Hang in there! I would get out in the backyard and test your gear before heading out. You will find that watching Shugs videos is very informational and then you will develop an addiction! LOL! Same for the forums. You are most certainly in the right place. As for pads, splurge for an underquilt. I was a pad sleeper then went to a DIY summer underquilt and just ordered a Hammockgear 0 degree incubator underquilt. Its crazy how much better it is with an underquilt. Good luck and just have fun with it.
"I love not man the less, but Nature more."