Over 50, Outdoors

Adventure, fitness, travel, gear
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    High adventure at low altitude

    High adventure at low altitude

    There’s a difference between summer peaks and winter peaks.   In winter, you summit quickly because the peaks you reach are typically found at the end of a chairlift. You start the day at sea level in San Francisco, let’s say, and with a little luck and a tailwind you are standing at the top...
    Again: pack the essentials. And no more.

    Again: pack the essentials. And no more.

    There are three dark emotions that can attend the end of any long hiking trip. The first is interpersonal: I swear I’ll never again set off into the woods with that whiner. The second is gear-related: how can someone in good conscience sell a tent/boots/shirt with seams that pop apart under my gentle/frantic/angry tugging? The...
    Old habits vs. old knees: the gray backpacker's dilemma

    Old habits vs. old knees: the gray backpacker’s dilemma

    Change is hard, especially if what you’re doing works. And doubly so if it’s been working for 40 years or so. If you started backcountry hiking in the 70s or 80s, you have notions about what constitutes a robust and well-stocked pack. And you probably scoff at younger people who wander off for a week...
    Gear videos are a mostly justifiable time-suck

    Gear videos are a mostly justifiable time-suck

    When you’re outdoors, gear isn’t everything. It just enables everything. Good gear usually equals good performance: it lets you go farther, faster, with less exertion. It also, often, embodies admirable design. And it’s reliable, which matters always and especially in sports where an equipment failure can mean injury or death. Gear also gives you something...
    Ultralight camping: Dropping 20 pounds of gear is like losing 20 years

    Ultralight camping: Dropping 20 pounds of gear is like losing 20 years

      Snow melts, summer seems like a possibility, and suddenly hiking and biking gear seems fascinating in a way it didn’t three weeks ago. The seed takes root; a few days later you invent a reason to swing by your local outfitter. You daydream about day hikes. Then something a little longer. And gear that...
    When it comes to sweating the small stuff, Steve Green is our Yoda, our guru, our sensei

    When it comes to sweating the small stuff, Steve Green is our Yoda, our guru, our sensei

                  If you’re interested in laying down some of your backpacking burden, you can find plenty of advice in bookstores and online.  (Type “ultralight backpacking” into the YouTube search box and you’ll get over 3,100 videos.) But no one synthesizes the opposite poles of obsessive-compulsive, shorten-and-drill-out-your-toothbrush hysteria and utterly...
    Hiker meets hero

    Hiker meets hero

              There’s a special charm in seeing someone honestly and appropriately awed by someone else. Like watching a kid walk up to the mall Santa, or a young football player shaking hands with Peyton Manning. We read a bit of that same enchantment in a recent story by Scott Williams in...