Day hiking is a great way to reset your mind and body. It lets you exercise and gives you time to de-stress and contemplate, plus it can lead to some memorable life experiences and adventures. Make sure your day hike goes according to plan with these four tips:

Map the Trail: At least the night before your scheduled hike, research the trail that you’re planning on using. Download a map and design a route that best suits your hiking experience, the time allotted, and peak hours. How well you map the terrain in advance will affect how safe and easy it is for you to trek it. Find out if there closed routes or if there are trails that would take you too far from where you plan on parking.

Pack Your Bag: A day hike might not require a full wardrobe and enough equipment to pitch a tent, but it’s still important that you bring enough gear. Pack essential items, such as weather-appropriate clothing, water bottles, physical map, first aid kit, and a knife or multi tool. If you’re hiking with people, make sure to bring extra supplies. This also applies to people hiking with their pets. Make sure you bring your pet’s water bowl and a blanket in case they get wet or dirty.

Perform Vehicle Inspection: If your intended hiking trail is somewhere up the mountains or across the countryside, you’ll want to make sure your car is ready for the trip. You don’t want your car to stall in the middle of nowhere. Vehicle inspection should include oil change, tire pressure, and transmission fluid at the very least.

Be Mindful of Wild Animals: While it’s awe-inspiring to see wild animals in their natural habitat, it can also be dangerous if precautions are not taken. Acknowledge the fact that you are in their territory and always establish a safe distance between you and any wild animals that you encounter on a hike.

Day hiking is a great outdoor leisure activity to enjoy solo or with family or friends. As a final tip, be sure to inform someone of where you plan on hiking. This gives extra peace of mind that help will arrive if you get lost or injured.