Outdoor Adventures for People with Quadriplegia

Quadriplegics are in a rough position. They are severely limited in their mobility options and thereby spend a good deal of time indoors. The desire to explore the beauty of God’s creation probably confounds them as the opportunities seem supremely restricted. However, there are outdoor adventures for people with quadriplegia.

The new advancements that we will be discussing in this article should be a thrilling refresher for those who love people suffering from quadriplegia. However, considering the breathing pacemaker located on this site: http://www.averybiomedical.com/conditions/quadriplegia/ is highly advisable prior to taking on some of the adventures that follow. Ensuring your loved one can breathe properly will be essential to success on these exploits.

Outdoor Adventures for People with Quadriplegia

Great Adventures for Quadriplegics

At the University of Utah, undergraduate students are working to provide access to amazing escapades for quadriplegics. They have been collaborating to create new equipment for outdoor recreation. The University’s rehab physicians have partnered with the Department of Mechanical Engineering there.

Their goal, according to those participating in the experiment, is to focus on the people that are most difficult to get into the sphere of physical activity. They want everyone to have the joy of outdoor explorations.

Craig Nielsen Foundation

They have been heavily backed by funding from the Craig Nielsen Foundation. Mr. Nielsen is a casino executive who became a quadriplegic in 1985 due to a car accident. In 2002 he started the foundation in hopes of supporting spinal cord injury rehabilitation and research. You can learn more about his foundation by clicking this.

Hand Bike

One of the University’s creations includes a hand bike with a U design. It allows the seat to adjust upwards so that those who use it can more readily get back into their wheelchairs. There are additional advantages to the bike including a braking system located in a chest piece, and electronically controlled gear shifts near the elbows. There is also the ability to apply 300 percent more torque due to a power assisting hub that measures the initial torque applied.


They have also designed a kayak. No doubt the idea may seem pretty far-fetched since being able to paddle a kayak would be impossible for a quadriplegic. However, according to the designers, those who can move their mouths and heads a little will be able to sail and kayak with the invention. In the summer of 2013, real quadriplegics were given the opportunity to try out the equipment. They sailed it in a reservoir near Salt Lake City. It was quite an experience for all involved.

One man, who had never been on the water in his life was able to sail the device. He utilized a tube to sip or blow in order to steer the boat. No doubt that was a chance of a lifetime and one he will not soon forget.

Other Options

Here are some additional outdoor options for people with quadriplegia:

  • Hydro Cycle– There is some great aquatherapy and cardiovascular assistance here. It is a recumbent chair that works with the water jets in a therapy tub. Muscles get toned and time in the water is enjoyed. Read all about various exercises here.
  • Paragliding– These pieces of adventure equipment are still in the works. But, the idea is that with these designs, everyone will be able to paraglide. The thrill is real. Click this to learn more about paragliding with a spinal cord injury.

Quadriplegia doesn’t have to keep you indoors. Try some of these ventures!

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