The shoe max gets a bit tougher for large feet... 28 oz max shoe is pretty fair for size 9's but size 12 is a different matter. I'd suggest a bit more slack (32 oz?) for large feet especially as shoes are a bit specific to someone's feet. Not everyone will be able to use Inov-8's.
Jamie, I was thinking the same thing. as I wear a 12.5.
The gear list with explanations . . .I would be hundreds of dollars less poor if I had only had that to work with a year ago. The suggested weights + explanations are incredibly helpful. Even just the checklist, with no explanations, would've been great because it could've helped me to organize my thinking and plan more cost/weight effective gear buys.
One thing I would add, though, at the beginning, before everything else, in big blinking letters, is "Buy your pack last." That's one thing
BPL has taught me. I love my GG Gorilla, but I bought it in about the middle of my purchases, and now it turns out I could've gone with a Miniposa, of MLD Revolution, or ZPack Blast, and been a pound lighter and had plenty of space for my gear. That's okay, the Gorilla will be my winter pack.
Also, are watches just banned from the school, or are they considered something never to be brought? I haven't learned to tell time by the position of the sun yet, and I'm a terrible judge of distance travelled, so I consider my watch a safety/navigation device. I keep track of how long I've been hiking, so I now how long it'll take me to get back, and I have a pretty good idea of how long it takes me to hike a mile based on the terrain, so I can figure out where I'm at on the map.
For fun, I downloaded the XLS checklist, pasted it into google docs, and filled it out as if I was going on the trip. Turns out despite the haphazard nature of my UL education, I'm not in bad shape for a L-1 Trekker.
The things that are overweight are holdovers, and were things that in my gear makeover I decided were low on the dollar to weight loss/comfort improvement vs other things. New trekking poles are next on the list though as I have found that at 8.5oz/pole those things start getting heaving around 10-11 miles.
It's funny, because I thought I was buying UL to start with, but it turns out I was buying the REI/Backpacker magazine version of UL.