Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, even for a day hike. Carry a small backpack to store items such as your map or guidebook, compass, waterproof matches, a small first aid kit, toilet tissue in a plastic baggie, and a headlamp or flashlight that has new batteries. Take sun protection, insect repellent, a whistle, pocket knife, and throw in a light jacket, and some cash.
Make sure to pack enough water…the suggested amount is three quarts per day for each person. Take water in, and take along something that will allow you to filter or treat water from natural sources. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the hike. Include nutritious snack food and tuck in a self-heating meal pack such as this vegetable curry. It’s better to have more food than you need, then to go hungry.