2003: ADZPCTKO 5
Comments from Attendees
Paul "Mags" Magnanti (PCT '02): As I sit here in Boulder, I am still
trying to come off my emotional high from this past weekend.
From the moment I left San Diego until, I had a smile on my face that would
not go away. I have not seen some of my friends from last year since Manning
Park last September. No matter, picked up the conversation without missing a
beat. In addition, to seeing my PCT buddies from last year, it was great to put
names to faces I only knew from register entries, and make new friends in the
It was also great seeing trail angels who helped myself and others so much
last year, along with people I have known for a while now in the hiking
A big kudos to the organizers of this year's KOP. What a great job!
Mixed emotions for me...it was VERY tempting to put on a pack and head north
again. Esp. after walking a mile up the trail with Yogi and Gottago as they head
to Manning again this year!
Posted some photos at:
My camera battery died before I could take more photos, but it does gives a
flavor of this weekend's events.
Another successful start to the thru-hiking season...
Switchback: Had another great time at the Kickoff this year. I even
stayed for the group picture, which is a first for me. My observations:
- Thanks to the organizers for all their work and dedication and putting on
a great event. They even had name tags this year for registered folks.
- Tried to support the event by renting a campspot for myself and for anyone
who need a place to stay.
- Did a little hiking north out of Lake Morena and around Boulder Oak
Campground. Really enjoyed the hikes. Will do things like this again next
- Early Saturday morning had breakfast at the Lake Morena dinner/store and
then drove to Mt. Laguna and had their blueberry pancake special at their very
fine restaurant!!! Mt. Laguna is a beautiful place. The clerk at the
store/motel said the snow or rain expected Monday. Neat talking to him about
- Thought Flyin' Brian looked very thin. I have several pounds I can give
him if he needs to add some weight.
- Learned about alcohol stoves. Something to think about. Really nice people
at the Kickoff to help you be a smarter and better hiker.
- Some thru-hikers made fun of my new 3-pound solo tent. Ha, ha, I will just
take it back to REI and get a new 2-pound system. So, there.
- The silicone-nylon fabric for tents/tarps is making bivys obsolete. The
TarpTent was by far the most popular tent. Very light and roomy. Good bye
bivys for 3-season backpacking.
- The weather this year was great and not like last year.
- Lots of neat inventions, ideas, and products displayed.
- PCTA was doing a land-office business selling stuff.
- Looked like there were a little more people than last year. Maybe around
300, but I could be way off. I did a rough count at the auction and not
everyone was there.
- When I arrived Friday morning, I was surprised at all the tents and people
already there. The tent population seem to increase by half again by Saturday
afternoon. Again, I could be wrong on this. I wish I had counted the tents.
- I learned something very important. My all netting tent philosophy is not
too smart for keeping out of the sun in camp. Being a diabetic, my skin is
sensitive to the sun. So I am going to explore the new GoLite Lair system.
Still get the views but with good single wall light weight protection.
- Saturday morning made me think about dew and nylon. Really a wet wake up
for everyone, at least on their nylon surfaces.
I still plan to go into Kennedy Mdws in June with a Pringle load for the
Well, I better start redoing my lightweight backpacking system for the 2003
season after all the thinking and things I saw at this year's Kickoff.
Again, thanks to the organizers and best of luck to the class of 2003. Happy