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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    I am in good health and can still do pretty much all the things that I always have but the thing that has surprised me as I get older is how my stamina has decreased. I just get tired faster than I used to when I do strenuous activities. My advice is do your thru hike as soon after you retire as you can and start training as early as you can because I think that makes a bigger difference for older folks than for the youngsters.
    Some of this can be fixed with hormones--thyroid and testosterone.

  2. #202
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash Berserker's Avatar
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    04-09-2008
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    Lynchburg, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berserker View Post
    I really wanted to thru hike many years ago too and thought it would be a cool thing to do once retired, but have alternately been section hiking for 10 years now. The main thing I have learned from this is that I may not even be "thru hiking" material. So I'm glad I didn't put off hiking the AT to try and do a thru later on.
    I saw my own post in this thread last year and thought I would update my thoughts. First off, when I posted I had been section hiking for 12 years, not 10...little error correction there.

    I still totally agree with my opinion that I'm glad I didn't put it off, and now that I have actually finished the whole trail there is no less sense of accomplishment or satisfaction that I did it in sections rather than as a thru. So I reiterate, to anyone planning to go do it sometime way off in the future, do it now in whatever configuration works for you. You'll gain a whole new perspective on things, and I believe you will find what you are searching for.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  3. #203
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    09-16-2007
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    Montpelier, VT
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    I'll throw my 2 cents into the discussion. I section-hiked the AT in 10 out of 14 seasons, completing it a few years ago. I still hope to thru hike when I retire, which I originally thought would be between age 62 and 66, but I haven't wanted to stop working. So now I am looking at hitting the AT as a thru hiker around age 70. We don't have to, or sometimes can't, have everything now. Since I completed my section hike of the AT, I backpacked the Long Trail for the second time, took a trip to Nova Scotia with my daughter, backpacked the John Muir Trail, backpacked the Walker's Haute Route with friends, and just returned from day hiking in Wyoming with a sister. I hope to backpack the Wonderland Trail next summer with friends. I enjoy making plans for the future.

  4. #204

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    I had a guy stop me to ask what year I was born in. He just was worried I was older than he was (my full beard misled him he said) as he was finishing up his through hike as a flip flop and had twenty miles to go and hoped to be the oldest guy this year.

    He was just under 70. Iím 63 and we flip up and continue SOBO next week.

    So so lots of older guys.


    Glad my wife talked me into retirement.

  5. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    Well, I'm 59.5.....and am sort of being forced to retire. I have worked in IT for 38 years. My current "companies".....well, I've worked there 15 years...and FOUR different names on the paycheck. I was informed a few weeks ago, I am being "benched"...(replaced by young, offshore people). SO.....I HOPE to hike in 2019. I'm caring for two parents right now, taking 3 days a week. Which is where I am needed now. When I called my wife with "the news we've been expecting for 4 years", she replied "it's a blessing".

    How are we? Our financial plan has me fully retired/never work again at 62. So we are "almost" there. In the last few years, we put 6 figures into savings. We've saved the max in our 401K's for 35 years or more. NEVER took any of that out, not even those "loans". We lived well under our means. In retirement, with 5 401K's, two small retirements, two social securities.....have had no debt for 5 years now......we "could" actually get a RAISE when we retire. It takes long term planning and commitment. Start when you are in your early 20's. Keep the long term goal in your mind. Live under your income. Pay off the house early, drive cars for 10 years (my truck is 20 years old...my daily driver is 10....).

    So....here's hoping for 2019 (depends on family).
    Nice.

    I'm up in Plano. Going to try to get in another section hike next spring.
    I'll retire in March 2020.

    I practice with my pack and weight it with water bottles over on Grapevine Lake walking the north side on the off road bike trail.

  6. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longboysfan View Post
    Nice.

    I'm up in Plano. Going to try to get in another section hike next spring.
    I'll retire in March 2020.

    I practice with my pack and weight it with water bottles over on Grapevine Lake walking the north side on the off road bike trail.
    I don't practice with the pack near enough. Been WAY to hot! I didn't make 2019 either. Another family issue. I became the executor and heir. It helps cement in the "no worries" retirement. Perhaps 2020 now.......
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  7. #207
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    09-14-2015
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    Fort Wayne, Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    I don't practice with the pack near enough. Been WAY to hot!
    Isn't that kind of like practicing using your tent in the backyard only when rain is not in the forecast?

    Aiming for 2024 and need to get lots of practice in myself.

  8. #208
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    10-17-2007
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    Michigan
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    I've thought about a thru when I retire. A guy I know is doing that just now. But recently I've thought maybe I would rather do a long section. For me, it's not doing the whole trail that is the appeal, but rather the experience of being out long enough to get my body into trail shape. They say the first few weeks of a thru are the worst, physically. As a section hike, every hike is like that. I don't think I need to do the whole trail to get that experience. If I'm taking 6 months to hike, I would rather do half the AT, and then move on to other trails. Places like JMT, Grand Canyon, Kungsleden (Sweden), Everest area trekking, and Kilimanjaro top my list now.

