- Nov 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm #3503885
So at 74 I guess even dedicated training can’t cope with all physical stresses.
Too true, but the answer in this case might be to go a bit more slowly. Under-rev the engine.
CheersNov 24, 2017 at 9:10 pm #3503896
Greg MihalikBPL Member
“So at 74 I guess even dedicated training can’t cope with all physical stresses.”
The North Kaibab is Steep –
… and the “steps” are irregular in both drop and run-out. So (unless you are careful) you end up taking longer strides than usual, really working your hip flexors. Then, as you become tired, you start “falling” the final inch or two to the next landing tweaking your back and everything else.
Training that helps is “squat walks” downhill, consciously keeping your hips level, and keeping your stride short.
Nov 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm #3504053
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Greg Mihalik.
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
I’m in my mid-60s and also have the fatigue disease ME so I’ve had to work hard on my technique. Some topics that don’t seem to have been covered yet:
As we get older it’s harder to get away with poorly designed equipment.
It’s worth looking at the Aarn packs, especially for anyone with back problems. It’s a radical design that balances out the backpack with front pockets, so you can keep a correct upright stance. It transfers pretty much 100% of the weight to the hips, so it’s a real boon for people with back or neck pain. Developed in conjunction with a UK ergonomics lab, it’s proven to save significant energy over a long day. Seems to be something that people either love or hate. Personally I’m a fan – walking for long days without so much as an ache in the back and shoulders was a new experience for me.
Pacer Poles are a UK product with a much more ergonomic handle. Highly recommended by a lot of leading walkers and climbers over here, but less well known in the US. Used properly, they really can reduce the wear and tear on steep ground. I’m not a fan of conventional poles but the Pacers changed my mind – they really have made a better mousetrap. The Aarn and the Pacers are often used together and they make a real and significant difference, for me at least.
Lightweight footwear over my 50 years in the hills I’ve gradually transitioned from steel-shanked alpine boots to lightweight trail shoes. If you’re still using boots, do try out something lighter – it makes a huge difference to your fatigue at the end of the day. But transition slowly – you might need to build up your foot and calf muscles if they’re not used to the freedom of lightweight shoes.
This is rarely discussed, but I think it’s important. Developing an efficient, low-impact, ergonomically correct stride, with good technique for ascent, descent and difficult ground can save exotic amounts of energy and extend your years on the trail by reducing wear and tear. I started on my experiments in this area back in my student days after meeting an old guide in the Alps who showed me some techniques he’d developed over the years and I’ve been gradually making new discoveries ever since.
Sadly, there’s no single resource I can recommend, though a google for walking technique and ergonomics will bring stuff up. If you’re interested enough, start another thread and I’ll try to contribute.
And as you said yourself, pace management is key. I’m usually the slowest person on the hill. But I’m up and away at dawn, and trundle on till dusk with minimum rest time. So I’m usually miles ahead of fitter and faster parties by the end of the day. I try and fit my pace to my breathing – if I’m forced to mouth-breath I’ll slow my pace till I can nose-breath. So on steep ascents I may only take one pace a second and other parties may be galloping past me. But that way, I never really get tired and finish almost as fresh as I started. So I can start the next day without aches and pains. As the esteemed Molesworth used to say “Festina lente. Festina lente or I’ll bash you up!” (sorry for the obscure British cultural reference…)
Yes, there are wonderful trails in Europe, and the infrastructure will often mean that you can walk with a lighter pack, even if you are camping.
Someone mentioned the SW Coast Path in England. Well, it goes past my door and I’m just back from a walk. It’s not really wild country, but it goes through truly wonderful coastal landscape with endless coves and beaches and lovely little coastal villages. It also passes the point in Plymouth where the Pilgrim Fathers embarked – you can even visit the inn where they had their last meal! But it’s quite a tough undertaking – a bit like the AT with lots of short, sharp ascent and descent.
