What I am trying to accomplish within my seminars is to demonstrate a process of certain principles that can be applied to any conditions for any backpacking trip, and use those principles to cut pack weight to an absolute minimum.
In brief, those two prinicples are A) Bring the minimal amount of gear needed to stay alive in the worst conditions FOR THE AREA, that you can conceive. Problems such as heat exhaustion don't usually arise in Antarctica, just at sudden freezes do not happen in Texas.
The second principle is to add in enough gear to achieve the amount of comfort you would like. For some, the ratio of packweight to comfort is higher, for some it is lower. Regardless, each person still must carry the minimum amounto of gear for the described conditions(principle 1).
In the analysis of these hypothetical conditions, we take many things into accout besides the simple weather conditions. We look at geography, water supplies, weather conditions in the past, prior knowledge of intracacies of trail, number of people in group, the level of training of those people, remoteness trail, etc.
My seminar participants are not lacking in basic survival and emergency gear---rather, they have decided, according to my two basic principles, that there is not a need for that extra gear due to the influence of other conditions. They (and I), have decided that carrying that gear will in no way really impact the quickness with which we may deal with an emergency and thus is simply excess weight.
The locale in which I live does lend itself to exceedingly light base weights, but the two prinicples remain the same for all locations. My pack has a different gear list every time I hike, as should anyone's who cares about cutting their weight to the minimum. We are eliminating extra gear by extra preperation.
Natually, if I used that pack within the Rocky Mountins, I might have a hard time of it--however, that fact is irrelevant to the discussion because that list of gear is only applicable to the three days I spent in the woods at that particular location. If I went back tomorrow, a mere 7 days later, I would probably take different gear, as the conditions had changed.
I also believes that this approach removes the somewhat arbitrary line imposed by forcing everyone to bring emergency gear. Should they be prepared for one emergency but not another?? Which emergency takes preference in terms of pack weight--or is that question allowed. Since all emergencies can not be accounted for, the best thing we can do is take an approximation of we assume can happen, and mentally deal with those hypothetical situations by education/training and absolutely necessary gear.
Ultralight gear fits the conditions. The more experianced you become at interpeting those conditions, the lighter your pack will become.