A couple of weeks ago one of our members who follows us on Facebook sent through the following. Darren Heaton's a wheelchair user and avid hiker who loves the great outdoors. Now wheelchair hiking presents one or two obvious difficulties but as Darren shows they are by no means insurmountable.


He kindly set out for a list of dos/don'ts, as well as what you need to take with you to make wheelchair hiking a success.


Our thanks to Darren for passing this on to us. The following text is entirely his own words...


Here is a list of kit I take with me when I go wheelchair hiking in the peak district in Derbyshire. Just because we use a wheelchair doesn't mean we cannot get out there and have fun and adventures.


Wheelchair hiking kit and advice: As with all sports I would have a check-up with your doctor to see if you’re able to take part in disabled hiking. Here is a list of the kit I take with me while I'm on my own hiking. First of all check your manual or powered wheelchair for any defects.


1)      Always tell a friend or loved one your route and the time you intend to start and finish your hike.


2)      Check that the hike you’re taking on has mobile phone service coverage and take two fully charged and working mobile phones with you that work on different networks.


3)      Rucksack kit: Waterproof Clothing/Hot & Cold drinks/Food/Light/Personal Alarm/First Aid Kit/ Map of Route/GPS


4)      Never ever try to take on a whole trail in one go. Going off-road in a manual or powered wheelchair can be very exhausting; tackle your new trail in stages and note down any difficult spots of terrain and how you feel. If you are using a powered wheelchair check your battery usage and make a note of it (remember you have to make your way back home or to the car park at the start of hike).


5)      If the worst should happen and you have an accident stay where you are do not try to move, try to relax and use either your mobile phone or personal alarm to call for help. I really hope this advice helps, if you would like to add other things to the rucksack kit list please do.


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Like what you just read? Check out the links below for more articles on bespoken!




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Hi everyone. I have a partner who self propels & has done know for 6yrs. After the 1st year of seeing Diana struggle in her chair trying to propel over carpets, in general manouverability was limited due to the lack of grip because of the heart attack, two strokes & an amputation which left Diana weak & unable to propell herself easily. Also having to live with Diabetese & is Ceoliac.

I was appalled at the market for lack of products to help self propellers apart from gloves or black smooth rubber extruded grips which leave residue on your hands & they stink aswell, which i am sure a lot of people have tried, or the in fills that fit between the tyre & the rim which don't work that great either.

I woke up one morning with this vision & got a company to put my ideas on to paper which they did. When seeing the pictures i knew i could make a mould (as i worked in a pre cast factory in Aberdeen for 14yrs as a mould fabricator).

A few days later i turned that picture in to a creation which developed Grippoz, a silicone push rim cover that helped Diana recover from the difficulties life put in her path, the future in push rim covers for self propellers.

If you are interested in helping someone in a wheelchair who could benefit from Grippoz or even for yourself if you are a propeller as Diana says, you should have a look at this link & see how Diana & I have ( with the help of Jackie Brierton our business co-ordinator for 'Growbiz' our enterprise support company) to help us give wheelchair users the benefits Diana has experienced while using my proto types for the last 2yrs.

Click on this link www.grippoz.com/kickstarter to change a life or your's for that matter, please help us bring our product to the market through our kickstarter campaign to raise money for the tooling as Grippoz is a one piece high tensile strength silicone with an anti bacterial agent giving Grippoz a 99.9% clean bill of health for those that like cleanliness & would like to reap the benefits like Diana has. I prefer moulded being a mould maker, extrusion is not the way Grippoz is made so help us by pre-ordering or donating. I share with the sympathy people will have to wait a while for they're turn around, but believe me people it will be worth, especially as it was the population who asked us where to buy them when we we're out & about so we got with Growbiz who have helped us to where we are today & are needing people in wheelchairs to help support us in our campaign to let people know that there is something to help if you struggle through life like Diana did until i created Grippoz. £55 a pair early bird prices then £79 if we manage to reach our budget on our website grippoz.com.

Thank you all for taking the time to read our blog.

Paul & Diana


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