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Thread: Wheelchair Snow Preparations?

  1. #1

    Wheelchair Snow Preparations?

    I?m going to be traveling to Chicago around New Year?s and I?m being warned about my power wheelchair not working too well in snow.

    I don?t really know what preparations I can make though. Are there chains for the tires like cars? Should I change to different types of tires?

    On that note, how do I dress for cold weather? I mean I can bundle up but beyond that are there any precautions I can take for my legs and feet? I don?t have great circulation there and even now living in San Francisco, where the weather is quite moderate, my legs and feet still get quite cold.

    I have been to snowy places before but that was when I was still able bodied and able to feel temperature. I don?t really know what I should do now that I?m in a wheelchair. I don?t really want to find out what I should have done after I get frostbite.

  2. #2
    In addition to bundling up using lightweight more technical layers --(example: a nylon water-resistant outer layer on top of technical fleece wrapped around your lower body/bungeed without added pressure), you might consider Vaso-Wraps for your cold legs, even where you are now. Also disposable pocket hand warmers are not just for hands.

    I'll leave tires/treads to others, but would consider a "Chicago profile" if you don't have one like that set up, with lower speed intervals between levels, that is basically a lower gear, for when the ground is slippery. Or use your slower/indoor profile. And it's better to keep a light touch on the joystick than to stop and start, for the same reason.

    Plan for your batteries to use more juice in the cold and don't cut your margins too fine.

    Stay on plowed sidewalks and level ground. Use a light at least starting at twilight. And wear a hip happen.

  3. #3
    My tires are listed at 35psi but I run at 32psi in the winter -- gives slightly better grip.

    With my RWD chair, I sometimes have more climbing power when driving backwards -- use that for the worst slopes. When you get stuck, go back and try a different path. Carry a mini-shovel and some sand -- if you're deeply stuck, helpful bystanders may be able to get you unstuck that way.

    Make sure your cellphone is programmed with local helpers.

    I wear many layers:
    feet: compression socks, wool oversocks, wool lined "pac boots"
    legs: wool long johns, breathable pants, fleece blanket
    upper body: wool undershirt, breathable sweater, fleece jacket
    control zone: wool or polypro neck gaiter, wool toque
    over it all: windproof leather cape.

    (but then I live in Wisconsin).

    And then a big bag on back to take most of this off when I go inside, or I'd pass out from heat.

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