I live in Florida and I do my hiking here. What I know about the weather here is that depending on the time of year you are faced with the following:
- heat 100+ F
- cold 40- F
- too many trees
- few or no trees
- soaked ground or high water
So the challenge on any given trip is what to bring and how that is reflected in volume and weight. I personally like to be somewhat lightweight as well as well prepared. All of which are conflicting needs. I also think about those hikers that get stranded in the Big Cypress and call for an extraction at great expense when we know certain things about hiking and survival.
color of the gear is a thing. The darker color items dry faster but offer camouflage which could put you in harms way. My favorite is a darker blue.What's in my pack? Just the 5 Cs. Not exactly the 5Cs but close to it. The reality is I'm usually an hour from a busy road. And those times when I'm a day or two out it's still not that serious. (see rule of 3s)
- 10x10 tarp
- hammock with 360d bugnet
- blanket or sleeping bag with bugnet
I used to like carrying a bivy but that's changing. [a] you need a tarp anyway if it's raining. [b] they do not offer much of a barrier to mosquitoes [c] depending on the temperature blankets vs sleeping bags [d] down is easily defeated in cold rain.
Regressing for the moment... I was camping in a proper tent 3 weeks ago. The tent was a 4p Alps. One serious challenge is getting in/out when it's raining. Partly because it depends on the direction of the rain and the size of the vestibule. But once the fly is open the inside it compromised. Worse if there are multiple people.
What else do you need? Water, filter, food, fire, knife, small first aid kit. It's still a modest weight pack.