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[at-l] gear list in order of priority

In a message dated 4/17/2005 3:14:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time,  
infinity1plus1@yahoo.com writes:

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. 
I began with my big 3...
Tent (Nomad lite)
Sleeping bag (MountainSmith vision down +15 bag) & silk liner (Jag  bag)
Sleeping pad (old 3/4 Thermarest, later replaced by 2" 3/4 thermarest  LE,
I have a bad back).
THEN I got my pack (ULA P2).
My kitchen wasn't a big consideration...
pepsi can stove
Pot with home made lid
Pot stand (wire mesh)
wind screen (made out of oven liner)
All of this weighed very little and all fit in my pot.

My  thoughts are leaning towards boots and clothing, but only nudging out the 
 "kitchen" by a tad. 
My boots, I lucked into... Tried a pair of Lowa Tempest mids on at my local 
outfitter (one of the few size 14 boots he had), and they were fantastic  
enough not to bind, or hit my toes on the down hills, I use merino wool  
Blisters were the exception on my thru, not the rule. 
BE SURE YOUR BOOTS FIT!!! Whatever they are.... Too tight, too lose, tooo  

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. 
Fill the pack with STUFF, that resembles your gear, so you get used to  hiking
with gear in the pack (get used to packing it)... Unless you will really be  
rocks.. ;-)
hotdog AT 03
PS Don't over plan your hike... Just enjoy it.

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 

Thanking you in advance for your help,

Buddhist thought for the day:
Do not  speak- unless it improves on silence.