On the pack--get the rest of your gear first, then get the pack. You don't want a pack whose volume is a lot bigger than your gear, but you don't want to have to tie stuff on the outside, either. Either situation is liable to throw the pack out of balance. I'd suggest one of the lighter (under 3 lbs.) semi-frameless packs that can carry up to 35 lbs. I have the Six Moon Designs Comet with the "optional" stays (mandatory, IMHO). It weighs just under 2 lbs. I easily carried up to 37 lbs. (well, easy on my back and shoulders, but murder on my knees and feet) on one occasion. This pack is on sale (closeout, unfortunately) right now, if the volume is OK for you. The ULA packs are also excellent as are others suggested in the above posts. I wouldn't use the ones that rely only on a pad for support unless you always have total pack weight under 25 lbs. This may be hard to do in places where you need to carry lots of water plus food for a week or more. Whatever pack you order, when you get it, load it up with all your gear plus the equivalent of a week's food and a couple quarts of water and carry it around the house for several hours. Boring, I know, but you need to be sure the pack fits you and comfortably carries the weight you'll put into it while it's still returnable. Pack fit is almost as individual as shoe fit. You will not find lightweight packs in standard sporting goods stores (except possibly Granite Gear or the Osprey Exos). You'll have to be prepared to pay return postage on a few before you get a comfortable pack. While I dislike REI and their advice, they do have a couple of good videos on fitting a pack that will help you. Be sure to get someone else to measure your torso length (bump on the back of your neck to a point level with the top of your hip bones)--when I tried to do it myself, I came out several inches different every time!
If you want a completely bug and critter-free enclosure, the lighter tents from Tarptent or Six Moon Designs are generally no heavier than tarp plus bivy plus bug net. It all depends on what you're comfortable with. Or, if you have the $$$ and want a strictly solo tent, Gossamer Gear's "The One." Gossamer Gear also is getting the Squall Classic (2-person) back in stock after almost a year's "drought" (they are starting to fill back order requests now). It's the same price as "The One."
Find a pair of comfortable trail running shoes and do some hikes in your neighborhood with pack weight similar to what you'll have on a backpack trip. Try to do this on rough or at least uneven ground if you can. If they work for you on rough ground with the pack, fine. If they don't, you can still wear them for exercise walking around home. When I got mine, I ordered two pair, not knowing which size I needed. I ended up keeping both--the larger for hiking, with thicker socks, and the smaller with thin socks for everyday wear. They're more comfortable and supportive than the running shoes I used to buy for everyday wear and about $20/pair cheaper! If you decide that boots work better for you, try to get a lightweight "mid" that's well-ventilated like a trail running shoe. Get it without goretex if you can (unfortunately, that's getting more and more difficult). My experience is that once goretex footwear gets wet inside, it takes days to dry!