"I assume you have a fairly light pack. Did John realize maybe he should lighten his load?"
My pack weighed just under 20lbs fully loaded including camera gear, bear spray, and of course all consumables.
I'm very familiar with John's backpacking mindset as I was there a couple years ago. As heavy as his pack was, we've both carried heavier before thanks to Uncle Sam. Unfortunately that's the baseline we use when returning to backpacking. "Hell, it's under 75lbs so it's not THAT heavy!" He was an RTO (carried a big radio with large heavy spare batteries plus other accessories) for the platoon leader and later CO so his ruck was among the heaviest in our company.
When you've been out a while and actually take the pack out on the trail, you realize you're older, you're not exercising and doing road marches like you once were, you're not humping a heavy ruck for days/weeks at a time, and most importantly, unlike your time in the Army, carrying a heavy backpack is now a choice.
All of his gear is over 10 years old but in reality 1980s mainstream backpacking technology but that really isn't important. We hit the trail and had a great time enjoying a mini-adventure.
I try to refrain from preaching (albeit imperfectly) and tried to limit my suggestions on how he could lighten his pack to when my opinion was solicited. He didn't impose his pack weight on me and in return I didn't impose my backpacking philosophy/style on him.