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  1. #21
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    10-25-2002
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    My first attempt to thru-hike I was 65 years old. After trying to keep up with the younger crowd, i came down with a lower leg stress fracture and knee problems and left the trail at Fontana Dam. The following year I started again, from Fontana, took it much slower. I soon found other hikers who were doing 10 to 14 mile days and had a great hiking experience. I didn't really thru-hike but I did walk over 2000 miles to walk the whole AT.
    Grampie-N->2001

  2. #22
    Registered User
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    11-13-2015
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    Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampie View Post
    My first attempt to thru-hike I was 65 years old. After trying to keep up with the younger crowd, i came down with a lower leg stress fracture and knee problems and left the trail at Fontana Dam. The following year I started again, from Fontana, took it much slower. I soon found other hikers who were doing 10 to 14 mile days and had a great hiking experience. I didn't really thru-hike but I did walk over 2000 miles to walk the whole AT.
    My 66-year-old pace and style! I learned that steady gentle pace thanks to 43 days with Kookork.


    Bruce Traillium, brucetraillium.wordpress.com

  3. #23
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    07-15-2008
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    Saint Petersburg, FL
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    1.) I tried going stoveless in the winter. This was very stupid and I lost a lot of time because early on I wanted to stay in town eating hot meals.
    2.) I attempted a NOBO without considering how many people are out there. I'm an introvert with a sound sensitivity disorder and prefer being alone. I eventually leapfrogged but could've saved time and money by planning ahead for my personality type.
    3.) I didn't see a doctor ahead of time and didn't get adequate nutrition out there. If I do it again I will have a full workup and do maildrops.
    4.) I focused on the miles and not the smiles. It's a nice accomplishment but I think career thru-hiking is for sadists :-)

  4. #24

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    Relaxed more, lived more in the present. I was "kahtarded" from day 1.
    I think the main thing was just worrying about if I could do this or not. Once I made it to the halfway point under 2 months and over a month ahead of schedule all doubt was erased and I didn't stress as much.
    Now that I know I am capable I don't think this will be as much as an issue/concern on future thru hikes.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    GAME '16 4/18/16-8/12/16
    Trailjournal: http://www.trailjournals.com/jjdontplay
    Blog (Post Trail Gear Reviews): https://keeppushingon.wordpress.com/

  5. #25
    Registered User Cheers's Avatar
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    12-23-2005
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    Strong, Maine
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    43
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    Perhaps starting in Maine instead of Georgia. And not planning, except for a time frame. Plans seem to get in the way. I saw quite a few people rushing to get a mail drop and missing out on things. Slowing down, too. Busting out 20+ miles a day is fun, but the quicker you go, the quicker it'll all be over. I hiked with an older gentlemen for a short while, he was just happy to be putting one foot in front of the other, i liked his philosophy.

  6. #26
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    12-12-2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkeatsleep View Post
    Im in the intensive planning stage of my planned thru hike to celebrate my 70th. Im wondering, out of all of the online and in-person advice you received during your planning phase, what is the one or two or three things you would definitely change if you were beginning again?
    I would have made a real effort to learn something more about the history of the trail and of the places along it, as well studied up on some of the natural history that makes the AT what it is.

  7. #27
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkeatsleep View Post
    Im in the intensive planning stage of my planned thru hike to celebrate my 70th. Im wondering, out of all of the online and in-person advice you received during your planning phase, what is the one or two or three things you would definitely change if you were beginning again?
    I wouldnt have planned so much.

    signed,
    a normally unplanned man
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  8. #28
    Registered User Maydog's Avatar
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    05-14-2016
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    Baldwin County, Georgia
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    "Planning is indispensable; plans are useless." - D.D. Eisenhower
    "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." - S. Sontag

  9. #29
    Registered User English Stu's Avatar
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    04-21-2005
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    Kirmington,England
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    Learn from others who are doing/done it- because you will when you are on it. I carried about 20 lbs starting which went to 30+ lbs after resupply so I got ditched gear and bought lighter. I now carry 11lb base weight and am more careful on resupply. By getting lighter you lose thinking about weight and just walk along.

  10. #30
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    05-10-2016
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    As with any trip, your enjoyment can increase exponentially by doing some research into the areas you'll be hiking through before you go. Learn as much as you can about the areas, their history, and any landmarks or other points of interest.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  11. #31
    Garlic
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    10-15-2008
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    Golden CO
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    I just went on a week-long backpacking trip with a 71 year-old, whom I've been hiking with for a dozen years (which happens to be our age difference). We've hiked the Triple Crown and more together, nearly 10,000 miles, so I know this guy. He hiked the AT twice. He's my role model for aging well. His take on hiking in your seventies? Slow down a bit, keep your load very (not ultra) light, and use all those years of experience to listen to your body. Sounds exactly like what you've figured out, reiterated from a very experienced thru-hiker. He gets his enjoyment from relationships with other hikers (many long-term), taking photos, learning about the culture and natural history of areas along the route, again reiterating what's been said above.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  12. #32
    2008 SOBO Frick Frack's Avatar
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    04-12-2005
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    It is easy to over plan and my best advice is to figure it out as you go. As a SOBO I learned a tremendous amount of what I was going to encounter from the NOBO's and section hikers. You will develop a routine that works for you and it will probably be much different then anything you planned.

    +1 On taking more pictures. I updated a journal in my phone every night as I was going to bed and expanded on it after my hike while memories were still fresh. Even 8 years later I look at it often. Also, as said before, researching the areas you will be hiking through and investigating extra points of interest will add to your experience.

  13. #33
    Grey Eagle
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    09-09-2016
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    North Myrtle Beach, SC
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    78
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    Catnapper,
    You made some interesting/informative posts here. As a 74 yr old, who hasn't hiked in many, many years (1 yrs in Army), "gearing" up for next year on the AT- NOBO. Love you "slingshot" story; can understand how mind and body cooperate to get a boost on the trail. With all your experience, would you mind sharing some more essentials with me? I'm brand new to this exchange, and have an email address too [email protected] if that's more convenient. Tom (Grey Eagle)

  14. #34
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    11-05-2002
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    Boulder, CO
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    1. Start later (April 1 to the 15th somewhere)
    2. Be perfectly comfortable not finishing in a single season. 3 months is a great stretch to hike. 6 months takes some magic away I feel.

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