Don’t Forget To Stock Mobility Aids

Guest post: by Tammy

You may not need crutches or a wheelchair today, but…….

If you have no access to doctors or hospitals, there are bound to be injuries that may diminish your mobility, or that of someone in your family or group.

What are you going to do if you break a leg? Of course you know first aid, so the break can be set. But what are you going to be able to DO? Sit in one spot and wait for someone to help you move to another spot when you need to?

No, because you thought ahead and added crutches, a walker and maybe a wheelchair to your preps. Or at least have a couple of things on-hand that can be re-purposed to serve as mobility aids. Things like a desk chair on wheels, while not perfect, are better than nothing. Even a wheeled garden cart can be useful in this case.

It’s a good idea to look at what you have on hand already, with an eye towards things that can help you get around if needed. Try those things out, see if they would actually be helpful. If you can’t find anything, I urge you to acquire at least a couple of items. At the top of my list is a wheelchair, as that can really be helpful if you need to move quickly.

Having mobility issues myself, I have stocked up on aids:
Two manual wheelchairs
Electric wheelchair
Electric 3-wheeled scooter
Folding aluminum walker
A pair of crutches

I have solar chargers for the electrical appliances so they should be good for a number of years (unless something breaks). I also have a rugged plastic garden cart that will do in a pinch, plus it makes a great trailer to haul behind the wheeled chairs. I haven’t bought extra batteries yet, but that is at the top of my list.

There are a lot more issues to discuss on the subject of mobility but I feel the most important one is having something to help you get around if you need it.


  1. This is definitely a good idea. It’s hard to think about such needs for those who have never had… the need. Thanks.

  2. Excellent suggestion Tammy. Those with limited mobility will be at the mercy of those around them to get them out of harm’s way, then assist in their needs until the situation changes.

    Don’t forget about all those prescription medications and special supplies;
    jobst stockings, colostomy bags, special bandages/ACE wrap, etc.

    When you are doing your planning be careful to include everything one may need. Not wants but NEEDS to survive.

  3. @millenniumfly & 1982MSGT:
    Thank you.
    I’ve read quite a few prepping and survival sites, including ones dedicated to post-collapse medicine, and I’ve never read anywhere a suggestion that you might need a cane or a wheelchair if you become injured. Most advice seems to center around how to treat the injury, but is lacking in what you should do AFTER you’re injured.

  4. This is a great idea & insight (foresight).

    I also think having a strong child stroller is good–even if your kids are grown, as I have used one while not having a car for 1 year as a way to carry groceries–they are like portable shopping carts.

    I’d even contemplated using broken ones as a portable garden carrier (as so many people throw them out).

    They should really invent a stroller with the ability for an adult to stand and push–and maybe motorize into a scooter :)

    1. Speaking of aluminum walkers, i had picked one up at the Goodwill store (and folded it and hooked it onto the back of my stroller while pushing my little one). I just thought it might double up as a chair if you put a board on the bars, or a shelf–kind of like a lightweight portable furniture.

      I had stocked up on good walking sneakers as i have flat feet and a bunion where i must have sprained my big toe as a kid, and the Skechers brand is excellent, and in particular the Shape Ups–i’ve walked 10 miles in a day in them, and still felt pretty good.
      But i bought different sizes for my kids as they grow, because shoes are the most important “transportation” you can have. And a bit more difficult to make one yourself (especially if you need good thick soles!)

    2. We had lived close to a Walmart, so I bought 2 folding chairs carried on the baby stroller, then went back and picked up a 6′ folding table and carried that on the baby stroller.

      We really used that stroller, carrying upwards of 70lbs of groceries a week for a year, walking 3 miles+ a trip, until the axel was sawed through. Then, i called up the company and they sent a free axel replacement, shipping free too!

      Unfortunately, as we moved back to the mainland, i had to leave that stroller.
      That was one good little buggy.

  5. Most of us have seen the movies/pictures of post WWII Germany showing people
    (women and children plus old folks) pushing carts and baby carriages down the road with what looked like everything they owned.

    If you plan on “Bugging Out” you had better remember the post WWII Germans and plan to have a means to move your goods not using your cars/pickups/etc.
    Think about it. What would you do after becoming a refugee? Because once you leave home that is what you are until you get to your bug-out location.

    Plan ahead. Put yourself in the worst situation and plan around that situation.

    1. That’s a very good thought, one that I’ll bet many folks do not consider – having a cart or carts with wheels (wheelbarrows, wagons, etc.) to push ‘stuff’ around. We are all conditioned to throw things in our vehicles and go.

  6. I just re-injured my foot and needed crutches. Did I save them??? Nooooo
    I’ll never need them again !!! HA!!!
    (I’m in the process of getting an old set from a family member to save just in case)

    1. Lauren and I have never needed crutches (knock on wood), but that is something that I’m going to pick up to have on hand!

