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  1. #61
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-14-2016
    Location
    Lawrenceville, GA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3

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    Started backpacking at 42, now 45. I am having the best time. My background is in healthcare (got first aid down) and Committee Chair for Boy Scouts (and all that training). My son is an Eagle Scout. (proud mom) We camp a lot and hike. My niece came to me (she was starting her senior year of high school) after reading Wild and asked to thru hike the AT. I said to her since she had college starting the next year and I was going to have to start paying for college the year after (for out son), I suggested we section hike. So far we have completed 70 miles (GA) and will be on the trail this Sunday (3/18) thru Tuesday (3/20). We will be going from Dick's Creek (Ga Hwy 78) thru Winding Stair Gap (NC Hwy 64) around 40 miles. My daughter has done most this with us, but she has school since she is a junior in high school. We are having a girls only in June adding my daughter's best friend and my son's girlfriend. We hike at a pace of 2 miles an hour and are very consistent. We don't try and push that and if need be go slow. We hike between 30 - 40 miles in 2-3 days. Good luck.

  2. #62
    Registered User Erinswan's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-26-2015
    Location
    portland, oregon
    Age
    44
    Posts
    38

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    Congrats on finding a passion in life. Better late than never! Happy hiking!

  3. #63
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-01-2019
    Location
    Ridge, New York
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1

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    I worked full time for over 32 years. So Iím a late bloomer in the hiking world. I love day hiking and have done several car camping. I would like to try a long distance hike. Iím a little nervous about sleeping outside on my own.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by LD071I View Post
    I worked full time for over 32 years. So I’m a late bloomer in the hiking world. I love day hiking and have done several car camping. I would like to try a long distance hike. I’m a little nervous about sleeping outside on my own.
    Go for it! You can do it!

  5. #65
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    946

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    Quote Originally Posted by LD071I View Post
    I worked full time for over 32 years. So I’m a late bloomer in the hiking world. I love day hiking and have done several car camping. I would like to try a long distance hike. I’m a little nervous about sleeping outside on my own.
    I didn't start hiking as a new hobby until I was 45. And started out with all heavy Walmart stuff didn't know what the heck I was doing. My first section was Harper's ferry to penmar park. I was nervous about sleeping and being by myself,but you get used to it after a few days . I've since hiked 800miles of the AT , hiked Vermont, Colorado, Massachusetts this year ,all solo. And even nowadays some places make me a little uneasy at night out there in the middle of nowhere by yourself. But yeah just do it you'll be so proud of yourself. Take a good bright light and a dog if you don't have 1 burrow 1.

  6. #66
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    946

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    Sorry y'all don't be mad at me please I just seen op was looking for late blooming ladies to respond not late blooming man. Apologies.

  7. #67
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-25-2002
    Location
    Meriden, CT
    Posts
    1,380
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    2

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    When I thru-hiked I was amazed by the amount of older woman I met on the trail. I'm talking about woman in the 40 to 60 year old bracket.
    Grampie-N->2001

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampie View Post
    When I thru-hiked I was amazed by the amount of older woman I met on the trail. I'm talking about woman in the 40 to 60 year old bracket.
    Yea, and they can hike you into the ground and leave you in the dust.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  9. #69

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    I have actually been thinking of starting a side business for people (especially women) who are looking to get into backpacking in middle age but may not want a large group experience or may just need some personal virtual help (gear, trip planning, etc) beyond the books, youtube videos and this forum (all good sources).

    A number of divorcees and empty nesters ask me about hiking/backpacking as part of their journeys to rediscover themselves as individuals. I come from a sedentary family and I taught myself enough to successfully complete my AT thru hike at age 42. I want to share the joy, healing, and health that come from hiking and backpacking. And of course the humility as I continue my own backpacking learning journey!

    Some good advice on this thread. I would add for anybody starting out that you want to keep your variables to a minimum each trip--set 1 or 2 goals to accomplish--maybe 1 test 1 piece of gear and 1 new physical barrier. Car camping is a good way to limit your variables/have a backup plan.

    Believe in yourselves--you can do this!

