A comprehensive description of the “lite” backpacking phenomenon by M. John Fayhee. One passage:

No matter what was going on in the R&D departments of the myriad equipment manufacturers who were then jumping on the outdoor-recreation- craze bandwagon, there weren’t very many people choosing to lighten their loads, because fundamental to the very self-definition and self-perception of backpacking was the idea that, if you’re a backpacker ó especially of the long-distance variety ó then you carried a heavy pack completely full of as much shit as you could wedge in and stoically dealt with that. You worked your way into good enough shape, and you premeditatedly developed the intestinal fortitude to be able to carry 60- pounds 20 miles a day. That’s what it meant to be a backpacker, goddammit!