A little preparation goes a long way
Hiking is one of the classic camping activities. However, it is important to have everything you need for a successful hike, whether it be a day trip or only an hour. Missing some essentials may make you regret it later, while over packing can make your backpack challenging to carry. Here is a list of things you should consider bringing so you can be well prepared:
Don’t slack on water! It is extremely important to have enough for everyone. Each person in your party should have one water bottle AT LEAST, with a few extras for refilling. If you spread out these water bottles among everyone, they shouldn’t contribute too much weight to one person. If you are hiking alone, bring at least one 40 ounce water bottle, more if you are going all day.
Having the right shoes will determine if you will have fun on your hike or not. Tennis shoes, sneakers, or professional hiking boots are the best for hiking in general. Some shoes seem like fine hiking shoes, like Converse, but in reality they are uncomfortable when walking long distances and give bad blisters. This also applies to boots such as Doc Martins (so no go on this one). If you are hiking in near a river or through it, having water shoes with hiking soles is the way to go.
Bandanas have many uses, which is why they are often brought on hikes. They can be used for shielding your neck from the sun, to tie back long hair, or even to bandage a wound in the worst case-scenario.
Sunburns are never fun, especially if you get one while hiking. Always bring along sunscreen, even if you already applied it beforehand. If you do get burned, it's always helpful to have burn relief ointment such as aloe vera. A hat is also good for shielding your eyes from the sun so that you don’t have to squint.
Perhaps the most important thing to bring, besides water, are band-aids, neosporin, alcohol cleaning pads, a few bandages, benadryl (in case someone in your party gets bitten by something that causes an unexpected allergic reaction - it can save someone's life), and a tweezers (you never know when someone will get a bad splinter). Even if the problem is as mundane as a bug bite or a blister, you will be glad to have a proper solution.
Even if you don’t think you will be hungry on the hike, it is always a good idea to bring sandwiches or even some trail mix - especially if you are hiking with kids, as they will become hungry and tired faster than you will.