Aging Adjustments

Jul 18, 2016
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Bowmanville, Ontario
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.
I picked up a PLB 4 years ago, when my son and I went to Quetico. It is a bit more isolated and rough than the normal fare of Algonquin and it was decided that a PLB might be a good idea.

The trip was without incident, but the unit is quite compact and has lived in the main gear bag ever since.

Fast forward many incident free trips till last month .... second portage of the day, raining, downhill and a treacherous mud bog to try and climb around. All it takes is that one ill timed slip .... fortunately I was with a good crew who got me through the portage, several beaver dams and finally to a camp site where I could trigger the PLB.

Laying under a tarp in the rain and cold, with a broken ankle, 5 portages in and many more to get out. I was pretty thankful I had the beacon and had updated the contacts before the trip. Hopefully you never need an evac, but it is now on my list of things to plan for .... and I hope to never need it again.

Whether you carry the beacon or some one else does, I think an exit strategy is a good idea for whatever trips you are planning.