Weather conditions in the Columbia River Gorge are notoriously harsh and ever-changing. Conditions at the start of the hike may differ dramatically from those hours later, or at river level versus the summit of Larch Mountain. Below is a list of the most basic equipment that should be carried on every hike, whether it's planned for a few hours, or multiple days.
MAKE A PLAN
Plan your route, and an alternative. Know the various exits that you may need to employ. Research maps, and recent trip reports if at all possible to learn current trail conditions. With recent reconstruction and restoration efforts as a result of the wildfires in the gorge, many trails are still closed, rerouted, and look dramatically different from what you may be familiar with. Please respect trail closures in place to protect hikers from overly hazardous conditions, and wildlife restoration.
Share your plan with a trusted person. Make sure they know what route you intend to take, and the times you expect to be in and out of the field. Give a clear and precise time that they should call for help if you have not returned or contacted them.