Getting older? Don’t let it keep you out of the outdoors

This is going to be a bit of a unique outdoor article, but nonetheless, I think that at sometime in all of our lives the info here will be pertinent, and it is applicable if you’re young or old. I don’t want to say that we’re like cars but we all do have a shelf life. Some longer than others. But God is in control of when we die so what I’m going to talk about today is how to keep you more active whether you have a short life or a long one.

If you hot rod and peel out, your tires aren’t going to last as long, right? Same with your joints. The more you abuse them when you’re young, more than likely you’ll have trouble when you get older. So if you’re young, take heed to some of these precautions, and if you’re old and feeble, try some of these remedies.

I want to be able to fish and hunt until the day I die and if you’re reading this article, I’m betting you do, too. So let’s get started. I’m betting that a big percentage of people reading this article work in a concrete jungle of some kind. Whether it’s in a plant, store, construction or whatever.

I always wore rubber high-top boots in the plant the first seven to eight years. I was a general foreman at the time, which meant I had a crew of over 300 employees and seven foremen. So I was running, gunning 10.5 hours a day. One day I came home from work and my shins were killing me. I bought some $1.99 Dr. Scholl’s boot pads which felt great. Ah, they were a slice of heaven. But within two weeks they shelled out. I then learned that I needed to invest in some good boots and jogging pads. I just recently got some Tuli’s pads.

I’m warning you younger guys and gals, start using pads now while you’re young. They will extend the life of your knees. I wish that I would have started using them seven or eight years earlier and my knees wouldn’t feel like they do now.

The other day I had a carcass fall on my head and flatten me. The doctor said he wanted to replace my knee. Nope, it hurts but I can still walk. I’ve seen too many people get knee replacements and are now dysfunctional. I’m not going to be stuck in town with all the other little yuppies.

Get some good boots and pads like the Tuli’s. They will extend the life of your knees. I don’t want to say it’s like walking on carpet but that’s not too much of an exaggeration. And if you’re an old timer, it’s never too late to start doing the right thing. Squeak as much life out of your knees as possible. You can trim down the toe end with a pair of scissors to fit your boot.

So far, knees have been the main focus and for good reason. If your wheels are blown out, then you’re pretty much blown out of the water, outdoor-wise.

But there’s another common ill that many face — a messed-up elbow. My left elbow is a little whacked.

In high school, I got thrown off a bull and it bruised the elbow. Then in college, the day after Christmas, I had a horse run into the fence and somewhere in the wreck it knocked my elbow out of joint. Ever since then, it doesn’t bend out totally straight. And the last few years, if I’m working super hard it locks up.

For whatever reason, if I squeeze it right above the joint, it doesn’t hurt and I can move it. I’ve found this also to be true on my knee. I used to try to tape them up tight with athletic tape but recently I found something a lot better. MEDI-DYNE makes a Velcro strap that you can put above your elbow or knee and tighten it down. It makes you feel like a new man. Obviously, it’s the tendons and/or ligaments that are messed up but for whatever reason, it makes my elbow feel 100 times better.

About 25 years ago I had some floating bone chips in my elbow from the horse wreck and had them removed. The bone chips would get in the joint and lock up my elbow so I had the Doc remove them.

Ugh, it’s never been the same since. This MEDI-DYNE wrap really helps.

Here's the moral: If you’re young and work on concrete or work on your feet in general, get some good boots and pads. (Or if you’re older it’s never too late to do what’s smart.) If you’re older and your joints hurt, try one of these straps like the MEDI-DYNE. I got their CHO-PAT Tennis Elbow Support. Everyone knows that real men don’t read instructions but in looking at their website they show placing the CHO-PAT below the elbow but for me it works better above. Maybe my wound is different.

P.S.: Little Tommie has no medical training so heed his medical advice at your own risk.

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. He can be reached via email at

To help prolong the life of your knees wear good boots like the Irish Setter

Post Author: By Tom Claycomb

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