When I found this site I was in the same position you are in now. So much good info from folks here helped me to reconsider everything I accepted as normal in heavier load backpacking. Fortunately I had not made any gear purchases before getting help here.

As most of our trips can be spontaneous 2 day overnighters or 3 day trips a few hours North of us in the Adirondack area I wanted to formulate a plan for our overnight packs and then decide from there what will be needed for extended trips.

I started looking at lists and refining list and what I found was much of the secret of weight reduction was being brutally honest about what was just not necessary to take with us. I found as everyone here advised that too much clothing was the biggest gangster robbing us of lighter packs. I simply go with the clothes on my back and enough insulating layers (fleece, down sweater, rain wear) to be safe and dry. Sometimes I will take 1 extra pr. of underwear/socks but even that is not necessary. (I will take a hat and gloves in colder weather)

When I had a list that included the bare essentials for a safe and relatively comfortable trip I evaluated every piece of gear based on performance, weight and cost. For instance for our water filter I looked at just about every variation, listened to what others were using, read reviews and then settled on a filter. Our choice was a sawyer squeeze which works for us very well. This choice just happened to be the least expensive, lightest and best preforming for our purposes. I wish all the items on my list were as easy as that.

Some of our gear is a few oz.'s more than what can be had for newer versions of the same but IMO and my budgets it is not worth replacing until worn out.

So now that we are at the essentials I don't see a need to add anything more for longer trips than extra food and stove fuel generally speaking. You will find after your first time out with less that it is incredibly liberating and you will be super stoked at the lightening up of your packs. That's where the neurosis starts! cry Next your replacing guy lines with super light material, replacing your barrel locks with mini's, and cutting straps and stuff sack ties to minimum if you even bother with them. IMO if you start cutting wash tags off your gear its time for an intervention. wink