I know that there will be an expansion focused on exploration in the future and wanted to offer some suggestions for making exploration more accessible and fun.
First off is the use of a tent: an easy to place, pre-built structure that has a fire and covered sleeping area. Many times when I'm exploring, I'll do fine until nightfall or I reach a sudden storm, and I have to stop and build a shelter. This is something of a tedious process and a bit foolish as portable structures like tents have a long history.
I'd suggest that, like armor, tents degrade with use, and that there be different tent tiers with high levels being larger/providing a higher comfort bonus.
Second off is a pack mule: an animal companion that can be used to carry gear and can travel with you as you explore across rough terrain. This could be an actual mule or you could use a variation of the deer encountered in the Meadows. I'd suggest this become available around the swamp biome as I've found that's when the game begins to slow.
Thirdly is a proper monster ward: right now, if you want limit monster spawns, you typically put down a workbench. This isn't intuitive or obvious. A monster ward would be an item, made of stone or perhaps metal, that is explicitly for providing a no-spawn zone. Upgraded wards would provide a larger area of coverage.