What dose ageing canoer need?

Joined
Jan 31, 2013
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260
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Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
As we are running out of time on this site and in life . Fell I can not just sit back and lurk and learn any more. Would like to ask the canoe elders what to equipment is important to get to help when elderhood comes along. Trying to find all I can used on Craigs list. Often takes years down here in Florida for something to come along.

Kevlar solo was a big find and plus.

So I am thinking Kevlar tandem. Saving up and splurging on Kevlar paddles.

Weight saving, ease of use and efficiency I believe is what is needed. Am I right?
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
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80
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Not an elder yet at 57 this year, but I do paddle with a lot of them. One of the keys is to be in good shape all around, not just for paddling. I see folks in the 60's and 70's doing great because they are in relatively good shape, little or no extra weight, good diets, regular exercise, etc.

Lightweight gear is always a bonus, no matter what your age. :)
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
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1,133
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Minden, NV
I have focused on light weight furniture recently. I have brought along a roll-up table and folding chairs for a long time. Just bought two Helinox chairs, and yesterday I talked with the owner of Luxury Lite, Bruce that invented the cots now made by Thermarest. I bought a 2012 proto-type for $99. The last trip of a week was constantly on gravel bars, and a pad was marginal. It is great to have a tarp for rain and sun protection and be able to stand up under.

There are a few hazards associated with aging. I have back problems, so I use a backrest in the canoe and wear a brace. I just went to the Doc and may be having hernia surgery. Rats. Holding the body to together is a challenge, but staying active is the key to accomplishing that feat. Canoeing the Sacramento River and salmon fishing will have to wait until next year. I am determined to work out in the gym this winter to avoid some of the problems associated with lower activity levels in winter. My Mom is 90 and she says- "it is better to wear out, than to rust out."
 
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As we are running out of time on this site and in life . Fell I can not just sit back and lurk and learn any more. Would like to ask the canoe elders what to equipment is important to get to help when elderhood comes along. Trying to find all I can used on Craigs list. Often takes years down here in Florida for something to come along.

Weight saving, ease of use and efficiency I believe is what is needed. Am I right?

My dose is usually two ibuprofen with my morning coffee.

Lightweight canoe, paddles and gear are definitely high on the list.

That said I am not close to packing light. I am done with any long hard portage and, for me, comfort is King.

All day comfort while paddling. My boats are all outfitted for personal comfort, with foot brace, back band, utility sail thwart, minicel paddling, spray covers and other comfort touches. If I am uncomfortable in the boat I can, and will, remedy that.

The comfort boat outfitting stuff alone probably adds 10 lbs in most canoes. Next total rebuild I will weigh the hull in outfitting stages. Thanks to a Robin post I now have a hanging scale in the shop.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/tay...ogleShopping&gclid=CNibgrbki8ECFajm7AodKyYAfA

Dammit Robin, I should have been using one of those on canoe rebuilds for the last 10 years.

And when I’m finished paddling for the day I want to be comfortable in camp. I’m done sitting on the ground; I can still get down there, but getting back up isn’t pretty, so I want a chair more than 6 inches off the ground. A good thick durable sleeping pad. A fair sized tarp with ample coverage and wind deflection potential. A well stocked blue barrel and folding tabletop. A rectangular sleeping bag, so I’m not mummy constricted and can use it as a blanket.

The duplicative little things add up too – spare paddle, water shoes and camp shoes, hats for both sun and rain/cold, canteens, dromedary bag and gravity filter*.

Lots of stuff has gotten lighter over the years – tent, sleeping bag, stove, tarp. Lighter and smaller, and the smaller is equally important to me for stuffing all it in a decked boat or in two dry bags in an open canoe. Volume matters.

*A gravity filter may be one of those things beneficial to an aging canoeist. Not having to squat down by the river or hover over a bucket while pumpingpumpingpumping is a wonderful release. Just fill and hang the “dirty” bag and walk away.

Those things are absurdly expensive, but one Gear Test I trust is - If I lost it would I immediately buy a replacement? I have a Platypus and have been very pleased; I’d buy the same filter again.

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/platy...works-filters/gravityworks-40l-filter/product

I know some clever folks have DIY’ed gravity systems for half that cost using two dromedary bags, tubing, adaptors and a $20 Sawyer filter cartridge. The Sawyer cartridge is slower and more difficult to clean/backwash, but is “Rated to 0.1 micron absolute and filters up to 100,000 gallons”

http://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-mini-filter/

I may try to find the necessary adaptors and carry a Sawyer cartridge as a back-up filter canister for the Playtpus. With pump filters I was concerned mostly the mechanism; I could clean the filter, but field repairing the pump might not be so easy. With a gravity system about all that can go wrong is the filter cartridge.

$20 and another two ounces would provide all the back-up filtration I need.

One more thing this aging paddler needs – reading glasses. Plural, as in a primary set and a back up set. And, as soon as I can find a pair I like, polarized sunglasses with “cheaters” at the lens bottom, so I can read the damn map.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
989
Amen to the reading glasses! Hard to extract a splinter or tie on a fly without 'em.

