I found this video to be pretty helpful as well:
Arise... Kill, Eat! - Acts 10:13
I agree with most of your points, though loading a pack correctly starts with a properly fitted pack. I do like smaller pockets for smaller lite weight items, but those large pockets are easy to alter your weight distribution and make things hectic.
Knowing how to walk and hike correctly for your body posture is a key as well, I see way too many people slunched over...man do I feel sorry for them. Knowing how to use trekking poles is cool too, though I need to start using them more often.
As for food, Im with you. I do not eat no where near enough calories when I hike, oddly enough I do not loose much weight either. I do train a bit, which I think helps with me not loosing weight (muscle). I do try to eat high fat foods (ramen/snickers) and protein (jerky). IMO our bodies are designed to endure this type of stress (like the intermitting fasting regimes). Water is the #1 nutrient and that makes all the difference for me.
Good start Guy.
I'm a fan of Color coded Stuff sacks. I know my cooking gear and food is in an orange sack. My day snacks are in my blue sack. Extra socks hat and gloves are in a green sack, Kill Kit black sack, etc. etc. Rain Jacket is top of the sack for those quick moving storms, and the pants go in the sleeping bag compartment on the bottom 3rd. sometimes Fluffy stuff in a more flexible looser stuffsack will conform to corners of the bag better than a ultra compact hard round packed rock.
External pockets: Once I get past 3 tend to be too confusing looking for stuff.
Also I usually have the tripod on the side opposite the spotting scope. the lighter of the two goes on the rifle side.
Biggest challenge is Hydro reservoir placement. I like it between my shoulder blades but few packs have a dedicated sleeve or at least one with the correct dimensions there.
2Rocky, we actually talked about Hydration placement when we shot the video. However, the video was pretty long and we may cover it in a water filtration video at some point.
Great minds think alike Eh?
I had to put my 3 liter bladder in one of the side pockets in the J34. The new Kifaru has a dedicated bladder pocket on the inside right in the middle of the back which is perfect. It also has a place to hang the bladder instead of just placing it in the pocket. My three liter fits like a glove in the compartment.