Each hiker goes through their own process of learning what gear is best for them. Thankfully my partner Bernie had already learned about lightweight backpacking before I had met him, so my learning curve wasn't too painful.
Thirteen years, and over 15,000 miles has naturally refined my gear list. I look forward to opportunities to shed weight and acquire innovative gear that helps to make my hike more comfortable and efficient. At this point I am not an ultralight hiker, but each hike I take inspires changes in what I carry with me.