If you find yourself wanting to spend more time outside and connect with nature, you might want to try wheelchair hiking. Not only is it a great way to get exercise, but spending time outdoors in natural surroundings helps to decrease depression and increase happiness as well.
Five tips for making wheelchair hiking in the US part of your life:
- Preparation is Key – Hop online and check out hiking trails before heading out to them. There are lots of websites that offer information about hiking trail accessibility. Try visiting one of these: Traillink.com, AmericanTrails.org, and this state-by-state guide.
- Hike with a Friend – Experiencing the great outdoors is double the fun when you have a friend by your side. Make sure you and your friend agree on the type of hike you’ll be engaging in, whether it’s something leisurely or more vigorous.
- Get the Right Gear – Specialized gear for wheelchair hikers is designed to make hiking both fun and safe for wheelchair users. If you are really adventurous, you can even get a specialized hiking chair. There are lots to choose from, all varying in both complexity and price. No matter what equipment you choose to use, be sure not to forget the basics like a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and a long sleeve shirt.
- Food and Water Are Necessities – Whether you are going on a short or a long hike, food and water are essential to bring to refuel your body. A combination of carbohydrates and protein is a good idea. And remember to drink water before you head out on the trails to give your body a nice hydrated start.
- Look for Group Hikes – There are lots of groups around the US that organize group wheelchair hikes. A group outing is a great way to meet people who share the same interests as you. Some groups even have adapted hiking wheelchairs for members to use. Do some online searching in your area to see if there’s a group near you.
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