With the holidays fast approaching and many of us dreaming of a white Christmas, now is a good time to make sure you and your wheelchair are prepared for navigating that winter wonderland. Here are 4 delightful tips to get you winter ready for that frightful winter weather.
Arguably the most important piece to getting winter ready is to make sure you have weather appropriate tires. Just like with a car, snow is best navigated when using snow tires. Wheelchair users have a few different options when it comes to outfitting your wheelchair for the snow.
Knobby all-terrain tires
An all-terrain tire like Sportaid’s Kenda Nevegal Knobby tires or Grit Freedom Chair’s Snow Wheels will help you get the traction you need to glide through snow and safely traverse the ice that often comes along with it.
Wheelblades are a set of runners that attach to and work in place of the front wheels of your wheelchair. They attach to the chair with a roll-on/off clamping mechanism that allows for easy removal of the wheelblades when you’re done in the snow. When paired with snow tires on the back of your chair, wheelblades are perfect for people who want to check out the snow off the beaten path or who find themselves living in a community with minimal snow removal on sidewalks and walkways.
The Freewheel attaches to the footrest of your wheelchair and transforms it into a three-wheel all-terrain vehicle. The larger size and deeper tread of the Freewheel allow wheelchair users to push through snow more easily and with more confidence. When not in use, the Freewheel stores on the back of your chair in seconds.
Do it yourself winter snow tires
If a second set of tires or winter tire attachment isn’t in your budget, or isn’t accessible to you before the first snowfall; you can find all sorts of do-it-yourself guides online that walk you through how to modify your regular tires for use in the snow. Check out the United Spinal Association’s zip-tie snow tire project for a cheap and cheerful solution.
2. Take care of your equipment
Now that you have your wheelchair outfitted and ready to take on the snow, it’s important to take care of it. The cold and wet that comes with winter and snow can do a number on the materials and moving parts of your chair. To make sure your chair makes it unscathed to spring, store it somewhere warm and dry. Also make sure to wipe down your chair when you come in from the snow, paying special attention to places where snow can build up (bonus this will also help keep your indoor spaces clean and dry).
3. Dress the part
Prepping your chair is only one piece of the puzzle. Make sure to prepare yourself for the winter weather too! Navigating the snow can be hard work, so it’s important to dress in layers so that you can remove or add clothing as needed. A base layer that is moisture-wicking is important to keep you warm and dry, especially for those using manual chairs, as pushing your chair through snow can really work up a sweat. Another winter weather tip is pack a winter accessory bag, like this one from Handy Bag so you always have access to dry hats, gloves, and socks. A winter wheelchair poncho is an excellent addition to any wheelchair user’s wardrobe as it provides total coverage for you and your chair keeping your seat warm and dry. And last, but not least, don’t forget about your feet! Make sure to wear warm footwear and socks when venturing out into the snow and cold.
Dual-purpose: the small quilt can be used as wearing cloak, it can also be used as a small quilt in tent, realize the winter out to want to put a quilt on the idea of the body, perfect for home, office, cyling, outoor activing.
4. Be smart
While winter’s shorter days and colder temperatures highlight the importance of these next few tips, here are some other ways that you can stay safe as a wheelchair user all year long!
In the winter not only does it get dark earlier but falling snow can make you hard to see. Decking out your wheelchair with reflective tape or LED lights, like Activ Life’s LED bike lights, or Life Mount’s LED wheelchair light, can help you get noticed, keeping you both stylish and safe.
When possible, go out with a partner; but at the very least always make sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to arrive or return. While it might seem like overkill at times, snow and ice can throw a wrench into even the best made plans, so always make sure to have someone you can call if you get stuck (both literally and figuratively).
Check the weather often
There is almost no excuse to get caught out in nasty weather. There are literally hundreds of weather apps that are updated in real time. Check out The Weather Network’s page for a list of verified weather apps and services. It’s important to remember that there will be times when it’s just too cold and/or snowy to attempt an outing. Let those around you know that your presence at events is dependent on the weather and permit yourself to stay home in the name of safety.
Properly preparing yourself and your wheelchair for the change of season will not only keep you safe this winter but might even leave you singing let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
For more devices and tools to help you glide through the winter months check out evika.io.
The Zoom is a light, small, electric all-terrain beach scooter vehicle for recreational use. It has a permanent symmetrical 4-wheel drive designed for use in rough terrain. The patented frame design ensures that all four wheels stay in contact with the ground regardless of the type of surface. This provides continuous 4-wheel drive performance under all conditions.