Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off

Since 1999

Help Feed a Hungry Hiker

Putting on an event like ADZPCTKO isn't free, and we'll gladly accept your tax-deductible donation to cover some of the costs.

Q. So how much does this cost?

The "budget" (as if we were organized enough to have a budget) for this year's event is nearly $30,000. That covers the camping fees at Lake Morena, food and drinks, table rentals, portable toilets, and miscellaneous expenses. ADZPCTKO is put on entirely by volunteers.

Q. How much should I donate?

Don't let us hold you back; go crazy. But if you want a suggestion, how about this: In addition to the $30 registration fee for yourself and others in your party, toss in another $20 to sponsor a 2015 hiker.

Q. Why do 2015 PCT hikers get a break?

This event is for you. You have enough things to worry about and costs to cover in order to accomplish this incredible journey. We want to do this for you to lighten the tension of starting out, kill a lot of those damn butterflies, and share with you just a bit of the magic and wonder that we have experienced. Unlike previous years, it is no longer free for thru hikers to attend the Kick Off. Instead, thru hikers get a 2/3 discount off the normal fee:

  • The $10 fee is a nominal amount, and is much less than our cost per hiker. 
  • The fee is the same amount Lake Morena would charge thrus to stay for two nights; however, at the Kick Off, the fee includes presentations, vendor displays, some meals, and lots of camaraderie. 
  • We are doing our part to decrease the sense of entitlement that has been steadily increasing over the years. By paying a nominal fee, thru hikers make a contribution not only to the event but to the community that helps support them on their journey.
  • Charging a nominal fee also decreases the number of no-show thru hikers, which can be as high as 25% in some years.  

We hope you will agree that is a positive change that will ripple out into the greater PCT community.   

We think you will find this a very comfortable, low key, fun thing. Please consider coming to the ADZPCTKO next year, contributing to cover yours and perhaps others' expenses and sharing your most recent experiences of your 2015 hike with those that aspire to thru-hike in 2016. We are pleased to put this on and look forward to meeting you and all of the class of 2015.

Q. What if you collect more in donations than you spend?

First, of course, we'll try to find more ways to spend money. Anything left over will be used to purchase badly needed items requested by Lake Morena County Park rangers and/or donated to the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA).

Q. Other than cash donations, how can I help?

How about donating a prize for the gear contest or raffle? We also appreciate the help of volunteers for various tasks throughout the weekend. You can sign up in advance to volunteer; at the event, check with the volunteer coordinator in the registration area (site 1).

Q. Is this tax deductible?

We are a 501c3 charitable organization. The part of your donation over $30 (the fair market value of event attendance) may be tax deductible. (Remember, however: we are hikers, not tax advisers.)


Q. How do I donate?

Thought you'd never ask. We have two easy ways to pay:

  • Pay online through PayPal. If you don't have a PayPal account, not to worry. You can use any major credit card. Just click the Donate button below.

  • If you prefer to write a check, please mail your donation (payable to ADZPCTKO) to:
    c/o Carl Siechert
    396 W Washington Blvd #500
    Pasadena CA 91103-2002

Donor Wall of Fame

With their generous donations of $100 or to ADZPCTKO this year, these folks have truly helped us to go the distance. Our thanks go to each of them.


Backcountry Ninjas

Lon "Halfmile" Cooper


Gossamer Gear

Guthook's Guides

Hyperlite Mountain Gear


Christine "Ceanothus" and Chuck "Igor" Kudija

LightHeart Gear

Barney "Scout" and Sandy "Frodo" Mann

Carl and Jan Siechert

Six Moon Designs

Squatch Films

Switchback the Trail Pirate


Trail Logistics

Alice Tulloch

ÜLA Equipment

Wolverines of the PCT

Yogi's Books

Carol Wicker