Camping, backpacking, and hiking have long been recognized as great alternatives to traditional ways to staying physically active, increasing self-confidence, and gaining appreciation for the outdoors. For years, typically it has only been individuals without disabilities that were exposed and educated in backcountry skills. On November 10th, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-359, requiring the
National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service
, and the
Bureau of Land Management
to determine ways to improve access for people with disabilities to outdoor recreational opportunities that are made available to the public on federal lands. Now, more then ever, the outdoors is becoming accessible to individuals with disabilities. In recent years, a climber who is blind successfully climbed to the highest point on earth and individuals with amputations have reached the most remote regions on the planet.
The following pages discuss a foundation of skills needed to safely participate in the outdoors with specific modifications that can be used to include individuals with disabilities.