Hiking 101: Everything You Need to Head for the Hills
Forget camping out on the sofa all winter. Discover the great outdoors with these daypacks, hiking shoes, and more.
ROARING FIREPLACES AND loads of television just waiting to be binged can be powerful motivators to hibernate indoors all winter, but don't do that. Don't miss out on the wondrous winter wilderness just because it's a little nippy outside. The rewards for venturing outdoors during this season are immeasurable. Trails take on a unique character this time of year, and they're much less crowded, too. America has never had more public wilderness set aside for your enjoyment than it does right now, and no matter where you live, there are most likely trails near you.
Yet getting started can be daunting. Fear not. It's easier than you might think to stay dry, warm, hydrated, and safe. In this guide, we have recommendations for everything you need to take to the outdoors, whether it's just a peaceful afternoon hike or a roving weekend-long backpacking trip.
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.