What do you mean by "I might NOT use any for 5 days."? Do you mean the onset of waterborne illness will take longer than 5 days so it's not worth the use or you only use treatment if the water source is questionable?
THere is (anecdotally) zero giardia in the North Cascades. I've talked to rangers in NCNP and they never treat their water. In the cascades, I just drink out of small little streams. I make a jugment call at each steram.
FIVE things on the checklist:
1. Popular Campsite upstream?
2. Wildlife upstream (like a big meadow in yellowstone)
3. Is this a spring? (No lake upstream)
4. Is there sh*t in the water?
5. Is there something dead in the water?
If it passes these 5, I drink up. If I get water out of a lake, I treat it with aqua-mira drops, but with - like, 1/4 of the suggested dosage.
I use this same checklist in the rockies, where there is LOTS of water bourn illness.
In the cascades I simply Hike with an empty water bottle, and carry a cup on my side pocket - and I drink whenever I'm thirsty.
Now, all that said. Don't sue me if you get sick.
The viva TP is a luxury. I'm still a newb and not hardcore enough to wipe with smooth rocks and moss.
I teach total beginners, people who have NEVER gone camping - EVER. ANd I have NEVER (EVER) taken toilet paper in 15 year of working for NOLS. And not once (I'll repeat, NEVER ONCE) has a student EVER complained. It's much easier than you thing.
This, to me, is a non-issue.
No need to take both bear string AND some sort of survival string.
I guess I don't need the pack cover especially with a poncho.
No need for a pack cover with a plastic COMPACTOR bag.
= = = =
a real knife is one of my must haves.
As an experienced educator and camper, from my experience, you do not NEED a "real" knife. You may "want" it, but that's different.
= = = =
Yes, without a bivy sack, a ground cloth is helpful and a good idea. You might wanna invest in a true bivy sack, you'll sleep a slight percentage warmer.
= = =
And I strongly advocate a cheapo postal scale. You packweight will plumit!