I wanted to relay some interesting observations I had over the last 16 days on the JMT, with "traditional" hiking folks; ie bigger or more traditional packs etc. I was really surprised with the lack of what I considered to be readily available "knowledge" about hiking lighter. I (we) were asked repeatedly about how light our packs were, and I believe it was just because we looked so comfortable on the trail, and because our packs barely reached our shoulders.
On a regular basis, I heard " I have to go lighter, I just can't do this anymore", and other comments that were a direct reflection on the impact of weight on their bodies. I spent most of my explaining not on specific gear info, but on the broader theory of using systems and techniques. I pointed out repeatedly that there were items that they had doubled up on, or even tripled up on. Multiple pairs of shoes, cups, bowls, coats, clothing, etc. Really surprised me just what folks were bringing with them. Cooking systems were a big item as most folks truly bring it all, and "the kitchen sink"... I also was surprised at the lack of confidence in themselves as hikers. It was like they were afraid to really trust themselves to going out there without their percieved life lines!
My sons pack size
My pack size
For reference, when we left MTR with out biggest re-supply, 6-7 days of food/fuel. Our trail weights were 23#, and 28# for us respectivley. With 2 liters each of water!
I did see a lot of UL packs, but they seemed to be being used with traditional gear. So is anyone else having these kinds of conversations on the trail these days? I'd be interested to hear what you are experiencing....