--- Less buyers remorse now and some updated information.
I'm fortunate enough to have an official Boy Scout headquarters / store in my area. I stopped by there yesterday and I could have probably talked gear with one of the guys in there all day... unfortunately we only had about 30 minutes...
I think some of the web sites may be out of date for Philmont because now I got the impression that the kids really don't need more than a 60L pack and potentially even the case with me. So bottom line staying with the 70L pack should be more than sufficient so I don't have to rush out to return it for the larger pack. The one scout leader also helped demonstrate how to make the pack 'bigger' which I now understand when you un-cinch all of the different pieces, etc. then it makes for a lot more space than I realized.
** Here is one of his big recommendations that I think is a good one to try to use ** He mentioned that his son and him would pack and use their backpack for their regular campouts. So typically those are the equivalent of car camping, but it put them in the habit of taking all of the gear that they needed in their backpack so they formed the habit of what to take and how to pack their stuff in the pack. I may have to try doing that as well. Fun way to pack all of my gear for a weekend getaway / campout. Of course typically I just take a duffel bag and fit almost everything I need in there.
One lucky thing for me is that early on I went completely overboard on a sleeping bag and got a Western Mountaineering 20 degree Alpinlite bag that I just checked and weights just a little over 1 lb (21 oz) I have a compression sack with it that I never use, but would for backpacking Its a 6'6" bag (I'm tall) and need space, but amazingly compressible and I really like the quality put into Western Mountaineering. I have picked up a lot of my other gear recently such as a MSR universal stove, water filter, UL tent (Although I have a 3 person UL tent because I plan on getting a lot of use out of it and going back to enjoying my comfort / space. Complete packed weight of the tent is 4 lbs... if I go to a solo or 2 man 'rated' tent I could probably knock that in half easily, but sometimes they are not big enough for length or would be more cramped that I would typically enjoy having, plus my theory is that the UL 3 would be big enough to share with 1 other person 3 max inside if we really like each other on a camping excursion.
Now all I need to do is get out and find where I can go to try out the backpacking and see if I can talk someone in going with me.
---> Speaking of which since the dehydrated food looks like it can get expensive, suggestions on the best place to buy it for cost savings?