Great report & pics. Thanks for sharing.
You talked about pack weight. It looks like you have the ILBE pack. I have one. I really like it, and it is built like a tank, but it is almost 10 lbs before you load the first item into it. I had to find another pack to shave some weight myself, but I am old and fat too. I'll let you younger guys carry the heavier bag!
Again, nice report. I enjoyed it!