Wow. There's a lot of crying here over what is essentially an editorial piece. Is BPL branching out slightly from utterly-literal "backpacking?" Yes, but I don't think these digressions are inappropriate. If you want to limit yourself that way good on you, but I don't. It's not like they're talking about skateboarding or collecting figurines or whatnot. Or even expedition sea kayaking. Frankly, I always thought ExpeditionsLight would be a more interesting website, anyway...
But, really, the complaints are simply wrong if you think about it. If you do an activity with a backpack, that's "backpacking." This isn't the HikingLight website, after all. Expedition mountain biking? Yes- uses a pack. Packrafting? Obviously. Backcountry hunting? Also, obviously.
As for my own contributions- unfortunately I got deployed all summer and have thus done a truly disappointingly small amount of backpacking this year. The only trip really of note was my Grand Canyon trip prior to deployment in April. Thus I don't have many new insights.
Using a lightweight bivy with a floorless shelter- I think I've mentioned this in a few threads but I've only really recently solidified this opinion. I find shelters with floors to generally be wastes of weight. A simple lightweight bivy replaces your groundcloth and bug net, plus adding a couple of degrees to the utility of your sleeping system, while being lighter. So, very versatile. Plus, you can use the same bivy with multiple shelters, thus saving the cost involved with buying multiple floored shelters or fitted footprints. It's the perfect answer, I've finally FULLY embraced it, and am very very happy with it. (My usual floorless shelters and bivies are MLD products- I have a couple of their 'mids and have a Superlight.)
Minimalist rather than Ultralight- I think that like many here I'm moving away from literal ultralight thought and more towards minimalist thought. In 99% of the time this ends up being ultralight as a side-effect, but weight per se isn't so much what I obsess about anymore. For instance my next project is probably going to be going more with cat can stoves and simple aluminum pots with foil windscreens rather than systems like the caldera cone (though the Caldera Cones are EXCELLENT products) or manufactured alcohol stoves. After I play around a bit there might be one HELL of a gear swap listing in my future...
Lifestyle favorite? Huh. This sort of screams for "non-backpacking" issues, doesn't it? I guess Paleo diet. As I mentioned I got deployed this summer, and spent most of it on a special forces COP where the guys were all into paleo, so their cook generally accommodated them. I was also not very busy (thankfully, since I'm a surgeon) so I was working out a LOT and got fitter than I've been in a couple of decades. Mind you if you're religious about it it can be hard to be paleo in a healthy way, so I tend to be a very liberal paleo dieter- I eat everything that the paleo people argue about whether or not it's "paleo", like quinoa, sweet potatoes, wild rice, and legumes, though I do try to keep them light, as I do with red meat. (The legume issue particularly chaps me- like there aren't edible wild peas around! Heck, sea peas alone inhabit most coastlines around the world, and it is ridiculous to suppose that paleolithic man didn't gather them. Yes, lathyrism is an issue, but as long as you don't gorge on them you're fine.) I miss cheese... So I'm not a fanatic who believes the hype, but this at least keeps it fun while I try to limits carbs to keep my calories down. Because that's really my problem- carb calories. I just find it mentally easy to run potential food through the "cave-man" filter.