If you or someone you know has limited mobility and wants to go camping, you may feel at a loss. Can we make this work? Is camping with limited mobility even possible? Is it worth it? The simple answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES! Camping with limited mobility is definitely possible and totally worth it.
It might take a little extra planning and effort, but planning an accessible (and still fully immersive) camping trip for someone with limited mobility is within reach.
The first thing to figure out is exactly how rugged of a camping trip you’re comfortable with. The term ‘limited mobility’ isn’t exact and it can extend from people who have trouble walking long distances all the way to those who are confined to a wheelchair. Determining what each individual is comfortable with and wants to achieve is vital to making the camping trip a success.
Research is a big part of any camping trip, but it’s even more important when camping with limited mobility. There are countless campsites and cabin rental locations that offer fully accessible amenities for visitors, like the Estes Park KOA or the Myrtle Beach KOA. Some online research or even a call to the campsite (yes people do still talk on the phone occasionally!) will help to ease a lot of uncertainty about the trip. Having visual confirmation of the accessible amenities will help to ease a lot of fears about the trip beforehand.
Don’t worry about being limited in your chosen camping destination. There are accessible facilities just about everywhere these days. However, you do need to make sure that any given destination is actually accessible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or even ask for the campground manager to ensure that the facilities and amenities are appropriate for your situation.
Once you’ve found your chosen campsite and have set up camp, it’s time to experience some fun outdoor activities. There are so many ways for those with limited mobility to enjoy the outdoors while camping, from simple things like sitting around the campfire to more involved activities like fishing and hiking. In fact, many wildlife areas and campground have completely accessible fishing piers and hiking trails for people with all levels of limited mobility.
Paved hiking trails are common and offer incredible hikes of their own. They may not take you into the most rugged areas that can be difficult for anybody, but they also are not all short, little trails around the duck pond.
Fishing is another great activity for campers of all levels of mobility to enjoy. Accessible fishing piers are plentiful and offer the opportunity to catch a large variety of fish. If you are new to fishing, I’d still encourage you to give it a shot. Fishermen tend to be a friendly bunch and most are usually willing to offer a little advice and maybe even a helping hand to novices. You can also check out my beginner’s guide to fishing here.
Having limited mobility does make certain aspects of camping more difficult. However, as organizations like the National Park Service broaden their commitment to making their facilities and services accessible and usable to all nature lovers at locations like Arches National Park or Rocky Mountain National Park, campers of all levels of mobility can enjoy America’s most beautiful landscapes.
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