There is also truly gorgeous long-distance walking in the Western Alps – too many options to mention but take a look at the Via Alpina trails – they’ve been designed to string together the very best of the landscape and culture. It’s a different experience from the Western US – the landscape is equally spectacular and quite a lot more varied – you can pass through many geological zones in a week or two of walking. But it’s regularly punctuated by cosy huts and lovely towns and villages. And the food will be an order of magnitude more interesting than you’ll find in the US backwoods.
And don’t forget Scandinavia, though here you have issues with navigation and resupply that are similar to the US as it’s an all-round wilder experience.
Hope that something here is helpful.Nov 25, 2017 at 10:43 pm #3504063
Tipi WalterBPL Member
Geoff says—“As we get older it’s harder to get away with poorly designed equipment.”
This is probably the main reason why I’m in the process of getting a McHale pack.Nov 26, 2017 at 1:04 am #3504093
Ralph BurgessBPL Member
Advancing age for me means still pulling long trips but doing shorter mile days. I can haul my 80+ lb pack into the woods and still be happy with pulling 4 or 5 mile days from camp to camp along various trails. I can still live in the woods — the whole goal after all—and still read my books and eat like a king and stay warm and dry—and still hike and camp everyday.
The obvious endpoint here is to increase your “pack weight” to the weight of a house and all its contents, plant some trees in the yard, and decrease your daily miles to zero.Nov 26, 2017 at 3:58 am #3504110
Geoff, thank you for your thoughtful and detailed suggestions. I’ve been aware of Aarn packs (learned by reading this site) for years, but haven’t ever tried one. But then, I don’t tend to get back pain from backpacking. Neither does Robert; we keep him lighter because we worry his back problems may recur, not because he currently suffers from them. But we did initiate contact with Mr. McHale before ending up with the Mariposa. Pacer poles I’ve read various opinions about; we are pretty happy with the poles we have. I wish they were lighter, but as noted above I kept breaking the UL ones, and Robert is harder on equipment than I am.
My hiking shoes are currently Merrell Bare Access Trail; this model is flexible, zero drop, pretty minimal with a wide toe box. I wear Vibram Five Fingers in town, or bare feet at home, so at least my feet stay in pretty good shape. Robert hikes in Brooks Cascadias. So yes I totally agree about giving up boots.
Since I often hike with teenagers, I am used to bringing up the rear, but I am often better at just keeping going, than they are. When it gets really hard is when I am, for example, shepherding a 15 year old who is feeling woozy from altitude through a steep pass with lots of old snow on the trail and a strong cold wind funneling through right in our faces, and we have to keep going to get him off that pass and to camp. *That* was a tiring day. Sometimes Robert walks faster than I do, sometimes he is slower. I’ve learned to protect my knees by pointing my toes more forward and using my hamstrings and seat muscles more. You are right there is lots of literature on posture and movement. The physical therapists have been helpful and also some books.
We definitely look forward to doing some European walks, even beyond the age when we can hope to be able to handle anything like the CT or PNT. Just hoping we can do these more difficult walks too, which is why we are looking at them for sooner rather than later.
I have never been able even to lift an 80 lb pack much less backpack with one. My top pack weight including consumables was about 53 lbs., before I started making lighten-up adjustments. Hauling a lot of “creature comforts” is not what makes this fun for me. Going as lean as practical is, for me, not a sacrifice but part of what I enjoy. It is the mental and emotional puzzle of, how can I simplify? Also the physical experience of walking all day is fun for me, even when it’s hard. Robert tires more easily but he, too, prefers moving to sitting, so we tend to just keep going. In fact, sitting is way harder on his back than walking with a pack on. Recently we went on a car camping trip to Palo Duro and Caprock Canyon in the Texas Panhandle, and still spent all day almost every day walking all the trails in the parks.Nov 26, 2017 at 7:43 am #3504118
@ryanLocale: Rocky Mountains
Geoff mentioned the value of studying hiking pole technique. Proper (and by this, I suppose I mean, “efficient”) technique for long distance walkers is kind of tricky, and requires practice.
