Aging Adjustments

Joined
Oct 29, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
15
I've enjoyed this topic. The last long trip I did I was exhausted at the end of the trip. It was before the virus and it was a trip in Woodland Caribou. I told myself that was it, no more, too hard. But recently I have been dreaming of a trip to Quetico, nothing hard just a nice trip. The reason I want to go there is it's so darn beautiful.

I found that about age 67 I lost spring in my legs and some balance. I have been working on my balance and it seems to have returned, but I'm worried about the strength in my legs. On my last long trip I got a hernia and that is the only injury I have really ever had and it has been repaired with no issues. I'm now 75, but I think structurally I'm fine, just weak. My memory of the many canoe trips haunts me and I only seem to mostly remember the good things.
At 70, balance seems to have become an issue for me lately. To be clear, I am not a long distance paddler; just beginning my sixth season of recreational canoeing, long afternoons, not much more than that. I'm sticking closer to shore on these spring days while I try to sort this out. It's a little concerning since being out on the water keeps me moving 9 - 10 months of the year. All these comments and stories are very encouraging.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
482
Reaction score
156
I borrowed a w/c canoe many years ago that weighed 26lbs, it was a 14' custom made boat. What a joy that thing was on the portages, just lift and hang it off one shoulder.
I’m so jealous!
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
875
Location
Connecticut
Will I Live to see 85?
(Here's something to think about.)



With this thread in mind, I went to my new primary doctor today.

After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, she said I was doing fairly well for my age. (I am north of 75.)

A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking her, "Do you think I'll live to be 85?"

She asked, "Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?"

"Oh no," I replied. "I'm not doing drugs, either!"

Then she asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"

I said, "Not much . . . . My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!"

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?"

"No, I don't," I said. "I've even cut way down on canoeing."

She asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?"

"No," I emphasized strongly . . . .

She looked at me and said, "Then, why do you even give a s—t?"
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2022
Messages
42
Reaction score
17
I'm 83 and a walking (limping) wounded (like most oldies who have had an active lifestyle). Looking for a lighter solo canoe for those long portages on my solo trips. Can't decide between a regular solo boat or a Cruiser as my kneeling days are almost extinct. Favourite pieces of equipment are a huge Mondoking mattress and my pee pee bottle.
Gerald….. you rock!
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2015
Messages
1,494
Reaction score
668
Location
Anchorage Alaska / Pocono Mts.
I’ve had a couple revelations about tripping and aging. The first one was about thirty years ago, I call it the “rule of 100”. You subtract your age from 100 and the result is the weight of the canoe you should portage.
The second one I just had, probably due to this thread. This one has to do with how to know when you’re too old to trip. I think if you are capable of the tasks of planning and packing and are able to load everything in/on your vehicle that there is a trip out there for you. Trips don’t have to be hard to be good.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
166
Reaction score
71
Best way to feel old instantly is to start tripping with folks 20 years your junior. I turned 65, seem to always still be recovering from the last injury when the next one arrives. That said, still portaging miles and miles, poling upstream for days, grunting, sweating and cursing. My biggest adjustment has been going to lighter gear. I blanch when I think about hoisting that 85 pound royalex onto my shoulders then jerk lift it onto the car rack, right next to that mirror that costs $350 to replace, I prefer kevlar.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,799
Reaction score
791
Location
Raymond, ME
I’ve had a couple revelations about tripping and aging. The first one was about thirty years ago, I call it the “rule of 100”. You subtract your age from 100 and the result is the weight of the canoe you should portage.
The second one I just had, probably due to this thread. This one has to do with how to know when you’re too old to trip. I think if you are capable of the tasks of planning and packing and are able to load everything in/on your vehicle that there is a trip out there for you. Trips don’t have to be hard to be good.
o crap.. I need helium.. 24? I do have one 23 lbs.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
200
Reaction score
114
Location
Northern NH
At 76 I'm finding it more difficult to flip the 18 1/2 WC onto my shoulders, and haven't attempted the 20 footer alone for a couple of years. There's on Old Town 15 foot Featherweight on the rack. When that becomes the "goto" canoe I'll not be a happy camper!
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
29
Reaction score
3
Location
Saranac Lake, NY
I noticed that the older I got, the thicker the Thermarest pad had to be. After doubling them up in an effort to get some good sleep, I made the transition to using a hammock.

Several years ago my wife started using trekking poles when hiking. Being the supportive husband that I am, I, of course, mocked her mercilessly. Then the day came when I had to eat crow and she graciously let me borrow them so I could hobble down the mountain. My newly purchased trekking poles allowed me to thru hike the Appalachian trail at the age of 61.

For me its about reducing the weight I carry. First I got a lighter weight solo canoe. I lightened the weight of the pack, shoes, and all camping gear. My days of making a single carry on a portage may be in the rear view mirror.

I've yet to start using a personal locator beacon. But as the years pass, this seems like a more prudent investment.

Finally, I noticed that I need more frequent stops to get out of the canoe to stretch my legs, knees, back, hips, etc.

I've been blessed with good health so far, but I'm sure that with each passing year I'll be adding to this list of concessions.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
52
Reaction score
9
I’m curious at what age the oldsters on here began changing their tripping style, frequency, locations to accommodate age-related declines in stamina or physical abilities? Was it a slow change or drastic due to some factor?
In my case, arthritis and orthopedic injuries were the first limiting factors. My local club has a Boundary Waters trip scheduled, and I'd love to go, but I'm afraid my hips and knees just can't take the portages anymore. River trips are much easier, since no portaging. I have health issues that make being days away from hospitals, risky. Looking into options for calling for emergency rescue.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,799
Reaction score
791
Location
Raymond, ME
In my case, arthritis and orthopedic injuries were the first limiting factors. My local club has a Boundary Waters trip scheduled, and I'd love to go, but I'm afraid my hips and knees just can't take the portages anymore. River trips are much easier, since no portaging. I have health issues that make being days away from hospitals, risky. Looking into options for calling for emergency rescue.
There are several. The most direct is renting a sat phone( Iridium). Others are Inreach by Garmin which is a subscription service that allows you to maintain an account at a reduced rate when you don't need it. I know there are others out there.
 
Top