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Planning an outdoor adventure? Three things to do first

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An outdoor adventure is one of the great joys of summer. Whether you opt for rock climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge or a week on a houseboat in the Illinois River Valley, vacationing outdoors can be a welcome break from routine.

But before you indulge in some outdoor activities this summer, you should do these three things first:

1. Check your credit.
If you’re planning on using credit to fund your outside excursion, it’s a good idea to get the inside scoop on your credit score first. Your current credit status could affect your decisions about where to go and how to pay for the trip.

If your credit is in good shape and you have a plan for paying off the expense quickly, then using a credit card to cover vacation costs may make sense for you. If, however, your credit is spotty or you’re close to your credit limit on one or more cards, you may want to reconsider where you’re going and how much you’ll spend.

Websites like Freecreditscore.com let you see your score, which is a snapshot of your credit. The site can help you understand how your credit score calculated, what factors affect it and when the time might be right to apply for or use credit.

2. Check your health
Your blood pressure, nutrition and cardiovascular health might not come into play if your summer vacation plans include nothing more strenuous than romping in the surf or walking around a theme park. But for safety’s sake, a basic level of fitness is necessary for more energetic outdoor activities.

If your outdoor vacation will involve extended periods of vigorous exercise, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor for a checkup before you go. He or she can help you assess whether your current level of fitness is up to the challenges of the vacation you’re planning, and offer advice for how to best prepare your body for the trip.

3. Check your emergency plan
When you’re preparing for a trip into nature, “hope for the best, but plan for the worst” is a good philosophy to follow. Of course your trip will be great and filled with new sights and experiences. But knowing you’re prepared for any potential emergencies can help free you mentally to fully enjoy your outdoor adventure.

Before you head outdoors, know what emergency services are available in the area you’ll be exploring. Be sure to take your cell phone and determine right away if you have service in the area – especially if you’ll be in an isolated location. Carry plenty of water and energy-filled snacks, and be sure your first aid kit is fully stocked and at hand.

Finally, make sure someone – and more than one person – knows exactly where you will be and what you’ll be doing. In some cases, it may make sense to notify local authorities of your plans. Many national parks require hikers and climbers to check in with park rangers before setting out.

With a bit of advanced planning, you can ensure this summer’s outdoor adventure is fun, memorable and safe.

(ARA Content)

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