View Full Version : old guy gonna try

01-17-2006, 12:43
I have been enjoying this site for a short while now and would like to express my delight that so many share my love and concern for our natural world. It has been since my collage years since i have hiked any length, but i am going to make my own effort to go thru begining late march. Will celebrate my 40th ( yuk!) on ridge tops, hope my old body will stand up to it. Anyway, this site has been very encourageing , thanks.

Lone Wolf
01-17-2006, 12:45
You ain't old by any means. You're in your prime for AT hiking.

hammock engineer
01-17-2006, 12:47
Go for it. I'll see you somewhere up north.

01-17-2006, 12:55
Wish I would have hiked it in my 40's ...or my 30's ...or my 20's

You can do it. Age is just a measure of time not what's in your heart.

All the best ...


01-17-2006, 13:07
Hundreds of people in their 40s and 50s have thru hiked. 60-year-plds are common on the trail, and even quite a few in their 70s and 80s have succeeded.

Even more would succeed if they could learn not to try to keep up with the pack, and just go at a pace comfortable to each individual. Start out slow until unused muscles respond, then continue at whatever pace seems to work best.


TJ aka Teej
01-17-2006, 13:13
40ish is an interesting age group on the Trail - most thrus are much younger or older. Glad you've started to post, welcome to Whiteblaze!

01-17-2006, 13:23
Grandma Gatewood is still the model. Look her up in trail books and follow her ways.

01-17-2006, 13:38
I hiked with paw paw a few times and believe he was in his 70's and he was such a blessing,ky:D

01-17-2006, 14:15
I spent my 53rd birthday with 6 complete strangers opening cards from my wife & kids in Hawk Mountain on my trip north in 2000. During my hike I met up with and enjoyed hiking with several young fellers your age. I also spent time with two older hikers -Gabriel (70 years old) and Lone Star (74 years old). Forty is young.

01-17-2006, 14:54
I spent my 62nd birthday on the ridges in Virginia. Left Georgia at 61 and climbed Kathadin at 62 and I was by no means the oldest thru hiker in 2000. As Lone Wolf said, at 40 you are just hitting your prime. I wish my job had allowed me the time to hike it at 40 but I'm thinking about doing it again, (if Mrs. Moxie will let me)

01-17-2006, 14:59
40ish is an interesting age group on the Trail - most thrus are much younger or older. Glad you've started to post, welcome to Whiteblaze!
Thru Hikers tend to be people in transition -- between jobs, between high school and college, between college and first serious jobs, retirement, divorce, death of a spouse, etc.

Fewer 40 somethings fit these transitions, than 20 somethings. Most are approaching their peak career and income levels and have other immediate priorities. But they are out there.

01-17-2006, 15:37

When my wife and I did our thru in '89, I was 39 and my wife was 43. Were some of the few "tweens" on the trail. As other have mentioned, our age group is/was somewhat under-represented in the thru-hiker community.

We're planning on spending 2 weeks this spring doing the Ga section of the trail agin, hope to meet up with some thru hikers but we'll be starting late in April so most of the class of 2006 will be well on their way.

We were living on our boat at the time, quit our jobs, put the boat up on blocks at a local marina and took off for the hills.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time!"


Big Dawg
01-17-2006, 16:51
:welcome aboard, Santee!! Hop on the trail & that "old" will be a distant memory. The mountains have a way of making you feel young & alive,, for me anyway!! :clap

01-17-2006, 17:04
For the last year my interest in a thru hike of the at has formed and has grown in intensity. It is a way off as I retire in 2012 if all goes according to plan. At that time I will be 66 and I too have been concerned that I might be too old. I reassure myself that deterioration in the last 7 years has not been noticeable and so if I stay in shape perhaps the next 7 years will be similar (no guarantees of course).
In the meantime I have plenty of time in the Summer for backpacking and plan on some 200 mile or thereabouts hikes.
I guess I am looking for reassurance that a fit 66 year old has a chance of completing the trail in about 6 months.
Remaining fit is key and I expect to do so. I maintain fitness with about 25 miles of walking per week in the neighborhood.

