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  1. #1
    Registered User kimbur96's Avatar
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    12-16-2015
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    Default Late bloomer wants to know about ladies who started hiking later in life.

    Hello Ladies, I am 48 and just went through a bunch of major life changes in the last year. But to sum it up in s sentence I am now single and what to start trying some new things. I have car camped, and done day hikes but never any backpacking or overnight hikes, but I want to start. I do a lot of trail running here in Florida and had the chance to do a multi day run through the Colorado Rockies last August. I LOVED it out there. The mountains, the meadows, the being alone in nature it was my happy spot. So I want to start doing some multi day hikes. Looking forward to hearing your experiences and sage advice.

  2. #2
    illabelle's Avatar
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    06-25-2012
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    Sounds like you've wasted 48 years!
    It's never too late to get started. I'm jealous of your trip in the Rockies...someday I'll get out that way. It's still about 6 weeks till our next section hike, and another month till the one after that, and then there are more later on. I think about them and dream about them EVERY day! Can't wait!

  3. #3

    Default

    I think I was 40 the first time I backpacked. As far as sage advice-
    -Start slow; try an overnight first.
    -Keep mileage low at first. You want to enjoy it, not decide you're never doing THAT again.
    -If you can, go with someone experienced.
    -Have fun!

    -FarrAway

  4. #4
    Section Hiker
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    01-26-2013
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    California
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    46
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    I have always hiked and used to car camp, but just started backpacking 3 years ago--and often go alone (also now single). It's amazing, and I wish I'd have discovered it earlier! Maybe find a local hiking/backpacking club, like one through Meetup.com. Check your local outfitter for classes and outings. (If you can spend, REI has a travel division and you can get out on a trip with them.) Read lots, ask questions, and best of all just start getting out there. Like Farr Away said, start small and you'll be surprised how much you learn on just a few overnights.

    Here's some inspiration, maybe, or entertainment anyway: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb4...JgIFjm8kl5Dncw

    One thing I did a year ago was take a NOLS Wilderness First Aid certification class. Regardless who you take it through, I recommend WFA to anyone who will be spending time in the backcountry. It's a huge confidence builder and gives you some skills to help others, and yourself.

    Happy Trails!


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
    "


  5. #5
    Registered User Cfullerton's Avatar
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    05-18-2015
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    Kissimmee FL
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    I got the bug last year at 59. Ive done almost 75 mi and loved every minute. I hike slow but Im determined. I haven't been out solo bc Im terrified of going it alone, a fear that I need to overcome.

    You just have to get out there and go for it!
    Gadget Legs

  6. #6

    Default

    I'm not new to backpacking, but I'm doing it a lot more now that I'm empty-nested. At 60, the most important thing has been reducing the weight of my pack. Of course, that can benefit anyone at any age. My advice would be to focus on building a lightweight kit that's within your ability and comfort level. At some point, you might need to look to some of the cottage manufacturers to help shave some pounds off your gear.

  7. #7
    Registered User Akela's Avatar
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    01-01-2013
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    I have been hiking with the Trail Dames for a couple of years now. Only mature curvy fun ladies. Check them out in Facebook or meetup. They might have a chapter in your area. So much better than hiking along....

  8. #8
    Registered User birdygal's Avatar
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    07-07-2007
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    Rocky face, georgia
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    I went on my first hike at 51 and my first backpacking trip I was 56. I only managed to do one overnight by myself so far

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    02-20-2013
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    Upper East Side of Texas
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    Welcome.
    Lucky you! You found the Rockies first. Go back. As often as possible.
    You'll never forget your first time out west.
    Good luck.

    Wayne


    Sent from somewhere around here.
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
    https://wayne-ayearwithbigfootandbubba.blogspot.com
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  10. #10
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I did my AT hike at age 44 and again at age 48. You are never too old, but time can affect in ways such and in your joints, etc. If this is the time for you to do a hike, do it. Just remember that out west there is elevation, hence altitude which affects your performance dramatically. Take time to acclimate.







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  11. #11
    Registered User kimbur96's Avatar
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    12-16-2015
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    Thank you everyone who replied. I have been scouting out some local trails within a couple hours drive of where i live and hope to do my first solo overnight this weekend or next depending on how soon my new Tarptent arrives. The plan is pick something only a couple miles out from the main campground so if I have to bail I could, and at worst case walk out in the night with a headlamp. I also feel a little safer overall being near but not right next to people. I'd being lying if I said I'm not scared. But part of life is preparing yourself the best you can and then facing your fears head on.