    ~Dimples-AT 2013

  10. #70
    Registered User QuietStorm's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-20-2017
    Location
    Towson, MD
    Age
    61
    Posts
    264

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    I started hiking the AT in June, 2016 at the age of 57. I've hiked 2,003.8 miles since then, and actually 2, 881.3 miles if you count all my repeats and shakedowns. Most of the hikes have been on weekends since I'm not retired. Let's just say I know I-81 extremely well (and the 'best dang barbeque' at exit 205 is really, really good). I hike mostly solo although I generally camp at or near shelters for the water and for company. I hike all year around--the coldest it's been was -15 degrees at Rice Field shelter in VA. The warmest, 102 degrees at Tumbling Run shelter in PA. I've changed gear I don't know how many times--if something doesn't work, I sell it and try something else. I guess that's the downside (or upside) of being a section hiker. I've pretty much settled on being a full-time hammock camper. I like tents but haven't found one that suits me in terms of weight, space, durability, and ease of setup. I love running into women my age on the trail. There are so many of us out there and many much more experienced than I am.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuietStorm View Post
    I started hiking the AT in June, 2016 at the age of 57. I've hiked 2,003.8 miles since then, and actually 2, 881.3 miles if you count all my repeats and shakedowns. Most of the hikes have been on weekends since I'm not retired. Let's just say I know I-81 extremely well (and the 'best dang barbeque' at exit 205 is really, really good). I hike mostly solo although I generally camp at or near shelters for the water and for company. I hike all year around--the coldest it's been was -15 degrees at Rice Field shelter in VA. The warmest, 102 degrees at Tumbling Run shelter in PA. I've changed gear I don't know how many times--if something doesn't work, I sell it and try something else. I guess that's the downside (or upside) of being a section hiker. I've pretty much settled on being a full-time hammock camper. I like tents but haven't found one that suits me in terms of weight, space, durability, and ease of setup. I love running into women my age on the trail. There are so many of us out there and many much more experienced than I am.
    Do you have a blog, or Facebook page, or Instagram account where you share your adventures? I'm in Maryland too; 63 yr old; I do lots of day-hikes but want to hike the MD section of the AT.

  12. #72
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-11-2020
    Location
    Kempner, TX
    Age
    53
    Posts
    5

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    I thought I would throw a little love to this thread, being that I didn't start backpacking recreationally until I was 48 and didn't do my first solo hike until I was 50. I'm hoping to be part of the class of 2021 with a flip flop hike at age 54.

    Regards,

    Shimmy

  13. #73

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    I have been hiking and backpacking for a long time, and love seeing these conversations. I'm 52 now and backpack every chance I get. There is a lot of good advice on this forum. Check with local outfitters, and REI is a great resource if you have one near you. They offer clinics and trips. It is a good way to meet other women in your area with similar interests. Hiking clubs like the AMC, and local hiking groups are great ways to meet people with the same interests. That first overnight is the toughest. It gets easier and easier after that. Now, I never feel more safe than when I'm in the woods. :-)

  14. #74
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-01-2020
    Location
    Scotland, UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1

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    I hiked all over Scotland from early teens through to mid 20s, then got married & had 4 kids. Youngest 2 fledged the nest not long ago so old me is now off the dusty shelf & planning a nobo through hike for feb 2022, ill be 51 when I set off. Only been waiting 25yrs to do it ��

  15. #75
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-17-2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Age
    61
    Posts
    4,775

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    I hope you don't mind an odd man contributing in this forum, but a few years ago I was doing a section in SNP and ran into a group of four older woman on the trail. I'm 60-ish so when I say older mean probably well over 70. But each of them were equipped with what looked like state of the art brand new backpacking gear and we're all decked out in bright pastel hiking clothes. They were laughing, chatting, and having a grand time. They were by far the best looking and most inspiring group I have ever encountered. We chatted briefly and went our separate ways. I immediately regretted not asking if I could take their picture. It would have been quite a souvenir.

  16. #76

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    I started with the hubby at 35 i love it! although the old bones are aching lol

    - Jill

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