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[at-l] gear list in order of priority

Dear People,
          ... you are a novice hiker.
          ... you have no gear.
          ... you have an unlimited cash flow.
          ... you want to thru-hike the AT.
          ... you have all the time in the world to prepare.
      I know that the pack is the last thing to purchase, and I already have my cell phone powered and charged and ready to go (only joking). Taking all of this into account, what would you suggest purchasing first? Basically, I'm trying to figure out where I should begin. My thoughts are leaning towards boots and clothing, but only nudging out the "kitchen" by a tad. Also, I wonder if it would not be prudent to purchase a few things to use for now, and then purchase more specialized versions of the same, but later on when it is much closer to my actual thru-hike. Would it be a good idea to buy a pack and fill it with rocks and just walk around with it on all the time? Would it be a good idea to beat the hell out of some clothing just to see what it will take? Things like this I realize may have obvious answers. What I'm really hoping this will do is get you all posting like crazy so that I can get as many ideas as possible to run...er hike... with. 
      By the way, I went on my first hike in eons last weekend. It was about 30 minutes long and the 2 year old that was with us moved faster than I did, but at least it loosened up my ankle and didn't aggravate my back too badly. A year from now I'd like to make that same hike in 29 minutes... maybe even less. LOL! Keep in mind, I'm not lazy, just recovering from car accident induced injuries.
           Thanking you in advance for your help,
Buddhist thought for the day:
Do not speak- unless it improves on silence. 

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