Getting out and about on your Boma in the summertime can offer so much, but when the nights are drawing in and the temperature drops the outdoors loses its appeal for many.
As the saying goes, with the right kit (jacket, trousers, boots and gloves) you can enjoy the great outdoors year-long without having to worry about the weather. But what is the right kit for you?
The problem is that modern outdoor kit comes in a massive range of layers, specifications and materials which can often be confusing to the uninitiated. Moreover, most outdoor kit is designed for the able-bodied rather than fitting well on someone using a wheelchair.
|Expedition camp shoes|
Keeping warm and dry is critical to those with reduced mobility, as it often takes a great deal of time to warm up again once their temperature drops. If you are permanently seated then changing clothes/trousers may require assistance from others and can be a further hassle. We believe the aim should be to make going outside quick and easy, by removing the negatives so you can focus on the fun stuff; like riding a Boma in the snow!
There are a growing number of specialist manufacturers producing clothing specifically designed for wheelchair users, but are often expensive and don’t feature the latest and best outdoor protection.
In this blog post, we have teamed up with our friends at theoutdoorshop.com to show you some of the standard outdoor kit which we believe would work really well for wheelchair users and those with mobility impairments.
Traditionally the best way to keep warm is with a down jacket. Modern jackets come in a range of sizes and shapes and thicknesses. Down has the advantage of being incredibly lightweight, so even those with limited strength will find they can still move freely.
Top Tip: look for the “technical mountain” jackets rather than walking/lifestyle jackets. Technical jackets tend to be cut shorter to give good range of movement; very useful for wheelchair users. You might also consider purchasing a jacket from the women’s range… These are usually identical to men’s jacket in styling, but are also cut shorter.
PrimaLoft is also available in trousers, providing thin manageable super insulated leg protection.
Getting waterproof trousers on and off has traditionally been a real hassle, particularly if you need assistance with dressing. Modern, mid-range waterproof and thermally insulated over trousers feature full-length zips along the side of each leg; literally all the way from top to bottom. All you have to do is wiggle the middle section under your backside and then zip down each leg, making them easy to use.
And for your feet… Keeping your extremities warm is crucial to being comfortable outdoors in the winter. Fortunately down lined “camp slippers” (originally designed for mountaineers to keep warm camping on a mountainside) are now available. These are extremely lightweight and extremely warm, but are generally not waterproof. A solution would be to use in conjunction with a waterproof overshoe such as Held overshoes.
|Over boots; no need to change your shoes!|
Again, waterproof jackets come in a wide range of sizes and specifications. We would recommend the technical mountain jackets for wheelchair users because they are generally cut shorter. Many of the waterproof systems require space between the inside surface of the jacket and the wearer. This is vital to maintain the breathable nature of these fabrics. Technical jackets often have foam padding in the back designed to maintain this, even when wearing a rucksack or backpack. We recommend you ask about this padding as it will also perform when you are leaning against a wheelchair backrest.
Top Tip: mid-range technical jackets usually have a double zip mechanism. Particularly useful when seated. Allows the jacket to be slightly open at the bottom, ensuring a good fit around the torso with minimal extra bulk.
We hope some of this information is useful to you and will help you get the right kit to get outdoors.
To help you on your way we have agreed a 10% discount on retail price from theoutdoorshop.com for all Boma owners.
If you would like any more information about Molten Rock or to read about our involvement with SIA please visit our Ruby Corporate Partner page here