Skip’s article here is probably one of the best descriptions of how to use trekking poles more effectively. It takes some study, and practice.
When we started this website, I was 30 years old and thought I knew everything. Now, I’m 47 and am learning from and being inspired by those of you who are taking lightweight techniques into your golden years. It’s incredible!Nov 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm #3504135
Tom KBPL Member
One training technique I have found very useful for descending is leg presses/squats with an emphasis on a very slow, controlled lowering through the eccentric phase of the exercise. This has served me very well on steep, rough descents, on trail and off, by allowing me to use my quads in particular as shock absorbers. I have found this a very effective way to descend without being overly dependent on poles, which are not a panacea. It is also a way to protect soft tissue from wear and tear generated by relying on the skeleton for stability and shock absorption, instead of well conditioned muscles. The same principle applies to the muscles of the lower leg. Calf raises with an emphasis on a slow eccentric phase. Both techniques, integrated with solid core and balance work will also result in better proprioceptive capabilities, resulting in a lesser chance of falls as a result of losing control in steep terrain.Nov 26, 2017 at 6:15 pm #3504151
Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Hi Mina, I’m inspired by you and many here and by my grandparents and other family members and friends who stayed very active into their 90’s. Recently my wife and I started to put together a one-pager for a family member who wanted to get fitter – here are some points from there that I hope are helpful. Consult with your doc if you’re just starting out and build steadily. Have fun.
-Lose unnecessary weight and eat a varied balanced diet – many of us have, or have had at one time or another the equivalent of an entire extra pack (or more) riding on our bodies. Getting rid of this is a big help for hikers of any age. Eat a varied balanced diet of mostly unprocessed foods with lots of vegetables and fruit and fewer simple carbs.
-Strength Training with body weight, resistance rubber bands, dumbbells, barbell or yoga 3-4X/week for major muscle groups and core – especially legs and core, though back/biceps/shoulders and chest/triceps all helpful. Emphasize exercises that have muscle groups working together. You can easily do strength training with body weight and resistance bands without any other equipment and without a gym. +1 Tom K on squats and calf raises and doing them with good form. One-legged squats are great for strength and balance. Yoga + front, back and side planks are great for core.
-Aerobic Exercise 2.5 hours/week – hiking, rapid walking, jogging, stair walking, trail running, calisthenics, swimming, rowing, elliptical, rebounding, etc.
-Aerobic Conditioning with HIIT (Interval Training) – some of your aerobic exercise should be interval training to improve aerobic capacity 2X/week for 20 min. (starting with 1X/week). Easy proven method tested on people into their 80’s is 8 seconds sprint, followed by 12 seconds at an easy slower pace, repeated for 20 minutes. Free smartphone interval timers help. This gives a total of 8 minutes sprinting in the 20 minutes, and thus avoids exhausting you as much as some other interval methods which have longer sprints.*
-Flexibility – regularly stretch when muscles are warm. Flexibility declines with age and you have to work to keep it and prevent injury. If something hurts you regularly, find out what’s causing it and how to prevent it.
-Balance and Proprioception – walking on uneven surfaces, balance trainer/ball, Yoga tree poses and Tai Chi. An active 81 year old friend who hikes was experiencing some balance problems – practicing Tai Chi regularly restored his balance.
-Take regular breaks from sitting – if you sit for long hours at work or at home, get up and take a short walk or do a few exercises, particular for legs (squats, calf raises, etc.).
-Recovery – Rest enough after exercise. Roll out very tight muscles with a roller or lacrosse ball. If you have the grit for it you can aid and speed recovery and improve circulation with alternating heat and cold technique used by athletes which can be replicated at home by alternating showering in 1 minute hot then 1 min cold for 10 minutes (half that time will still give you benefits).
-Technique – Learn and practice techniques that work for you.
* For an explanation of this HIIT method and its benefits, you can watch this Youtube segment from Catalyst, a fun informative Australian science program.Nov 27, 2017 at 2:16 am #3504230
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
This d@mn thread has LEGS!Nov 27, 2017 at 3:15 am #3504247
Old, tired and creaky legs?
