Thanks for your comments so far, glad you enjoyed it.
Roger, you're right, many retailers don't share my philosophy or passion for education. I wish more did. Hopefully a few will read this and take an idea or two to heart...
Ashley, yeah, that'd be a really light tent... my hope is the typo will be fixed soon. 2# 9oz for the solo Hubba HP. As far as Ti vs Al, write about what you know, and I guess sell what you know. I haven't used the AGG pots; I know they're pretty popular here. I have used aluminum pots before and my personal experience has led me to believe that they are more prone to sticking and a bit harder to clean. Also, most aluminum cooksets are still heavier than some of the Ti options (ie, Snowpeak's Multi-Compact sets). FWIW, I've altered the display to include a Fly Creek now... 1# 14 oz!
Mark, UL and lightweight haven't really taken hold here, either. Perhaps more so? But it can be a tough sell, which is frustrating, because carrying a lighter pack ultimately makes for a more fun trip.
Rog, yep, I shed a ton of pack weight when I started taking a good look at my layers. One pair of socks a quarter pound? This is the hardest habit to break for a lot of people: "I don't want to get cold." I've been trying to put things in practical terms, as in "Imagine yourself around a bonfire at a campground in summer... What are you wearing? A t-shirt? Flannel shirt? So why would you need more than a midlayer and a poofy down vest or jacket for a backpacking trip at the same time of year?"
Jason, I hope that some retailers do learn from this... and I also hope that consumers can learn from this.
Thomas, I think that the real reason shops only carry light gear for a year or two is the staff doesn't know how--read, isn't interested in selling the stuff. Sometimes a shop will pick up lightweight lines because they have a select staff who does have an interest in the approach; given the turn-over rate in many shops, once they leave the remaining people or newbies quite likely have no idea what the lightweight stuff is all about. This is a problem that starts at the top. Traditional backpacking gear distinctly has a place and a reason for being. But people need to truly understand how UL principles apply to backpackers of any ilk. I think it's doing a disservice to customers by not incorporating UL principles into a shop's approach to sales. A couple of our biggest challenges are institutional programs such as Scouts or NOLS; the equipment requirements can be quite rigid. I recently fitted a very small 12-year old in an 85 liter (!) pack for a multi-week mountaineering trip he was doing with his Scout group. More stunning? His Scoutmaster made him return the pack because it was too small!!!!! It's effectively the largest pack made in his torso size; we tried on other similars, this had the best fit, and an accessory pocket or two could have bumped up the volume... but that's beside the point. Why is it mandatory that a 110 pound, skinny pre-pubescent kid carry a 95+ liter pack? I think that as a retailer I bear the responsibility of consumer education. It is my duty to educate consumers, and I do my best to get people to lighten up. However, the responsibility is on us all... as Mark mentioned, spreading the word on the trail. I don't believe that UL is always right or preferable, but I do believe that many principles of it apply to just about everybody. One thing we can all do? Share the website with other backpackers, just tell them to check it out, and acknowledge that they might not want to use everything they learn there, but there's a ton of great info to get them started toward having more fun on the trail... or for those who think they can no longer hike, great info for carrying a daypack-sized, comfortable load and getting back out there. In short, I guess I'm saying (I can't believe I am, but that's another story) that we need to spread the gospel... not like the guy on the street corner screaming about evil sinners, but more of a mention in passing, perhaps mentioning a benefit or two you've seen from making the UL transition.
Sorry, a bit of a long-winded response...