These days’ wheelchairs offer the wheelchair user terrific mobility and flexibility. But people need more possibilities when it comes to
unaccompanied business and recreation travel. At times these journeys demand carrying a large quantity of luggage and equipment.
The problem occurs when wheelchair users try to apply able-bodied luggage systems, such as rolling suitcases to pull along with the wheelchair or alternatively carry a large knapsack on their back.
What do you do when you have a lot of stuff to carry combined with a manoeuvrable but unsteady wheelchair?
Introducing the seven step 6 bag system
6 bags may sound like a lot, but this has been tried and tested and it’s proven to work.
1) Use a small sack to contain all wheelchair associated supplies and tools such as a spare inner tube, tire irons, Allen keys, lights, etc
2) Use a small everyday pack for carrying keys, glasses, wallet and other personal items.
3) Use an average sized round duffel pack for clothing or gear.
4) Use a rectangle-shaped bag with pockets for clothes or gear.
5) Use an average sized backpack for more clothes or gear.
6) Use a large durable duffle bag to centralise airline baggage.
7) For flight travel, in order not to go over the 22 Kg weight restriction for a checked bag, put 11 Kg in the cylindrical bag, 11 Kg in rectangular Bag, and the rest in the day pack and carry-on as necessary. The day pack becomes the Personal-Item.
When on the move, use the following structure
1) The small sack dangles under the chair.
2) The day-to-day Kit bag goes on the back of the wheelchair.
3) The round duffel bag is placed on the feet and bungeed safely and securely to the front of the wheelchair.
4) The rectangle shaped bag goes on the round bag and on the knees.
5) The rucksack goes on the back of the wheelchair on top of the Kit bag.
6) The big duffel bag is kept in any one of the additional bags as most convenient.
The benefit of this multi-bag carrying method is that the centre of gravity of the wheelchair is not dramatically changed.
When going up slopes if the bag you are carrying on your lap restricts your forward lean, then you may find that going up in reverse works well.
In the event you are journeying from place to place with all your baggage and gear (i.e. backpacking around Thailand). You could combine things to a front cylindrical Bag, a rear rucksack, the under seat sack, and use a front bum bag for items that need to be readily available such as phone, money, and camera. Belongings such as passport and money can go in a dangling pouch under your shirt for added security.
If the front round bag is securely attached this system is mobile and very stable. You can use the system with confidence, whilst travelling solo.
For those people that don’t feel that their feet make a secure enough platform to support the round bag, there are available over the counter Folding Forks , you can buy designed for that particular purpose.
In summing-up, bungee cables and duffel bags are better than hard travel suitcases for wheelchair travelling just about every time.