Speaking of getting off the ground and saving weight......I have found that those roll-up three legged stools (the ones with triangular cordura seats) are the bomb for lightweight camping. They weigh less than anything else that gets you that far off the ground, fold up real compact, and allow a seating position that is very comfy on the lower back (somewhat similar to a kneeling chair - but without resting on the knees). Pretty inexpensive too...

Ahh - like this one...

http://www.amazon.com/Texsport-15160...=camping+stool
 
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A good, comfortable, padded canoe seat, bench or bucket, and a properly installed bar footbrace. I suspect most elders are not kneeling anymore. A very lightweight, properly sized paddle, probably bent shaft. Some flex in the shaft to ease the joints. Water shoes with ankle support and tread designed to grip slippery surfaces. Reliable emergency mode of communication. Roll a cot under a tarp when the bugs are not bad for a great night's sleep, or some other such gear to ease the back and joints and insure a good night's sleep.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Middle of the Florida paddling paradise
Ok I am printing this right now and putting it in a safe place. Going to make a check list from these ideas and start trying to fill it out. The hardest thing to come up with so far is the water shoes with ankle support. Any brand names/model to search for? Need ankle support right now and have been using my older hiking boots.

So the consensus is Weight saving, ease of use, efficiency, and the one I missed COMFORT?
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
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28
Location
Saranac Lake, NY
The older I get, the lighter the canoe has to be and the thicker the Thermarest. The last time I slept on the ground I was sleeping on two thermarests. I usually use a hammock now.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
80
Location
Calgary, Alberta
The older I get, the lighter the canoe has to be and the thicker the Thermarest. The last time I slept on the ground I was sleeping on two thermarests. I usually use a hammock now.
I have been using an Exped DownMat 9 for 10 years now, pretty much since they first came out. By far the single best gear improvement to my enjoyment in the great outdoors. Not cheap, but for the comfort and enjoyment I get out of it, it is priceless.

In the summer, it is overkill insulation wise, but I just sleep with my sleeping bag open as a blanket, so I can hang parts out to cool as needed. In winter, it is oh, so warm and cozy. :)
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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Location
Schenectady, NY
At 58 years old, I'm feeling the effects of aging, as much as I try to deny/offset it.
Staying fit is #1 IMHO...weight bearing regular exercise, proper stretching, cardio. At any age we all need strength, flexibility, stamina. Must have all three.
After fitness, lightweight, reliable equipment...what good is a 10 lb canoe if you tear a hole in it 15 miles in??
Also important, to me anyway, is comfort. A camp seat with a back rest, a thick sleeping pad (I have a Neo-Air), a slightly flexible paddle. Must be kind to my back and soft tissue joints.

I still single carry up to 5 miles, and can canoewhack through dense undergrowth for a few miles, although it is no longer effortless.

But I can't over emphasize the importance of fitness...the time to consider elder health is looooong before you reach that age.
Oh, and a good dose of wisdom goes a long way to not wearing out during an outing. It's about having fun, right?
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
There sure some good ideas here so far, StripperGuy touched on "wisdom". I'd just add to his, the idea that I'm not young anymore and plan to take it kinder on my old body. I figure on slow and steady effort, avoidance of risky stuff, I'm not trying to impress the girls any longer. Those that are still alive are somehow old! Bent and blue haired.
It's kinda fun challenge; how long can I keep this rickety old thing going?

Take it easy Greasy!

Rob
 
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I'm quite young compared to the average poster here, but I have issues keeping in as good a shape as I want to be. I hurt. I get tired. My boat feels heavy sometimes.

My idea is to try to keep doing the lowest impact exercise I can. In winter, that is skiing. XC, minus the few downhill parts is, to my joints, the lowest impact, highest cardio exercise I can do. Summer that would be biking but my aching bum and hand numbness has kept me off a bike seat for the past year or so (and it shows).

At the gym I prefer an elliptical because it is the most similar to skiing. If they actually made a good XC ski machine, I'd use that. The exercise bike just doesn't do enough in a short period of time - I need the arms working too.

Paddling is great but I don't get enough cardio from it. If I was paddling like a racer, maybe I would but every joint in my arms and shoulders would be screaming after an hour or so of that. It's not exactly low impact.

One thing I also found from some of my other past hobbies is that even if I was 'strong' I'd still hurt myself. I had some really bad bursitis in my elbows and shoulders from racing. Very isometric and very high joint stresses. I was very strong with my big muscles, but the other minor muscles which help align everything were terribly weak and causing joint displacement under load. I was surprised at how easy it was to fix just by doing some difficult, but low rep exercises. So I guess it's also important to do exercises that focus on all the muscles groups, and not just one set.
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2013
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989
L'oiseau - do you know about the NordicTrack ski machine? I know some gyms used to have them, but I don't know if they still do. You can buy one for at home a mere $800. ;) Funny thing is that in my area, I see them at yard sales usually for about $150 or less. I paid $50 for mine. I think people sell them cheap because you actually have to work to use it - more so than an elliptical or even a treadmill. It does a pretty good job of approximating X-C skiing. Low impact. Good cardio. And it folds up small enough to fit under a bed or in a closet corner. I just leave mine out - otherwise, I don't think I'd use it near enough. But I do fold it and stand it against the wall when I need the room. I tend to neglect it through the summer, but I find it indispensable in winter (since it's usually a long drive for me to actually ski).
 
