Been meaning to share this story.
About 10 years ago I was backpacking around Europe on my first trip there, lasting about 3 months. I was mostly sleeping in hostels, but I did bring a tent (about 4 pounds) with me as well as a way too heavy slumberjack synthetic bag. Plus, given time in urban environments, I had some street clothes, a fat guide book, other books, souveneirs, and well, I suspect my pack totaled around 30 pounds (I didn't have to carry more than a few hours worth of food or water at any point). Anyway, I was a spry 29 year-old and could do that sort of thing. I did manage to sleep in the tent, maybe 15 nights.
So I was on a slow Saturday train heading from Berlin to Amsterdam, having just encountered a car full of drunken soccer fans (of the losing team...yikes!) when I met this giant kid, 18 years old and looking for adventure. He didn't seem very bright.
He explained to me that he was "tramping" around Europe for the summer and could he join me? He further explained that he'd be going into the military in the fall and this was his last chance for fun. He said he didn't want to go, but his parents had "signed him up" when he was 14, and he now had no choice. I suggested he talk to his parents. He responded in a scary Schwarzeneggeresque tone that his "parents are dead." Yikes. Creepy guy. He would follow me around the next several days, but that's another story.
Anyway, his gear. He had recently spent his savings, maybe about $1000, on all manner of gear and a train ticket. He had a tent, HUGE, reminded me of my childhood, probably 25 pounds, a coleman or some such, with giant aluminum poles (the kind you put together with instructions and color coding). The tent had 3 rooms. He had an inadequate, cold but huge rectangular sleeping bag, numerous other "what?" items, but the best was his beverage bag. Larger than my entire backpack, he had a separate duffel bag filled with about 12 2-liter pop bottles with orange soda. He said it was his favorite drink and he might not be able to find it on the road. He asked me to carry it for him. Total gear weight, I'm guessing well over 100 pounds.
Short of specialized military gear, BEAT THAT!
So what's the least ultralight backpacker you've ever encountered?