I started "backpacking" as a Boy Scout when I was 15 and living in Okinawa, Japan. I earned the 50-mile hike merit badge carrying an unframed US Army rucksack with a pup tent and 4-pound inflatable mattress. Who knew back in the '60s where backpacking gear would go.
I took a very long break to start and run a business and resumed in 2006 with an attempt to climb Longs Peak in the Colorado Rockies front range. That effort reignited a passion dormant for 44 years.
Since then I've made another attempt on Longs, again unsuccessful due to weather as in the first try. Next up was reaching the summit of Mount Adams in 2008, a wonder-filled and successful experience.
All that led to a decision to an attempt crossing Oregon from CA to WA on the PCT in 2012. I managed to complete most of that section but wildfires stopped me short of the entire route. I've been trying to finish every since and stymied by either wildfires or injury with some 80 miles left to finish as of 2021.
I completed PCT section J in Washington in 2018 and the Wonderland Trail (93 miles, 23k elevation gain and loss) circumnavigating Mount Rainier in 2019 at age 67.
Along the ways I've learned, I think, a lot about how to manage backpacking trips tho', I admit, I'm a comfort junky, not a UL hiker. REI and backpacking pubs have been a great help. My first leg of the PCT back in 2012 started with a pack weighing almost 50 pounds. Much of the excess gear ended up in hiker boxes by the time I reached Crater Lake. Nowadays I start 5-7 day hikes with 30# or less depending on water availability.
At now age 68.5 I continue to test the effects of aging, completing a slog up Mt Bachelor last week followed the day after by climbing Tumalo Mountain. Both have significant elevation gains over "short" distances. For these day hikes, I usually take a Sprinter-based RV as base camp. It's so nice to return to a comfort zone with an ice-cold beer in the fridge :).
I look forward to sharing other's experiences and helping when I can and always am looking for hiking partners.
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Coming back to a Sprinter after challenging hikes definitely sounds like a wonderful way to prop your feet up! We're excited to hear about your ventures and hope you are able to connect with other hikers here in the community.
Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself!
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