Thought I'd throw a post up, since I've spent enough time recently reading on this and other lightweight BP forums. Here's a quick overview. I've always been an outdoors type, backpacked intermittently, but mostly I was a climber. After I retired, I re-outfitted myself, intending to do more packing. I did several western (Sierra Nevada, Zion, Grand Canyon) trips with a friend, and some local stuff, mostly West Virginia. Had a good time, and enjoyed occasionally making fun of the lightweight folks, with their lightening holes drilled in utensils, teeth removed to save weight, the usual...
A couple of years back I had a tachycardic episode and had to have an cardiac ablation. I was also put on a beta blocker. I knew it affected my stamina somewhat, but I really had it brought home last August, when I grabbed the dog and some gear for a overnighter in WV. Not a fun trip. When I got back, I started doing the research, decided that while I probably was never going to get any younger, I could carry not necessarily less, but certainly lighter stuff. After a process I call "spending a lot of money", I went from about a 28 lb base weight to a summer base weight of about 10 - 1/2 lbs. Without sacrificing any comfort or safety. And it feels like I'm carrying a daypack! Thus inspired, I'm looking forward to at least a trip a month during the upcoming season, and hopefully about a 250 mi section of the AT.
I want to thank everyone who takes the time to post observations, techniques, gear reviews, etc. This forum is a phenomenally helpful resource that really aided me in making informed decisions and will enable me to continue doing something I really enjoy. Oh, and sorry about the jokes….