Author Topic: As I age, what to do next?  (Read 3096 times)

gunwharfman

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As I age, what to do next?
« on: 13:01:39, 17/04/18 »
I've been thinking for a while that as I age and become less able to hike long distance, what could be my alternative interst and activity? I'm not really into cycling, did that when I was younger. I've started to think in terms of canoe or kyacking? I have one obvious problem to start with, I never learned to swim, but should this little fact stop me did in my tracks?

When I was walking throught the Dordogne lasy year much of my milage was beside rivers and there were loads of people enjoying themselves on the water. My thinking has developed from basic hiking to to canoe camping, plus hiking a bit as well. I have the car to drive to any destination, it could carry a canoe on the roof rack easily, my vehicle is so easy to sleep in and I have the lolly to buy what is necessary. What could go wrong?

So please ladies and gentlemen I am looking for any advice, guidence and direction to help me make a decision about this change of activity. As a complete novice please don't hold back, suggest what I perhaps should do first, (I'm expecting to be told to learn how to swim) and for opinions to be offered about, is it better to canoe camp or to kayack camp, the essential equipment I would need and if I do make the decision to go down this route, in what location do I plan for my first outing? I'm assuming local at first of course.

Thank you, all advice appreciated.

Jac

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #1 on: 13:22:17, 17/04/18 »
As you get older you may find hoisting a canoe or kayak on and off a roof rack and lugging it to and from the water more strenuous than you anticipate and if you capsize, though your life jacket will keep you afloat, uprighting and tipping  the water out is also hard. In my experience they are far heavier and more unwieldy than they look.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

Islandplodder

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #2 on: 13:32:28, 17/04/18 »

I think learning to swim is pretty essential.  You don't generally need to swim far, as usually the advice is to stick with the canoe where possible, but obviously if you find yourself heading for a hazard you might need to get to the bank fast. The local kayaking club insists that you learn to cope with a capsize (which apparently happens quite often!) in the local swimming pool before you go out in earnest, and a canoe loaded with camping stuff might be even more likely to capsize.  And though, as Jac says, your life jacket will keep you afloat, it's no use if you are trapped under the canoe.
I'm not sure how old you are, but if you enjoy hiking, I wouldn't write it off yet.  I met people in their 70s on the Pennine Way, and octogenarians with new hips and knees climbing hills in the Yorkshire Dales.  There might come a time when you want to shorten the daily mileage a bit, but it does seem to be a hobby that allows you to carry on into old age.

beefy

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #3 on: 13:53:51, 17/04/18 »
I've done a lot of canoe wild camping,
My advice to you would be this,
If you can swim it's an obvious advantage,
However, a buoyancy aid would keep you afloat if you capseze,
It's always better to go out in a group or with another person so help is at hand,
Kayaks have less load carrying space than a canoe,
I love canoes, they carry all your kit easily, but there's a learning curve like most things,
I would suggest that you do a banoe/kayak course
That way you can see what you like whilst under supervision for safety
Rivers especially can be dangerous, there's hidden dangers in the water you need to be aware of
Please don't just go out on any water, river, or lake without someone with experience,
Try looking on songofthepaddle canoe forum, you will learn a lot on there, they have meets, and trip reports, you might see some of mine
My username is beefy on there also,
The first time I went out in a canoe it was windy and I got blown around in a circle and couldn't control my canoe  ;D
But when you master the art of  paddling one it is a rewarding experience
Have fun
ps, if you lift one end of a canoe onto your roof rack you can then slide the canoe on relatively easy, without having to lift the full weight of it
« Last Edit: 13:58:52, 17/04/18 by beefy »
DRIP COFFINS  :D

barewirewalker

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #4 on: 14:03:51, 17/04/18 »
Why not carry on walking. Perhaps you are too destination conscious rather than investigating the countryside you are in, in more detail. Big objectives, impressive distances and timing did seem to dominate my thinking some years back, but the discoveries I made along the way have compensated for a lot I cannot do now.


Judging by your posts you are finding many of these rewards, but are you turning them into reasons to create routes?


Central Wales was where really started to make discoveries that became a need to go back, because it is big, little country, so 'What's over that hill' or 'can I get there in the next walk', turn into something way different to the expected.


Then chatting up the locals, carrying the crack in the bar, let the country lads pull your leg and wait for them to slip up and tell you something really juicy. I once found some so called 'Secret Steps into the top end of a Quarry, made a beautiful alternative route down through a series of quarries.


Trouble is it often takes a lot of map reading, but that's so easy with a PC.


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Mel

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #5 on: 14:53:53, 17/04/18 »
What about learning to swim in its own right?  It's a good non-load bearing, cardio workout and quite liberating to shed the buoyancy aids (though you would still probably have to use those if you do go down the kayaking / canoeing route).


An added advantage could be, once you're confident with swimming in a pool, you can incorporate it into walking to wild swimming locations or sea swimming.  All 3 bring different things to the table.
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pleb

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #6 on: 15:19:51, 17/04/18 »
Get older? ;D
Sorry gwm, couldn't resist it!

jimbob

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #7 on: 17:15:18, 17/04/18 »
Cribbage & Dominoes in the Derby & Joan Club.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Too little, too late, too bad......

