+1 on the thanks to all of you.
Ill never forget a trip I took to the Porcupine Mountains about 4 years ago. I carried about 45-50 pounds...heck, my EMPTY Gregory pack weighed 8 pounds. I had heard of UL backpacking and I thought those people were weird. I was NEVER going to just sleep next to a log!!!!! I liked sleeping in a tent!!!
As I struggled up hills and teetered as I crossed streams, we kept being passed by this couple in what looked like daypacks!! and gym shoes!! I thought...those are those crazy people who sleep in the shelter of a log and eat cliff bars 3x/day.
But then we ended up camping somewhat near them - my dog kept wandering over to play with their dog - and as I walked over to retrieve my retriever I saw they had a tent. And a stove. And utensils. Hmmm...
The the next morning as they gleefully passed us on the trail while we huffed and puffed just putting on our packs, and had to sit and rest so many times to get that weight off our backs, I again looked at those teeny little daypacks and thought..."how the heck do they do that??"
And now, thousands of dollars later (argh!!), multiple iterations of my kit (I made the all-too-common mistake of GRADUALLY going lighter), I now have a base weight of 9.4 pounds for the fall, don't even notice the frameless pack on my back, and cannot wait for my JMT thru trip next year!!!
So thank you all again for the advice, help, admonitions, gear swap...although my next bit of questions will involve how do I STOP buying gear?? And how can I stop trolling gear swap????? I'm thrilled with my 9 pounds...but so many of you talk about 5.....hmmmmm.........