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View Full Version : so what is the age mix of thruhikers?



johnny quest
07-12-2006, 12:41
does anyone know? i was asked an interesting...if not quite pc question regarding young college agers as compared to "grown-ups" i.e. old farts

QHShowoman
07-12-2006, 12:46
The ATC just published last year's stats in the new issue of their magazine. I don't have it in front of me, but if I remember correctly, most thruhikers (at least the ones that had their thru recorded by the ATC) were between 20-30.

johnny quest
07-12-2006, 12:50
thanks. i will look for that. it must be in a new-new issue as i dont remember it....

thanks for responding. so where does a thirtysomething fall in? with the college kids or the "grownups"?

QHShowoman
07-12-2006, 12:58
I just go the issue in the mail yesterday, so it is definitely "new-new"!

MOWGLI
07-12-2006, 14:11
Johnny:

For the record. Anyone 44 years old is definitely an "old fart." ;)

the_iceman
07-12-2006, 14:49
20-30 is the biggest group followed closely by 50 to 60 year olds.

johnny quest
07-12-2006, 15:15
i ran home at lunch but my copy hadnt come yet.
i will align myself with the 50 to 60 group then

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-12-2006, 16:08
Johnny:For the record. Anyone 44 years old is definitely an "old fart." ;)44 is not an old fart.

johnny quest
07-12-2006, 16:12
well a dinosaur oughta know. but when i read the trailjournals of some of the younger hikers i have to say i feel a disconnect from them. now, whether that makes me an old fart or them immature crumb crunchers, i cant say.

fiddlehead
07-12-2006, 21:34
Don't tell "Wall" that 44 is an old fart.
He is 45 and was the 1st non-Asian finisher in the Phuket International Marathon 2 weeks ago. (that includes all age groups)

Grandma Dixie
07-12-2006, 23:13
I will be 17. And so will my friend. Everyone else in ym class will still be sitting in classromms and I will be getting a much better education from all you "old farts"http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif :p

saimyoji
07-13-2006, 00:36
thanks. i will look for that. it must be in a new-new issue as i dont remember it....

thanks for responding. so where does a thirtysomething fall in? with the college kids or the "grownups"?

Pls don't take this the wrong way, but if you are 44 yrs old and don't know if you are a "college kid" or an "old fart" you have some serious identity isues.

Did you ever go to college? How old were you then? OR Do you hang out with people who currently attend college? Maybe you are taking classes at a local college to "better yourself"? Come on man, grow some balls and stop asking stupid questions. The fact that you "ran home at lunch" to see if a magazine had arrived for you makes me want to puke. You said you'll allign yourself with the 50-60 group...WHY? Are you not 44 like you claim to be?

To quote Dark Helmet: Good God man, what's wrong with you?

I know this post will piss you off, but its been a while since I've pissed anyone off and I think you deserve it. Have a great day. :eek:

johnny quest
07-13-2006, 08:38
Pls don't take this the wrong way, but if you are 44 yrs old and don't know if you are a "college kid" or an "old fart" you have some serious identity isues.

Did you ever go to college? How old were you then? OR Do you hang out with people who currently attend college? Maybe you are taking classes at a local college to "better yourself"? Come on man, grow some balls and stop asking stupid questions. The fact that you "ran home at lunch" to see if a magazine had arrived for you makes me want to puke. You said you'll allign yourself with the 50-60 group...WHY? Are you not 44 like you claim to be?

To quote Dark Helmet: Good God man, what's wrong with you?

I know this post will piss you off, but its been a while since I've pissed anyone off and I think you deserve it. Have a great day. :eek:

take it the wrong way? how could i possibly do that? your an idiot that wanted to jump in and start a fire rather than speak to the thread's topic, evidently because you have some self-set quota for pissing people off. how sad.

the question was as to ratios of college age to more retirement age folks. nowhere in the thread was a question of my age, actual or imagined. read it again, college boy. read it slow, maybe aloud. you will also notice i didnt say i ran home just to see the magazine. although i do have to admit...you got me here....i'm so embarrassed....i DID check the mailbox for the mag. something i dont always do everyday when i go home for lunch. (im so ashamed!)

and what is this theme you have in your rediculous message about college? perhaps you are one of those types that categorizes everyone, not by age, but by whether they went to college or are the great unwashed. when i meet your type i tend to slow down my talking and exaggerate the southern accent.

finally, if you dont like my question-- my message topic-- hit the road. no one asked you to stop in. if its not a topic your interested in...or a thread you can read and understand....then be an adult and keep going. oh, thats right, you have a quota for pissing people off. your not an adult. just someone who went to college.

MOWGLI
07-13-2006, 08:45
That was a joke Fiddlehead & Lady Dino. Note my age.

