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Malachai Constant
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PostFri May 08, 2020 9:21 pm 
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My generics involved dropping dead around 50 before statins.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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jhiker001
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PostSat May 09, 2020 5:17 am 
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I'm 43 and my pop is 75.  We've been backpacking for more than 25 years. This summer was going to be his last trip and we were hoping to make it in the Wind River Range. The chances of that are super slim now.  I think we'll just stick to the PA woods.  How does he still stay in shape?  I think he's the only one in the state who mows with a 30 pound backpack on!
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Washakie
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PostSat May 09, 2020 11:51 pm 
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Give him a few days to aclimate...Rock Springs is a beautiful destination on its own...just kidding about Rock Springs...but not about the aclimation.

I've posted before about the many trips I've enjoyed with my Wyoming resident brother.  The older I became the more the elevation became an issue.  Not anything serious, but he would tease me that it seemed I was breathing through a long narrow straw for the first few days when we "enjoyed" serious uphills.

As I recall, most of the trailheads are at about 7 to 8 thousand feet. The first day's hike would get us to about 9 thousand.  Not much of gain.  But arriving by air the day prior from the west coast would give no time at all for aclimation.

I would tell my brother that traveling to Wyoming by air via Denver gave me a little help since commercial aircraft are usually pressurized to about 8 to 10 thousand feet.

I wished it were true.  Two to three hours just does not cut it.

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"What is the color when black is burned?" - Neil Young

"We're all normal when we want our freedom" - Arthur Lee

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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun May 10, 2020 8:15 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
Definitely keep moving is the key. I seemed to have acquired arthritis a couple of years ago and the more I keep working-moving-exercising, the better I feel. I have also been taking Glucosamine pretty regularly during that time. No way to really tell if that has helped, but I doubt it can hurt. I use a heavy, full length Big Agnes pad, I will put up with the extra weight in order to sleep comfortably.

Try "Relief Factor" it works.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Deereguy
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PostSun May 10, 2020 1:05 pm 
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76 now, Off trail for many years.  Use ultra light gear, mostly.  Yes, lots of discomfort, although hesitant to admit it.  If I couldn't hike I would crawl.  (William Holden movie like)
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Sculpin
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PostSun May 10, 2020 1:20 pm 
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True about ultralight gear and modern sleeping pads.

My wife had to stop due to arthritis, but I am still going strong at 59.  Upgrading my gear a couple of years ago made a big difference.  I now carry an ultralight chair.

I know this part will sound silly to younger folks, but getting in and out of a backpacking tent can be a painful struggle, enough so that it starts to seem like maybe you don't want to do it anymore.  Probably no gear-based solution for that one!

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun May 10, 2020 2:11 pm 
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It is nice to have a tent with double side openings. This makes it easier to roll out than crawl out. For car camping we use a 4 person expedition tent with cots but now we have a 4 wheel camper.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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MidLifeHiker
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PostSun May 10, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Well I'm 61 and hope to keep going strong for at least another 10+ years.  In 2017 I started having hip pain that would stop me from even walking.  After 4 doctors, the last said I needed a full hip replacement, the other three told me to stop hiking.  I thought that was going to be the end of my hiking.  Had the hip replaced July of 2018, started doing easy hikes in Sept 2018.  Last year (2019) I did over 500 miles including my 4 day trip through Napeequa Valley.  I am actually in better shape now than I was 20 years ago.  I didn't start hiking until about 15 years ago, over 5000 miles hiking since.  Yesterday's hike was #498.

As others have said, just keep moving.  During the last 2 months I would walk 5 miles every other day.  Walking on flat ground is no substitute for doing some elevation, but better than nothing.  Thursday I did Evergreen Lookout (4200') and yesterday did Bedal Peak (4400').  Now I can't lie, I wish I had made a bit better time on both, but if I hadn't kept moving it would have been worse.  Baring, Gunn, Pugh, etc here I come!

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williswall
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PostSun May 10, 2020 3:11 pm 
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Washakie wrote:
commercial aircraft are usually pressurized to about 8 to 10 thousand feet.

Sorry, I can't help myself. Commercial aircraft pressurization is 6 to 8 thousand feet, depending on actual altitude.

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"You run with me, not the other way around.” (Cassie re races)

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Songs2
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PostSun May 10, 2020 7:12 pm 
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Both hips replaced for osteoarthritis at age 68. The next fall I did a 5-day backpack in Canadian Rockies. I use light knee braces.
Wear and tear on the joints as one ages can be a limiting factor. Again, there are genetic predispositions to some conditions.
I *think* I could backpack another 10 years. I am not sure I want to.
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RumiDude
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PostSun May 10, 2020 11:43 pm 
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Sculpin wrote:
I know this part will sound silly to younger folks, but getting in and out of a backpacking tent can be a painful struggle, enough so that it starts to seem like maybe you don't want to do it anymore.  Probably no gear-based solution for that one!

I totally get it, but then again I am 67. I carry a section of old blue closed cell pad that I cut off from the pad I used 25 years ago. The stuff lasts forever. Anyway, I use theis for all sorts of things, but getting in and out of the tent is one of its major uses. This allows me to kneel without pain. I do a lot of exercise so currently I don't need to have something to hold on to for ballance getting up, though I genterally have a hand to the ground to steady myself. I can stand up from a cross-legged sitting position with just a brief use of the steadying hand.

I encourage everyone to strengthen themselves. It improves balance and general health. Several years ago I needed help from a trekking pole to get up from a seated position in the backcountry. (Needed help at home as well.) So I embarked on a strengthening program as well as shedding some weight. I feel in really good shape for my age.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Brucester
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PostMon May 11, 2020 4:47 am 
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In 1998 caught up to Earl Shaffer (79) up in Vermont after starting late, in June on the Appalachian Trail. Quite a feat, both hiking the AT in '48. being 79 and on trail walking to Mount Katahdin, Maine from Springer Mountain, Georgia. While the media followed him, I felt honored just walking a bit with him.

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Songs2
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PostMon May 11, 2020 6:02 am 
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Earl Shaffer, Walking with Morning: this is his account of doing the first through-hike of the Appalachian Trail. It makes very good reading.
He got rid of his tent and slept in a blanket on the lee side of logs. Parts of the trail were largely notional at the time; he had to figure out how to negotiate getting from point to point. He did keep a journal with fantastic observations, which he later turned into a book.

Shaffer obituary
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bullfrog
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PostMon May 11, 2020 7:29 am 
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I'm in my mid-60s and agree with what the others have said. Going ultra lightweight is one key. Also, cut down on distances and the lengths of your trips. If a lake is 10 miles from the trailhead, plan to hike five and then camp. On the way back you'll have a lighter pack and probably do all ten miles in one day. The best advice is to get in tip-top shape before you go.
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon May 11, 2020 8:01 pm 
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We may lose our ability to load carry as we age but there are still nice opportunities for hiking wilderness while doing river float trips. Arguably the best is paddling Utah's Green River to The Confluence with the Colorado, passing thru some of Canyonlands NP best backcountry. No rapids, canoes typically used for the trip. I did two trips there with my Dad back in the 90's, him nearing 80 at the time. He had a great time.

Colin Fletcher, always up for big, long trips, did an epic river trip in his later years. Here's from an L.A. Times obituary:

"At 67, Fletcher hiked and paddled solo 1,750 miles down the Green and Colorado rivers. He recounted the experience in “River: One Man’s Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea” (1997).

He wrote of his need for the trip: “I needed something to pare the fat off my soul.... And I knew ... there is nothing like a wilderness journey for rekindling the fires of life.” "

What a line! "“I needed something to pare the fat off my soul."
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