To the third half of the post about kit.
These folks have the best site on personal military equipment. I can't say enough about them. They evaluate the latest equipment from many manufactures. Plus, they have many, many, many photos of the gear.
Remember, watch those opinions.
"Kit Up is the stuff you weren't issued but that you couldn't have done without during your military life." They even have an outdoors and survival category on the left side of their web page.
I'll say it again.
Make sure you are buying much needed beans, bullets, and band-aids before the Batman belts and other bullsh*t.