Clark Fork
01-17-2006, 17:48
I really enjoyed this book by Doug Peacock. This quote jumped off the page. There are 72 million baby boomers out there, each one seeking to live well each day.

Here is how Peacock put it.....

"In all these travels I intend to walk off the beaten paths, hike off the trails, bushwhacking in body and mind to see the world anew--it was the way I decided to live the rest of my life. I needed to get out in order to look back in. I believed that walking off my stale entrenched life and into a new beginning could succeed no matter what my age, that it had everything to do with living well each day."

Doug Peacock- Walking It off -A Veteran's Chronicle of War and Wilderness, Eastern Washington University Press 2005, p. 3


Clark Fork, 64, still hiking in Western Montana (Summer06 hiking JMT in 10 days)

01-17-2006, 19:48
<TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" width="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Your too old!!! Don't attempt it. The effort will only shorten your life!!!</TD></TR><TR UNSELECTABLE="on" hb_tag="1"><TD style="FONT-SIZE: 1pt" height=1 UNSELECTABLE="on">

01-17-2006, 20:48
Hey Santee, I'm 44 and am leaving for a thru hike this March. I'll see you on the trail and we can hope both of our "old" bodies hold up!!!Barbie

01-17-2006, 21:26
40 is OLD????

How come nobody tells me these things????!

I'm over 50 & consider myself, , , , , , not old(ish). :D

You will do fine. As stated above, your a "Tween" on the AT.

Have fun.


Rain Man
01-17-2006, 23:16
40 is OLD????

That was a typo. He meant YOUNG guy gonna try, I suspect!



01-17-2006, 23:22
40 is OLD????Forty years ago, I thought 40 was very old. Now I realize how wrong I was, and know that 70 is old. Well, okay, 80. 70 is looking better and better.

The Old Fhart
01-17-2006, 23:23
Geez, I was 44 when I did my first section in 1987. I'm not going to tell you how old I was when I thru hiked in 1998! :D

01-17-2006, 23:25
Go for it! Old, you're not stinkin' old! You're but a Pup! ;)

I will be 47 when I hit the Trail. Yes, transition time -- I am selling a chiropractic practice, selling my condo, putting everything in storage - well, except the dogs and cats; they may be better off with friends -- and making the move.

I call it Intentional Homeless Personitis. I can't wait! Looking forward to seeing you out there...:welcome Sue

01-18-2006, 09:46
Forty years ago, I thought 40 was very old. Now I realize how wrong I was, and know that 70 is old. Well, okay, 80. 70 is looking better and better.

The older I get, the older old gets.

Big Dawg
01-18-2006, 10:40
:welcome to you as well, RichardD!!!

01-22-2006, 19:42
Speaking of old hikers..Does anyone know what became of Thurston Griggs who used to hike a lot in Maryland area way back in the 70`s?

01-23-2006, 00:15
i'm going to be 51 when i leave sobo in july of 07.
GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!

02-18-2011, 15:16
Thurston Griggs, past president of the Mountain Club of Maryland, Ridge-Runner, etc...has now retired to an assisted living accomodation in northern Virginia, near one of his sons.


02-18-2011, 15:29
Wow talk bout bumping an old thread lol.

02-18-2011, 15:50
for what its worth i'm 66 and plan on hiking the at next month,i'm doing 5 to 8 miles every other day on the flats here in fla with a full pack which i have whittled down to 26 lb.i've had my ups and downs working out the kinks and toughening up my feet ,i took a week off after trying my hiking poles,they caused a kink in my shoulder.i'm on my third pair of boots,each pair feels good till about 50 miles.so i say keep at it and your body will come around or break down.

02-18-2011, 15:57
I was 60 before I got the meaning behind the phrase "The faster I go, the behinder I get". That phrase will carry me along on my thru this year.