View Full Version : Taking my dad hiking

11-04-2008, 00:21
So i'm taking my dad on his first hike in a long time, which i mentioned in a post earlier as to where we should go around norther va, and i was wondering what suggestions some of the older members of whiteblaze would have so that i can make his hike a little easier. He is in his late 50's and has had both his knees replaced in the last year and a half.

So anything i can do to make it easier for him that i may not have thought of? I'm planning on carrying a little of his weight. I have the stove and all the food and am just not going to mention splitting it to him because if he thought he wasn't carrying his fair share he'd throw a fit. He's very stubborn.

And lastly could anyone recommend a knee brace that they have experience with that is well suited to hiking?

Thanks in advance


11-04-2008, 02:03
You did not mention the time frame for your adventure. I would suggest the Shenandoah NP. Beautiful scenic walk at a fairly level pace. Also some close areas to bail and some good places to overnight. Some of us oldtimers enjoy a nice walk with some level places. This 70 yo guy sure does.

11-04-2008, 08:05
I took my dad with me to Maine this summer for about 200 miles and it was great. There is nothing out there that is better quality time with anybody than a long hike.

You might want to look at Maryland. It is extremely flat. My dad is into all kind of historical stuff and the trail through there has lots of historical places from the Civil War so that is going to be one of our next hikes.

Make sure he has two walking sticks/trekking poles. That always helps my knees.

11-04-2008, 08:09
Going to have to agree with Shenandoah. Was there in March, very pleasant stretch of trail, not too difficult at all. Some of the better wild life through that park as well.

11-04-2008, 11:47
we're only going for 3 days of hiking. I was planning to do 10 miles, give or take a few, a day. He wanted to see if he could do 20. Like i said he's a bit stubborn. I did 18 in a day a while back, while not in shape, and could barely walk after wards so i don't think 20 would be the best idea for him.

And i'll make sure he has a pair of trekking poles.

11-04-2008, 12:04
Shenandoah for sure. best graded trail. There are places by Big Meadows esp between Big Meadows and Bearfence Hut where it is essentially flat.

But with knees just being replaced, I wouldn't do anything over ten, even Shenandoah. The ligaments and muscles are still recuperating with the new joints. Has he been walking already? Has he been cleared by an MD for long distance hiking with a backpack?

11-04-2008, 16:05
Food weight diminishes over time; you may wish to share that aspect with him.

11-04-2008, 17:09
The ligaments and muscles are still recuperating with the new joints. Has he been walking already? Has he been cleared by an MD for long distance hiking with a backpack?

He just got yelled at by his doctor for biking 20+ miles a day on a regular basis. I think walking will be ok with the walking he's overdone the rehab if anything.

11-04-2008, 18:53
Well, if he really want to do 20 miles a day, Shenandoah is the place to do it. But still, 10-12 would be a better choice. If you do the central portion of the park, you could do a 16 mile day between Bear Fence Hut and Skyland (and have a room or cabin reserved at Skyland for a nice touch.) At the halfway point on that day you'll reach Big Meadows for a long lunch break at the restaurant. Seriously -- this is a great day on the trail.

It's 65 miles from Swift Run Gap (U.S. 33) to U.S. 522 at Front Royal. This is a terrific 5 day hike. Of course you can do more or less depending on how many days you want to hike.

11-04-2008, 20:12
Consider stashing a can of "cold spray" just in case. Sold at good sporting goods store. Cramer or Kramer is the brand. Small cans, too.

Try not to let him maim himself.

11-04-2008, 20:25
Try not to let him maim himself.

that's what I'm worried about

What is cold spray?

11-04-2008, 20:28
Try not to let him maim himself.I have to make my dad hike behind me so he will pace himself. If I don't I know he will sprint out the gates and wear himself out before the end of the day.

Gray Blazer
11-04-2008, 21:47
You said both knees replaced in the last year and a half. At first I assumed both of them one and a half years ago. When was the last one replaced? If it was recently, he could have a lot of problems with a lots of uphills and downhills. Level he would be OK for some longer miles ( eight would prolly be pushing it in my experience). Have fun.

11-04-2008, 22:04
Why not test him on a day hike before putting in 30 miles?

11-05-2008, 01:26
i think he had the last one done around last Christmas, and a the one before that done early summer. They're not too recent and he's already really active. In SNP if we had to bail at least we're close to skyline drive.

11-05-2008, 05:55
What is cold spray?

Stuff an athletic trainer would pull out of a box. Aerosol can. I have seen cans about the size of travel size of shaving cream.)2oz?) $8 couple years back. Spray on skin, cold as all get out.

Handier than those crush and shake cold packs, as it is multi-use.

Easier than sticking a knee or hip in a cold stream.