Good hikers never leave without a minimum of equipment, even if they might not use it. If you are all set before leaving, you will avoid cravings and colds. That is why you should prepare a small backpack with the essentials: water, energy bars, dried fruits, a windbreaker, a small sweater, etc. Even a knife could be useful, just in case you want to share your meal...
Walking clubs also recommend hikers to carry first-aid kits with basics like compresses, dressings and an antiseptic spray, for slight injuries like scratches or blisters. Forewarned is forearmed!
Concerning the weather, you should always check the weather forecast and then equip yourself accordingly. You should keep in mind that sudden changes of weather are possible, so always be prepared for a small shower. High risk weather conditions are thunder storms and strong winds, especially in the forests.
Trekking poles are very valuable. They are used to help walkers find their rhythm and they provide stability on rough ground.
In the summer, you should put on a cap and apply sunscreen to protect yourself. Do not forget to apply it every 2 hours. Cover your children's head. Moreover, although it might be obvious, closed walking shoes remain the safest way to protect your ankles in case you slip, but also your feet in case you encounter unwelcomed insects.
In the winter, you should wear appropriate equipment for the season. When covered in white snow, our landscapes can be heaven on earth. That is why you should wear ski pants: maybe there will be enough snow on the ground to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing etc.
If you are planning on hiking by yourself (people doing solo trekking will probably recognize themselves here), you should probably let someone know your destination and your approximate time of return. It can be someone you know, the owner of a campsite or lodgings, an hotelier or even the staff at a Tourist Office. It is a wise precaution because the mobile phone you should be taking with you might run out of charge...
Carefully preparing your hike will allow you to leave in complete serenity and enjoy the best of our beautiful landscapes as well as discovering the secrets of our beautiful forests.