For those that are interested in getting out off the beaten path, so to speak, next summer I recommend getting out and doing some physical training over the winter. Get used to hiking, and carrying a load on your back. If you have access to mountains or hills with some elevation near you, go hike there and get to where you can do a 10 mile day without being wasted the next day. Start small and build your way up. If you dont have hills near by, still go out and hike. Another thing for those that live in an area with less than ideal topography is to do box steps. Google can explain what a box step is, but train at home with a pack weighing 20% of your body weight. Shoot for the max number of steps you can do in 10 min. Your glutes and calves will hate your at first, bit its a really good exercise to build up core strength.
If you don't have a good backpack as of now start searching and find some thing that fits you well. An ill fitting pack can make the most benign hike torture. Take advantage of REI used gear sales when they happen, and search craigslist for gear as well. Generally you should aim for about 20% of your own body weight as the max load you will carry. Lighter is better if you can swing it. Shoes or boots that fit well are also important. I normally wear trail runners when backpacking, even when going up steep stuff. Makes hiking so much more enjoyable when you're not wearing big clunky gore-tex boots.
I'm a cheapskate (I owe it to my Scottish heritage) and I've managed to put together a pretty good backpacking kit picking up stuff used when deals present themselves on craigslist, hiking and backpacking forums and discount sites. Here's a link to my normal backpacking kit which I took on the trip that Cris and I did: https://docs.google....dit?usp=sharing My base weight was around 17 lbs before food and water. If i can think of anything else to add I'll post here. If you have any questions, just let me know