We normally keep the equipment in a bag until we use it for the first cliff. The distance between cliffs is minimal so wearing a harness while hiking isn't a problem.
Anyway, what routes in the Gunks are walk-off? I'm sure it's possible to just do the path in reverse.
Also, I called the parks department and they said that there are rappelling routes in the Peterskill area. Any ideas?
One more thing, I'm looking for places to rappell that has a minimum of a 20M-30M drop. If not, I'll settle for something lower. Apparently good places to rappel are very hard to find in the east coast.