As I just realized when working out just how many bottles of aquamira are required to match a sawyer squeeze filter, or tabs (about 40k sets if using rated sawyer life, about 4k if using 1/10 rated life, and just how much poison those bottles contained, all industrially generated), there's real simplicity, and then there's fake simplicity, where you simple generate the waste outside of your trip, and pretend that you didn't do that.
Since I live in the world, I am not going to pretend that waste and excess I generate outside of my backpacking doesn't count, they count, the industrial processes required merge into our ecosystem, which is where I am. And of course, there's the general shorter lives of ul gear, silnylon in particular seems to be prone to wear at far higher rates than say, 70d nylon. So that's another externalization of weight.
But overall, it is nice to go simpler, just as long as the actual plan isn't, as it often appears to be, go super simple / light, and if weather or other factors interfere, bail to suv at trailhead.
Agreed on solo, that's how to go really simple, then it's one spot, anywhere. Can always find a 2.5 x 6.5 foot flat spot, usually in that little dip between a rise and the hill behind it.
I like doodads and things, I think that's more a function of personality type than of actual decisions made, when I've got everything final and not needing too many more tweaks, I'll weigh them all and see, probably will be 2oz total I'd guess.
Agreed on alcohol stoves too, silent, simple, no moving parts. Well, my stove stand has moving parts, sort of, since it's collapsable.
I'm at the point now where I'm going to add weight, not remove it, to get back to actual simplicity again. If Lawson ever gets his thick pads up for sale, that will require re-evaluating gear again to see how to carry them.
The standard I shoot for is 'front door out weight/simplicity'. That way you get to add in tires, oil, gas, wear and tear on cars, and so on, the stuff that actually impacts the environment, and which is most certainly anything but light or simple. But once you factor that in, you get into real simplicity, and it's a lot harder, how to get to trailhead, how to get back, etc.
rusty, like you, I try to integrate my backpacking life with my day to day life, and live in a similar way, eat in a similar way, sleep in a similar way. While I have too much stuff, I have tons less than most people who talk about simplicity and ul in general, so I guess I'm doing ok. joseph, you seem like you'd be a cool person to meet on the trail, I hope we do someday on our solo trips out there.