With my boys being Scouts we talk a lot about hiking... never really do any though yet. I really want to learn too. I want to know how to survive for days if I have to in the wilderness. Depending on how much hiking you are doing in a day, if you are doing just a couple hours, you really don't need to bring much, water, food, first aid kit. If you are going out longer you'll need more, shelter, bedding, water filter. You just need to get out and practice. Hike locally in your own state parks.