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I know about the Nordic Track. I've also seen them on CL for like $100 on average. I told my wife I was going to buy one but she didn't seem excited about it.

I do like the ski action on them. I don't like that rope thing. I could never get used to it, doesn't feel like poling to me. I wish it had levers more like the elliptical. I still may get one anyway. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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Feb 14, 2013
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Yeah, the rope handles aren't a lot like poling - but they still do help the workout. Actually - they are less impact than ski poles, but still work a lot of the same muscles...near as I can tell. Makes some difference how you have it adjusted.

Quite a few years ago, I asked a body-building friend of mine who spent a lot of time at the gym what was the most useful exercise machine for staying fit for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, etc. He came back right away with the NordicTrack suggestion, explaining that you can start out easy and gradually crank the resistance way up. Sold me on the idea then, and I still like it. Not quite the full-body workout I get from canoe poling, but I can do it every day right in my sun room. ;)

My wife doesn't care for it either. She does X-C ski, but she never quite got comfortable on the machine (it's the pole thing, I think). I tried to get her to at least hold the front handle and do the footwork, but it just doesn't interest her enough I guess.



OBTW - back to the OP.....Yoga! We old-timers need yoga. Keeps us limber and aligned. I don't do enough of it, but I always feel better when I stay somewhat current with it - regardless of what other exercise I am doing.
 
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Yoga has helped me with several ligament injuries-and, I'm relatively young, at 44! One other thing, as far as getting/staying fit, is squats. I'm not a gym rat. In fact, I usually abhor going to the gym. But, I have a free gym at work, and a sedentary, yet stressful, job (a 911 dispatcher). That combination is deadly. So I took it upon myself to start going, and started with a strengthening routine. I've added yoga back into it, as it helped when I injured my adductor in the Army. Squats work almost your entire body-it REALLY works your core-focusing on your largest muscles. I don't really do any actual cardio right now, but I certainly notice a difference from before when I go on my weekly hikes. I don't, of course, suggest JUST doing squats, but, squats incorporated into my routines has improved my overall fitness level. Anyway, that's my thoughts on the subject :)
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
For me lighter is better. I prefer to kneel. I am almost 70 and the key to kneeling is good padding of the floor of the boat. Kneeling for some seniors has gotten them back in canoes, especially if they have back issues. If you do sit the worst thing you can do is a seat back without a footbrace. Kneeling allows a straight back. Often seating does not allow that at all. Being able to move around from kneel to sit is a plus I think.. kkkkyak makes me stiff and needing a Hoyer lift for extraction.

My boats are all chosen with walking with your boat weight in mind. None of the solos are over 47 lbs.

The getting up off the ground is the hard part but Helinox chair training at camp is a good way to keep it up. From a Crazy Creek..it aint gonna happen. I admit to cheering for camp furniture more so now than fifteen years ago.

I have a nordic trak I got for fifty bucks at a yard sale.. they are out of favor now.. Beware putting the ski part through a window. The rope thing IS weird.. It does nothing at all for my arms.

I too graduated out of the Therma Rests.. TheProlite was getting too thin and me not so much. Exped Synmat 7 fine for now.. Maybe later a 9.

I don't find flex in a paddle key to easing the pressure on joints. The key IMO is not to have a boat with so much skin friction it requires a team of horses to pull it through the water. Downsize that hull! Downsize that paddle, especially the blade length. A paddle that is flexible wastes energy on the catch pushing down water and on exit flipping it up. You want the force to be perpendicular to the water. A light weight bent shaft carbon fiber paddle at 7-10 oz is well worth the expense. They are very stiff but with blades that tend to be smaller than the average wooden stick.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
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Ontario Canada
I never thought I'd see the day when...
I'd need glasses. I need them for reading, especially maps. Aside from keeping a pair safe from dropping or sitting on, I also keep one of these lenses on a lanyard with the map:
http://www.staples.ca/en/Merangue-Cr...G_2-CA_1_20001

I'd need a warmer and cushier sleep. My wife upgraded her sleeping pad a few years ago, but I'm needing to now. Maybe this:
http://www.mec.ca/product/5030-998/t...10+50050+50130

I'd need a comfier place to park myself than just the ground, or a sitting pad. Those chairs with legs are looking really good to us.
A pair of those are likely in our future plans.

I'd need a pillow. We use fleece jackets, stuff sacks and any other lumps of semi-soft gear. A pillow might be the answer.
Any suggestions?
 
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