Weight really does matter no matter how big you are. You may be able to carry a bag of cement from the truck easier than a small person, but it's a whole new game when you are carrying it the equivalent of up and down the Empire State Building. Then your own body weight becomes a disadvantage.

There are 7 or 8 people on the site who drug my choices through the mud all through the summer. Now my pack is under 26 pounds for a 3 night/4 day trip. Down from 43 pounds at the beginning of the summer. It could be a couple pounds lighter, but I decided to keep some things. (Like the pack.)

The best advice was getting a postage scale to weigh everything. The second best thing I did was make a spreadsheet of what I carried and the weights. Mine is below. There are some things I don't bring others consider essential. A knife, compass, toilet paper, sleeping pad. There are other things I could replace with lighter or better choices, but I'm not ready to spend the money yet. A new sleeping bag is likely what I'll buy next, but I'm still debating which one.

Cost is also a factor. $62 seems excessive for a compass unless you are orienteering.

Look at the websites people have in their signature's. Lori's is real good. And so is balzaccom's.

Here is my list. None of it is especially expensive or top of the line. I'd suggest making one for yourself so it gives some direction to your purchases. BTW, I have Danner boots with an 8" top and I love them. It's one place I go completely against the crowd.