Before you go on your hike, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the area on a map. Know which direction you should walk to get to a highway that you can’t miss, which direction to go (right or left) to get to the nearest town if you have to go to the road. If there isn’t a highway, is there another backdrop like a river, train tracks or power lines that you can’t miss if you walk in one direction. Again, make sure you know which way to turn. Next, let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back so they can call for help if you do not return by that time.
Wear or take clothing with you that is appropriate not only for the weather and temperature you will be hiking in, but the temperature it could drop down to overnight should you become lost. Clothing worn against your skin should be made of wicking material. Also consider wearing or taking wool outer garments.
Take enough water with you for the hike which includes enough to get to another water source to use your water filter.
Takes some high calorie snacks like GORP or meal(s) for your day hike as you can easily expend 400 or more calories per hour while day hiking. Hiking with low blood sugar can increase your chances of making mistakes and increase the time it takes to complete your hike, or worse.