  7. Guys/Gals- Don’t wait to obtain a pull/push cart, wheelchair, crutches, walking canes or backup medications required by a family member. It is better have have it handy in a closet or basement than need one and no way to get it.

    Diabetics especially require insulin medication with every meal. What other conditions require a constant supply of medical products? Remember any condition that requires a constant supply of medical supplies may be the only thing standing between your loved on and their demise.

    Plan Prep and Pray.

  8. @Lightnbug-
    The Goodwill Stores are a great place to shop for these things. I’ve seen wheelchairs there for $5. Of course that was AFTER I got mine new (but at least Medi-Cal paid for them, don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t paid into the system for 40 years).

  9. @1982MSGT-
    If you’ve seen the movie “The Road”, look how many things he used to tote all his stuff around, a shopping cart, a garden cart and a couple of packs. But then, kept losing them, lol.

  10. To Tammy:

    If you stock up on a lot of these things, You may find yourself better stocked than the nearby rest home for seniors.
    To all: conventional wheelchairs are relatively inexpensive and heavy. They are also durable and tolerate neglect well. IF YOU are already using a wheelchair and have some mechanical inclination and some money, there is a lightweight wheelchair that is modular, rugged and expensive. The brand is called Quickie and the original models were designed by a fellow who was an avid bicycle racer that suffered a spinal injury.
    He/they developed these chairs at roughly the same time the Mountain Bike craze was on the rise. These chairs are modular and many parts can be found at a neighborhood bicycling shop as opposed to the Medical Supply store. Parts can be adjusted using allen wrenches and if you can work on a mountain bike, you can work on a Quickie brand wheelchair. Fair warning: these chairs can be expensive.
    I have worked with these wheelchairs in the past with about 6 clients and can attest to their attributes.

    If you do not have a bicycle and are considering one, I would urge preppers to get a good quality mountain bike. Compared to a road bike, the mountain bike uses low-pressure tires. They tolerate abuse better. The mechanics are kept relatively simple because the builders realize that parts will break far from town or the shop. Parts are modular, readily available and easier to replace.

    Other must-haves for the bicycle:Helmet, glasses or sport shields, bright clothing for conditions, water bottle, toilet paper, money for food and/or bathroom use, panniers or saddle bags, repair kit which contains a:chain repair tool, tire irons, 2 spare tubes, pump, small selection of allen wrenches to adjust in the field.

    For heavy loads, there are trailers made for bicycles with these same characteristics. They can haul children or loads over 100 lbs. With a load this big, it is not much fun to ride but this site is not talking about joy rides. They will get the job done when the roads are fouled or your vehicle is not an option.

    When I was going through college in the San Francisco Bay Area, I used my Mountain Bike as an alternative means of transportation at peak traffic times to pick up and deliver small loads. I went through high school during the Carter administration when gas peaked over a dollar a gallon and there were lines at the pump. I write this because many preppers live within large cities and the idea of moving about and getting things done in spite of gridlock are a current-day obstacle to overcome. Bicycles are still a viable transportation option and the more congested the roads become, the bicycle really comes into its own. About the only weather conditions I would NOT ride in are snow,sleet and ice. ( although there is NOW a maker of spiked tires for icy roads)

  11. My husband is disabled and uses a wheelchair also. Both of our manual chairs are Quickies. His has the slip axles so it will break down to go in the car. Otherwise, if we have to take one or more chairs/scooters anywhere, they have to go in the Suburban (this doesn’t happen very often anymore with the price of gas…)
    My scooter has a 25 mile range on a full charge, and with the closest town about 11 miles away it should be able to make the trip if needed.

  12. To Tammy:

    Is there a scooter maker out there that has a compartment for an extra battery? The current batteries on many carts are sealed gel type batteries. Also, the state of battery technology is changing as we speak thanks to the rising price of fuel.

    The idea of an alternate battery is not new. almost 30 years ago, my fire truck had a two battery system along with a heavy duty alternator to handle all the tasks the truck had to do. In operating the truck, I would alternate the battery I used that day. via a switch.

    I used batteries to power a trolling motor on my old canoe. It worked well though I tried to conserve the battery power and carried paddles in the event something went wrong. I did not want to be dead in the water.

    My friend’s father used to travel to the donut shop to visit his friends every day at 2 pm and he would use an electric cart to get there after he had a stroke and he could no longer drive.

  13. @Ted
    Sorry I didn’t see your question until this morning. A compartment for an extra battery isn’t integrated into any of the scooters that I researched. That was one of the things I was looking for, but didn’t find. However, the scooter I finally decided to purchase has a lot of space under the ‘body’, and could be adapted to hold an extra battery or maybe even two. The fiberglass body would have to be removed and replaced with another type of cover, because the body is pretty much molded to everything under it. But it can be done, and I’m thinking of asking my brother (he’s so smart & helpful) to see what he can do with it.
    Electric scooters have been a Godsend for a lot of people who would otherwise be stuck in their homes (me included). My FIL used one for nearly 10 years to get around his village after he could no longer drive.

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