You don’t need much to start exploring: comfortable clothes and decent shoes (unless you’re one of those barefoot people) are the only equipment you really need. If you’re going far then water, food, raingear, an extra layer of clothing, and something to carry your stuff with will help.
But if you are serious about trekking out and reaching a specific place, a few things can help you do that – and help you get home. I have decided that a checklist will help things go smoothly when I set out to explore, and I’ve posted it as a simple, two-page .pdf document. Your needs may differ from mine, and every journey has different requirements. But this is something you will adjust as you gain experience and awareness of options.
Here it is: The Head First Day Trip Checklist