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#22447 - 04/13/05 05:15 PM Are you an old backpacker?
DJ2 Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1348
Loc: Seattle, WA
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.


#22448 - 04/13/05 05:25 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
longhair29 Offline

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
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,

#22449 - 04/13/05 08:26 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
Rich_M Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 165
Loc: Southern Oregon
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.

#22450 - 04/13/05 10:29 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
dinghy3 Offline

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 169
Loc: Reno, NV
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.
Down ______ Creek without a paddle.

#22451 - 04/14/05 12:00 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: dinghy3]
Gary Offline

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 320
I'll be 62 in August. The Grand Canyon was my most ambitious trek in recent years. Happy hiking

#22452 - 04/14/05 03:57 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
GrumpyGord Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 945
Loc: Michigan
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.


#22453 - 04/14/05 05:23 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: GrumpyGord]
millergear Offline

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 523
Loc: Raleigh, NC
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!



#22454 - 04/14/05 05:59 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
TDale Offline

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 167
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.
Wherever you go, there you are - Jon Kabat-Zinn

#22455 - 04/14/05 06:16 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
SpiderJohn Offline

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 17
Loc: SW Ohio
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.

#22456 - 04/14/05 07:59 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
alanwenker Offline

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
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.

#22457 - 04/14/05 08:50 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: alanwenker]
Gary Offline

Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 320
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.

#22458 - 04/14/05 09:25 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: Gary]
midnightsun03 Offline

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
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.

YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

#22459 - 04/14/05 09:53 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: midnightsun03]
JohnTheBaton Offline

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 203
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.

#22460 - 04/14/05 09:59 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]

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

#22461 - 04/14/05 11:19 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
tarbubble Offline

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 996
Loc: ca-li-for-ni-a

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!

#22462 - 04/14/05 11:51 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker?
benlyon Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
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.

#22463 - 04/14/05 12:56 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
photohiker Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 147
Loc: NC Pa.
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.

#22464 - 04/14/05 01:40 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: Gary]
ringtail Offline

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Did "the gems" in the Grand Canyon with a guy that was 72. Age is no barrier.

#22465 - 04/15/05 10:38 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
musicimprovedme Offline

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 707
Loc: Lufkin TX, USA
Does 36 count? I feel like I am ninety most days.
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

"Bear ye one another's burdens." Gal 6:2

#22466 - 04/15/05 12:51 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: musicimprovedme]

That's because you work with kids.

#22467 - 04/15/05 02:53 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: musicimprovedme]
PerryMK Offline

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1398
Loc: Florida panhandle
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.

#22468 - 04/15/05 04:10 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
Chongo Offline

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1273
Loc: Upper Numidia
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.
Look at the size of that thing!

#22469 - 04/15/05 05:26 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: GrumpyGord]
DJ2 Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1348
Loc: Seattle, WA
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.

#22470 - 04/15/05 06:19 PM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
Haiwee Offline

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 330
Loc: Southern California
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.
My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors:

#22471 - 04/21/05 07:34 AM Re: Are you an old backpacker? [Re: DJ2]
hafdome Offline

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 395
Loc: Portland, Oregon
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="" />
Deeds can't dream what dreams can do. e.e. cummings

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