Some basic preparations for this trip (and others) included physical training, surgery and snake proofing my dog. The physical training is a given for any rigorous outdoor activity. I'm fortunate enough to live 2 blocks from a Mountain Preserve where I have easy access to miles and miles of hiking trails. I try to hike on a daily basis with my dog. A few years ago I finally had an artificial disc put in my lumbar spine so that I could continue to carry a heavy pack. The pain was getting to be a bit too much. For desert travel, it was imperative to "snake proof" my dog. This is basically aversion therapy to the scent and sound of rattle snakes. Hopefully his avoidance will provide me with extra safety as well. If it fails, I guess I can always eat him on the trail.
Dog: Early human and animal detection system. Emits a low metered "woof" providing ample time to gain situational awareness. Added warmth at night.
Shoes: Inov-8 312 GTX trail shoe. Most people prefer hiking boots, but I'll trade the ankle support for the shear comfort and traction any day.
Trekking poles, water bottles, Jet Boil stove, fuel, eating utensil, pillow, fire kit, tinder, binoculars, knife, handgun magazines, glasses, handgun, watch, belt, rain poncho, GPS (and backup), water purifier, batteries, bio-degradable toilet paper, freeze dried food, clothing, field books, pen and paper, bandana, food bars and energy shots, toiletries, first aid, (sat-phone not pictured).
This is a "basic" list of the gear I'm using on the trail. I'm constantly refining my systems, looking for better gear or making adjustments based on the specific needs of the hike. For example, for really warm hikes, I'll ditch the sleeping bag and replace it with a few simple warm layers. UPDATE: I've added back the sleeping bag, ditched toiletries, binos, books and water filter.
Pack: Osprey Atmos 65. This is considered an ultra-light pack, but I tend to load it pretty heavy and it still performs well.