Throw everything you think you might need into a big pile.
Consult your list to make sure there isn’t something you’ve forgotten. There usually is.
The question of “want” versus “need” gets mulled around at this point. Here’s a pro tip: DO NOT ignore your “wants”. As in “I want to have a drink at night”. This is meant to be fun.
Throw all sorts of different food together in a pile. As in step 3 above the “want” versus “need” debate takes place again. Pro tip: don’t think I eat dog food out there; that bag of treats is for the dog if she and/or he comes along.
Food prep. Most people bring waaaay too much food. People like me prey on people like that. I eat your food but I don’t have to carry it. Pro tip: you can never have too much bacon.
More food prep. This is my breakfast: 3/4 cup macaroni noodles, two strips pre-cooked bacon, tab of butter and some Parmesan. Very tasty and high in calories.
Package your meals. This makes for easy preparation out on the trail and helps with portion control.
Entertainment needs to be considered. Reading, music and substance abuse are common choices. On this trip I’m bringing the reading but not the radio. The substance abuse is being mulled over.
Coming together. Decisions get made, stuff gets packed and then some decisions get made for you.
Ta da! By hook or by crook it all comes together!