn't up for 12 mile days anymore; 6 is the norm, 8 in a pinch. I recently discovered I can't backpack Shenandoah NP anymore - too rugged for me with a pack. But I can day-hike, and make the last day hike a short one, on an easy trail, with my full pack so I can camp a mile or two from the road. I've been to some neat places (including a couple sections of the AT), but now find my backpacking scaled back to state and local parks in Southwest Ohio (my home - with a 26 mile overnight trail a 15-minute drive away.) The scenery isn't as spectacular, but I still get a great deal of enjoyment watching the seasons change and sleeping outside after a pleasantly tiring day of hiking. I intend to continue doing this as long as I'm able, at least into my 80s.

Solo? My wife's not thrilled, but she's OK with my going solo on the local trail since there's cell coverage (I can call 911 if I get hurt, and check in with her each evening from the comfort of my tent.) Like you, I can't find people to go with me regularly (the one guy who would moved away a couple of years ago.) If solo isn't a possibility, look into volunteering with a hiking group, like a Scout troop.

My hiking is now limited to Ohio, Indiana, and the central plateau of Kentucky. However, there are lots of places in the Northeast: the AT between Maine and, say, New York State leaps to mind. The White Mountains have many other trails besides the AT, though I'm not familiar with them. Others can chime in with specifics for you.

Don't overlook Michigan: there's backpacking at Pictured Rocks along the shore of Lake Superior, and there's Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior - a spectacular place I've been to twice. I've also seen articles about the North Country Trail, Ice Age Trail, and Shore-to-Shore trail, but haven't visited them myself.

As far as other people giving you "the look" - give it right back. As far as I'm concerned, if they're physically able and don't try, they're the ones who are nuts. But then, one of my retirement goals is to become a curmudgeon...

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#207041 - 05/26/23 10:00 AM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: Hey]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 190
Loc: Lakewood, CO
Heh. No, you're not too old. Otherwise, I'd be too old, along with a lot of folks here.

Just take things slowly and build up your skills in taking care of yourself. Gear can easily become an obsession, but the best gear is whatever gets you out there. Tinkering with the specifics can be fun, but the lightest and most useful piece of gear you take is your brain.

I actually love it when people look at me like I'm crazy for going on my little adventures. They think I'm fighting bears and blizzards, but my most frequent hazards are blisters and stumbling off the trail when I get distracted by an amazing view. Truly, one of the reasons I use poles is to feel the rocks on the trail while I'm looking at something else.
I'll admit I feel a little smug watching a sunset outdoors while everyone else is stuck indoors trying to find something on TV.

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#207042 - 05/26/23 10:06 AM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: DustinV]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2236
Loc: Napa, CA
Yeah, I'll just echo what the others have said. I'm 70 and not only backpack quite a few miles each year, but also volunteer to do backcountry trail work. It gets me into the wilderness, keeps me fit, and I get ot hang out with great people.

If you're worried about going alone, try going with a group!
_________________________
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/

Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963

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#207043 - 05/26/23 06:13 PM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6800
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
No, you're young yet! I kept backpacking (mostly solo) until my early 80s. Unfortunately I developed balance issues --not a good thing to have on a cliffside trail! I had to quit permanently after major surgery 3 years ago. Now (at 87) it's around the block with my walker, but I plan to keep that up until I'm carried out! You have a long way to go! Enjoy!


Edited by OregonMouse (05/26/23 06:21 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#207044 - 05/26/23 07:22 PM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: OregonMouse]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3293
Loc: Portland, OR
I'll add my two-bits, too.

I'm 68 and I still backpack solo several times a year, so age isn't really the biggest factor that could stop you, it's gaining the knowledge and experience to guide you to having successful trips. It's obvious you have motivation and enthusiasm, and those are very valuable to get you started and keep you going. But motivation and enthusiasm can lead you into biting off more than you can chew, which can lead to discouragement or (heaven forbid) stress injuries.

It sounds like you're working on your conditioning the best way, by hiking! Being in good condition is extremely helpful. Keep at it!

