I remember when I was hiking near Mt. Hood and this guy was getting set to do a section from Barlow Pass to Cascade Locks. He had just bought all this ultralight gear and he was so excited to meet a hiker with gear like his. He wanted to talk gear talk with me. What brand of pack do you have? How much does it weigh? That kind of thing. I just wanted to get the heck away from him. I couldn't care less what brand of pack or tent I had and I cared even less what kind he had. The only thing I wanted to talk about was what's for lunch at the Timberline Lodge!
However, when I met other hikers with towering loads and they asked me how I could be out there with so little, I was happy to discuss it with them. Being able to hike far with a light load enabled me to experience the PCT. When people learn backpacking doesn't have to be painful and slow, they realize maybe they could also do a thru-hike. It doesn't have to be a superhuman endeavor. It opens up their world.