Over 50, Outdoors

Adventure, fitness, travel, gear
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    Mother Nature doesn’t care if you make it or not

    Mother Nature doesn’t care if you make it or not

    A few years ago, on the recommendation of multiple friends and gushing book reviewers, I picked up Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. And I finished it. But I didn’t read it in the normal fashion. I hate-read it. I sat in my easy chair with a cup of coffee or herbal tea or small juice glass with...
    The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

    The crayon-colored hills of Zhangye Danxia

    There are many pleasing outdoor wonders to visit, and most them are closer to your home than the multicolored land formations of China’s Zhangye Danxia, where you’ll find what the Atlas of Wonders calls “perhaps the greatest gathering of different pigments in natural stone in the world.” But if you’re going to China anyway, shouldn’t...
    Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

    Biking might allay Parkinson’s symptoms

    Human bodies age like a saddle: they get comfortable and develop character, but they also start to break down.   The older they get, the more problems they have, one of which is Parkinson’s disease. An estimated one percent of people over 60 are affected by this degenerative nervous disorder. Those estimates vary because it’s...
    Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

    Never forget the Icy Finger of Death

    You’ve been baking under the sun for a few weeks now. There’s more to come. Summer feels like an energy leech, sucking away your strength, your enthusiasm, your life force. You long for winter. So it’s time to remind everyone that cold, though attractive right now, can be as terrifying and lethal as fire. To...
    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Twenty-five years ago, when Koreans were known for having the world’s longest work week (nominally six days, often longer), they still found time to get outdoors. Hiking clubs were a big deal. Camping was less popular because it requires a couple days of leisure in a row, but it was still popular.   Over the...
    Everyday life and death

    Everyday life and death

    You know how this goes. A bunch of olds get together and go on regular bike rides. Some are 90. Some are disabled. They click off 25 miles and adjourn to the bar, or have a nice salad over lunch. You don’t care and why should you.   Except that the difference between doing this...
    AAA now assisting bikers (!?!)

    AAA now assisting bikers (!?!)

    The American Automobile Association—that venerable proponent of auto safety, auto insurance, auto touring maps and roads-roads-roads (sometimes at the expense of walking and biking trails)—is slowly changing. Over the past six years, a number of chapters have expanded their services to include roadside assistance for bikers.   It wasn’t that many years ago when AAA...
    Retired park rangers: Don't drill, baby

    Retired park rangers: Don’t drill, baby

    U.S. Park Rangers are trained to work in extreme and dangerous environments, in deserts void of human touch and uncivilized wildernesses, among mindless beasts and insects. So they are prepared—or at least better prepared than most of us—to operate at the fearsome intersection of federal bureaucracy and the oil industry.   A group of retired...
    When 5% less means obliteration

    When 5% less means obliteration

    You can probably cut your caloric intake by 5 percent and be just fine. (Maybe better.) Some other things you can easily cut by 5 percent:  Time watching TV. Old t-shirts. Beer. Caffeine. Old books.   Cut some other things by 5 percent and you’ll feel the bite, but you’ll survive: Time with loved ones....
    Hiking for thrill-seekers

    Hiking for thrill-seekers

    How did the walkabout become benign?   A hundred-and-some years ago, “a long walk” could have meant raw-boned pioneers thrusting themselves into uncharted territory. Predators, starvation and meteorological calamities. Today, it usually means something so safe you could do it on a first date with a stranger you met through Match.com.   You don’t get...
    Kiss your sweet pass goodbye

    Kiss your sweet pass goodbye

    Do active old people—those who hike, bike, ski and get about outdoors—think of themselves as self-reliant, fiscal conservatives? Do they see themselves as people who are proud to pay their fair share?   Probably not. Or they shouldn’t, if they do.   We’re not talking about Social Security or Medicare here. (Yes, those programs do...
    More noise and chatter on retirement

    More noise and chatter on retirement

    A wintery mix of news about retirement savings over the past few weeks. There’s some variation in the details but a consistent underlying message, which is that you will die poor, Boomer. And your generation will likely impoverish the generations coming after it. (Here’s the upside: we are told by a study of cheery Germans...