Dena--Most people assumed the definition of communism in the communal sense, not the political sense, based off the responses. I did. It doesn't change the fact that I believe in personal responsibility. I'll help someone if they are injured or ill, but I'm not going to carry their load for them if they exercised poor judgment on their packing. That would merely be enabling them to do it again next time. Better they learn not to do that again. To me, that's rational. Conversely, if I'm the one who overpacked, I don't expect anyone to carry my load. I'll learn from it, and do better next time. If that means there are people that wouldn't want to hike with me, I'm good with that, because it doesn't sound like we would have compatible personalities.
If we were hiking together and you overpacked and didn't want help, I certainly wouldn't push the issue. But if you said to me you exercised poor judgement and were struggling, or if I asked b/c you seemed to be having difficulty and you admitted your error, I would absolutely offer. If a person is miserable from too much weight I think they've learned the lesson. I don't see where it's teaching personal responsibility to let someone else's trip be significantly compromised or ruined from something that is easily remedied. The only exception would be if this person were a repeat offender, in which case I still offer, but afterward decline to hike with that person again and tell them why if they ask.
If I'm with a group it's for sharing the experience with others (if I don't want that, I just go by myself) and it's no fun if someone is miserable.