CheersNov 27, 2017 at 9:52 am #3504302
Robert MeurantBPL Member
An inspiring (th)read.Nov 27, 2017 at 1:05 pm #3504309
Bruce KolkebeckBPL Member
@cjcanoeLocale: Uhwarrie National Forest
Wow! What a thread! Hike the AT. I did at 64. I hiked with a guy who was 60 and most of the way with another who was 67. Picture is of Budget 64, Buffalo 60, Sojo 76. We saw plenty who were in their 70’s. Start at Harpers Ferry and go north. You will have your trail legs by New Hampshire. If you flip back to Harpers Ferry at Katahdin you won’t have to deal with a deadline at Baxter State Park, plus you get to finish twice. Don’t wait. Just do it. Longest haul with food is 7 days. You meet great people along the way. Hiking with young folks makes you young. Just do it.
BK SOBO16Nov 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm #3504313
Geoff CaplanBPL Member
@geoffcaplanLocale: Dartmoor, Devon
Well, if we’re getting into the nitty gritty of exercise, here are some approaches that I find more effective than the mainstream options, particularly as we age. A lot of exercise (such as hoiking lumps of iron in the gym) seems pretty loosely connected with our functional needs as long-distance walkers. The approach I’m evolving is very functionally oriented, and uses a minimum of equipment so I can take it with me on the trail.
For strength work I use Prof Ron Laura’s Matrix Principle of training. This essentially involves breaking up a continuous movement such as a lunge or squat into patterns of partial movements designed to confuse and fatigue the muscle. Credible studies have shown that you get better results in much less time using much lower weights with lower risk of injury. What’s not to like? I’ve used it for years and that’s certainly my own experience. It’s very easy to adapt for different capacities and has been used by everyone from Olympic athletes to nonagenarians. Dr Laura is a bit of an eccentric and not a great communicator but I’d urge you to look past that and play with the general principles. There are plenty of books and a smattering of stuff on YouTube. Highly recommended. The Matrix was developed for the weight room, but nowadays I’m using it with body-weight calisthenics, which I feel is more functional.
I’ve always been stiff. Even training as a Yoga teacher with the great B K S Iyengar my range of movement was less than I would have liked. I’ve tried many approaches over the years, but have made a breakthrough with a technique called Ki Hara Resistance Stretching. US swimmer Dara Torres used this technique to remain competitive through 5 Olympic cycles till she retired in her 40s – a remarkable achievement. At heart, it’s a method where you stretch against resistance from the antagonist muscles – there’s a lot of physiology to suggest why it may be a superior approach, but it’s easy just to try. You’ll find a complete online course by Dara and Ki Hara instructors if you search on YouTube.
This is something most of us neglect. Check out Scott Sonnon’s Intu Flow – I do this a few times a week and find it really helpful. Again, there’s a full progression of exercises available for free on YouTube.
As I’m aging I find my balance, reflexes and coordination are on the wane. I had a real wakeup call with my first significant injury on the hill a few months ago. I’m currently experimenting with the field of primal movement, which uses movements like crawling, rolling, rocking, balancing etc to reconnect our central nervous system and keep it toned up. There are many approaches out there, but most of them seem aimed at the young and athletic. I’m most drawn to a trainer called Tim Anderson and his Original Strength approach – it’s gentle and doable. There are a couple of books, and a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC6g6yv0bSnA6nO3glRKL_Q
GREASING THE GROOVE
So how to fit all this in? I use an approach developed by Coach Pavel Tsatsouline as outlined in his book Easy Strength. The context is strength and conditioning training for people like athletes, military and tactical officers who have to keep fit without fatiguing themselves to the point that they can’t perform. If you’re a firefighter, for example, you can’t refuse to answer a call because you’ve just had a heavy session in the gym.
