Over 50, Outdoors

Adventure, fitness, travel, gear
  • RSS
  • Posts tagged "Backpacking"
    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...
    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...
    >60 R2R2R

    >60 R2R2R

    Darkest January.  You have been indoors too much. You’ve counted the fireplace bricks. You know how many paces it is from wall to wall. The terrible and terrifying stories of cabin-fevered trappers suddenly seem plausible. You’re not capable of dismembering anyone. But you can understand how it could happen.   Not should.   Not yet....
    Keep the camping fire going over the winter

    Keep the camping fire going over the winter

    If you live at my latitude, these are the weeks hope, when every trip to the basement reminds you that the camping gear is still there, still not packed away for the season. Part of you wants to believe you might get out again this year, but you know the odds get slimmer with each...
    L.L. Bean AT 55 Pack: built for speed and some comfort

    L.L. Bean AT 55 Pack: built for speed and some comfort

    Backpacks are like golf clubs. You make your selection based on your size and how far you’re going. The first part is easy: you get a pack that fits your frame. The second changes constantly, which is why golfers lug around 14 clubs and why it’s not uncommon for hikers to have more than one...
    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...
    Hiking and the spiff of health

    Hiking and the spiff of health

    You know the seasons are wheeling around because of all the hiking stories that are popping up online. Over the past week or so we’ve been reminded of the joys of hiking, and the toys of hiking, and the health benefits, including this simple and stunning fact, from a study by a team at the...
    Good gear: L.L. Bean’s Microlight FS2

    Good gear: L.L. Bean’s Microlight FS2

      In camping gear we like three things above all others: we like durable (because nothing else matters if a pole breaks or a seam rips), and light (less is more), and cheap (because). So we’re very attracted to the new Microlight FS2 backpacking tent from L.L. Bean. We can’t vouch for its durability because...
    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...
    Sunday quote: November 27, 2011

    Sunday quote: November 27, 2011

            “I never knew a man who took a bedroll into an Idaho mountainside and slept there under a star-studded summer sky who felt self-important that next morning. Unless we preserve some opportunity for future generations to have the same experience, we shall have dishonored our trust.” ~ Sen. Frank Church, 1924-1984...