Well, lets' see, my first ever trip carrying a pack was a winter trip into mono lake. My parents bought me a lot of new gear for this trip, with the assumption that it would be money well spent because I could use it any time of year if I decided I liked hiking and wanted to do more. So I was pretty much stuck with that heavy base weight for a LONG time, and couldn't afford or justify buying lighter gear for summer trips. The up side of it all was that I became VERY fit when it came to hiking. I don't see anything wrong with that...I still enjoyed hiking. But that was in the 70s. There really really wasn't any light gear available at the time anyway, even for summer trips. There weren't any internal frame packs, there weren't any light stoves, pots were all stainless steel, sleeping bags were made to last forever, and the common wisdom was that down was too risky for a sleeping bag or jacket, so everything was synthetic. Just as well, coz down fill was doing well to hit 550 fill. There was no Goretex, silnylon, Caldera cones, aircraft grade aluminum tent poles, or any of the other options most consumers now have at no great increase in $$$ (except maybe good quality down, which still costs a lot). The idea of multiple use items was unheard of. A lot of my stuff was army surplus...yikes.
So we have it pretty good these days. Aside from food, fuel and water, there is no good reason someone getting kitted out now with new gear to have to carry a heavy pack, or spend a fortune, except the historic reasons that seem hard for some to overcome.