Hiking is an excellent way to get in some exercise and enjoy nature. It can be a great activity for people of all ages, but hiking might not be the best choice if you’re 60 years old or older.
Senior hikers often experience discomfort when they hike, which is why it’s important to take care of your body before embarking on any long hikes.
Hiking is good for 60-year-olds or older but, you have to watch out and be careful!
With that being said, here are some 12 tips for senior hikers:
12 Senior Hiking Tips – Better Hiking Experience For Elderly
1. Know Your Body and Consult With Your Doctor
Your doctor can help you determine whether a hiking trip is appropriate for you. If your knees, hips or feet are particularly sensitive then it might not be the best idea to go on an extended hike.
There’s no reason that senior citizens should avoid outdoor activities completely but some seniors may need special considerations when planning their next adventure hiking in nature.
2. Make Sure You Bring Essential Gear
Make sure you bring the essentials like:
- Navigation Tools: Compass, GPS
- Sun Protection: Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses
- Bear Spray, Insect Repellent
- First Aid Kit
- Hiking Boots
Depending on the season you might also need a coat, boots and gloves.
It’s important to be prepared for any situation that might arise while hiking. This includes bringing supplies for bad weather and potential injuries.
It is very crucial for senior hikers to bring essential gear especially if they are not aware of what nature has to offer during their trip.
All these preparations will ensure that there won’t be any bad surprises and help them enjoy an amazing outdoor experience.
3. Make Sure You Dress Appropriately
Dressing for the weather is very important in order to stay comfortable and safe.
While it might be tempting, avoid wearing cotton while hiking because when wet, it loses all of its insulating properties. Additionally, cotton tends to take a long time to dry so you’ll get cold if there’s too much moisture or humidity during your hike.
For the best results, wear clothing that can wick moisture from your skin while also providing insulation.
It’s very crucial to dress properly especially if you’re going on a long hike for several days because it is important to be prepared and ready in case of any inclement weather or sudden temperature change.
4. Make Sure You Take Plenty Of Breaks & Rest
When you’re hiking, it’s important to take plenty of breaks. This will help your body adjust and avoid getting too tired.
If you’re going on a long hike, make sure to take a break every hour or so. Stop and have some water and a snack before continuing on your way.
It’s also important to get into the habit of stopping and resting for a few minutes every 15 or 20 minutes. This will help keep your muscles loose and prevent you from getting too tired.
Senior hikers should definitely take more breaks than young hikers to avoid muscle pain or exhaustion.
Oftentimes, senior hikers underestimate the amount of time it takes them to complete a hike and they end up tiring out faster than expected. This is why it’s important for seniors to take more breaks than young hikers.
5. Make Sure You Start Out With Shorter Hikes – Know Your Limits (and Build on Them)
If you’re just starting out then it’s best to start with shorter hikes while getting used to hiking.
It’s important that senior hikers should know their limits and build upon them gradually so they don’t get overwhelmed by the activity.
You want to gradually build up greater endurance to be able to hike more and more.
6. Make Sure You Check The Weather
Before you go on your hike, make sure to check the weather. This will help you prepare for what’s ahead and dress appropriately.
I highly recommend you check out the weather forecast at least 72 hours before you go hiking.
But what if you want to go hiking the next day?
Check out this article which talks about how you can prepare for a hike the night before.
7. You Can Hike With Others
Hiking doesn’t just have to be a solo activity. You could bring friends and family along to enhance your hiking experience.
It’s important to hike with others especially if you’re new because they can help guide you and provide support.
Some good hiking partners are your spouse, children or neighbors.
If it gets too tiring for seniors on their own then they could also join a club that goes hiking together which will make the outing more enjoyable as well as safe.
8. Find Trails That Are Perfect for You
Not all trails are created equal. Some might be better suited for beginners while others are more challenging.
It’s important to find a trail that matches your ability and fitness level otherwise you’ll quickly get frustrated and give up.
If you’re new to hiking, I recommend finding easier trails first until you build up your endurance. As you progress then you can hike more difficult trails.
It’s crucial that seniors find trails that are easy and appropriate for them because it will prevent any unnecessary injuries or accidents due to fatigue.
9. Bring Water and Snacks On Hikes
It’s important to bring plenty of water and snacks on your hike. This will help keep you energized while hiking.
Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks to avoid getting too thirsty or hungry.
You want to make sure you bring nutritious foods with you so, that you don’t get tired throughout the hiking session.
I made a guide you can check out on the best day hike lunch ideas here!
TIP: You want to be well hydrated and have a nutritious breakfast before going on a hike so, that way you have energy.
10. Take Advantage Of Hiking / Trekking Poles
Trekking poles can be beneficial for senior hikers.
These are special sticks that you place under your arms on both sides of the body to help improve balance and give extra stability while walking on uneven terrain.
You don’t even have to be a senior hiker to utilize a trekking pole, many young veteran hikers take advantage of trekking poles.
I personally use this trekking pole which is quality and quite affordable too.
11. You Need Good Footwear
One of the most important pieces of hiking gear is good footwear.
Make sure you wear shoes that are comfortable, supportive and have a good grip.
You don’t want to be wearing shoes that are going to give you blisters or make your feet sore.
I highly recommend finding a good pair of hiking shoes and breaking them in before your hike.
I made an ultimate guide on how to protect your toes and feet while hiking that you can check out!
12. Additional Safety Precautions
There are some additional safety precautions you should take while hiking.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Carry a first-aid kit with you on all hikes: I personally use this one.
- Don’t forget to leave for the hike without a bear spray. (Better be safe than sorry)
- Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This is if you’re going alone, read this to find out more on tips for hiking alone!
These are just a few basic safety precautions to keep in mind.
So, is hiking good for 60 year olds?
It can be if they follow these senior hiking tips.
I hope this guide has been helpful and answered the question of “is hiking good for 60 year olds?”
Thanks so much for reading!
Is hiking good for older adults?
Yes, hiking is good for older adults. There are a lot of benefits to hiking for older adults. It can improve their cardiovascular health, strength, and endurance.
Hiking is also great for improving mental wellbeing and reducing stress levels. As long as seniors are aware of the potential dangers and take necessary precautions, hiking can be a great way to stay active and healthy into old age.
Can old people go hiking?
Yes, as long as they are aware of the potential dangers and take necessary precautions, seniors can enjoy hiking. It’s a great way to stay active and healthy into old age.
Is 50 too old to start hiking?
No, there is no age limit for hiking. However, seniors should take into account their health and fitness levels before embarking on a hike.