Lone Wolf
07-13-2006, 08:47
I'm a 47 year old fart.

Crazy Larry #1
07-13-2006, 08:55
Johnny:

For the record. Anyone 44 years old is definitely an "old fart." ;)oh yeah?! what about 46? really i am not any older than 10 in my brain, so what about that?

QHShowoman
07-13-2006, 09:06
I'm a 31 year old fart. And proud of it.

Kerosene
07-13-2006, 10:15
I can fart with the best of them :o .

LostInSpace
07-13-2006, 10:19
Methane rules!

jaywalke
07-13-2006, 11:44
I try to remain one age for an entire year. If I start mixing them I get very confused.

Just Jeff
07-13-2006, 12:01
I fart more every year. Sounds like college to me.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-13-2006, 12:01
That was a joke Fiddlehead & Lady Dino. Note my age.I noted your age and knew you were making a joke.

I consider the mid-40's to be finally dry behind the ears. I enjoy the antics of the youngsters on the trail - the boys in pink polka dot skirts and dreadlocks, the dancing around the fire, the sheer joy of being so young and full of energy. I enjoy the insights and wisdom of the middle-aged hikers. I enjoy the companionship of fellow dinosaurs and sharing an occasional grin with them over the antics of the youngsters.

dreamhiker
07-13-2006, 12:10
Labels Lables Labels who needs them your only as old as you feel stay young at hart forever.
DreamHiker

weary
07-13-2006, 12:17
For the record. Anyone 44 years old is definitely an "old fart." ;)
I observed my 64th birthday three weeks after starting the trail on Springer in 1993. Among the fascinating things I found was how little age mattered, at least in the early weeks as most of us struggled with equipment, and as the recognition that we were actually beginning six months of a totally different life, took hold.

Things gradually changed by the time we reached Damascus. But for a while it was fun being a compatriot of 20 somethings again.

Weary

Jack Tarlin
07-13-2006, 14:04
You enjoy the presence and the company of 20 somethings, yet only a day ago, on another thread, you were bewailing the presence of all these "dumb, irresponsible kids" on the Trail.

Not exactly consistent sentiments.

c.coyle
07-13-2006, 14:43
You enjoy the presence and the company of 20 somethings, yet only a day ago, on another thread, you were bewailing the presence of all these "dumb, irresponsible kids" on the Trail.

Not exactly consistent sentiments.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

Jack Tarlin
07-13-2006, 14:59
Nice to see you quoting, Emerson, Coyle, even if you didn't cite him. Good choice, tho an overused one.

Emerson also said "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

Try it sometime.

jaywalke
07-13-2006, 15:08
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

"Do I contradict myself? Well then, I contradict myself! I am many people in one skin."

- Walt Whitman

c.coyle
07-13-2006, 15:11
Nice to see you quoting, Emerson, Coyle, even if you didn't cite him. Good choice, tho an overused one.

Emerson also said "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

Try it sometime.

I know you are touchy today.

weary
07-13-2006, 15:23
You enjoy the presence and the company of 20 somethings, yet only a day ago, on another thread, you were bewailing the presence of all these "dumb, irresponsible kids" on the Trail.

Not exactly consistent sentiments.
No I was not "bewailing the presence of all these "dumb, irresponsible kids on the Trail."

I was bewailing that minority of "dumb, irresponsible kids" on the Trail who litter and do other irresponsible things.

Weary

Spock
07-13-2006, 19:57
and what makes 50 or 60 an old fart, pray tell?

Spock
07-13-2006, 19:59
oh, year. And the age distribution is dumbell shaped. at one end, the dumb 25 minus and at the other the 50 and over bellwethers.

Cedar Tree
07-13-2006, 20:25
20-30 is the biggest group followed closely by 50 to 60 year olds.

I found this to be very true on my hike in 2000. I was 39 and didn't meet many Thrus my age.

CT

Mountain Man
07-13-2006, 21:28
Well I'm 47 but everybody that knows me say that I act like I'm in my 20's. Still don't give a rip which way the "wind blows". I hope I stay that way.

Just Jeff
07-13-2006, 23:02
I heard a saying once that I took to heart - "You're only as old as you feel."

Or was it, "You're only as old as the women you feel." I can't remember.

weary
07-13-2006, 23:10
I heard a saying once that I took to heart - "You're only as old as you feel."

Or was it, "You're only as old as the women you feel." I can't remember.
I prefer the latter. My wife is 10 years younger than me.

Gypsy"04"
07-14-2006, 00:44
I'm 59 and a long ways from being an old fart, although now that you mention it, I do fart a lot.

