Adaptive equipment for bushwalking and safely providing assistance to other bushwalkers on the track
All bushwalkers use adaptive equipment, whether that’s walking poles to help reduce knee pain or specialised equipment like snow tents to survive extreme weather conditions. For bushwalkers with disability, adaptive equipment may include physical aids such as wheelchairs and hearing aids, as well as their standard bushwalking gear.
Adaptive equipment reduces disability by helping overcome some barriers. It enables people to do so many more things. We are now entering an incredible technological era, where adaptive technology is not only improving at an exponential rate, but it is too, becoming far more affordable. The newly rolled out NDIS and various insurance schemes are also making equipment more available to more people.
For bushwalkers with mobility disabilities, adaptive equipment tailored to handle bushwalking conditions, such as an all terrain wheelchairs, opens up many tracks than what could be done using a wheelchair designed for city use. For bushwalkers that use hearing aids, being able to join in the social side of a bushwalk and share the experience with others is great. We’ll run through a few types of adaptive equipment below as well some ways that you may be able to safely provide assistance to bushwalkers with disability on a bushwalk.