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 Gaitors, ZPacks, 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.
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!