My first big gear purchase was in 1967, an REI McKinley down bag, which only lasted 40 years. I did the JMT in 1971 with a tube tent (no tent), no water filter, no bear canister, and no stove. We were not trying to be light, but those were not even available then. I thought I was being quite innovative by having a nylon shirt.
I was always interested in photography and climbing, so a 10 lb rope and a 12 pound hardware rack abd a camera, tripod and tele lens made light weight impossible. I kept up backpacking and climbing for 35 years, not worrying too much about weight. In mountain rescue work my pack got heavier, and doing nordic ski patrol my first aid kit got huge.
With my pay for teaching a college backpacking class and a winter camping class, I got a Western Mountaineering Megalight about 8 years ago, and replaced my Kelty Tioga with an Acteryx Bora 65, which weighed 6.5 pounds.
I got an REI Flash 65 about 4 years ago to replace the Arcteryx, and about 5 years ago I got a Tarptent.
I was always a skeptic of alcohol stoves, thinking how much weight could really be saved over a GigaPower stove and a 4 oz canister? Then I tried a Caldera Cone, and I was sold mostly on the silence and lack of mechanical parts, and versatility in cooking. I guess I've been at a plateau for 3 or 4 years, at 14.5 pounds before camera and fishing gear.