Well after months of reading HF, White Blaze, Section Hiker and MyFlorida Hikes I think I'm finally ready to get back into backpacking. Its been about 35years since I first got involved and it lasted for about 5 years with the companionship of my wife. But when kids came along we continued camping, but were restricted ourselves to car/tent camping for some silly reason. But now at the age of 60, my silly dream of thru hiking the AT has been creeping back into my brain. Anyway, as part of my research and to my total enjoyment I ran across Shug's videos and on YouTube and through them and others learned about the forums I've already mentioned. In the end I've learned a lot and came to the conclusion that Hammock Hanging is the way I want to go. However, living in South Florida, finding technical advise from UL Backpacking shops is pretty much nonexistant. So, I'm coming to the forum for ADVISE.
1) Should I purchase a backpack first and build my equipment around the pack or vise versa?
2) Being that I will be doing most of my hiking in South and Central Florida any advise on Skeeter Beater Hammocks as a starter? I know a trap is a necessity and will be getting that when I decided on the hammock.
3) For now I'm thinking I could get away with a closed cell sleeping pad instead of a Under Quilt. Any Floridians with advise on this would be most welcomed!
I'll thank you in advance for any suggestions.