Mouse and Tom have arranged things so the rest of us can keep our replies short! smile Seriouslly, they did an excellent job of advising you.

Deuter makes good packs; I keep going back and forth between theirs and Osprey (I used an ACT Lite 50+10 on a trip last weekend, and it really performed well - a bit heavier than the similar Osprey Kestrel, but not much, and perhaps a bit more stable and comfortable a carry.) The 65+10 sounds a bit large for the generally lightweight direction you seem to be heading; you may eventually downsize, depending on the length of your trips and conditions you expect.

I've used the Sawyer Squeeze filter on two trips so far, and really like it. Very easy to use, no moving parts to break (though you still don't want to see if it bounces on rocks), good taste to the water, and field maintainable. Even with a filter, carry some tablets for backup; Murphy's Law ("if it can break, it will - at the worst possible time) was probably discovered by backpackers.

Depending on your cooking style, look at the Jetboil Sol if the alcohol stove doesn't work out. For years, I was sold on the simple pot and canister stove (MSR Pocket Rocket and Titan Kettle) for the cooking Mouse describes; the original Jetboil was way too heavy. But the Sol gets the weight down close enough to the old combo that its additional wind resistance and fuel efficiency make it worth carrying. (Note: "make it worth carrying" is a subjective, not objective, statement - in the end, the decision that matters to you is yours, not mine.)

Enjoy learning, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and keep an open mind. And be sure to ask questions - we can mislead you with the best of them! smile