As I use it, Greasing the Groove involves regular short bouts of training – just a few minutes at a time – and stopping well before failure. Pavel quotes a mountain of evidence that training to failure is unnecessary and even counter-productive. By stopping short of failure you can train little and often without overtraining. The focus is on training the CNS for efficient muscle recruitment, not on muscle tearing and rebuilding as with conventional training modes.
My work is desk-bound, and we’re all aware now of the importance of NEAT and the risks of extended sitting. So every 30-60 minutes I stop and do some quick exercise. I suffer from ME, so exhausting myself in the gym is not an option – I can’t recover properly. I find that Greasing the Groove is practical, enjoyable and effective. You can easily fit in 50 or more little mini-bouts of training in a week, without wasting time and money travelling to the gym. And you don’t have to deal with the aches, pains and fatigue of traditional training sessions. By the way, if you’re into personal productivity, this pattern of exercise fits well with the Pomodoro Technique – short focused bouts of intensive work punctuated by brief bouts of exercise to recharge your energy and concentration.
Hope that people find something useful here – it’s the result of decades of research and experimentation.
Nov 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm #3504317
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Geoff Caplan.
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Look at total packweight first, including food and water. I’ve met older thru-hikers who stopped in towns every few days to keep their food and water weights down. For longer stretches there’s often outfitters (the PCT has one company specializing between Yosemite and Tahoe areas, for example). While I’ve seen heavyweight hikers twice on the PCT (always with the trailname “kitchen sink”), they’ve always been younger guys. Update ultralight gear. With higher fill down and Dyneema (Cuben) fiber shelters, a shorty pad, and other UL gear, a simple pack shouldn’t weigh more than several pounds before consumables. Listen to your bodies. Younger hikers can do back-to-back 25-, 30-, or more milers, whereas older hikers need more recovery even after getting their “hiker legs”. A steady hiking mileage helps you plan better. Also older digestive systems may need more care as there were 2 cases of diverticulitis on the PCT this year, reportedly. As we age, our skin and linings get thinner, so concentrate on getting the recommended daily amounts of nutrients when meal planning (vs younger hikers subsisting wholely on honey buns, white tortillas, candy, and Nutella for 10 days).Nov 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm #3504323
Larry HBPL Member
Great advice HKNewman – I suffered through a bout of diverticulitis a few years back – extremely painful. Definitely the type of thing to take you from the trail to an ER. And it’s a relatively straightforward process to calculate gear weight, determine what works and what doesn’t for you, and settle on what goes into your pack. It requires a bit more discipline and knowing your body to determine your nutritional needs.Nov 27, 2017 at 8:03 pm #3504359
d kBPL Member
Thanks to everyone for the great workout advice, especially on eccentric motion and interval training! I just started back at the gym in September, after being sidelined for a couple years with first a herniated disc and then knee issues, probably a meniscal tear. Finally I am feeling like I can start to get back in shape (did a 9 mile hike Saturday without meds, the longest in two and a half years), and these two items already got incorporated into my gym routine today.Nov 28, 2017 at 2:43 am #3504424
“As we age, our skin and linings get thinner,”
Don’t know about the linings, but chaff certainly proves the skin getting thinner….Dec 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm #3505055
I was getting ready to compose some thoughts on the excellent exercise recommendations above. But I haven’t had much exercise today. So much temptation to do stuff on the net instead. Haven’t done an interval run in a while. Better do that now.
: )Dec 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm #3505060
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
“Take regular breaks from sitting – if you sit for long hours at work or at home,”
And if you don’t go for the full-on standing desk, at least stand for those tasks that allow it (reading, surfing your phone, etc).
My wife multi-tasks while brushing her teeth – she squats, a bit like a wall press – 4 free minutes of exercise twice a day.Dec 1, 2017 at 11:52 pm #3505079
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
In addition to regular conditioning here is what I do to assist me with some backpacking trips – i.e ascending the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail from Phantom Ranch to the top of the South Rim.
