There are also some specific adaptations that one can use to help make the outdoors more useable and accessible to individuals with disabilities. The first thing one should do when introducing the individual to the camping area is to familiarize him/her with the surroundings. This is actually true whether you are in a new gymnasium, a classroom, or in a local park. The familiarization process takes time and planning. The more familiar the individual is with the surroundings, the better the individual will feel about the outdoor experience. This sense of well being and comfort can help facilitate future backpacking trips. Typically, the longer an individual stays in a specific area, the greater the sense of comfort and control.
The second thing once can do is impart the use of guide wires in the campsite. A guide wire is a line that is hung between two points such that an individual with a disability can follow. Location of guide wires within the selected campsite should be between important locations like the bathhouse, tent, and cooking area. If the individual is very comfortable walking around the site using the guide wire, then one can expand the wire in length or number to a water source or other areas. The wire should be made of lightweight rope or twine with knots placed every ten feet so that the individuals know how far they have walked. For higher functioning individuals, the guide wire may be attached to the backpacker directly and the other side to a fixed object like a tent or shelter. A survey of the area before the implementation of the guide wire is necessary. This survey includes picking up large branches and the notation of rocks that could hinder a wheelchair, walker, or cause someone to trip. It is important to replace the objects after moving them so that the area is left as it was found.
When working with individuals who have impaired cognitive function, additional measures are needed when selecting and setting up camp. This is especially true for individuals who may have impaired memory. Things to avoid include rivers (especially those that are fast flowing), snow, rocks, cliffs, feeding areas, roads with heavy traffic, and excessively rocky/hilly areas. If properly supervised, these individuals can experience a renewed sense of freedom and independence from participating at any level in the outdoors. "Flash cards" can also help these individuals learn new terms or ideas that are related to the outdoors. On small index cards (or larger cards for those with visual impairments), use pictures of terms you would like the individual to know. Examples of these terms include tent, stove, river, backpack, pole, stake, and rope. When needed, show the picture coupled with a verbal description to help reinforce the terms.