Lone Wolf
07-14-2006, 09:05
I prefer the latter. My wife is 10 years younger than me.
Gypsy is 18 years younger than me.

Crazy Larry #1
07-14-2006, 09:14
Labels Lables Labels who needs them your only as old as you feel stay young at hart forever.
DreamHikeryou mean "stay young and fart forever" don't you?

Crazy Larry #1
07-14-2006, 09:20
Gypsy is 18 years younger than me.Imelda's 50 years older than me and next time you see her hiking in the woods naked you better just acknowledge her and keep going............yes sir she's a hottie for sure................

Kerosene
07-14-2006, 10:27
One of my favorites to live by:

You don't stop playing because you get old,
you get old because you stop playing.
-- Anonymous


I keep telling myself that each time a 25-year old blows by me on the soccer field.

Just Jeff
07-14-2006, 11:39
My dad is 17 years older than his ex-wife. It was a bit awkward when my young teenage mind realized that she was 17 years older than me.

Marta
07-15-2006, 10:37
My fellow SOBOs are mostly 20-somethings. But they're great.

BTW, I'm at the outfitter in Greenville, ME...

I've done the 100-Mile Wilderness. Yay!

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-15-2006, 12:44
The male dino is nearly 18 yrs older than the female dino and some of the male dino's kids are pretty close the female dinos age. It took a while for the kids and I to work thru that. Some are more like cousins or siblings to me than stepkids. I've been around for a long time so all but the oldest grandkids have always regarded me as their grandmother. The three oldest grandkids (and their children) call me 'Uncle Mamaw'. This is the result of a conversation with them years ago in which the almost teen kids noted I was too young to be their grandmother. I suggested they call me 'aunt'. They said no so I jokingly said for them to call me 'uncle' and Uncle Mamaw was born.

My son has a new stepmom that is four yrs older than him - he's struggling with how to relate to her. It isn't that he doesn't like her, it's that she's more like a peer than a parental figure.

Sly
07-15-2006, 12:58
I started long distance hiking when I was 44, which seems like yesterday, but it ain't. Hoefully, I have a few more thru-hikes left. Trust me when I say the alternatives suck.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-15-2006, 18:44
Imelda's 50 years older than me and next time you see her hiking in the woods naked you better just acknowledge her and keep going............yes sir she's a hottie for sure................She's 106 and still hiking. Good for her.

Deerleg
07-15-2006, 19:29
I wouldn't know how old I am if it weren't for WB...just look into the upper right corner of a post an say O MY GOLLY :eek: no way am I (upper right)!!!

Vi+
07-16-2006, 10:27
When I was a kid in elementary school, I realized some of us were already “old.” Now, approaching 64, it’s a bit odd that I, and I’m thankful that many of my acquaintances, have remained “young.” I often meet graduating high school students who are much older.

How old can any of us really be, who still enjoy wandering about in nature?

frieden
07-16-2006, 11:51
I'm a 31 year old fart. And proud of it.

Amen, QHShowoman. I'm a 37 year-old fart, and proud of it!

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-16-2006, 11:57
The difference between you young old-farts and the mature old-farts: Young old-farts are proud to be old farts. Mature old-farts are just glad to be alive.

Vi+
07-16-2006, 12:22
Frolicking Dinosaurs,

You advised (Post #50), “The difference between you young old-farts and the mature old-farts: Young old-farts are proud to be old farts. Mature old-farts are just glad to be alive.”

Whichever of you-plural is speaking, I think your observation is incomplete, a bit off the mark.

My mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s disorder. She’s alive. She’s no longer glad about much of anything.

I thoroughly enjoy being “young at heart.” I prefer to be dead before reaching my mother-in-law’s position.

frieden
07-16-2006, 12:30
Frolicking Dinosaurs,

You advised (Post #50), “The difference between you young old-farts and the mature old-farts: Young old-farts are proud to be old farts. Mature old-farts are just glad to be alive.”

Whichever of you-plural is speaking, I think your observation is incomplete, a bit off the mark.

My mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s disorder. She’s alive. She’s no longer glad about much of anything.

I thoroughly enjoy being “young at heart.” I prefer to be dead before reaching my mother-in-law’s position.

Vi+, I understand your position, and feel for you in your situation. <big hug> Alzheimer's is rough. There has been some in my family, and people I know. I don't think the Dino meant any disrespect.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-16-2006, 13:08
No disrespect intended to Vi or the elderly. My mother has Alzheimer's as well. We are rapidly approaching the day when she does not know who we are fulltime. Given a choice, I feel sure my mother would much rather be hiking in the clouds than to be here without her mental abilities. I certainly would rather hike on to the great beyond than to have my body here and my mind elsewhere or absent. I amend my comment to: “The difference between you young old-farts and the mature old-farts: Young old-farts are proud to be old farts. Healthy and mature old-farts are just glad to be alive.”