For high altitude or high exertion backpacking, backcountry skiing and hiking I always take NO2 Red tablets. They are 8 hour time-released L-Arginine tablets that release nitric oxide (NO2) in the bloodstream. NO2 is a dissolved gas that dilates capillaries and all other blood vessels for more blood delivery to lungs and muscles. It also helps to more quickly clear out lactic acid from muscles, thus avoiding cramping.
Seniors have less lung capacity than say, 30 year olds and NO2 helps a lot to make up for that loss. If you have done a fair amount of aerobic activity throughout your life your lungs will have more ability for higher O2 uptake than those who have lived more sedentary lives but you can still benefit from time released L-Arginine. I get mine at GNC. Not a cheap date but worth it.Dec 4, 2017 at 8:33 am #3505436
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
A single strategy or advice doesn’t work for everyone, since we’re all different. So here’s my input, but then I’m not an “older person.”
I’m a young 67 :-)
Here’s the good news for retired people… we have lots of time; time to get into and stay in shape, and time to go backpacking. Now, backpacking is just walking, and the best exercise for walking is, …well, walking!
Nowadays, since Joyce isn’t working either, we walk, at a brisk pace, almost everyday to Starbucks’s for a cup of coffee. It is about 8 miles round trip and takes us about 2 hours and 45 minutes, including the liesurely coffee break. When I add in walking our dog every morning and afternoon, I am walking close to 10 miles a day. This is good base conditioning, and keeps me in backpacking shape for most of my trips, even though I am not hiking to Starbuck’s with a pack. More importantly, this daily routine is enjoyable, especially since we take many different routes each day. It’s not a task, it doesn’t feel like exercising, it feels like sightseeing.
I need to insert a caveat here if you decide to replicate this urban training methodology — it is best that we start the morning trip to Starbucks by 7 AM. If we leave at 8 AM or later, it means we are walking through downtown Palm Springs on the return leg and this portion of the walk will occur AFTER the stores have opened, which means not only is Joyce going to make me stop and go into stores, she might buy stuff, that, in my opinion, we don’t need :-(
So if you want to adopt an urban training program like this, watch out for the potential water hazards and sand traps as I have encountered.
Okay, back to the hiking. Now, as I said, this daily walk has me in pretty good shape. However, for trips with a lot of elevation gain or at high altitudes, I need additional training. I have a free gym membership via my Medicare Advantage program, but exercising in a gym is about as boring as watching my lawn grow. So I cheat. I hike in the nearby mountains when I need to get into extra good shape, as I wrote about a while back,. Most people don’t have this kind of access. With my base conditioning of urban walking, and adding in two or three weeks of this mountain walking, I can get into really good shape for strenuous trips. Keep in mind that I am only 67, so when I get old, I don’t know how this will impact me as far as my hiking ambitions go.
All of this works for me, and it’s pretty simple. Before I retired I didn’t have as much time to walk every day although I did usually walk at least 3 miles a day. and sometimes I would run and sometimes spend time in a gym. But my retired regimen is more fun and works better for me.
My thought on these kinds of conversations is people overthink things and often make them more complicated than they really are. But, fortunatelyI am blessed with good genes and have no physical issues or problems to contend with, and am not overweight; actually I’m somewhat thin, so I’m not hauling around extra body weight. I don’t use trekking poles and my knees are fine; never giving me problems. However, I am starting to take a hiking staff again on most trips, as my balance isn’t what it used to be and I mostly hike solo.
Regarding thru-hiking. My philosophy, and it has worked all my life, is that once a person is in reasonable shape, one will get trail-hardened and stronger as the actual trip progresses; assuming one isn’t too ambitious at the beginning.
Also, thru hiking implies hiking an alphabet trail (PCT, AT, etc.). Now, my preference for hiking is similar to Tipi’s — secluded places and avoiding re-supply for as long as possible; but I am not going to haul 80 lbs — I’m too old. But 35 – 40 lbs including food, water, fuel, and gear is still very reasonable for me. Given that, if one is going to hike the AT or PCT, you might as well re-supply often, and it is possible over much of these trails to re-supply every 4-5 days. Re-supplying every 4-5 days on these trails isn’t going to change the “wilderness” experience, since they are pretty heavily traveled these days. Here’s the deal with backpacking: each of us get to choose how we want to do it. No way is the right way, and no method is superior to another, as long as the hiker does it the way that works best for him or her.
