“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Last weekend we headed to the Mexican border to experience the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) at Lake Morena State Park. This gathering is like a big healthy pep rally for PCT hikers, section hikers, trail angels, groupies (Us!), gear vendors, and organizers. Many of this year’s aspiring thru hikers will start this week the 2,600 mile, 5 month journey from 20 miles south of Lake Moreno at Campo, CA.
About 700 people show up during this 3 day event to get advice on food, mountaineering skills, water sources, gear, mountain lions, navigation, and bears. We even viewed movies from previous trips. But most importantly this is a mecca for networking and getting to know new people. I was excited to meet Monty and White Beard, Yellowstone, Skyward, Bag Lady, and Eric the Black all whom I have been following their PCT planning through Online Trail Journals.
Some of my favorite small ultralight gear vendors were on site selling their wares: Tarptent, Gossamer Gear, Stikpic, PCT Atlas, and ULA. Of course, I had a load of questions for the designers and was able to narrow down my next purchase, a Tarptent Moment tent! and scored a Stikpic (our new toy) for $10.00.
Really Helpful Advice for This Year’s Hike:
-snow has not even begun to melt in the Sierras, ice ax a must, ascend and descend straight up and down the steep , snow-covered passes, cross high passes early in the day
-cross high streams in the morning before snow melt of the afternoon and a cross a little up trail where it is not as swift and deep, cross in your shoes
-a mountain lion we would be lucky to see in our lifetime, so little human casualties there are no real statistics
– always STOP (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan)
– keep it light and keep it simple