In the world of disability, technology is making strives to bridge the gap paralysis has caused. Being a C7 quad, my hands are not what they use to be. But I find gadgets that allow me to function more independently and to be able to go out longer, faster and more safely on my own.
Anyone who knows me, knows that being outdoors is one of my passions, whether it’s chasing deer, fishing, laying down tracks or simply walking the dogs, I love the freedom and adventure nature offers.
One of the biggest concerns about trekking solo is safety. I love the freedom of being able to get out, but doing so in a manner that is relatively safe is of upmost importance. Being able to see after dark, communicate with the outside world and capture pictures or videos of the adventures are issues we all face.
Below are 5 items I’ve found that help me battle those challenges. And better yet, most won’t break the bank. Each works in conjunction with the other and/or independently. These include my GoPro, NEBO flashlight, USB charger, retractable power cord and articulating media arm.
One of the best buys I’ve found recently was a USB charger for my power chair that plugs directly into the same port that my 12v charger links to. It allows me to charge a multitude of devices while staying on the go: my cell phone, tablet, Bluetooth®, GoPro, flashlight, just to name a few. This allows for a continuous charge as long as my power chair has juice. No need for dead devices any longer. And I’ve noticed little to no extra drain on my chair’s longevity while charging these devices. Having access to onboard power allows me to communicate, film or illuminate nonstop while in the field.
In conjunction to the USB charger is a retractable power cord. I’ve found that the 2’ retractable model works best for my needs. (I’ve snapped off and broken numerous standard cords forgetting they were on my chair, getting them tangled in the tires or simply running over them and damaging the ends causing them to be useless.) The length of the 2’ cord coupled with the retractability makes it ideal, especially if I’m using these devices while simultaneously hunting or filming. Talk about a “quad hand nightmare”! At least this way I stay organized.
Another neat device is my rechargeable flashlight with USB adapter. Not only is the flashlight super bright at over 500 lumen, but it has an easy touch on/off switch and it is lightweight and fits in my pack, chair side compartments or lap.
Last but not least is my GoPro and articulating media arm combo. These two devices make it possible for me to self-film hunts, outdoor activities, or social events, while remaining relatively hands-free. I simply place the GoPro on my hat mount and my cell phone on the articulating arm. Whatever I look towards, the GoPro can record, while the media arm keeps my phone readily available to record, but strategically out of my way.
Not every device is ideal for every user. Some kinks will always need to be worked out. But finding ways to bridge obstacles and developing items that return our independence is the goal.
Life is definitely worth living and the biggest limitation is our mind. We have to find ways to overcome obstacles and not accept hardships as stopping points.
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD.BMDA.0119.0762