three bug repellent products

Best Bug Spray & Bug Repellent

This three-tiered best bug spray system keeps me (mostly!) bite free in New York’s backcountry every season

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black legged deer tick on a blade of grass

Tick Season

Tick season sucks. When to worry, where to look, how to avoid, the best ways to prevent, and how to treat any tick bites you find.

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screenshot of hiking gear products

Hiking & Camping Gear List

There’s so much to read and learn about hiking gear. Here’s a basic list of the things you’ll use most often on your day hikes and campouts.

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red snowshoes stacked on wooden floor

Snowshoe Basics

The number of snowshoe options is overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide on what to look for, and where to get your first pair.

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standing desk with hiking gear storage underneath

Storage Bins for Hiking Gear

I sorted my growing jumble of hiking gear as a fun weekend project. With all my regular hike gear in a single box, I don’t have to worry I’m overlooking or forgetting anything. I spend less time preparing — which means more time doing.

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white and blue headlamps sitting on wet wood in woods

How to Buy a Hiking Headlamp

For hikers and campers, headlamps are essential pieces of gear. Whether you’re hiking out at dusk after a long day, or hiking in, in the pitch dark for a glorious summit sunrise, a headlamp will keep you on track and safe.

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hike essentials and two backpacks

Upgrade: More Backpack, More Fun

I switched my backpack from a 34 liter model that’s great for day hikes to a 65 liter model that’s more suited to overnights. I’m really happy with the upgrade.

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Winter Hiking Gear: hat, gloves, ice axe

Winter Hiking Gear: Survive & Thrive in the Cold

Winter hiking in the Catskills is spectacular. Make sure you have the best winter hiking gear and know how to use it.

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Two buffs, orange and and gray

Winter Gear: Neck Gaiter / Buff

Sometimes small tweaks yield big benefits, and that’s exactly what wearing a neck gaiter does.

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Two backpacks

Backpack Basics

Your backpack is a fundamental and very personal choice. There are lots of excellent brands to choose from. Here’s the skinny.

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Hiking Kit List

Basic Mountain Hiking Gear

While hiking gear can change from trail to trail, and from season to season, the following items will serve you well on every hike. They are a fleshing out of The Ten Essentials (the absolute bare minimum you should pack for every hike). This hiking gear list focuses on day-hiking.

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Hello, I’m Sean

I write independent hiking content to help hikers like you find amazing hikes in the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks, Hudson Highlands, Taconics and beyond.

On social media, I’m @TotalCatskills. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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