Learn a range of great hiking tricks from a PRO—Conrad Anker
Never forget items
I like to pack a small first aid kit that contains athletic tape (for just about anything), bandaids (small scrapes), tweezers (splinters and ticks), sterile dressing (obvious), a food gel for diabetic friends and a small amount of lip balm/sunblock.
I like to toast hearty bread and make a honey PB sandwich. If I tuck the sandwich into a reused plastic bag the humidity of the bread condenses into the sandwich. This makes the snack I little chewier and more durable. I enjoy small apples as they cleanse the palate and are easy to transport. I'll mix a hot drink in the cold months and a tart drink for the warm months. Sometimes I choose "no food" as the goal is to get a little hungry. Of course, if the goal of getting out is a picnic then the whole goal is how gourmand can we make the vittles.
For safety look at each situation from the lens a worst-case scenario. What could go wrong and what would the consequences be? This can keep us from having something unexpected pop-up. I advise family and close friends where I am going.
Some music via small headphones while carrying a big pack makes the day goes easier. If I'm near a road and can hear motor vehicles a small speaker is OK. Mostly I'm happy to hear the sounds of nature.
Start slowly with loose shoes and an extra layer. Once you warm up, shed a layer and snug your shoes. Seeing as I'm not racing anyone this is a good way not redline too soon and then make sure my footwear and socks are working together to prevent blisters.