Yes, nice find, Dale. Lots of us explored the same ideas in the early 80's. Other people had done so much earlier. I did no-tent, no-stove, no-sleeping bag, 9-day high-Sierra trips with a skin-out total weight including food of 29 pounds. The biggest difference between what I did then and now was the pack - I used an external-framed Kelty. Secondly, as you point out, tarps are lot lighter now. Thirdly, CCF or self-inflators are lighter now than the original, orange Thermarests. Those three tweaks would have gotten me down to 23 total pounds for 9 days.
The other thing lacking 30 years ago was easily accessible info (e.g. the internet) to trade tips and philosophies. A lighter this, a DIY that, leaving some things out altogether, etc, collectively have cut my base weight in half.