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  1. #41
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    I will not use as an excuse we must fall apart as we age for ignoring useful information. I see those on trail well in advanced age that are healthy and fit rumbling down the trail faster and more mindful of their movements than younger in a hurry trekking pole users who have higher impacts on their body and psyche. That's who I take my approaches from. If it includes trekking poles good but I see some who dont use them and do exceptionally. All this gear we think is necessary may not be as necessary as we believe.

    I am NOT anti trekking pole so NOT attempting to engage in a trekking pole false war. I do see those expecting to have trekking poles solve all their walking problems though. What might be a worthy approach is learning lower impact more ergonomic movements earlier in one's hiking career and at some pt adding trekking poles TO ENHANCE that or doing both early on.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 11-02-2019 at 14:03.

  2. #42

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    I was 66 in 2018 when I thru hiked the AT. It was a life changing experience! One that I will always cherish. I did it solo and wouldn't have done it any other way. Do it for yourself! Two things to remember, never quit on a bad day and hike your own hike.

  3. #43

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    I've hiked all my life, and in my mid 60's my opinion is that the older hikers make the best company, and also get the most out of the trail. So much to share, and a willingness to take the time when you meet them on the trail. In my younger years it was mainly about speed and what I was going to eat next...that was about it.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    . . . older hikers make the best company, and also get the most out of the trail. . . In my younger years it was mainly about speed and what I was going to eat next...that was about it.
    It's funny I haven't thought of it this way before. But, I think you speak some truth.

    I think I disagree that slowing down and fully immersing one's self into the experience is more important or "more" than the challenge of moving fast and efficiently through a physical challenge. But alas, I am no longer able to or all that interested in moving as fast and efficiently as I once did. And interestingly, when I backpack, or even day hike, with my adult children, speed and distance is definitely more important to them that it is to me.

    Hmm. HYOH.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  5. #45

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    Does any know who the oldest person to solo complete the AT was?

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsoloBootsSuk View Post
    Does any know who the oldest person to solo complete the AT was?
    Possibly?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-danced-a-jig/
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  7. #47
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsoloBootsSuk View Post
    Does any know who the oldest person to solo complete the AT was?
    Dale Sanders (trail name Greybeard). It was in 2017 when he was 82 years old. I crossed paths with him several times while hiking. For such an old guy, he is a strong hiker. He recently did the Grand Canyon.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

  8. #48

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    Thanks @Pennypincher and @idsailor, that's a neat story

  9. #49

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    Well, to state the obvious, you are never going to be any younger than you are today, so if you yearn to hike, plan it out and give it a go. I began section-hiking at age 60 and completed the AT at 74, with time off to recover from a broken ankle. The experience has greatly increased my knowledge, my awareness of the natural world and my place in it, my sociability (I'm an introvert to the core), and my confidence in my abilities to make good decisions and overcome challenges.

  10. #50

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    I'm in that age range and having been an endurance athlete pretty much my whole life and studied the aging aspect of recovery from hard efforts, one point often I read that is incorrect for an older hiker. The recommendation to get your trail legs on the hike, although this could maybe work for a youngerster. Older people recover much slower and are more prone to injury. So, I can't see it making any sense for someone 65 to enter a thruhike in anything but good fitness.

    I have found that it takes a lot longer to get into condition now than when I was even as old as 55 and that recovery is slower, especially from "hard efforts".

    What is a hard effort? It isn't necessarily just miles or speed. How many feet of elevation ascent means call it a day? It might only be 3 or 4,000 feet of hard climbing and an older hiker should probably call it a day, otherwise the pace might not be sustainable for long. Certainly that sounds like not much climbing and younger hikers can do perhaps 6-8,000 day after day. I am sure there are plenty of lifelong hikers here who might think otherwise but someone new should carefully think about a sustainable pace (speed, distance, and especially elevation gained per day) because recovery might be what it was even 10 years earlier.

  11. #51

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    The only time I felt I had attained a semblance of trail legs was toward the end of my longest section (Damascus to Amicola). It had nothing to do with speed or miles traveled. It was more the feeling that with frequent short breathers, I could continue on without much fatigue at what would be a snail's pace for most.

  12. #52
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    The only time I felt I had attained a semblance of trail legs was toward the end of my longest section (Damascus to Amicola). It had nothing to do with speed or miles traveled. It was more the feeling that with frequent short breathers, I could continue on without much fatigue at what would be a snail's pace for most.
    I read an informal study recently about taking breaks. A hiker did the same trail and took a break when feeling tired. First it was 5 minute breaks. Then ten minute breaks and so on. The hiker found that taking a 10 minute break when feeling tired enabled a faster distance hike with less fatigue. I'm going to try the 10 minute break system on the AZT this year to see if it really works.

    The study is here.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
    Blog - www.tonysadventure.com

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