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ImTheScientist
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PostThu May 07, 2020 4:49 pm 
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Just turned 41 this year and Im hoping to do this till 70. Curious how old some are and still doing it? Have you had to dial anything back?
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Randito
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:00 pm 
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The key is to keep moving.  The older one gets the more effort it takes to get going again after laying off for weeks or months.   Getting out for a walk several times a week, even if they aren't that long is very helpful.

One additional challenge is that past about 50 connecting tissue starts to lose elasticity, which makes sleeping on the ground harder.  A combination of yoga and progressively thicker air mattress helps.

One friend of mine stopped going overnight at 69,  due to increasing scar tissue in his back from an injury decades earlier that was interfering with sleeping.
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moonspots
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:03 pm 
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ImTheScientist wrote:
Just turned 41 this year and Im hoping to do this till 70. Curious how old some are and still doing it? Have you had to dial anything back?

41?  lol.gif   I didn't start until about 61! ...several years ago... I have 2 or three peaks on my list for this summer (Adams, Baker in WA, and Granite peak in Montana). And when I can't do that strenuous hiking, there are MANY low elevation trials to explore. It's good to have goals.  up.gif

Also, recall that Fred Beckey was still climbing at 93, I believe.... So there's that to look forward to.

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Cyclopath
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:09 pm 
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It's all down hill after 30.
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Frango
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:18 pm 
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Randito wrote:
The key is to keep moving. The older one gets the more effort it takes to get going again after laying off for weeks or months. Getting out for a walk several times a week, even if they aren't that long is very helpful.

Amen to this. Once upon a time I could sit on my can all winter, then throw a backpack on and be back in hiking shape within a weekend. Not any more. Now, I walk all year round and start putting weight in my back in January or February. Ive had a number of tendon issues over the last 5years or so, so Im very conscious of stretching and warming up my joints prior to really getting going.
And finally, Ive given up on Ultralight. For me, the goal is to have fun, and if a flask of single malt, a backpacking chair and a thick sleeping pad causes me to go a few less miles in a day, so be it!
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:20 pm 
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Depends a lot more on your health than age. Thru hikers have a bimodal distribution with bumps after college and after retirement. This year the big trails are closed unfortunately, otherwise there would be an unemployed army on the trail. When you are older you do have keep on hiking as Neal Young said, It is better to burn out than to rust. You should be able to go well into your 70s but of course that does not apply if you break a femur or get eaten by a bear at 42. To me ultralight extends your career hard liquor is not that heavy hockeygrin.gif

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Randito
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PostThu May 07, 2020 5:33 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
To me ultralight extends your career hard liquor is not that heavy hockeygrin.gif

Switching from beer to single malt is the 1st step in lightening your pack!
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Ski
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PostThu May 07, 2020 6:01 pm 
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Randito wrote:
"... sleeping on the ground..."

You have to get down to MSR down at 130 S Dakota St, Seattle, WA 98134, and check out the new mattresses. Like night and day compared to the old ThermaRest pads.  No comparison.

As to age, Mr. Scientist:
Due to some chaos in my life, I didn't get a pack on last year other than a lot of dayhikes, but 2018 marked 60 years hiking the same trail.
I will get back up there again this summer if it kills me, which is a real possibility. I'll be in good company - Gary Patton's uncle dropped about five miles up the trail up there years ago.
I've met guys up there who had many years and lots more mileage on them than me - wandering all the way up to Bob and Pelton in their 70s and 80s.
You just have to start earlier in the day because it takes a bit longer and the rest stops are sometimes more frequent. up.gif

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu May 07, 2020 6:09 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
It's all down hill after 30.

Au contraire!  My first several years after hitting 40 I was as good as I ever was (maybe better).
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wolffie
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PostThu May 07, 2020 6:14 pm 
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Al hiked the PCT Snoqualmie to Canada in his 12th year -- in dog years, that's over 80.
I was 66, so in dog years, I'd be... lessee... dead?
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Brucester
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PostThu May 07, 2020 6:31 pm 
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I just read Lee Barry did an Appalachian Trail through hike at 81...His fifth AT hike!
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williswall
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PostThu May 07, 2020 7:01 pm 
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Met an 85 Y/O on the PCT a few years ago, averaging over 12 miles per day. Too many individual variables to address this question.

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texasbb
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PostThu May 07, 2020 7:20 pm 
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Yeah, what they all said.  I'm 60, and I can tell you the things I notice compared to when I was 41.  I go out of shape quicker (i.e., "keep moving"), injuries heal more slowly (which works against the keep moving thing), and I can't shed heat as well.  That last one is the one I notice the most.  I used to do my workout hikes on the little mountain outside town without even thinking about the temperature...I've done it many times at 100 to 110 degrees.  Now I have to be real careful if it's over 90.

Regardless, I just retired and have every intention to do more total hiking in the future than I've done in the past.
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jinx'sboy
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PostThu May 07, 2020 8:33 pm 
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My father in law passed away in late March this year - aged 103.

He was a real character and had quite a varied/illustrious career as a Dean at one of CA major Universities.  He was walking 18 holes of golf at 90!  And he did multi-day backpacks all over the Sierras WELL into his 80s.  My wife, no slouch in fitness herself, said she could NEVER keep up with him on or off trail, with or without a backpack, even when she in her 30s and he was pushing 70.  It probably helped that he was 64, rail thin and all legs!

He had incredible lung capacity, i guess that was genetic.  His older brother was a Gold medalist member of the 1932 Crew team at the Los Angeles Olympics.  (this was the UC Berkeley team...4 years before The Boys in the Boat UW team beat UC for the 1936 spot).

You HAVE to keep moving!
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RichP
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PostThu May 07, 2020 8:45 pm 
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At 57 I notice recovery after a big hike takes longer but I keep going at it. Having had an active life seems to be key.
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