Have borne ticks from MI's Upper Penninsula, central CA, ID's panhandle, western MT, OR's DeChutes's river region, northern WI, etc.
Don't know if it's true but once read an article reporting that the longest lived tick in captivity was 40 year's old. Apparently it's the females who seek the needed blood, allowing them to birth their large broods. Far as I know they don't seek you out. Rather, they cling to tall grass, shrub branches and so on. They're essentially in a state of suspended animation; instantly roused to cling to you by scent?, body warmth?, vibration?, and/or sound?
While on a hike in MT my buddy picked up three times the ticks I did. He was wearing cotten sweat pants while I had on light colored and slick surfaced Ex Officio pants with gaiters. Every thirty minutes we'd stop and do tick checks on each other, and managed to pick off 90% of them, the remainder mostly eliminated by a naked body check at the end of each day. Typically, they require 36 to 48 hours to find a suitable body site and insert themselves into your body proper.
This gives you plenty of time to check yourself and check your clothing by turning it inside out and examining it minutely.
Of interst: I've examined ticks clinging to their trailside perches and noted that they are quite quiescent until you get close to them and yell at them. Instantly, all eight (?,many) legs extend outwards like flicking switchblades, the better to grip onto you.
They're at their worst in the early Spring when they're very hungry, and typically aren't a problem by August as heat and dryness significantly limit their activity.
Mostly, they're dangerous to your dog as it's impossible to find them on a breed like my Standard Poodle girl until they've been feeding long enough to swell into the size of your fingernail.
After a 10 day hiking trip in central OR we had to deal with 45 ticks on her, as they were found over a one month period. To complicate matters, since we sleep together, the ticks would regularly migrate my way at night.
The best way to deal with ticks on your dog is to use tiny tipped hemostats, available at military surplus or medical supply stores. Firmly press the tips into the dog's skin above and below the tick's mandibles, then gently close the hemostat jaws and pull the tick's mouth parts out along with a generous portion of the dog's skin in order to insure that none of the infectious tick body parts remain embedded in the dog. Doesn't hurt the dog at all. If you want to be fancy, apply a smear of anti-biotic ointment to the site.
Now, ticks aren't a problem for my dog as I've resumed monthly applications of the anti-tick med, "Revolution" brand, for the months of April, May, June,and July. I figure that the med's toxicity is probably preferable to whatever the tick might transmit.
So, ticks are mangeable and shouldn't limit your willingness to get outdoors.