Any power wheelchair user can tell you about the importance of having a wheelchair bag. We need a bag of essentials to keep with us wherever we go. Here’s my list of top things to carry in your power wheelchair bag.
Keep a Set of Tools
You need to have special tools with you always. We all need tools for our power wheelchairs. That’s the number one rule. I suggest to always have a set of tools and or a backup set in your bag. You never know when you can get into a sticky situation and needs something done quick. The most unexpected things happen when you least expect them. Some of my favorite tools include zip ties and duct tape. These are great for temporary fixes until you can get things fixed properly either at home or at your Quantum electric wheelchair dealer.
Bring a Wheelchair Charger
If you have an electric wheelchair or manual wheelchair with an assist motor, always bring a portable charger with you wherever you go. You never know when your wheelchair batteries might crap out on you. Your batteries could also start to run low. Sometimes, you are out and about and having so much fun you lose track of time and then realize that you’re out of power and your wheelchair batteries are dead. So, always pack your power wheelchair charger or a portable charger.
Pack Your Jacket
Another essential for me is a jacket. Because of my spinal cord injury, my body has a difficult time staying warm. That is why I always bring a jacket wherever I go. Another thing I bring is an extra t-shirt, just in case. You never know what could happen.
For those who have supra or super catheters, always bring a urinal with you so you can empty out your catheter bag. I also recommend carrying a small portable umbrella with you. Those always come in handy. Weather can change quickly. If you are in an electric wheelchair like I am, it’s not good for your chair to get wet. If my power wheelchair gets wet or slightly damp I cannot control it and it may stop moving. Keeping an umbrella with you is a good idea. You might also keep some plastic bags handy just in case. You can cover your controller with them. When you do finally make it home, make sure you put your wheelchair in a warm, dry place so water can evaporate.
During the Colder Months
In the winter times, I have a little trick that helps me stay warm. I like to keep hand warmers and or neck wraps in my bag just in case I get too cold. It can take me a long time to get warmed up again, so hand warmers and the neck wraps can help regulate my body temperature quickly, as opposed to taking 45 minutes to an hour just to get back to normal temperature. For those of you who are like me and have a spinal cord injury, you understand the struggles of regulating body temperature. Having those items in my bag kind of helps out.
My final tip is to always bring bottles of water with you, especially in the summertime. It’s easy to get dehydrated when out in the sun all day.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse uses an Edge 3 Power Wheelchair for mobility, lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.
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