I certainly wouldn't carry a spare cassette.
I've had 2 snapped gear cables in the past and it's no fun at all to be stuck on the hills with just 3 useable gears, so now I always take a spare.
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But I believe you will hook up and share the experience with more riders going east-west. This is from reading several journals and my experience as well.I didn't notice that, but I have only done it W-E. Not sure why that would be the case. I am curious, care to elaborate?
I've know some people for whom more of the pleasure comes from obtaining and having a lot of fancy gear than from making the pedals go round. I don't know how common that is, but having the stuff is what makes them happy. I guess that if it makes them happy there is nothing wrong with that, but it is a shame when folks who are not so inclined get sucked into that mindset.
So that covers the sleeping arrangements. Then you need to add stove, cookware, fuel, food, water and sundry other camping items.
Weight (and volume) can escalate rapidly.
Once you bring camping into the mix, packing light is not really feasible.