Hey guys... this is probably WAY to late in the game. but i figured i would offer some replacement ideas due to the fact that being a corpsman and noting the age that you wish to attempt this awesome yet still doable feat you are aiming for. weight is a significant factor for you guys, the Appalachian trail is long and grams lead to ounces and ounces lead to Lbs. im sure people have said it but the easiest way to reduce weight is through the big three: tent: backpack, and bag. if you can reduce your bag weight that base weight allows for more creature comfort.. the ULA bag is decent yet i believe frame less. if you dont mind not sleeping together, hammocks can be a viable situation and at a pound a peice very light weight, if not and price isn't an option, what gore-tex was a decade ago now enter "Cuban fiber" 11 oz tarp can cover both of you reasonably well and you can still sleep on the ground, use your pads as support in your ULA bags and have plenty of space with food, a trangia or mini bull designs stove. there are a ton of options that can cater to your needs, and as some other posters have already noted, you dont need to do a complete overhaul just mix and match what you need. check out shugemery on you tube and gargoyle products... im not trying to sales pitch but gear availability can help a lot along the way. if you already completed it, please send pics i still hope for the day i can get a few months to do that trail myself. plus im big into the cottage products of the good ole USA