  12. #12
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimbur96 View Post
    Thank you everyone who replied. I have been scouting out some local trails within a couple hours drive of where i live and hope to do my first solo overnight this weekend or next depending on how soon my new Tarptent arrives. The plan is pick something only a couple miles out from the main campground so if I have to bail I could, and at worst case walk out in the night with a headlamp. I also feel a little safer overall being near but not right next to people. I'd being lying if I said I'm not scared. But part of life is preparing yourself the best you can and then facing your fears head on.
    Fear is okay as long as you don't let it control your life! You acknowledge it and then work on the things that are scaring you. That's how ya get stronger.

    Set small goals in the beginning and just play with your backpacking gear. Get familiar with it. Allow yourself to just get out there and do what feels right. Take notes (mental or physical) on what works for you, what doesn't work for you, what you wish you had, and what you didn't need. Think of each trip out there as a step toward your goal. Every time you get out there, you will find that your confidence is building and your hiking & camp routines will feel more familiar. You can do it!

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    03-08-2014
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    Mobile, AL
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    My husband and I didn't begin hiking until three years ago, I was 55. I had never in my life pitched a tent, carried a backpack or spent a night outside.

    Fortunately, information is abundant. I scoured WB, I read hundreds of gear reviews and watched tons of videos. We rented gear for our first section hike, which helped a great deal. We are still learning, but one great piece of advice I heard was to write down as soon as a trip is over, what worked, what didn't and why. This helped us to tweak our equipment, and our own performances.

    We also started treating time between hikes as "training time." We have no hills where we live, so we use the gym and the streets to strengthen our legs, back and core.

    I agree with the previous posts. . .start out easy, have flexible plans and practice, practice, practice with your gear. Mostly, have fun! I think of the trail everyday we are not on it and plan for the "next hike" as soon as we end the last one.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    02-04-2016
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    Houston, Texas
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    I'm 60 now and plan to thruhike in 2017. I have no backpacking experience but have done a lot of camping. Also, I think of myself as very tough. I have a farm and have done really grueling work in all kinds of weather. I am not delicate. Also, I dream big and once I set a goal, I make it happen. Physically, I am not in as good a shape as I was when I was younger. I have had both knees replaced and have had some back issues (which are resolved) but mentally, I am tough as nails. I plan to take it slow and not injure myself by doing more than I am capable of. I have been planning for years and can't wait to step on a plane bound for Atlanta!...~Dynamite~

  15. #15

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    I decided hanging in a hammock was the best way to make sure I could hike the second day. Sleeping on the ground wasn't going to work for my older, out of shape body. I joined the hammockforums and have been to a group hang & hike and also met up w/ another hanging stranger for an overnight hike. I wanted to try my gear and fortitude in the cold rain, but wasn't ready to do it on my own. If anybody is in Alabama and wants to hike slow, give me a buzz!

    charlotte

  16. #16
    Registered User
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    02-13-2016
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    I love your attitude Dynamite! We are kindred spirits! I will turn 60 on my hike this year. To celebrate my fitness and myself, doing a hike thru on the PCT this year. I feel my strongest ever and will address many fears this trip! I love your "I'm tough as nails!" Me too! Ha! Wanna go?

  17. #17

    Default

    I'm a little late to backpacking also, but a few years earlier than you. I have hiked and packed a lot with horses, and spent a lot of time and hundreds of nights in the backcountry in a tent so it's not new to me...just the pack carrying.

    I am very lucky to live in Wyoming and have access to some of the best hiking (and riding) country in the US. I have a few week-long trips this year and then the CT next summer, hopefully followed by the PCT in 2018. I find walking and hiking to be therapeutic and did a lot when I was younger.

    I saw your other thread about getting your new Tarptent. Looks like it is working out well for you. I just ordered a ZPacks Duplex which I hope I like as much in hand as I do online! Their packs are awesome.

  18. #18
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Y'all need to google Grandma Gatewood.

  19. #19
    Registered User
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    Or read "Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail" by Ben Montgomery


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Registered User scottpash's Avatar
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    Default Late bloomer wants to know about ladies who started hiking later in life.

    +1 on Grandma Gatewood I have a few more pages to finish Great Book

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