I'm working on planning a trip to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in the latter part of March. It will be 6 days, 5 nights. I've never done a trip of this length, and was looking for some tips. I picked up the Trails Illustrated map from REI, and I've ordered this book from Amazon, which should be here this week. http://www.amazon.com/100-Trails-Big.../dp/0898866383 My plan is to head North from the park headquarters on the John Muir Trail, all the way up to the John Muir Overlook, then head South to Gobblers Knob, Twin Arches, Charit Creek Lodge, Bandy Creek, and then back to the HQ. The trip may end up taking less than 6 days, but there are a lot of side trails and sights to see. Also anyone familiar with the area, please feel free to give me your input as well. This is my gear list for now:

Golite Jam
Platypus Big Zip SL 3.0
2 - 1L Smart Water bottles
Alps Mountaineering 20* Synthetic bag
Stoic LTWT full length inflatable pad R-2.9
3/4 length CCF pad(used as frame for pack, and sit pad, and additional bottom insulation
Golite poncho/tarp
First Aid Kit that I've added some things to
Headlamp with extra battery
HH Hammock and Hex Tarp with all lines and stakes needed
Extra cordage and an extra set of tree huggers
Firesteel, lighter, matches, dryer lint
Camp Soap, TP, toothpaste, toothbrush
Grease Pot, Heine stove, spoon, pot lifter, pot stand, windscreen, 16oz fuel
Katadyn Hiker filter
REI Peak UL Trekking Poles
Clothing is TBD closer to the date of the hike
Food will probably consist of prepackaged freeze dried/dehydrated foods

My thoughts are to open and repackage the meals into halves in freezer bags, and make a reflectix cozy for them to save on some bulk and weight. I am going to shoot for having a UQ/TQ by the time I go to replace the inflatable pad and sleeping bag. They'll be smaller and lighter than the bag/pad combo. Any ideas on gear changes, tips, or especially ideas about food are all VERY welcome. Oh, I forgot to mention, I'll have 1-2 other people with me as well.