What to Pack as a Wheelchair user
There were a few things I couldn’t have left the house without and felt as a wheelchair user were absolutely invaluable. There are definitely some things that you have to pack that your able bodied backpackers don’t have to pack. The challenge is to to keep your pack light, because remember you have to carry everything in you bag.
- Occy straps/ bungy cords – Absolutely life saver. I used these when i was going over cobblestone surfaces to strap my feet in. Sometimes when I got on a train there was no wheelchair area and I had to strap my chair to the overhead luggage compartment.
- Theraband/ tennis ball – As I was pushing a lot every day, looking after mh shoulders were essential. Therefore therabands are great to do some shoulder exercises/ stretching – just attach them to a bed. A tennis ball is great to roll out those knots/aches/pains
- Pain relief – again for when your shoulders become a bit sore and achy.
- Aspirin – For the Plane. I take 2 of these the day before i fly, the day i’m flying and the day after for preventing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) as I am unable to get up and walk around the plane.
- Peppermint Tea – When I’m sitting for long periods ie on a plane I get really painful abdominal cramping. If I feel this starting I just ask the hostess for some hot water and use my tea bag.
- Set of alan keys – If things go a bit wrong with your wheelchair a set of alan keys is a great idea to tighten anything or take anything apart (if you are brave enough)
- Spare tyre tubes– I travelled with solid tyres to try on cut down on weight to eliminate tyres getting punctured. However if you have tyres with air in them spare tubes is a must.
- Hand sanitizer and wet wipes – some of the streets you are going to be pushing down are FILTHY and you don’t want to be putting that in your mouth when you go to eat. So carrying hand sanitizer and wet wipes in your bag all the time is essential.
- Antibiotics – This is getting a bit personal but essential. Because I self catheterise I am prone to getting UTI’s. Therefore I carried 2 courses of a broad spectrum antibiotic and also another script. This is one you have to speak to your GP about to see wether they will let you carry multiple courses worth of antibiotics.
- Catheters – This is definitely something able-bodied traveller don’t have to worry about. I used individual disposable catheters that are wrapped in a sterile salt solution
- Medication/ self care/ bowl care – This is obviously very specific to the individual.
If there’s anything I have left out that you find useful to travel with please let me know!