John - Thanks for the links. Will take a little while to go through the former one, but looks like he's doing the same thing as me, so that should be helpful.
Benjamin - Yeah, I'd like to keep it within carry-on size. Fuel I can purge, and I'm fairly iffy about whether I want to get poles (I've never used 'em, just my [very stout] oak walking staff) anyway.
My packing list for travel isn't all that much more than for camping. The "second aid" kit is a bit bigger - antivirals, antimalarials, etc - plus the various paperwork, paperwork-concealers, and more personal care / "look presentable for the nice border guard with the AK" stuff.
I'm not actually sure it'd fit in 2900cuin. The main pack of my CJ is 2700; the tent and bag take up a pretty significant amount of that... but I don't have the rest of the gear just yet (freshly ordered), and I know there's more room in there than there appears, so maybe it is. I was expecting to need something on the order of 3600cuin/25lb purely after reading the various backpackers' travel guides, but I haven't updated the volume estimate at all since then, as I've not been keeping track.
I know the "cable the bag to the rack" trick, and I intend to use it; what concerns me is that, as far as I can tell (I haven't seen most of them in person), those packs have nothing but a cinch or a buckle to keep them closed. That doesn't help me when I fall asleep, or when my bag gets tossed on the roof of a bus (and other people inevitably care to take the "suicidal" seating section).
The lock, really, is to prevent that level of prying. I don't have any belief that they'd withstand a few minutes alone with tools; I've broken (and picked) locks before, and I'm not that naive about them. But I'd feel a lot more secure if it did require someone to break out the dykes, rather than just open up and look around. Lockable zippers would do that. (Your Ghost looks, from the pics, like it might be capable of this - y/n?)
A side question: do you find it necessary to use a daypack, given that your main pack is already fairly small? I suspect that would simplify matters yet further if so.
Mark - Let me restate my point about locks (I think what I just wrote may not have been accurate enough). They're not protection, they're a delaying / awareness-raising tactic. That's what any security system is; ain't nothing that can't eventually be beat, or with the willingness to make enough noise. I'm just willing to bet that they're not willing to make that much noise (or effort) right next to me, though, or in public - which is the level of protection I'm looking for. I'm fully aware that if they do steal my *pack*, then yeah it's a cinch to break the locks. (This is where insurance comes in.) I just don't want to be robbed *before* that happens (and also, that's where cable-locking to a rack works - since they can't take the bag away...)
What's "numbered tape"? And, um, tape over the closure? Wouldn't that be a pain *and* wearing (or at least gumming) on the pack?
Clothing: One thing I'm a bit confused about is what functional roles I need to fill. I'm only used to civvie clothes. My understanding from what I've read is that it's:
a) capilene undies (of any weight?)
b) one soft-warm-general-use jacket
c) one wind/water proof shell
d) one pair general-purpose pants
Is that correct? Or is the 'insulation' layer separate? Or for that matter, would you need the same split functionality in pants also?
Dressed up is good; I'll need to at least be *able* to look decent, for fancy (or legal, or diplomatic) situations - not much of a consideration on the trail. :-P
I think best when I have a set role to fill, can then compare specs / reviews, and then choose amongst the top candidates based on feel. As it is, the ambiguity of which slots I need to fill for what (and with what potential range of candidates) has me somewhat decision-paralyzed.
(The best I've come up with so far is that it seems like Integral Designs eVent Rain Jacket is the leading wind/water proof shell significantly [and looks pretty], and that the Buff and Polar Buff would probably make good replacements for a bandanna and cold-weather-headgear respectively.)