  9. #209
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    08-20-2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I've thought about a thru when I retire. A guy I know is doing that just now. But recently I've thought maybe I would rather do a long section. For me, it's not doing the whole trail that is the appeal, but rather the experience of being out long enough to get my body into trail shape. They say the first few weeks of a thru are the worst, physically. As a section hike, every hike is like that. I don't think I need to do the whole trail to get that experience. If I'm taking 6 months to hike, I would rather do half the AT, and then move on to other trails. Places like JMT, Grand Canyon, Kungsleden (Sweden), Everest area trekking, and Kilimanjaro top my list now.
    Yeah, most of this. I planned on a half an AT when I retired, which I almost did (950 miles, springer to front royal, April-May) and found that those 2-ish-months was my absolute limit for one trail, especially a monochromatic trail like the AT. After that, is was all hiking out west the rest of the year, including a JMT variant, a bunch of Colorado hiking and in the winter, yeah, Grand Canyon. Winter in the Grand Canyon cannot be beat.

    I do understand the thru-hiking mindset, two months was long enough on the AT to get that, but I did learn that such mindset was not for me. I like variety too much.

  10. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyslayer View Post
    Isn't that kind of like practicing using your tent in the backyard only when rain is not in the forecast?

    Aiming for 2024 and need to get lots of practice in myself.
    I'm in Texas. Last Sunday when I finished a 2 hour, 6 mile hike, the air temp was 95. The THI was around 104. I went to high school in northern VA. That type of conditions, folks usually hike from dawn until lunch, then knock off until late in the day. A few hours of that and people start getting heat-silly. But I try and get in an 8 mile hike every week. Plus at least 4 days in the gym.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  11. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longboysfan View Post
    Nice.

    I'm up in Plano. Going to try to get in another section hike next spring.
    I'll retire in March 2020.

    I practice with my pack and weight it with water bottles over on Grapevine Lake walking the north side on the off road bike trail.
    I used to live in Plano (8504 High Meadows Drive, Plano, TX 75025) until we sold our place in September and moved to a condo in Dallas (well, sold at the end of August, moved in in October after tearing out some studs and replacing the wiring, insulation, etc.). I retired March 15, and we started hiking March 17. Took a couple months off for family matters and fly back out in a couple days to start up again SOBO back to where we got off.

    Yes, it has been too hot in Dallas to practice with packs.

  12. #212
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    01-07-2016
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    Pace, Florida
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    I used to work in Plano and live in Flower Mound. Those mountain bike trails on the North side of Grapevine lake are awesome. The summers there can really be oppressive. In Florida now, and the summers are only a little better except I hate rain.

    I do all my AT training on a treadmill. I have been walking at 3% uphill for so long that it doesn't uphill, it feels normal. Of course the AT is often much steeper than that. I think that daily treadmill time keeps me in shape for when I hit the trail.

  13. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptainkriz View Post
    I'm in the same pattern for 2030.
    2030 for me too

  14. #214

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    I'm just back from the John Muir Trail, which I hiked, Northbound, with my 14 year old son. On the trail, my perspective on waiting until retirement to do the PCT (which has now eclipsed my first love, the AT, though I hope to complete both) started to change.

    Observations:

    1) After three days of hiking, my 14 year old was strong than me, and I'm a runner.

    2) We were going North-bound, in the same direction as the PCT thru-hikers, and met many of them. All were in their 20s or 30s. I'm sure there were older thru-hikers out there, but not many...

    3) The PCT/JMT is hard. I thought I was fit, but the big climbs - admittedly over snow covered passes - were taxing, especially day after day.

    All of this is to say that I am rethinking my plans, and looking into doing the PCT in the next few years, as opposed to waiting until 2031.

    Bonus observation: I will never, ever make the mistake again of packing too few Snickers bars when doing such a trip.
    (trailname: Paul-from-Scotland)

  15. #215

    Default Thru Hike When I Retire

    Iíve got 4 boys, 20, 18, 14, and 13. They are pretty athletic. I run and work out just about everyday, including running trails and training for a trail marathon once a year. The boys all outperformed me on the trail climbing mountains on the AT a couple weeks ago. Youth is wasted on the young

  16. #216
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    07-10-2019
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    Centerville, Mass.
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    59
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    Unless life throws me a curve ball, I will be off March 3, 2021 nobo. Will be 61 and ready to make transition from full-time work to something with more free time. Six or so months on the AT is a perfect way to cross from one chapter in life to the next.

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