Well I am a newbie at backpacking in general, not new to the outdoors though. but I just got back from a 35 mile hike the furtherest I have done since the 15 mile forced road march from my military days. I had a great time but what would have made it even better would have been a lighter load and I mean allot lighter. My pack weighed with food , fuel and water including 60 lbs . Yes the third day in I would say I was getting a bit used to the weight on my shoulders thats used too not comfortable with. The mountains took there toll time and time again. I realize that I may never get down to an ultralight stander 15 lbs or less including food, fuel and water I will be happy with half 30 lbs. Now it starts saving for a lighter backpack 6 lb kelty red cloud now a Lighter sleeping bag 6 lb big agnes 15 degree synthetic. Tent I am happy with 3lb Kelty grand mesa II Tarp maybe lighter but hate bugs spoiling my sleep. so if I dump the pack and bag thats 12 lbs hopefully I can find a 3 lb pack and under 2 lb down bag. I dehydrate my own meals so weight food is normally low. I think planning and tweaking my gear is a fun as hiking. and look forward to all the tips here at white blaze.