Summer is finally here, and that means it's time to get outside and take in all of the beauty if has to offer. If you have limited mobility, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for a summer full of adventure.
Go With Friends
Hiking alone usually isn't a great idea, no matter your accessibility. So instead of risking getting lost on your own, make sure you have some friends tagging along. Having a trail buddy will not only give you some company on your outdoor adventure, it will provide a measure of safety. The buddy system is important! And as an added bonus, it's less likely you'll pass up on a beautiful outdoor activity when you're with friends.
Look For Limited Mobility Hiking Groups in Your Area
If you haven’t been able to get any friends in on your trip, getting involved with a limited mobility hiking group can help. Groups from recreation departments will typically host events for people with limited mobility, so take a look at your local parks department's website. Around 10% of the world’s population, some 650 million people, live with a disability, which means there's likely an appropriate hiking group in your area.
Research Accessible Hiking Trails in Your Area
If you know what you can expect from accessible trails before hitting them, you're less likely to come across an unexpectedly dangerous situation. Take your fears away by doing a bit of researching and preparing yourself with detailed information. Most parks in the country have a section on their website with information for ADA-accessible hiking. It might give you the surface texture of a terrain, as well as the difficulty rating of the trail itself.
Bring Drinks and Snacks
ALWAYS remember to bring a water bottle and a snack with you on your hike. Hiking does count as a workout, after all. You’ll want to come prepared with the fuel you’ll need to help your body make it through. Snacks like beef jerky, apples, oranges, sandwiches, and trail mix are great choices for a quick burst of sustenance. And if you're headed out with a big group, it could be a good idea to plan a picnic for when you reach the end of the trail.
Hiking is one of countless summer activities nobody should have to miss out on. And doing it with a wheelchair is definitely possible. It’s a great way to keep up with your active lifestyle and get adventurous this summer.