I turn 62 in the spring and will be retired, and I want to take up backpacking. Will I be too old to start? If not, what injuries will I be more prone to incur and what can I do to prevent them?
Submitted by - Jim, Oklahoma City, OK
Of course you will not be too old! I turned 62 a few months ago, and although I've got a lot of trail miles behind me, I can tell you that it is never too late. I have noticed that I am actually less likely to incur an injury, probably because I take my time, watch my step, prepare well in advance, and talk young guys into carrying the heavy stuff. Older people are not, in fact, any more susceptible to specific injuries than younger people. They are, however, more susceptible to medical conditions, so be sure to see your doc for a check-up before shouldering a pack. And spend time getting into shape before heading out for a week in the wilderness. (See our "Hike Forever: Ultimate Hiking Workouts" article for training programs specific to various age brackets, including 50 to 65.) —Buck