A WORD FROM JOE
While daydreaming about my experiences in outdoor recreation, fond childhood and early adulthood memories generally come to mind. Flying down a mountain slope on fresh powder or a rugged single track, endless days of hiking, kayaking, swimming, fishing, or camping in the depths of forests under moonlight. As time passes, though, these memories become less vigorous, more challenging, and seemingly remote yet bring a sense of relaxation and allow for deep reflection. It’s natural that in aging we may develop concerns when it comes to participating in simple outdoor activities since. As our bodies age we tend to slow and in parallel recover more slowly from physical activity, illness, and hardships but our minds continue to long for adventure.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT ENHANCING ADAPTIVE RECREATION EQUIPMENT FOR THOSE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY?
Some who experience limited mobility, may feel it’s impossible to continue participating in the outdoor recreation we know and love. Thoughts like:
“What if I slip and fall, trip, get stuck, or worse?”
“Can I communicate with anyone to help me?”
“What if I experience a minor medical emergency?”
While this happens to us all as we age, it’s the every day reality for not only older adults, but also for younger explorers with limited mobility. Feelings of embarrassment, fear, and worry can be significantly reduced if not eliminated with adaptive outdoor recreation equipment, better known as Outdoor Recreation Lifestyle Medical Products (O.R.L.M.P.’s,) there to support while giving assurance and independence to those with limited mobility while enjoying nature.
What if slight modifications to existing outdoor recreation products and new mobility technologies along with education in diet, hydration, flexibility, yoga, unique exercise, and mental wellness could collectively re-invigorate a sense of adventure, while ensuring continued and enhanced safety for those with limited mobility? What if treks through trails like the Appalachians or North Country historically to be planned throughout 5 summers without hi-tech mobility products could take a week or weekend with hi-tech mobility products. What if access to nature for those with limited mobility could be simple and more immersing than ever?
HOW CAN WE HELP TO ADVANCE THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND LIMITED MOBILITY PRODUCTS FOR OUTDOOR RECREATION?
Here at Innovate Marquette SmartZone we believe in supporting the research, manufacturing and technology innovation of O.R.L.M.P’s because everyone deserves the same experience, enjoyment, and health benefits derived from nature. These devices give a silent helping hand, when needed, to assist in taking limited mobility individuals effortlessly through the most rugged terrain without little concern. They also support stronger bones, healthier bodies, and a new sense of self in nature.
With the obvious health benefits of outdoor recreation and our passion to prolong these adventures for disabled and limited mobility folks of all the opportunities in promoting discovery, creation, development, and commercialization of outdoor recreation lifestyle products is obvious. If you have ideas in this space, we are here to assist. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an epicenter of outdoor recreation and we want to ensure it is accessible and safe for everyone.
If you or someone you know are working towards innovation, advancement, or in manufacturing of limited mobility outdoor recreation products, we would love to have a conversation. You can contact us here.
All the best,
Joseph A. Thiel
LOOKING FOR ADAPTIVE OUTDOOR RECREATION EQUIPMENT?
If you’re looking to explore current varieties of adaptive outdoor recreation equipment we encourage you to read this article:
8 Pieces of Adaptive Outdoor Recreation Equipment that Redefine Accessibility