what is bad is you have your list of lite weight stuff you really think you need to carry to get ultralite..then you also have your list of stuff and weights that you think you MIGHT like to carry,, and then,,before you go,,you just say to heck with it and load it all,,and then suffer the consequenses of carrying to much BS that you will never ever use,,LOL
It does help to get it all listed and broken down. It is a true reality check and you'll see where you need to make improvements. Sometimes you can get lucky and spot several cheap items to work on first, leaving stuff like 900 fill down until you can't stand it or there's nothing else left to pare down.
1. Cut out the stuff that won't be used. Only the strictest emergency gear like matches or first aid gets past that check.
2. Leave the toys at home. If it won't keep you warm, dry, fed, or safe, it stays home.
3. Try to find multiple use gear. For example, my ground shelter (Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape) is also my rain gear and eliminates the need for a pack cover.
3. Seek out the lightest, highest performance gear you can find. Sometimes you get lucky and it is cheaper, like a simple CCF foam pad vs. a high budget self-inflatable. One of the best ground sheets is window insulation film from Home Depot. You can get three or so 1.5oz Polycro ground sheets from one Frost King Large size window insulation kit and it costs something like $5.95. Recycled drinking water bottles trump heavy Nalgene bottles at near zero cost and under 2oz vs. 6oz for a Nalgene.
I found clothing to be the biggest challenge. When you buy a sleeping bag, it is more straightforward--- you have weight, temperature range and cost, but clothing is a whole mess of layers and accessories, and not cheap. Everyone had a different opinion of what works due to climate and personal metabolism. My 3 season stuff has to deal with a lot of cold wet weather, so I'm biased to synthetics, and I'm a warm sleeper, so I get by with stuff where others might be uncomfortable.
I think getting really ultralight--- breaking the 5 pound base weight barrier--- gets to be a contest of how much misery you can enjoy. I have pulled off 8 pound height-of-summer kits that didn't make me feel like I was being tortured and my 3 season kit is more like 14 pounds in reality. I can hit the trail for a good overnight trip with about 21 pounds total-- food, water, and gear. Now that I've added a hammock, I'm sure I have another 3 pounds. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO SLEEP IN THE MUD AND ROCKS ANYMORE! MUHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Sorry, that felt good