Hello and a good day to you!! My question is a simple one although I am unsure if the answer will be.  I am a newcomer to the world of hiking and backpacking.  I intend to embark on a journey, that one called the PCT.  I have wanted to do this for years but like so many folks, I just worked too many hours. As this is no longer the situation, my dream journey will come to fruition.  I have been compiling my gear and thanks to the good folks at the REI store near me, I have become quite familiar with what will be required. The last two big items I must purchase are my hiking boots and my backpack. Now, REI said that when I was ready, I should come in and try out various backpacks because everyone's physical frame is different. They have those weighted pillows they load the pack with and....Well, I know you are aware of REI protocol.  You guys are the best, by the way.  However, I am sure you see my situation already.  How can I determine which backpack is best for my frame and my needs if I cannot go in the store now?  The hiking boots present the same problem. Suggestions I am wide open to receive.  Thank you in advance for your response.  Blessings to all you good folks at REI!

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