I’m also in W3 / Central PA, and here is my low cost, medium weight, flexible answer for summits with everything from no trees, to dense brush, or thick scrubby pines. My radios have been FT 817, FT 857, and Ten Tech R4020. I take a linked 40/20 dipole, and a home-brewed Buddistick clone. I use a 6-12’ telescopic painters pole as hiking stick, mast for the Buddistick, and center support for a dipole / inverted V. Sometimes I take a tuner, but not always. My whole pack including radio gear, food, water, first aid, tarp, and a few other outdoor essentials comes in between 20-25 pounds.
Having the options of vertical vs. dipole is really nice, especially if you are not sure what the summit is like until you get there. Also, there have been times that the dipole provided contacts when the vertical did not. Then again, the vertical usually is better for DX. I guess a question you need to ask yourself is, what do you want to do with the activation? If you are content making HF local contacts, the dipole is hard to beat, but then there’s the issue of supporting the ends on a bald peak. If you’d like DX, and not so much the NVIS type contacts, the vertical makes a lot of sense. You can use your pack as a support, and guy it really well, or bungie it to a boulder or stump if you need.
The dipole is el-cheapo lamp cord, so it is not the lightest, most high tech thing going. I take some paracord to extend it to supports if needed, and some aluminum tent stakes if needed. Maybe some people wouldn’t take both antennas, but I don’t mind. It’s not much additional weight, and my main point here is, I’ve never had a washout – I’ve always qualified the activations I’ve attempted. 73 de Eric, KB3UYT