Living in New England, you have to worry about Lyme disease when you are in nature. While it's not easily detectable, going untreated, it can cause some severe health challenges.
Ticks tend to live in grassy, wooded areas; however, you can get them just by going outside. I'm not an alarmist, yet, I have had a tick fall on me from a tree, and I have even had a tick get onto me while I was driving with the window open (okay, I was in my Jeep Wrangler, so I didn't even have doors or the top on!). Regardless, ticks can be found outside and can quickly be brought in on your animals and clothing.
You can treat your clothing, footwear, and gear with products that contain 0.5% permethrin which can last a few washing.
After you are outdoors, always check yourself and if possible, have someone help check you as well; remember to return the favor and check them. This is where light-colored clothing will help you. Additionally, taking a shower after coming indoors may also help ticks that were not found to fall off, especially from your hair.
While it's good to check your entire body, here's a few places to pay special attention to:
in and around your hair, beard, etc.
in and around your ears
under the arms
around the waist
inside the belly button
back of the knees
between the legs
Examine your gear and pets as well.