I'm in my mid-sixties. Gave up backpacking after ankle and knee problems in my mid-fifties. In the spring of 2010 I had such pain that I not only thought I'd give up dayhiking, but wondered how I'd even walk. Then after three months of 3 times a week physical therapy, I felt strong. So I tried to climb a 4000 footer in NH Whites. I didn't make it, but on another try a month later, I did. Then after two tries, I summited Lafayette and soon thereafter found this great website.
I started weighing all of my old backpacking equipment and winter clothing and comparing them with things I was reading about here. I wanted to go to my favorite winter place, Crag Camp on the side of Mt. Adams, second highest mountain in the NE, but knew I couldn't possibly do it with my wonderful but heavy older stuff. It had been ten years since I'd been able to lug my old and wounded body up there. After finding BPL, my fantastic but 7plus lb Dana Designs Terraplane pack was exchanged for a two and half lb one. My six lb old TNF bag was replaced with a three lb Montbell bag. Etc., expensive Etc., Etc. And so by last January I was able to lug a pack with four days supply up to Crag on snowshoes the entire way and made three winter ascents of Adams in snowshoes. Oh the joy.
Been on half-a-dozen hikes since. For this old guy, the new lightweight gear is a true godsend that has given me enormous pleasures that I thought I would never experience again. Thank the Lord for BPL. It is the elderly hiker's best friend.