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Thread: 55 and in shape?

  1. #1

    Question 55 and in shape?

    I'm curious of the 55 age bracket people on this forum, how far can you hike/hunt in what kind of terrain? I know I can't do what I used to, I would say 10 miles a day on for me is about max (not in sheep country), so I guess I'm wondering if I'm still in decent shape or not compared to others. My feet and ankles just ain't what they use to be.

  2. #2
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    I'm 51 and can go all day. Just not as fast as I used to.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default 59 and alive!

    10 miles sounds about right, I'll be going on a goat hunt in a month and really looking forward to it. Also went goat hunting the last two years. My knees are what really feel the years, but don't plan on giving up anytime soon.

    kingfisherktn

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    You are youngsters... I will be 69 in March and can go anyplace that I used to, just not as fast. I have reduced my pack loads (with game) from over 100 to about 80 pounds. Three years ago my son and I took a ram and he told me that his mountain biking/hunting partner of about 40 wouldn't have been able to pack out the load I carried (his was greater). The year before that we hiked 12 miles from my plane before starting to hunt sheep with our bows; last year we hiked about 5 miles with a 3000 foot climb which was very steep. It is mostly a matter of being active on a year around basis and not trying to overdo what you have prepared for.

  5. #5

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    Have any of you noticed a difference in the kind of "shape" we're talking about and the "shape" of younger big city gym rats? I hunt with both youngsters and oldsters, and to look at them you'd think those trim and buffed out youngsters could drive the oldsters into the ground. They're sure fast, but put a load on them or stretch the day, and they're pretty wimpy by the time it's over. Endurance is in there somewhere, but it's more a case of being able to plod longer and harder than many youngsters.

    I guess young and old isn't the divide I'm talking about so much as how folks got into shape. All I know is that if you grew up farming, swinging a hammer or otherwise working long days, you're likely going to hold up better on long, tough hunts. Can't tell you how many times I've seen old "dumpy" lookin guys outlast and outwork the slim, trim and buff types. Won't get there fast, but we'll carry more and go further and longer.

    Am I kiddin myself, or is there a really big difference between gettin in shape in a gym and gettin fit at work?

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default BrownBear

    Physical "shape" is important, but I've found for me that mental shape plays the biggest part.

    kingfisherktn

  7. #7

    Default Kind of Shape

    I can definately attest to the endurance vs. pure strength issue. I can usually outlast most of my younger friends over a distance. i just don't cover it maybe as fast, or with as many stops. Year round excerise helps for sure and I agree that what you did younger (especially farming) has helped as we get older.

  8. #8
    Mark
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    Default In Shape?

    Round is a shape.

  9. #9
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    If the legs and lungs can still do it but the feet quit earlier than they used to consider a trip to the podiatrist for an exam and some custom orthotic inserts for your shoes.

    I'm only in my early forties and my feet kill me after 10-12 miles under a full pack. I stopped by the custom orthotics booth at the State Fair and had my feet examined. I learned I have overstretched/distended the tendons that connect my heels to the balls of both feet. This has caused the long bones for my middle 3 toes to "fall" which puts extra pressure on my heels and the balls of my feet when I walk.

    They had me try some sample orthotics that were close to what I need (and I happened to be wearing my sheep hunting boots) and Voila'!! Instant relief! They changed the way I walked. It took noticeably less effort.

    They're a bit pricey at $400 but how much are your feet worth.

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    I'm 54 and used to be in decent shape. Now that my orthapedic surgeon has absolutely forbindden that I jog at all, not in decent shape. I've been riding a stationary bike hard the last couple months so hopefully I'll be ok. He did surgery on my knee and the first word in post ops was that if I stop jogging, I won't have to have my knee replaced for 3 to 5 years at the outside. I jogged across the street the other day and it hurt for two hours. This getting old is no fun but it sure beats the alternative. However, I can still walk, just as others have said, a little slower. I have to agree with kingfisher, mentally being prepared goes a long way.

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    Red face

    I am 54 and walk 5 miles a day six days a week at a fast enough clip my golden retriver doesnt like to go with me anymore.
    But, I have learned to really slow down in the woods. I do not like to pack a lot of weight due to some herniated discs but I can do it if I have to.
    My son and I hunt Kodiak for blacktails usually every year. We have a good arrangement. I write the check and he carries more than his fair share of the meat back to camp
    Tennessee

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    Member lvfire's Avatar
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    Default In Shape?

