(But first - deep apologies for not replying to comments on my last post; I was offline for most of a week, and now it seems like something's going wrong with google accounts and I can't post comments anywhere, including here. So... everything I would comment is now going into posts, I guess. Thank you DHBoggs for relaying some history on the development of the hex - I found it very interesting and am happy to hear that the day was originally a clear parallel time quantum to the turn in dungeoneering exploration)
- Where are you going?
- Who are you going with?
- Who's the least able? Can they make it to where you're going?
- What season is it?
- What's the weather going to be like?
- What passes or permits from governments do you need to go there?
- When do you expect to be back? Who are you going to tell that to so they can send rescue?
- Extra clothing, layers for variations in weather and climate across trip
- Extra water (or means to procure it, like LifeStraws, water filters, dowsing, and high-level clerics)
- Extra food
- First aid kit
- Knife or multitool
- Means of producing fire
- Map and compass
- Headlamp / hands-free light source
- Sun protection
- Emergency shelter (down to and including just a blanket or tarp)
If you find a leaf with a face chewed into it, you shouldn't take it home with you. (This was actually the comment that led to this whole post - intended as a silly example of leave no trace, but my brain went "that would be wonderfully creepy in-game")
Place campfires in established rings, or else.
Avalanche and river-crossing dangers depend less on the weather right now than on the weather from the previous week or so. Probably also true of trail conditions. On the one hand, this complicates the problem of making weather systems for the wilderness game, because if you want high-fidelity simulation you have to track past state. On the other hand, this also pushes towards other potential solution-spaces, which isn't a bad thing (maybe something like the Oriental Adventures events tables - you roll a big trend for this month's weather, which sets the trail, river, and avalanche conditions, and then roll daily weather within that big weather pattern's subtable).
Animals in popular hiking destinations steal enough food from peoples' bags to get enormous.
Black bears are basically just large housecats for morale purposes, unless cubs are involved.
Mountain lions are also basically large housecats for morale purposes, except they think you are a toy.
Local outfitter offers appointments to get your gear in order for a particular trip. Quartermaster NPCs! I'm pretty sure I've written a post about having a NPCs to organize mules and rations and all that stuff (as a script, of course), but I'll be arsed if I can find it.
Some good place-names. "Ranger Station" is a phrase that translates wonderfully into D&D.