Whilst we should be careful not to load ourselves and our wheelchairs up with too much kit, there are a few essentials and I think that one essential is a small torch!
I have a Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA hanging from the front of my cushion attached via the velcro, there is a good chance that it will be rarely used but it’s size of 10.8 x 2cm and the nylon holder means it is not in the way and its 136g weight will not hinder you.
So why should you bother to carry a torch?
Now I think the first thing I have to mention is the issue that almost all wheelchair users face and that is dimly lit streets and dog mess!
Pushing up our road is like a game of Russian Roulette. We have the upgraded LED street lights but still most of the street is quite dark and we do have a problem with people not picking up their dogs sh!t.
A head torch is very handy for hands free use as are some of the cycle lights but I like to have a torch that I can hold and the Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA has an unbreakable pocket clip meaning it can attach to my chair in a few places!
But aside from avoiding getting dogs mess on your hands, having a flashlight to hand is vital.
At home we never know when we might be faced with a power cut and everyone should make sure they have a flashlight to hand and as a wheelchair user, our chairs will always be close by.
Luckily I have the Philips Hue bulbs that I can operate via voice through the Amazon Echo Dot, but if you don’t have that and find yourself on the floor for a variety of reason which lets face it, it happens when you have a disability and I have often messed up transferring into the chair and, if this was when it was dark, I could reach up and grab the light from the front of my chair!
Some can also be used tactically, a quick double tap of the button puts the light I have into strobe mode and trust me it would disorientate any one who was a threat!
Now I know that you are questioning this because you now have a light on your phone!
Yes that feature is very handy, but whilst they are handy, they are not a purpose built light and don’t perform as well as an every day carry flashlight. Also it is a case of the right tool for the right job.
Being prepared is always a must!
I would rather be prepared for something that never happens than to be unprepared and whilst we cannot prepare for everything, we can make sure we have the basics.