Well, after realizing I only had about two and a half months left to go, I dragged out a box filled with hiker food from trips gone by and put it all out in my office. I was surpriseed to find the different foods we had stocked up on. Had about fifteen packets of meats, lots of noodles, fruit bars, etc. They will be separated into specific mail drop boxes where food can be difficult or expensive to get. We definitely have enough to get us by the first few weeks with some to spare for other drops. And of course food will also be purchased along the way. But it was good to at least begin some organization.
Last weekend I tried on yet another pack - a new Osprey Aura, but still not enough padding for my back. It's like I have an open nerve sitting right there on my lumbar spine and any direct pressure on it makes it act up. So had my Lowes on yesterday for a practice walk around the neighborhood (has hills too here which is good) and did okay. Just hard when you see everyone gearing up with two lb packs. But I have to carry what works for me. And this works for my back.
I have been trying to keep in shape - taking long walks, and will likely be carrying my pack more often as the time draws near. Other than that, my gear looks to be in pretty good shape. I only worry about the weather in March as December has been so warm and no precip. It's a game of wait and see.