Loc: Cape May Co.South Jersey
DJ2 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. Bearbait
Loc: So. California - Murrieta
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!
Loc: North Carolina
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!
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.
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.
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).
#22480 - 09/29/0503:21 PMRe: Are you an old backpacker?
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?"
"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?"
"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?"
#22481 - 11/03/0508:50 AMRe: Are you an old backpacker?
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.
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.
#22488 - 12/11/0505:59 AMRe: Are you an old backpacker?
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.
Loc: NorthGA to LowerAL
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 http://www.ericksoncommunities.com for more info about a retirement option)
Loc: Central Texas
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'.
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="" />
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="" />