Clothing: I live in the Pacific Northwest, where 6 months of the year it’s raining and just above freezing. Clothing *must* be of the warm-when-wet type, meaning polyester (fleece, wicking-type long underwear, both absorb less than 1% of their weight in water) or wool (absorbs 30% of its weight in water) and avoid cotton for other than a t-shirt (2500%). Also, raingear is mandatory. Backpack: larger than a 25 liter daypack, must have a hip belt and internal frame. The hip belt carries almost 100% of the load. Make sure you buy a size that will fit when wearing all your layers. Make sure you carry Moleskin or many good-quality band-aids, and stop immediately to deal with “hot spots” on your feet, which will turn into blisters.