    Im 50 and run marathons and race a road bike. I am in GREAT cardio shape. In 2 weeks with a 90-100 lbs moose quarter on my back in spongy/uphill or wet terrain I will once again find that cardio and strength are 2 different animals. I will be sore, out of breath and whining like a baby after 300 yards! Just my .02

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default what BrownBear said

    What I've noticed in hunting and hiking with friends from the states is that no matter how good of shape they are in, the Alaskan tundra and muskeg really does them in. Ditto for gravel-bar lining a canoe upstream. Those uneven rocks aren't the trails and concrete they've trained on. I've had friends who were younger and in far better shape than me comment that I walk "like a moose" across the muskeg, but in reality it is more a matter of knowing where to step and what kinds of color tundra mean rock underneath and what kind mean sphagnum, picking a good line with your eyes and following it etc. Another interesting thing I noticed is that when I take saunas with buddies and we all run out naked to jump in the river, none of them can really make it without shoes on. What's up with that? Not that I do a lot of barefoot rock walking, but these guys got "cityboy" feet <grin>. I'm 49, don't get around like I used to, don't expect to either. After a while things just accumulate, various injuries take their toll, you slow down a bit. Then again, there are these dang guys like driveacub who at 69 do things that are pretty amazing and make us young dudes look bad <grin>. And most of those types don't drink or smoke, which helps. Heck, look at what Jack Lalaine <sp?> did so late in life.

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    Default agree

    I'm 27 and a personal trainer and would have to agree with you guys. There is a difference between gym shape and work shape. I grew up on a farm and worked construction through my summers in college. The hard work definatley makes you "tougher". A few years ago I took a 23 year old "gym rat" (non-experienced hunter) just out of Marine boatcamp (he was then going to OCS) out duck hunting, he thought he was a stud may I add. He flowed me around the slough all day and then I decided I just wanted to cut across the whole thing instead of keep going around. A couple hours later after constant high kneeing in mudd we were back at the truck; he wasn't talking. I was happy and going on like a school girl about the hunt. Fifteen minutes down the road he fianlly spoke "hardest thing I've ever done". I said harder than boat camp? He replied, "harder than any -one- thing." I'm not insulting the military, because I have great respect for all the sacrifices that everyone of you make. He just made me feel like a "hunter" to here him say that, to me that was average.

  15. #15
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Transplant View Post
    I'm 27 and a personal trainer and would have to agree with you guys. There is a difference between gym shape and work shape. I grew up on a farm and worked construction through my summers in college. The hard work definatley makes you "tougher"....
    What happens if you have it all?:

    Hard work, strength training, aerobic training, and military training/experience?

    Does that make you Superman?

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    Default total package?

    I would say there's still more to the equation; one must have: common sense, experience, time, money, great hunting locations, and sometimes alittle luck and you're set. Main factor - understanding wife/girlfriend. I'm still working on about 4 of these and could always use more luck.

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    Alaska requires a different kind of in-shape. Coming from Colorado my lungs were more than up to the task but hiking around the muskeg and lumpy tundra ,as mentioned by bushrat, just about killed me. Now that I am used to the muskey and high-stepping through the marsh I get to go back to Colorado and find out that I can't breath because of the altitude. It's all about adapting to your different environments.

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    Default Desert

    Come on down to Phoenix. It is 110 deg. and humid, by our standards. At 1500 feet you can die regardless of how much time you spent in the gym in Minnesota.

    I've walked in Utah at 11K, slept in Nevada at 10k and nothing is like a hike in the desert at over 110 degrees.

  19. #19
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Shape

    I could ditto lots of the previous posts - mental, muskeg, etc but time does take a toll. At 73 I hunt most of the fall and work (not work out) the rest of the year. Lots of walking, don't smoke.

    I would like to see if I still have the legs for a sheep hunt but because I'm a non-res, I probably won't do any sheep hunting.

    I'll soon be moose hunting and, if we are lucky, will probably pack some but the heavy stuff will go to my 40 year old hunting buddy.

    There is no sense in stopping what you love to do because of age - just keep on keeping on.

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