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #8 on: 17:34:50, 17/04/18 »
Why not carry on walking. Perhaps you are too destination conscious rather than investigating the countryside you are in, in more detail. Big objectives, impressive distances and timing did seem to dominate my thinking some years back, but the discoveries I made along the way have compensated for a lot I cannot do now.


Judging by your posts you are finding many of these rewards, but are you turning them into reasons to create routes?


Central Wales was where really started to make discoveries that became a need to go back, because it is big, little country, so 'What's over that hill' or 'can I get there in the next walk', turn into something way different to the expected.


Then chatting up the locals, carrying the crack in the bar, let the country lads pull your leg and wait for them to slip up and tell you something really juicy. I once found some so called 'Secret Steps into the top end of a Quarry, made a beautiful alternative route down through a series of quarries.


Trouble is it often takes a lot of map reading, but that's so easy with a PC.


Well said.   If I were the OP, I'd invest in a good camera, and change how I looked at trips from distance/achievement based (summit this, do x kms, bring all my kit) to more of a realistic mix.  You don't need huge distances and to be absolutely knackered in your tent at the end of the night to enjoy it, and the more you let yourself 'linger', or camp earlier, leave later and 'wing it' rather than trudge on to the next objective, the more you realise why often low level walks can be just as enjoyable as blasting over the tops.


Additionally, sometimes you just want to balance comfort with practicality.  I'm personally happy wild-camping every night, but I have many friends who won't be seen dead on a hillside and need a hotel after a walk to enjoy the experience.  Perhaps explore a happy medium, use a few campsites with facilities, perhaps try to incorporate a day for recovery in between big hill days too.

Slogger

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #9 on: 17:47:56, 17/04/18 »
Yeah, the problem with trying new things when you are older, certainly over 60 years, and certainly physically active new things, is that using muscles differently and muscles (in particular Tendons) that are not used to being used in such a way can easily be strained and lead to injury. We are not as flexible and supple as we used to be, so can't adapt quickly to other things. Cycling on the other hand is known as a good alternative for past runners and walkers, as the muscles are in good shape and cycling is less stressful on the joints. Can't recommend it however, I tried it a few years ago and during my third ride got taken out a car on a roundabout, ended up in hospital, two weeks off work and sold the bike as a result!

jontea

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #10 on: 17:51:27, 17/04/18 »
Hi Reg, my advice would be to try an open canoe trip first, just to see if it has what you’re looking for. Ideally with a friend.


I went on a three day camp with friends on the River Wye, and it was a fantastic experience. Would love to do it again sometime.


The link below is who we went with. We were all novices and got tuition before being launched. Paddle strokes are soon mastered.


Life jackets are provided and are a must. As beefy said the rivers are dangerous and avoiding overhanging trees can be tricky in fast flowing currents and probably you biggest hazard.


But have a go at hiring it all first, and see what you think  O0


http://www.wyevalleycanoes.co.uk/
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sparnel

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #11 on: 22:26:19, 17/04/18 »
Hi Reg............five of us 'Last of the Summer Wine' folk (that age I know) went on a two day activity break in Aviemore last September. An afternoon was spent canoeing on the river Spey. None of us had canoed B4.  We enjoyed so much that we are booked to canoe for 4 days in the Spey next month...............Go for it Reg, toy won't regret it!


Owen

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #12 on: 12:00:38, 18/04/18 »
I've done quite a bit of canoeing and a lot of sea kayaking and either way is great for getting away from the madding crowd very quickly and easily. They're also one of the best way to see an amazing amount of wild life.


I would have to also say that they're very heavy, especially canoes and not really a one man lift, unless you're exceptionally rich and can afford carbon fibre.


In the event of a capsize it's straight forward for one boat to rescue another, getting the swimmer back in his/her canoe/kayak and bale the water out. It's not at all straight forward to do this on your own. Generally only the very fit and agile can do it so going out alone is really a bad idea.


Going on a course would be the best way of trying it without having to splash out lots of cash, especially if you then decide it's not really what you imagined.       

Owen

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #13 on: 12:15:15, 18/04/18 »
This is what I mean by getting close to wild life.


IMG_0585 copy by Owen Merrick, on Flickr

Rather be walking

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Re: As I age, what to do next?
« Reply #14 on: 12:22:12, 18/04/18 »
Go for it, I was a member of the Portsmouth Canoe Club for some years http://www.portsmouth-canoe-club.org/.

Quote
I would have to also say that they're very heavy, especially canoes and not really a one man lift, unless you're exceptionally rich and can afford carbon fibre.
Yes I agree they are

I'm now 65 and have arthritis in both wrists & thumbs (probably caused by to much climbing and canoeing  ;D ;))
I just stick to walking now  :)
Its great fun (canoeing & walking).

Jon.
““The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill.”
― Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods