In April 2015, I trekked coast to coast with Andy, my husband, in a TerrainHopper, a 4×4 all-terrain wheelchair (ATW).
Here’s our top tips for such an adventure:
- ATWs are all different. Research. Match your ATW to your goals/needs.
- Know your ATW is capable of dealing with distances, difficult terrain and bear traps in the North York Moors.
- Plan routes and emergency routes should the weather turn.
- You have many wilderness miles to explore. Consult an expert. Ours is Jonathan Smith at Where2Walk.
- Book accommodation carefully! Often a place offered accessible rooms but nowhere to charge the TerrainHopper. Or they could store the TerrainHopper, but not us up as we were far too common. People heard ‘wheelchair’ but not ‘all-terrain’.
- Know where your accommodation is. We fell foul of this in Shap. Our bed for the night was four miles south. We had a brilliant back up driver. We were saved.
- Clothing – Think waterproof. Think windproof. Think warm. I wear merino wool long johns and base wear.
- When traversing difficult terrain, don’t be badgered into things. If it feels unsafe, don’t try it.
- TerrainHopper is a Class 2/3 mobility product. It’s entitled to travel where anyone on foot can. You may be challenged. Know your rights. It’s supposed to be access for all so it should be access for all.
- Get out there -live it, love it, feel it!