Now, as they say in the late night TV ads,"But wait, there's more!" If you're going to backpack there's the overnight camping aspect to consider, too. A lot of us here who are backpacking into our 60s and 70s started out camping and hiking when we were young, so we forget how that base of knowledge and experience gave us a solid understanding of what to expect when we graduated to backpacking, and how we've been building on that knowledge for decades.

I'm not pointing this out to scare you off, only to underline that it's much better to add to your knowledge and experience by gradual steps. For example, if you haven't camped much before, take all the items you think you'd need to carry for a one-night trip and 'camp out' with them in your yard or at a campground to see how they work out. Try carrying the whole load out on a trail, but without staying overnight, just learning how the weight feels. In other words, test things in a low-risk situation first and build your way up to bigger challenges.

I think everyone who has answered so far would agree that backpacking has been a hugely beneficial part of our lives. We've seen things and learned things about the world and ourselves that are wonderful and humbling. That's why we want you to succeed in your biggest most ambitious plans. For us they're been well worth all the sweat and the mosquitoes. Probably for you, too.

Come back and ask questions. Someone will always try to answer them. Happy hiking!

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#207045 - 05/27/23 06:32 AM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: aimless]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 945
Loc: Michigan
If you are too old then probably 90% of the folks here are way too old. I would guess that average age in this group is well over 50. I am 83 and I have been doing most of my hiking from state forest campgrounds or on old logging roads for the last couple of years. I have a tent unit which encloses the back of my pickup and I have a canopy to cook under. I live in Michigan and the North country Trail goes near several rustic campgrounds so I sleep in the truck and day hike out from there. I will drive to the campground, set up and then hike about 5 miles south with many stops to smell flowers etc. Then I return to the truck and just chill and read a book for the rest of the day. The next day I do the same thing going north. Then I either drive back home or move to the next campground or move further down the trail.

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#207046 - 05/27/23 02:51 PM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: GrumpyGord]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6800
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Lots of wonderful info on this site! Go down the right hand column on this page to "Site Links" and click on "backpacking.net" On that page, go down the left hand column to "backpacking gear checklists." Stgart with "Hiking Essentials" which is a version of the "Ten Essentials" with explanations. I personally have used the "27 lb., 7 day gear list," after I no longer could carry a 40-50 lb. pack. I didn't use the exact items (some of which no longer exist) but tried to keep mine comparable in function and weight.

Just below the gear checklists on the backpacking.net page is a link to an article for the "Beginning Backpacker." That's the best place to start!

Much of the material on the "backpacking.net" page is geared to the Pacific NW. I've also used it in the Rockies (Wyoming's Wind River Range) and northern Colorado). In any of these places, you can get snow and freezing temps in mid-summer.

There is also a lot of good info on Paul Magnati's web page. His info is geared to Colorado and Utah.

One important thing before going out on a real trip is to practice with your gear. The back yard (yours or a borrowed one) is a great place to try things out and learn skills. Not only in fair weather, but in foul--practice setting up and taking down camp in the rain, keeping everything dry. This is an important skill! If no back yard, try car camping at a local state park. Since you will probably have failures (that's how we learn!), it's safer to have your house or car as a warm place for a bail out.


Edited by OregonMouse (05/27/23 03:05 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#207049 - 05/28/23 01:29 PM Re: Am I Too Old? [Re: Hey]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 301
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
When I was younger 47 seemed elderly. Well, they say you are only as old as you feel. I’m only 68. My right iliotibial band is not as limber as it used to be and I could complain but whose gonna listen. Still fascinated with the natural world so much that I’m constantly looking forward to what is waiting out there and always surprised. That keeps me going I guess and the exercise feels so good.

The one thing I’ve been working on lately is pack weight, a thing that didn’t ever bother me previously. I’ve lost over two lbs in the last couple months.

Good luck with this. We do see a lot of solo women out here and talking to a few, their husbands either don’t accompany them out of carelessness or can’t come with them for medical issues. I am blessed with an amazing companion who enjoys this a much as I do.

Keep on hiking

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