Vi+
07-16-2006, 19:17
Frieden and Frolicking Dinosaurs,

I wondered if my post was a bit shrill after I posted it. Let me attempt to clarify (Post #51).

It’s not a matter of respect or disrespect.

Most people I’ve observed to whom the term “old fart” has become attached, seem to have lost much of their humor, their perspective has become more rigid, are less forgiving of others, and lack joy in their day-to-day lives.

My objection was to the notion, which I presume was inadvertent, that after the passage of a qualifying number of birthdays we are satisfied to have a beating heart.

I want more. I have more. I doubt there is a hiker who hasn’t more.

Sorry if I seemed critical. Such was not my intention.

johnny quest
07-16-2006, 19:45
well, this thread has traveled a meandering route, taking several sidetrails off the original intent. its always an interesting journey when that happens.

i dont know if i have some obligation to declare this thread's destination as "met" or if it needs to travel on at its own pace and direction.

i will leave it with this last thought. i hear this somewhere ive now lost:
days seem to go slower by when your young because every day is filled with new wonders and first times. as we age we tend to go thru days that are much the same as the one before, and times seems to fly by. therefore the secret to slowing down time is to always be learning new stuff, always trying new things.

im gone.

The Old Fhart
07-16-2006, 20:20
Vi+ "Most people I’ve observed to whom the term “old fart” has become attached, seem to have lost much of their humor, their perspective has become more rigid, are less forgiving of others, and lack joy in their day-to-day lives."Your distorted outlook might have something to do with the fact that you don't know me-I consider myself somewhat of an authority on the subject. I have gone by the name "The Old Fhart" since 1988 and even then I was older that the magic age Mowgli mentioned for being an "old fart." The only people who think I've lost my sense of humor just don't understand mine because they lack a humor gene. Still I fiorgive you and wish you joy in your day-to-day life.;)

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-16-2006, 20:28
Old Fhart said what I was thinking. I am surrounded by people in their twilight years who love living and life. I forget that some people decide they are too old to have fun. Our grandkids call us the dinosaurs or the old farts. They often lament that the old farts can run circle around them.

My aunt is 89, can barely walk with a walker and has a host of medical problems, but it hasn't stopped her from living each day with happiness, joy and humor. My guess is she will check out when one of her famous practical jokes backfires... and she wouldn't want it any other way.

Old age, imfirmity or disablity is not an valid excuse to roll over and play dead (unless you see a bear, of course).

StarLyte
07-16-2006, 20:36
I started long distance hiking when I was 44, which seems like yesterday, but it ain't. Hoefully, I have a few more thru-hikes left. Trust me when I say the alternatives suck.

Yes Sly---alternatives REALLY suck.
At least your friends don't.

I have a thru hike dream myself.

John Scott
07-17-2006, 06:44
I don't have data to support this, but my sense of the 2000 hikers is as follows: the largest proportion were in their 20s - early 30s; the next largest was seniors or folks who had taken early retirement from work; those in the range in between, me included, were in the minority. I guessed it was because they had family and work responsibilities which didn't easily allow them 6 months away. I also guessed that by far the largest proportion of people leaving the Trail were from the younger group.

QHShowoman
07-17-2006, 11:24
Amen, QHShowoman. I'm a 37 year-old fart, and proud of it!

My old fartdom was especially prevalent when, two weekends ago, I was at a picnic hosted by my 29 year-old sister and her 30-something year old husband. At some point, they brought out a custom-made table for "beer pong," in which all of their friends delighted. I sat there bewildered and wondered if this was something I missed out on for attending a women's college!

frieden
07-17-2006, 21:01
Beer pong?

Alligator
07-18-2006, 12:11
Beer pong is not a new game folks. How was the table customized? Recessed cup holders?

1Pint
07-19-2006, 17:28
I don't have data to support this, but my sense of the 2000 hikers is as follows: the largest proportion were in their 20s - early 30s; the next largest was seniors or folks who had taken early retirement from work; those in the range in between, me included, were in the minority. I guessed it was because they had family and work responsibilities which didn't easily allow them 6 months away.

It would be kinda fun to know the age distribution for next year's group, so I'm gonna head over to the Class of 2007 section and start a poll.... See ya there!

QHShowoman
07-21-2006, 14:01
Beer pong is not a new game folks. How was the table customized? Recessed cup holders?

Right. Exactly my point. Apparently this game has been around for ages and is a favorite with college kids, yet despite the fact that I attended THREE different colleges, it avoided penetrating my cocoon of old fartdom.

The table itself was made of norwegian pine with folding legs.