I always carry the essentials. These items do not have to be heavy, but they are essential. Do I use them on every trip? No, but I also have not used my fire extinguisher in a very long time either. There are so many lightweight options available, that it is stupid to not be prepared.
Good Luck reinforces bad habits.
The high Sierra is my stomping ground. It is mostly a very forgiving place, but it also kills. As Search and Rescue, we routinely meet those who have stacked the deck against themselves.
I encourage everyone I know to critically examine the weight of all there gear. A lighter pack is more enjoyable and will prevent some injuries. However, if you find yourself tempted to leave essential safety items behind, you have lost sight of the purpose. The summit is optional, returning home is mandatory!
"Solo hiking is the safest" is a myth. Ask a SAR member.