Handicap Accessible Camping

Morning all, I know, I have a one track mind where this camping thingamie is concerned. Wouldn’t you?

I want to remind you that I camp in my back yard. Our home is blessed with a huge back yard, with plenty of room for needful things. Meester grumpy, IE my beloved Husband isn’t happy that I am camping back here, but he can get over it. I figure if he insists on having the AC on, I can insist on enjoying the great outdoors.

This is not the post where you will get all the pictures, and all the goodies. I know, I don’t need to write that out, but I’m an odd little fat woman, I have to state the obvious.

I am wheelchair bound, with use of a cane to transfer from one seat to another. I can walk tiny distances. I consulted many long term campers for the right gear, and foolishly followed their advice. Snort. I spent a long long time making tiny purchases to make this whole camping thing work.

I had to consider my medical needs first when camping came into the picture. The first need was not insulin, though you have seen me blather on about that enough in this blog. It’s the bladder. I’m a frequent flyer to the necessary, and have even run to the can on rare occasion.

For years, I have had a bed-side commode. I just adjusted the idea. We do have a 1 and a half bath house, but the half bath is in the basement. I can’t get down there. So, the bedside commode became a thingamie. For simplicity, you could get a sturdy bucket, a pool noodle, some bags, and the other accessories. I have a small 1 woman tent for this which is also a shower tent. This is the first tent I set up, simply because I can’t set up the rest without this. Even in campgrounds with nearby restrooms, I set this sucker up. I can’t always make it in a hurry.

Second consideration, sleeping and tenting.  I have a River Country Products Tent that is a teepee style, with a center pole for support. I can set it up from the wheelchair if needed. I also have a camping cot. I can’t get up from the ground, but I can set up a cot. I have a sleeping bag system, and sheets for camping.

One note…. I also have tarps as moisture barriers. These go down first before putting a tent in place. Also, leave the camping spot cleaner than you found it. Always pack out your trash, even if it is a backyard setup. Don’t fuck over Mama Nature, she has bears people.

Last, there was the kitchen. October’s camping trip taught me that I can get away with a minimal setup for a kitchen. A 20 dollar grill also doubles as a mini campfire setup. Also, for those coffee things, I have a mini twig stove.

Coffee, the next concern. I have instant coffee and real coffee. In order to wake up enough to be a real adult and manage a mini campfire or even a twig fire responsibly, I have a thermos. Like when my beloved is making coffee before bed for me, when camping, the last fire of the night makes the coffee for the next morning. I can then have coffee first thing while I am on the necessary, and not have to think too damned much.

Now, for the insulin. Cooling containment is a must. Insulin, and many foods do not survive or thrive in the heat. Now for backyard camping, I can use the house fridge to store my needful. However, for “real” camping, I have an old cooler that my insulin was shipped in years ago. I pack that with ice packs, add the insulin, and make off like a bandit. I also am working on cooler mods.

You notice that I don’t mention my canes or the wheelchair much when talking about camping don’t you? It’s because there isn’t much difference between setting up for a 2 legger or a wheel chair assisted citizen. My tent is wheelchair accessible. My necessary, the same. I haven’t mentioned tables or anything like that yet, because a card table works. Just cover it with a tarp to keep dry as a table cloth, or use garbage bags.

Lastly, the big thing about camping while handicapped. When I am in a campground, I do let the folks who run the campground know in advance that I am handicapped. I also let others know where I am camping, and how long I plan to be there. I check in with others, okay, I spam them with pics and that type of crap… if they don’t hear from me in a reasonable time frame, they know to call. If I don’t answer twice, they check on me physically.

As I write this, I’m actually waiting for the sun to rise enough that I can take good pictures. Hugs my friends, if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by, the coffee is ready if the campfire is burning. -L


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