I think some of it is the fault of experienced hikers telling their bad tales. I've read people who take three or four ways of making fire. It may not seem like much but all those little film cans of fire supplies will be bulky. There there is the water filtration thing. I've been told by someone who's been hiking a while, "I carry a filter, aqua Mira as a backup, and of course I can boil as a third backup. Then there are the "I carry X cooking equipment so I can bake rolls and cinnamon buns 20 miles from the road" guys. Then there is the "be careful hiking solo, you need to make sure you have the following medical supplies and a SPOT" warnings
So is it really just the confused Dicks salesman, or is it experienced hikers who've had bad experiences and problems that lead newbies to think "I need backup systems for everything", and I need to be prepared not just for my hike, but for a real 'I'm lost in the woods' Man Vs. Wild scenario?
I had to stop buying crap, step back and look at my stuff. I wanted another pot, but my cooking involves boiling water for meals in a sack. One pot is plenty. I wanted the higher first aid kit, but went with a small one and added a two inch victorinox knife. It has awesome tweezers, and a small blade and scissors.
I cut down my paracord from 100' to 50.I'm not going to bear bag THAT high, and that big lump o' rope gets heavy if it's wet. I think I've got my filtration thing cut down to a single in-line Sawyer filter and gravity bag. Smaller and lighter and less bulky than a pump.
But there's still time to buy more stuff.