As some public places, parts of the countryside, and beaches become more accessible, previously off-limits destinations are becoming more within reach, and with a little preparation and planning, people of all abilities can maximise their enjoyment of an outdoor destination.
Considering that a stress-free day will inevitably be more enjoyable, it’s worth thinking through what might help to minimise anxiety.
Although remembering to take a torch, water supplies, sun cream, snacks and waterproofs is good advice for any trip, bumpy or uneven paths can unexpectedly knock wheels out of kilter or loosen wheelchair components, so a set of Allen keys could prove very useful to tighten parts up if necessary.
If any portable mobility aids or accessories are part of daily routines at home, it may be worth finding out whether smaller, portable options are available to take out.
Although beach wheelchairs are becoming increasingly available at some destinations, it would be sensible to check this out if it’s a necessity for the day.
Trying to navigate a beach with a wheelchair which is unsuitable will be difficult and frustrating, so make sure that your transport compatible with the terrain. Whilst an all-terrain wheelchair is an expensive extra, they do range in price and may be an investment worth considering in the long-term.
As with any trip, research is key as many places provide accessibility information on their website. Finding out whether specific wheelchairs are available to rent, or what changing, and restroom facilities are available, could make a big difference to the suitability and concomitant enjoyment of a destination.
Staying local to start with may be preferable, but organised groups can be sociable and increase confidence for more recreational activities – even to the point of adventure holidays.
Ultimately, the pleasure of being out in nature is there for everyone to enjoy, and preparation, planning and research is the way to maximise its benefits for all of us.