The first time I went backpacking was kind of on a whim. A friend and I just decided we would go and we put together the necessities in about a week and headed off the next weekend! Granted, our gear was a bit of a patchwork set up...But, it worked...It wasn't the lightest or the best...But, it worked none the less. I remember organizing my things thinking "this would be nice to have" and stuffing it in my pack. I had a goal of being under 40 pounds, shooting for 35, and thinking that would be good. Well, it was manageable, but not "good". After that first fateful outing my pack weight goal became under 30, then 25, and after learning and studying, 20 and now 15. I'm happy to say that I have a sub 20 pound base weight. The 15 pound goal is going to require some real thought, some sacrifices and work. Dropping weight is a give and take of sacrificing some creature comforts for greater comfort hiking the trail. Lightweight (ultra light) backpacking is a game of ounces and really becomes a mindset of analyzing everything and constantly looking for places to save ounces (grams). Everything weighs something - There's no such thing as "it doesn't weigh anything" or "it doesn't even register on a scale". All those things that don't register add up to something that registers. Ounces add up to pounds! With all that being said, I think there is a common issue of "stupid light" in which items are sacrificed that shouldn't be.