Always carry the ten essentials:
Always carry a detailed map in some type of waterproof bag or sleeve. Learn how to read maps and how to find your position on a map.
Even if you have a GPS device, batteries do run down and a GPS may be of limited use in a canyon or deep forest. BTW magnetic north is currently about 16 degrees east of true north in King County!
3) Water and a Way to Purify It
Carry more than you think you need. Carry at least one method of purification. You do not necessarily need to pack a large bulky filtration device: Iodine tablets are a simple, lightweight solution in emergencies.
4) Extra Food
Always bring extra food for you (and for your dog if he/she is coming along).
5) Rain Gear and Extra Clothing
Hey, its the pacific northwest! You may need the rain gear to stay warm even if it is not wet.
6) Firestarter and Matches
Nothing beats a fire for warmth, or for signaling to potential rescuers. Don’t forget to practice your fire-starting skills safely at home first.
7) First Aid Kit
You can get great advice on a practical first aide kit at the first aide class that you are going to take soon, hint, hint…
8) Knife or Multi-Purpose Tool
You will need it for everything from preparing meals to making a shelter
9) Flashlight and extra batteries
Multiple light sources with back-up batteries for each are essential. The newer LED headlamps are lightweight, efficient and great for night hiking.
10) Sunscreen and sunglasses
When the sun does shine you need protection. Sunburn is more than a nuisance in the backcountry. Sunglasses are essential when above tree line.
…and don’t forget the insect repellant, a whistle and mirror for signaling and your cell phone. There are great cell phone navigation apps that can help even when you are out of range of a cell tower (if you have set them up properly in advance..) but beware that navigation apps use up precious battery life very quickly.