"I hike because the voices in my head tell me to" This shirt says it all.
“I hike because the voices in my head tell me to” This shirt says it all.

We headed to the Mexican border for our fourth year at 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, 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.  My kids fondly call this my Woodstock with my people. They are so right. What other place on earth would I find hundreds of folks willing to talk trail and gear for hours on end?

One of the highlights of the event is the chance to attend many free classes on mountaineering skills, water sources, gear, trail food, navigation, geology, and the rich history of the PCT. But most importantly this is a mecca for networking, helping, and getting to know new people. I was pumped that I reunited and met with many thru-hikers. Here are just a few:  Boo Boo and The Tequila Kid, Swami, Skinny D, and Found.

I visited some of my favorite ultralight gear vendors: Tarptent, Gossamer Gear, StickPic, ULA, Dirty Girl GaitorsZPacks, One Pan Wonders, and the Pacific Crest Trail Association . Of course, I had a load of questions for the designers and made important purchases for my upcoming CDT hike.



Trail Ambassador for Gossamer Gear!
Also, I am super excited to announce that I have become a Trail Ambassador for the lightweight backpacking company Gossamer Gear. Gossamer Gear specializes in lightweight backpacking gear including packs, shelters, trekking poles, sleeping pads, and other accessories.

My good hiker friend, Wired encouraged me to apply a few weeks ago. Both Wired and I were among the hikers selected. Many of you know that I love and have been using the Gossamer Gear LT4S poles and Polycryo ground cloth for a few years. There are many benefits that come with being a Trail Ambassador that enables me to try new gear and pass on gear discounts to fellow hikers. But most of all trail ambassadors love to share the outdoors, outdoor skills, and lightweight gear with others. Hey that is me.

At the ADZPCTKO I was able to meet Glen of Gossamer Gear, and Disco and POD of The Trail Show podcast at the Gossamer Gear booth. I loved looking and trying on packs first hand and decided that the new redesigned Mariposa Ultralight backpack would be ideal for this summer’s thru-hike.

ADZPCTKO Gossamer Gear Booth
ADZPCTKO Gossamer Gear Booth

Here is a screenshot of the Gossamer Gear blog post announcing the new group of Trail Ambassadors. Wired and I are on the right of the collage. Very cool!

GG screen shot


  1. Pingback: The Hiking Life: Cam “Swami” Honan Visits tHInK outsidE | Lady on a Rock

  2. And so it begins… I’m not following a thur-hiker on-line this year on the PCT, but am following Wired. Looking forward to you joining her. By the way, do you know where I can purchase Dirty Girl Gaiters?

    • You are so right! But EVERYTHING is beginning, including all of your hiking. YA gotta get some Dirty Girls at
      Click on Empire of Dirt in the left hand menu, pick out your obnoxious color, size, and order. You will never regret it. Looking forward to your Yosemite posts!

  3. Very nice. Thanks for posting this. Also, welcome to the GG family!!

    • Well hello Barefoot Jake. Nice to Internet meet you! Thank you for the welcome and for sharing. I am excited to be part of a group that loves the outdoors and of course going light. A win win.

  4. Wow – such a neat event!
    I’m looking for a lightweight pack, so I’d love to know about the discount too!

  5. The Beekeeper (aka Jan aka roaming angel in bright pink hat)

    I have my Gossamer interview today! Wish me luck 🙂

    • Ahh, you are so perfect for the job. You are the Meet-up trip planner warrior. I am sure your interview went fantastic! So excited for you.

      • The Beekeeper (aka Jan aka roaming angel in bright pink hat)

        Thanks, I think it went well. The Ambassador who interviewed me is an event host in a meetup group, and had reviewed my site. Based on his further descriptions of their model ambassadors, I definitely feel like I’d be a good fit. For example tonight I had a shake-down meeting for a group I’m leading this weekend. I should know in a couple of days. FUN!

        • The Beekeeper (aka Jan aka roaming angel in bright pink hat)

          I’m a fellow Ambassador! Which model did you select?

          • Congratulations! This is a good question. I haven’t actually received a pack yet, but as you read I was able to try them on at the Kick-off. Philip of Section hiker recommended the Gorilla pack. It is less deep and has 2 less pockets than the larger Mariposa. They are both identical in all other ways. To tell you the truth I can see that I could use both of them. 🙂 For thru-hiking the CDT I am going with the Mariposa. The Mariposa would also work if you needed to carry a bear canister, but I love the smaller size of the Gorilla. For me having a smaller pack makes me stay lighter because I can’t cram in last minute items.

            For day-hiking there are a couple other ones I would love! Please let me know what you decide.

  6. OK, I’ll ask: how do we get gear discounts?

  7. steve scarano

    Sure am sorry I missed meeting you in person; I was there too. I’ve been doing some Magic at Scissors, Hwy 74, and Barrel. I will be at Barrel and/or Eagle Rock this Thursday with my infamous PB&J burritos and cookies and tea. God bless you. Hamburger Helper.

    • Ahh man I should have contacted you ahead of time. Dan and I decided to go at the last minute and we were just there just a few hours. I am glad to hear you are out there Trail Angeling. Lucky hikers! God bless you. HH

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *