Camping While Handicapped? Read This Before You Go Camping
Typically people think that camping is an activity that they are restricted to if they are physically capable and do not have any type of handicap. While this is the older type of thinking it is very far from the truth. In fact, you will find that being able to go camping is possible for everyone that wants to go because more and more campgrounds are becoming handicap accessible. Now, you may be asking yourself if so many are becoming accessible why then do you need to read this article? The answer is actually very easy to see as not all campgrounds or equipment will take into account the needs of the handicapped campers. So, we are planning on covering some of the things to consider in handicap camping sites, we are also going to consider factors to think about in handicap camping equipment as well.
Why You Should Trust Us About Handicap Camping
Well, I have to say you really do not know me and are unsure if you should trust me about camping while handicapped. Well, I know that you do not know me, but I can tell you that I have had to deal with someone who is handicap and making the camping plans is definitely one thing that I really have grown to like. So I decided to help everyone out with the way that everyone can go camping and not have to be concerned about any type of restriction that is going to keep them from enjoying the camping trip of a lifetime.
Handicap Camping Sites Advice
When you look at the handicap camping sites, you will notice that you need to have several different options available. I know that it may sound a little odd to bring up some of these points as they would seem to be fairly straightforward you need to realize this is not always the easiest thing for you to think about right away. With that being the case, I came up with a short list that will make it easier for you to remember and some of the information you should find out about the sites and why.
Paved Or Not Paved?
Sadly a lot of the companies that have a campground that the are promoting as being handicap accessible are going to have sites that are not paved. In some cases, not having a paved site can actually be really troubling as you would have to deal with the campsite not allowing your wheelchair or walker to move around. However, if the sites are not paved they may have an uneven surface or even worse have a surface you would not be able to adjust to in time to keep from falling because they are a softer material.
It is important to note that I am not talking about the landing pad area where you would park an RV, but the area around the picnic table at your site as well. Yes, the landing pads should be paved for the RV or campers, but not all of the areas around the landing pad could be handicap accessible. This means you would not be able to have a comfortable feel to the camping adventure, but also means you could get injured. If the area around the pads is not paved, you need to inquire about what type of places you can use depending on the handicap you are suffering from.
Type Of Slope The Site May Have?
A slope may not seem like a major obstacle for most people, even some in a wheelchair. However, a slope is important to consider if you are looking at the campsites to inquire if they are fairly level or have a slight slope to them. If the company that has the campground does mention a slope you need to find out how much of a slope. This makes it easier for you to know what you should bring with you, but also lets you prepare for the issues you could have with the slope.
Why else you need to know about a slope is so you can know about any specialized equipment you need to bring. Yes, it does sound odd to mention this because you are camping, but sometimes if you have a slope and are using a powered wheelchair you may need extra batteries from the load of the slope, but you may even need to bring along some extra items that can help you level the slope out in your seats or even in the camper you are going to be using for the trip.
Camping Site Width For Wheelchairs
Normally, you would not really think about the width of the wheel camping site. I mean, if it fits your RV or camper you should be good. However, I have seen this firsthand is some of the sites are so narrow that when you step own out of your camper and onto what you would assume is the landing pad and next thing you know you are in the grass. While for the average person this may not be that bad, if you are handicapped or confined to a wheelchair then you will see this is a major issue.
Since this can be an issue you should inquire if the camping sites are a little bit on the wider side that are handicap accessible or not. If they are then you may not have any issues with your wheelchair. At the same time, though, if they are more of the standard size sites, then you may need to use extra caution or figure out how you can get the camper and your wheelchair or other items that you need to have for mobility placed so you do not hurt yourself and can still get around the campground.
Ease To Get Around The Camping Site/Campground
If you are in a campground you are most likely going to want to get around in the campground. In some locations, this is very easy to do as you can ride your wheelchair or use your walker to get around on the roads. However, in other places, you will find the roads are not in the best condition or not wide enough to allow you to go out riding around. Since this is the case, you should learn more about how easy it is for you to get around the campground and into the camp store.
In most campgrounds, the camp store can be a challenge because they tend to be smaller, but also have a lot of brochures and other items inside of them for people looking for information. So this is going to be a challenge, but it is the one area that you may have to go to for supplies or other items that you need. Heck, you may even have to get into this area for you to get the check-in completed for the camping site that you have already parked in.
Amenities The Campground Offers
Most modern campgrounds, especially those in private hands, are going to have a variety of amenities they have available for people to use. Some of these are very easy for you to get used to, but others are going to be a challenge to get to. A common amenity you will find at a campground is a swimming pool if the weather allows or a putt-putt course. Both of these are going to be great features for most people. At the same time, though, you need to make sure you know about the amenities you can easily access with your handicap. For example, you may find that they do have a pool, but it may not have the steps down into it that you need to get into the pool. What would even be worse is you find out that you are wheelchair confined and the only type of amenity the place offers is a tennis court for you to play tennis on.
