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Aging Adjustments

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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.
 
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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

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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?"
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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!
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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Last year (@67) my sweetie and I decided that we needed to lighten the weight of our main pack and food barrel. Sooooooooooo, we carried two 30L barrels rather than one 60L barrel. Bertha, our main pack morphed into two packs and we walked the ports three times rather than two.

I hated it and cursed at every port.

4A45FA31-AD96-4E94-B053-37DCD76E7DA3.jpeg
 
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My dearest friend in the outdoors, who had been a partner with me as instructors of a BSA high advenure guide training program for the past 32 years, simply died very suddenly last week. We had been working on a BSA published high adventure trek leader's training guide, updated from our first edition published 25 years ago. While on a short easy hike near town with his wife and dog, he sat down in the grass, unable to take another step. Then he laid down and it was all over, even thoujgh his wife called 911, started CPR, and EMS less than a mile away was there whithin a couple of minutes. He had an EKG just 6 weeks prior, with no issues noted. No idea of the exact cause, no autopsy.

So his wife needed to start cleaning out two sheds and a house full of camping gear and invited me to come see what I wanted to take. As an example, he had 11 bivy sacks, just as many sleeping bags and a few canoes, and a couple of sail boats. It just expands from there. We often joked back and forth as whenever I discovered a new unique camping item, I tried to convince him to buy it.

I did not need another Hornbeck since he had already given me two of them several years ago, and the Bell Bucktail is too similar to the Placidboat Rapidfire that I already have. My camp on a private lake is too small for a sailboat that he and I had sailed, so I had to pass on them. But I did drive away with among a carfull of other things, a brand new kevlar Wenonah Prospector 15, a much different canoe than the sleaker faster boats I tend to like. My daughter and young grand daughter may end up using it more than me.

Still active and more than mentally alert, although slowing in the joints at age 75, he is gone way too soon, Rest in peace my dear friend.
You just never know, do you
 
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Last year (@67) my sweetie and I decided that we needed to lighten the weight of our main pack and food barrel. Sooooooooooo, we carried two 30L barrels rather than one 60L barrel. Bertha, our main pack morphed into two packs and we walked the ports three times rather than two.

I hated it and cursed at every port.

View attachment 130916
I used to hate triple portaging, but now realize it’s what enables me to continue tripping. Just try to enjoy the walk or consider it exercising your legs.
 
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My dearest friend in the outdoors, who had been a partner with me as instructors of a BSA high advenure guide training program for the past 32 years, simply died very suddenly last week. We had been working on a BSA published high adventure trek leader's training guide, updated from our first edition published 25 years ago. While on a short easy hike near town with his wife and dog, he sat down in the grass, unable to take another step. Then he laid down and it was all over, even thoujgh his wife called 911, started CPR, and EMS less than a mile away was there whithin a couple of minutes. He had an EKG just 6 weeks prior, with no issues noted. No idea of the exact cause, no autopsy.

So his wife needed to start cleaning out two sheds and a house full of camping gear and invited me to come see what I wanted to take. As an example, he had 11 bivy sacks, just as many sleeping bags and a few canoes, and a couple of sail boats. It just expands from there. We often joked back and forth as whenever I discovered a new unique camping item, I tried to convince him to buy it.

I did not need another Hornbeck since he had already given me two of them several years ago, and the Bell Bucktail is too similar to the Placidboat Rapidfire that I already have. My camp on a private lake is too small for a sailboat that he and I had sailed, so I had to pass on them. But I did drive away with among a carfull of other things, a brand new kevlar Wenonah Prospector 15, a much different canoe than the sleaker faster boats I tend to like. My daughter and young grand daughter may end up using it more than me.

Still active and more than mentally alert, although slowing in the joints at age 75, he is gone way too soon, Rest in peace my dear friend.
You just never know, do you
It sounds like he was a great friend, sorry for your loss.
 
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Making plans for the use of your stuff when the time comes that you are not able. Right now I have a dear friend with sudden Alzheimers. Its hard for us around her to make decisions about her craft. She isn't ready to give them up but doesn't know where she is. Sundowning too.
Right now I have a canoe in custody that is not mine and also fifty paddles. They aren't mine to sell but what to do; she won't remember them but if mentioned may remember them.

Another of my canoey friends lost her husband suddenly no warning in his sleep. She woke at 5 am finding she needed to do CPR
 
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