As for the pack, it is very small. It is almost full to the brim with 4 days food. I have a ULA ohm @ 22oz which I'm still debating taking instead. I'd really prefer the zero though. It also isn't a bare bones zero. It has a mesh pocket, top strap for putting things on top of the pack, padded hip belt, sternum strap, and a shoulder pouch. I've learned to do without the side pockets in the name of weight savings and will either strap the platy on top of the pack or put it inside the pack.
As for the first aid kit. Yes, I know it's terribly heavy. Alot of the weight comes from being as self sufficient as possible and not resupplying meds at every town. What I mean by that is for example is I carry a 10 day supply of some things such as glucosamine/chondroitin pills, MSM powder, ibuprofen, and daily vitamins. I have bad knees so I like to take y joint supps. Maybe I'll phase them out eventually when I get my trail legs. That alone accounts for 4oz of the weight. Some other items I have a 20 day supply of for example 3x antibiotic, Dr. Bronners soap, and vaseline. That's 2.5oz right there. I also have a round of doxycylyne which is 1oz. I know I can eliminate alot of weight from these items alone but my thinking is that I don't want to be buying bottles of all this stuff and tossing it out for only a little of each. What are your thoughts on this?
I'm definitely open to suggestions in the area of clothing. I'd just love love love to leave the down booties, leggings, and hoody out. I get cold feet at night if it's terribly cold out, maybe I should opt for stuff sacks over the feet instead for the couple cold nights I may see. The leggings will be needed if it gets into the 20s not for any other use besides sleeping, I'd like to leave them out but I don't know. Can I be sure I won't see temps in the 20s again? As for the nano puff, I don't have to hood on mine :( I've been seriously debating leaving the hoody at home and I think I will. I'll have to then take a different long sleeve shirt for 4.25oz then otherwise I'll have only the t-shirt to wear. The neck warmer is just a personal preference thing and you'll probably still think I'm crazy but I consider it part of my system and it gives me alot of adjustability in how warm/cool I am.
Rain gear, I'm gonna be using a poncho tarp with the wind shirt under it. I know it's pretty minimal but is that realistic? I don't think I'll need rain pants because I've hiked in rain in temps around 40* and lowing as the day progressed and my pants totally wetted out and I was fine.
Ah, I knew the knife would be a laughing point. I know I don't need it for defense. What can I say, I like a big knife. I also prefer wood fires and can get one going even in days of rain. I only need to cook 1 meal a day and I'm hoping to grow more fond of no-cook food like couscous. I currently have the alcohol stove as backup and 2oz of alcohol. If anything I hope to stop carrying those items eventually. Who knows, maybe I will get tired of making wood fires to cook with but I haven't yet. Only time will tell. Heck maybe I'll even mail home the knife eventually, but that's just one luxury I like to have.