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Outdoor First Aid

Health News: Get Naked!

And other ways to prevent tick-borne infections

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Reason number 27 ticks are annoying: They prefer to bite you where you can’t see them. A study published last winter in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine found that 20 percent of tick bites occur in places–like the back, thigh, and groin–that are difficult to self-examine. The solution: Ask your spouse or, yes, hiking partner to check for you. “The window of opportunity to remove a tick is 36 hours,” says Gary Wormser, an expert on preventing tick-borne diseases. Wormser says that most tick-transmitted parasites take that long to infect a host. If you do find a tick, he says, make sure to pull it out gently with tweezers, rather than burning, squeezing, or suffocating it with petroleum jelly.

How to Pack for Backcountry Skiing

Get to know the winter safety gear you need in your pack.

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