It is important to note that some campgrounds will have more amenities than others. Just like your hotels and stores, you shop at this comes from the different items available. The same is going to hold true for the campgrounds as well. So you need to find out what the campground offers and then find out if any of them would be something you can do.
Handicap Camping Equipment
Just like the campgrounds, you will notice that finding the proper camping equipment that is meant for handicapped individuals is equally important. Now, in most cases, the equipment will be the same, but it is important to know about some of the considerations you should be making when you are thinking about camping and the needs or requirements of the gear. Since that is the case, we have a very short list here that will make it quite a bit easier for you to narrow down the list of products you need or even better help guide you to the type of equipment you would need to have.
Type Of Protection From The Elements
Everyone needs to have some type of shelter from the elements. Since that is the case, one of the first things that you need to look at is how well the item you are planning on using will protect you from the elements. You may be thinking to yourself that we are talking about the camping shelter, but that one is very obvious and something that you can figure out as most of these are the same type of rating. Instead, we are talking about items that will protect you outside of your tent, RV, or camper. These would include the camp shelters you may have set up, but even the sleeping bags as well.
You need to find out what these will protect you from and how well they are going to do without you having to do a lot of work to keep them up with the cleaning or upkeep while you are camping. For example, if you are using a pop-up shelter and have to drain the water off during rainstorms, you need to make sure you can do that, but at the same time make sure it will provide you with the protection you need and ease of taking care of it.
Ease Of Using The Camping Gear
Well, this should go without saying that you need to make sure the equipment you are getting is easy to use. For example, if you are going paraplegic camping you would not want to have a piece of equipment that requires you to use your legs or feet for it to operate properly. At the same time, though, you should consider if the items you are getting are like the wheelchair accessible tent trailer that makes it easier for you to get a wheelchair in or it if will be one of those difficult items that require you to figure out a way to get out of your wheelchair to get the main area of the gear.
Something that is really interesting and will help guarantee that people who have a disability to use the gear is the disabled tent, and even locating the best car camping gear. All of these will definitely help you out and be fairly easy to use for a disabled individual because the car gear will fit into the car and not have to go anywhere else. For the tent, if it says it is meant for disabled individuals you know the manufacturer would have taken into account the needs of disabled individuals. With some of the gear, you may find that it is the normal gear you would be buying. When you have to get the normal gear before you leave the store or use the items make sure it is an item that is easy for you to use and not have any problems using. If you have issues using the gear without it being the campsite, then you most likely will have issues with the gear at the campsite.
Function The Camping Gear Will Serve
This may sound odd, but sometimes you buy a piece of equipment because the salesman has you convinced that you are going to need it at some point in time. However, before you fall for the salesman pitch, make sure you check out the gear and learn about it. See what job it is going to serve and see if that will actually work for what you want to have or if you need to consider a different piece of gear.
You may actually be thinking to yourself right now, its a piece of camping gear, of course, I am going to use it. However, you need to make sure it is a piece you are going to use and can use with your disability. Yes, I will admit I have to get a coffee percolator when I am camping, but I know the purpose of this item and know exactly what it will do for me. At the same time, though, if I am looking at a cooler and see that it has the accessory of a divider that will allow you to store items, but the cooler model I am looking at does not have the ability to be split up, then it would be insane of me to buy the item, even though it does look cool.
Cost Versus Benefit Analysis On The Gear
One aspect that you may need to consider for all the gear that may want to purchase for your camping trip you need to do a cost versus benefits analysis. Yes, that age old cost versus benefit that you probably hated in school. However, since people tend to put more into developing and producing camping equipment for disabled individuals, it may cost a little bit more than what you are used to seeing.
Since the cost is going to be a little bit more you may want to consider how much it will cost you and what kind of benefit you will actually get from the gear being used versus the other gear that you are planning on using. For example, if the gear has a feature that increases your comfort level ten-fold then you are going to want to buy it for sure so you can be comfortable while camping. If the item is only going to improve your camping trip marginally, then you could find the added cost of the item may not be worth it for what you are trying to get the item for.
Is Camping Possible While Handicapped?
Sadly, for a lot of people they think that once they are disabled their life is over and they will never be able to do anything. However, this is not the case. In fact, people will find that life is just starting with a disability as long as they do not allow it to get them down. So is camping possible for people who are disabled or handicapped? The resounding answer is yes! You just have to make sure to find the proper handicap camping sites and the best handicap camping equipment to guarantee your trip is going to be amazing and fun filled.