Tofu burgers on the campfire; my very first and very weird camping memory (hey, I can’t help it if my best friend’s parents who took us camping growing up were old hippies that also went to Woodstock).
Camping is in my blood and the videos below prove that you can still camp even if you can’t walk. Sure…it requires extra planning – you need to find a campground that has accessible sites, accessible trails AND accessible bathrooms – but if you ask me? Wheelchair camping is totally still worth it.
Before heading out, you’ll need an accessible tent. And yup, they really can be accessible (you just need to think about your specific needs). If you’re unable to transfer onto the ground from your chair independently, you’re going to want to get a tent you can roll into; literally. And yes this type of tent exists too.
Eureka’s Freedom tent is the one and only wheelchair accessible tent that’s been mass-produced. Take one look at it and you’ll see why I love this thing. In the video showing how to set it up, a wheelchair-user is doing the actual setting up himself. Once it’s set-up, you can just roll right into the first a room of the tent (there’s enough head space and no lip at the door). Watch (it’s super cool). And if your wheels are dirty before going in, bring along some wet wipes so you can clean off your wheels.
The second room of the tent has a lower ceiling and is considered the “sleeping room” of tent. A transfer onto the ground to get into your sleeping bag (or onto an elevated cot for your sleeping bag, which is a much easier) is required. But awesome sauce – you can buy a cot for your sleeping bag at any camping supply store like this one.
Don’t forget you can also check out other tents just to see if they‘ll work too. If you can transfer yourself like a ninja, almost any tent will work. Check out this video from a paralyzed outdoor enthusiast from the UK whose part of the group, Rolling Back Home (a trio of paralyzed rally racers). In the video you’ll see him setting up a tent that he just purchased (it’s like Christmas morning!).
Sure, it’s a little bit of him showing off (and is sped up for effect), but dang are his all-around tent abilities impressive. He could probably drag himself through the wilderness if he had to (not that he’d want to of course)
Are you a fan of wheelchair camping? What tent works for your wheelchair? What other supplies do you absolutely need to bring along?
Watch the videos!