My best friend was quadriplegic wheel chair bound since an accident in her early 20's. We grew up together and like sisters. Love the outdoors, so being in a wheel chair did not stop us from doing what we loved.
She had a Battery
operated outdoor chair. We had two ways
1. Sleep in the Van
We made a platform bed in the back of her van also had a lifted portapotti on a frame she could transfer to.
2. Slept in the Pop Up on a lower bed.
Just inside the door. She would pull up to door and I would pull her inside on a pillow and roll her into the lower bed. Porta potti set up next to her bed for easy transfer. I hunted for a long time to find one that the floor plan worked for us. When found bought it and we used it for over 16 years. Only after her passing did I sell it and buy the fiberglass trailer.
3. Outdoor activities Unlimited.
Always had outside kitchen set up, I cooked she washed dishes and drank wine. sit around campfire laugh and drank wine. We'd get up early make coffee and go critter watching. same in the evenings, critter watch. I'd photograph them.
4. Parks with Rail Trails worked best. She could go about 11 miles on a charge down the trail, what works for a bike will work for a wheel chair.
I rode my bike. Sometimes we did it like canoes with a put in and take out place, other times we doubled back.
5. ***Handicap sites***: Almost always were taken up by some idiot in a big Huge RV, (They are paved sites) by selfish people not handicap in any way.
What we found was that any flat site worked just fine. Bathrooms must be accessible!!!!
Accessible picnic tables and fire pits are a big plus
but not absolutely necessary. We used a easy up Quest Shelter 12 x 12 with wind walls for outdoor huge room, she got around in it just fine.
6. WEST VIRGINIA STATE PARKS, congrats to them for all the efforts they have gone through to make their State Parks totally wheelchair accessible!
Much better than Federal Parks hands down. We lived in Virginia and I haved camped all across the USA, and am very proud of WVA. We would stay a week in the fall
there, sometimes got snowed on but were comfortable. *Electric a must*
After she was in the camper I would back up her chair and set it up to recharge at night.
7. Dress for it, prepare for it.
We also took the Manual chair
in case the electric broke down. And two types of heaters, one in case we had no power.
Most people newly in wheel chairs are young, as a result of spinal cord injury...a lot of the time they were active people, thus the result of their activities. Just because you do not see wheelchair bound people when you camp does not mean they are not out there camping and doing other outdoor activities. My friend went river rafting, canoing, camping, did trails, para gliding, sit skiing, and had and raised two children after her accident successfully. Live life to the fullest! Her license
plate said "Can Too" She was the exception, but please, do not put limits on the things people can do.
This was the last picture I took of her and miss her dearly to this day. There was no one I would rather spend time with outdoors than her.