Many of us love to spend time in the great the outdoors. Sometimes unsteady balance, arthritic joints, a lung condition or other health or mobility differences are what’s making outdoor adventures uncomfortable. But there are still plenty of ways to enjoy an escape into nature.
Get the dirt
Try to research the lay of the land at any campsite, trail or protected park to see what you’re working with. Look online or contact the destination.
Ask about the size and location of bathroom facilities. Find out if the terrain is paved or grassy; soft or hard; steep or flat. Are there places to pause for a rest?
This information can help you choose a trail or campsite and prepare accordingly.
Short for glamorous camping, glamping is the ongoing trend of making camping more comfortable and luxurious. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive; it just takes out some of the more complicated or uncomfortable parts of the experience.
A raised sleeping platform or cot is a glamping go-to because it offers a more comfortable night’s rest than the hard ground. A bed off the ground also makes it easier to get up in the morning, independently or with assistance.
There are plenty of tools that can make outdoor activities more accessible. Depending on your needs, devices could range from walking poles or supportive shoes, to beach and off-road wheelchairs, or tents with wheelchair storage. You might be able to reserve, rent or borrow some of these items.
Working with an occupational therapist (OT) can also help you discover and use tools and approaches to make camping easier for people, no matter their mobility.
Take advantage of what will make your excursion safer and more enjoyable.
You can find more information and confirm a professional is licensed through the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario at coto.org/ot