Be a smart hiker by being prepared. Knowledge and skills won’t fit in your backpack, but they’re critical to have. Weather can change quickly outdoors, and something as simple as a rolled ankle might mean you’re out longer than expected.
Even if you’re only planning to be out for a few hours on a day hike, it’s important to pack some essential items. The essentials for hiking (or any activity in the backcountry) are often called “The 10 Essentials" are adapted from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, which groups the essentials into systems.