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Another Kevin

Books by dudes my age who hiked the AT

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Thanks for that one, Bill! It'll be something to refer to in those moments when the Real Hikers make me feel like a fraud.

Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Heliotrope View Post
I resonate with your conundrum. Just Bill has made some very good points. I'm wondering if this might be an opportunity for a new white blaze forum. Seems there are a lot of us middle-age guys that want both financial freedom and the ability to take extended backpacking trips. I am not a through hiker yet. But there seems to be want to be through hikers that have an all or nothing mindset. Perhaos having a five-year plan that includes financial changes/improvements as well as building up your distance hiking ability by taking longer and longer trips that do not compromise your marriage, Family, and financial security. Would love to toss around ideas. P.m. me if interested.

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Specifically- I can think of Garlic08, Mags, and Malto as folks who have done or are actively working on it.
Garlic is "living the dream" and in his 50's.
Mags is working on it, roughly our age, but doing a fantastic job finding balance.
Malto is showing us what an ass kicking 50 year old with some motivation can do on trail.
Dogwood has a pretty successful work life balance.
There are many others here as well.

There are many folks about our age;
Seems they fall generally into folks who did do it at some point in some fashion, then life happened and the hankering for the trail has returned.
Or folks who want to get into for the first time but life is simply in the way.

Hiking Jim makes an excellent point that echo's some of Mags general attitude:
You don't need to hike for 6 months, nor hike 2000 miles to "thru".
It may not be in your best interest either- for many reasons.
There are lots of fine trails of short to moderate distance that can give you that "end to end" feeling.
There is great adventure and satisfaction to be had in wilderness or simply heading out with no specific trail.

And I think that "Clueless Weekender" Another Kevin has a very good attitude in general regarding simply embracing what you have the time and ability to do and making the most of it. No shame in simply getting out even though this forum is generally focused on "the big hike" I think most of us need to realize that may be a once in a lifetime, if not never experience not available to all of us.

It's easy to get self-defeating when picturing the big hike we can't take and over look the smaller ones we can as Heliotrope eluded to.

The tough part- we are all in different financial, professional, educational, and responsibility/obligation places so other than some support for each other; there is no magic bullet.
Even Mr. Money Moustache is a bit suspect to an extent... the principal is there, but most of us will not be landing a 100k+ a year job prior to kids and aggressively saving.
Him living on 30k a year and socking away 70k is a bit different from living on 30k and making 30-60k a year. Him starting in his 20's does you little good when you are 40 either, lol.

The hardest thing I find is doing a realistic assessment of what makes sense for you. Which makes knocking around ideas generally supportive, but not always productive.
I believe there were a few threads in the donating members forum, but no stab at a sub-forum. It's a tough thing to discuss specifically; though there are many of us generally interested.

The one common thing I find some good solid hope in...
Karl Meltzer is potentially about to break a speed record on the AT... at 48. There are dozens of hikers here at 50+ doing a lot of hiking. Folks triple crowning in retirement. 55-75 leaves a good 20 years to hike.
Unlike many sports, our best days are far from behind us and even if true financial freedom is further away than we'd like; the trail is waiting and there is little in the way of enjoying it.

Staying in some kind of shape at this point in our lives, also feeds into the commonality that these folks share... healthy people don't spend their money on healthcare. Garlic often makes the point that his "hobby" is also his health insurance plan.

A willing spouse is a key component as well, sometimes a difficult proposition for many of us I find.

Otherwise; being happy with what time you can get is a challenge for those of us who have had the opportunity to get out before. As is sucking it up and knowing when you will be gone for awhile and doing your best to manage. Much like having your eye on an End to End can get you through a bad week- coming up with some kind of plan- even a vague one- can make the daily challenges more bearable.
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