I've officially been adventuring for a fortnight! I wish to sincerely thank the bar, because I would be making far less wise choices without your advice and commentary. I don't know if ya'll realize how special you are, because I've never in my life had a collection of such skilled enthusiasts help me out like this. Every other major project I've had, I've either been surrounded by enthusiasts just as untrained as me (yay college!), completely on my own (yay mathematical theorem proving!), barely supported by a single overworked expert (yay thesis & computer programming!) or actively mocked and derided (Yay trying to do things right in the workplace!). So I'd like you to realize that I realize that this is a priceless situation and I'm darned lucky the forum exists.
Today was a day filled with small details.
In honor of Nomad's assertion that logging will help in the long run, I updated my spreadsheet. I've decided to spend the next several days testing out outfits to see what chafes, and adding the ones that work to my spreadsheet. I've discovered a ruthlessness I didn't know I had in me: I'd been holding on to a pair of expensive leggings for years, but after today, when they chafed and fell down, I ditched them without a second thought. I also watched one of the first-aid videos and made a list of basic supplies. Then I fled the dingy computer loft and luxuriated in the sunshine.
I discovered a way to refill my camelback one-handed. Instead of wearing it on my back, I wore it on my front, and was able to unscrew the lid. I got a pitcher of water and carefully poured it into the bladder. This was a challenge, because the walls stick together. As I did, I had a sudden insight about why camelbacks are bags instead of stiff containers: when you suck out the water, the walls collapse. With a stiff container, I'd be creating a vacuum that would be really difficult to drink from. With this insight, I blew air back into the camelback and the bladder inflated a bit, making pouring easier.
I left the camelback mounted on my front instead of my back, put on my mostly empty backpack, and walked around the farm. I discovered I prefer having it in front, because the camelback has convenient pockets for me to stash things. I really dislike getting my backpack down to pull out something minor like a pad of paper, or even major like a bottle of water. I've decided that I want things like my water and medkit to be instantly accessible, so in the near future I will be reinventing web gear.
I went shopping in the community closet and found another pair of boots to try. I didn't get around to taking a walk, because the rest of the day was devoted to SCIENCE! I had a thick sheet of plastic I looted from an industrial-strength trash bag. It was a long rectangle, and when I folded it in half, it formed a square. To me, squares = origami, and one of the first things I'd learned to fold as a kid was the origami water balloon. (http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-water-balloon.html) I folded the plastic into the baloon and filed it with water. Or rather, half-filled it. Because of the location of the folds, the baloon starts leaking if you fill it more than halfway. That, and the plastic had a tendency to unfold itself. To combat this, I clipped strategic folds with office binder clips. The whole thing held together temporarily, but I ended up ditching the water bomb idea and instead folding the plastic into an origami square base. (http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-square-base.html), filling it with water, and tying off the top with a jumprope. Right now it's hanging from a tree to see how long it can store water. (It doesn't store water if I just put it on the ground, because it seeps out the top.
Then, to help with my desire for more front-accessible storage, I reinvented the scottish sporran: i.e. I found a purse and messed with it until it hung off my belt. It was a pretty big purse, so I stuffed three grapefruit in it to test it. It wasn't too uncomfortable for the short haul, but over the long haul having fruit knocking against my pelvis every time I took a step is a no-go. I want to try something more like the front pocket of a hoodie.
Evilpenguin said that as far as camping goes, I'm definitely not there yet. I agree. The three-mile hike I took the other day to test my boots was a strain, not to mention the fact that I've got bad boots in the first place. Much as I want to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and go hiking down to set up camp by the lake, I really shouldn't.