Strategies for Seniors

Questions on general information and things that do not fit into any other categories.

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Strategies for Seniors

Post by Grandpa » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:53 am

Isle Royale is by & large a young persons' park. The rugged trails and the requirements to keep moving make it challenging for seniors. I'm the same age as Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump so I'm not ready for a rocking chair just yet. But I have made some of the following concessions to old age:
• Lightened the load with new sleeping bag, tent, etc
• Reduced mileage. We used to cover 50-60 miles; now 20 is fine. Schedule more layover days.
• Use the Sandy or Voyageur to get down the island. (Water taxi is too pricy.)
• To counteract decreased temperature tolerance, leave early to avoid hiking during the heat of the day. For evening in camp, pack more warm clothes. - fleece; puffy jacket. More hot drinks.
• Use trekking poles. (Maybe a cane is next?!)
• Eat more normal foods; freeze dried gets harder to stomach.
• Better sleeping pad & pillow.
• Carry a PLB in case of emergency.
Any suggestions or experiences from other septuagenarians out there?
First visit 1982. Last visit June, 2018. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!

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Re: Strategies for Seniors

Post by JerryB » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:41 am

Your advise sounds good for all of us!

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Re: Strategies for Seniors

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:38 pm

Maybe I'm just a little more out of shape than you but on my last trip to the Island I worked through the mental barrier of recognizing my limitations at the time and stayed at the Rock Harbor lodge as a home base. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity and experience to day-hike the Stoll Trail, Lookout Louise, Rock Harbor Lighthouse. The Sandy was invaluable. Next trip needs to maybe include a night at Daisy Farm and day-hike return or maybe out and back to spend the night at Three Mile. If I could find a paddling partner, canoeing the places with easy portages would be great. Or instead of retiring on schedule, wait a couple of years and buy a boat. 8) :idea:
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Re: Strategies for Seniors

Post by torpified » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:21 pm

I'm not a hiking septuagenarian, but I hope to be! I'm always inspired when I see older people enjoying the wilderness.

There's some (semi-anecdotal) evidence that they're better at it. For a number of years now, septuagenarian John Ladd has been surveying hundreds of people who hike the John Muir Trail about their experiences. A robust finding: the older the hiker, the fewer problems reported! Probably because they're already implementing some of your strategies.

I'm sure you already know that once you hit 62 you were eligible for a $10 pass, good as long as you are, that gets you admitted free to scads of federal lands (including Isle Royale): ... MP_5088578

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Re: Strategies for Seniors

Post by jrwiesz » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:19 am

To all those that intend to purchase a senior pass, do so prior to August of this season. Word is, as stated previously on these forums, the pass price is to be increased to $80.00. Although, still a great deal at the increased price; save the $70.00 for the ferry fare! :idea:
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
Jim DuFresne

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