Now we're talking! I grew up in Northern Ontario (re: serious hiking/camping) so here goes my .02 cents, adjusted for inflation.
WATER: Preferably, a CamelBak or similar product. One thing that is absolutely vital to survival, especially if you get lost, is some form of water purification. Life Straws are an amazing product, but st the VERY LEAST, some water purifaction tablets.
BLADED THINGS: skip your EDC style folder. Get a mid sized camp knife. I recommend the SOG Northwest Ranger. Great blade all around. Make sure you have an SAK somewhere and finally, an axe or hatchet. Shocking the uses they have. A skilled woodsman snd butcher and dress game with one. Personally, Gransfors Bruk is my favourite. Still made in the same building, by hand, in Sweden where they have been made for over a hundred years. (You can also take bushcraft and forging classes should you visit their facility!!) alternatively, axesfrom Best Made Co. are awesome as well. Listen, spend ahundred, or a few hundred dollars on a good axe or hatchet and it will survive generation after generation. Make sure you have something for field sharpening! In these situations I just toss a couple of these bad boys in: http://reviews.canad...ews/reviews.htm
they weigh nothing and do the job in a pinch.
BAGS: GoRuck or Osprey for me. Day or maybe two day trips, I typically use a 22 litre Osprey bag. Tough mothers they are! This all depends on your intentions as far as duration and terrain. North Face and Patagonia make great products as well.
CLOTHING: Again, high quality here is key. Personally, I am addicted to Columbia sportswear. First off, ethics, business practices are important to me, so the three companies I purchase clothing from for outdoors are Patagonia, North Face and Columbia. Start with your base layer. Make sure you have the appropriate support. If it's hot, then stuff like Under Armour that wicks moisture is awesome. If you get out in the weather (i.e. Canadians and people from Minnesota
), step it up. Stanfield long underwear for me, still made in Canada. Columbia base layers work wonders as well. Their outerwear uses a hest reflection technology that will keep you warm in any realistic situation. I rarely have to wear an upper base layer with my Columbia jacket because I will legitimately sweat through it in -20 degree Celsius weather. For winter boots, use Sorels. I have a pair of my dads thst I use that he bought before I was born. For light hiking in more agreeable weather, I wear shoe-style North Face hiking boots with Gore-tex. for heavier hiking, definitely get something with an ankel. Merrell (sp?) are great as well. Gloves, hats etc I will use from North Face or Columbia. FOR GOODNESS SAKE bring extra socks. If your trip doesn't call for a full pack of extra clothes, at least throw a few extra pairs of socks in a dry bag. Remember, your feet will make or break your adventure.
EYEWEAR: Far more important than it's given credit for. Especially in winter were snow blindness is very real and very serious. Preferably something polarized but snything is better than nothing. I personally wewr Maui Jims.
FIRST AID: Aside from your standard stuff like bandaids etc, pack extra heat blankets. They add no weight and will save lives as they have millions of times in the past. Great for maintaing body heat in emergency situations, but they're also reflective or could help form an emergency shelter. Also, any runner/hiker etc will tell you: pack extra footcare. Lots of Moleskin, duct tale, super glue...anything thst will help your feet. GoRuck actually sell a first aid kit for footcare. Also be more aware of the increase in monor cuts due to trodding through fauna. Same deal with bugs and all their nastiness.
FOOD: Clif bars and beef jerky. And some of that elf bread from Lord of the Rings. Certai products, if their can last without refridgeration etc, like Ensure, can really save your ass as well.
MISC.: Rope! Not paracord, but actual quality rope. Maybe you have to make a shelter, or climb down something, or across something. Learn some useful knots and hitch on up! Generic pocket guide books can be a life saver too. Even if it is a skill you have, in high stress situstions your brain won't function properly. Suppose you get injured or lost, having a little pocketbook with some basic first aid and survival tips is great. Also have a few firestaring options. A bic is awesome, but some weatherproof matches and a ferro rod are always good to have.
SAFETY: again, depending on your terrain and plan, a signaling mirror and a couple pen flares may well save your life.
There. Get out of the house. Explore. Have fun! Be one with nature. Bathe in a stream. Sing to a bobcat. Dance with the wind.