Mina, it sounds like you have ample experience and your gear list looks pretty reasonable (although we all could probably knock a few ounces off of our gear here and there). I think you might be in the camp of “overthinking” things. Once you are in reasonable hiking shape, just go for it and do the Colorado Trail. You will learn a lot as it applies to your current situation and you can plan and adjust accordingly.Dec 4, 2017 at 4:24 pm #3505475
Nick, it sounds like you and Joyce have a great routine. We walk fewer miles than you but still quite a bit most days. Sometimes, especially leading up to a trip, we go to the trouble of setting up practice packs with pillows, water, books, and unopened 10-lb bags of cheap kitty litter. But mostly we just walk. I also run (slowly) some but Robert can’t because it stresses his spine too much. Having a dog that needs a walk or a run helps a lot. We are very much enjoying Robert’s retirement. My situation is more complicated—I can take off from REI anytime I want but my Camp Fire Backpacking Coordinator responsibilities (volunteer job) take more juggling. You are probably right about the overthinking. We get so used to learning from the advice of others, and then there are mixed messages. I have a lot of confidence regarding the CT, less regarding the PNT for the following year, but I really believe sooner is better than later. (I am 67 but Robert at 62 is “older.”) I try to pay attention to warnings, and not be naive and oblivious, but there have been too many times in the past when “you are too old/small/urban/female/whatever, to do that” has turned out to be wrong. When we get out there we don’t stress so much, we just keep walking and enjoying the landscape.
David, the squats with brushing teeth sounds like a good one. When I am cooking and there is a wait—for something to boil, or brown, or whatever—I do table pushups on the edge of the work table. I have a neat cardboard standing desk accessory that was only $20. Also some ischial bursitis gets me up off the chair all by itself. Backpacking is a great sport for people with ischial bursitis.
Eric, the NO2 sounds interesting but I’ll pass because I generally avoid chemical tweaks when I can, mostly because if there is a side-effect to any medication, I am pretty much guaranteed to get said side-effect. But it might be great for some other readers, thanks for the suggestion.
There has been a lot of advice offered about trekking poles. We use poles most of the time on trail trips with overnight packs. With the straps properly positioned to support the wrist as noted. Sometimes I take my hands out of the wrist straps to give them a break, but mostly the strap keeps my fingers from getting tired from gripping. I don’t grip all that hard, though, and use the poles more for balance most of the time, not putting a lot of weight on them. Just touching gives more body information for balance. I guess I feel more comfortable using my legs and back for doing the actual work.
I am starting to feel that fun anticipation of planning a big trip! Time to take the dog out for a nice long walk.Dec 4, 2017 at 9:59 pm #3505560
Katherine .BPL Member
“you are too old/small/urban/female/whatever, to do that”
Here’s the rebuttal I have lined up for later:
As I get older I can afford to take more risks! Let’s say my projected life span is a generous 90. If I do something at age 25 that gets me killed I’m forfeiting 65 years of life. If i get myself killed at 70, well that’s only 20 years at stake. Now this is of course extreme, because you’re not doing anything near that risky. And I’m being cavalier about mortality. But from a risk-analysis perspective, I’ve got a point, right?
(and hey, I might also argue the corollary to my children when they are in their invincible 20s…)
Female? Once you get about 2 miles from the trailhead it’s much less of a liability!
If you enjoy overthinking, that’s OK too! (I’m a planner. I enjoy the plan as much as the experience sometimes)Dec 4, 2017 at 10:31 pm #3505572
To my mind, the biggest problem is that you even think you need to have a rebuttal handy. Just don’t bother! Ignore! Go and do.
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