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Hiking Guide: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Instead of pounding the pavement, opt for a workout on the less-beaten path. We'll show you how ridiculously simple it is to make your escape -- even steps from your city limits -- and get a whiff of nature's de-stressing effects. Ahh.
Almonds Chews You Can Use

There's a reason those GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) mixes are a hit with outdoorsy types: Hiking makes you hungry! Nosh smart on the fly with these tips from Devon Metz, RD, a dietitian and hiking guide in Boulder, Colorado. (And don't forget to pocket your trash to toss later; no one likes a litterbug.)

Snack light.

"You don't need to eat anything if you're hiking for less than an hour," Metz says. If you're going to be out longer or if the trail is particularly strenuous, bring something small; 100 to 200 calories every two hours is plenty.

Pair carbs with protein.

"An apple and a 100-calorie portion of almonds is a terrific snack for hikers," Metz says. "The fiber in the fruit helps you feel full and the nuts provide long-lasting energy." Another option: half an energy bar with a good carb-protein balance, such as Pro Bar Old School PB&J ($3, theprobar.com).

Drink up.

"Don't wait until you're parched," Metz says. "Take small sips throughout your hike so that you're drinking about one liter per hour." Not only will you stay hydrated, you also won't mistake thirst for hunger pangs.