The belief that all wheeled devices are prohibited in the
wilderness is a misunderstood area of public lands management. Remember wheelchairs are not the only device serving the
disabled. The paragraph below is part of a government document.
Wilderness Accessibility for People with Disabilities
"According to Joe Meade, USFS National
Access Program Manager, the
Forest Service wants to leave some
latitude for local managers to
make decisions on a case-by-case basis,
depending on environmental
conditions. The Forest Service can
issue special permits to authorize otherwise prohibited activities.
A memo from Meade, dated August 9, 1991,
illustrates the point:
Our policy is not to hinder a person
with a disability from using a non-motorized mechanical device different than just
a wheelchair in order
to access the wilderness. Units have
authority and indeed are encouraged to
to individuals who need such an
person may need
to offer proof of the disability, such
note from a medical authority or some other
verification...i.e. a person with a
chronic back disability
which does not permit them to carry
weight on their back may
be issued a permit to use a wheeled
wheelchairs are not the only devices
the line with motorized devices
...." (pg #19-20)
Doug at the top of Mt. Massive 14,421 feet. One of the many
14,000 feet summits he has concurred with his walkers and the help of the
"After suffering a spinal cord injury and developing multiple sclerosis, I thought my days of exploring the wilderness were over. Then I found the Dixon Rollerpack and it changed my life. It takes most of the weight of my load off my back, enabling me to hike further and longer. It also lowers my center of gravity helping with my balance issues. Now I am climbing mountains and exploring the country, none of which would be possible without the Dixon Rollerpack."
What to Carry
-A note from your doctor detailing your disability (see example below)
-Info from the ADA document found on our website
The story below is from our customer, Dean in Arizona. The Dixon Rollerpack makes it possible for him to hike at 70+ with his grandchildren in all areas. May 2017
"I had my doctor write a letter verifying my permanent disability and took a copy of it along with highlighted portions of the above referenced report to my local Tonto National Forest Field Office to see if they would give me such an exception. After reviewing the matter with several different agents, the matter was presented to their head officer and he said I could have permission to use my primitive wheeled cart.
I asked if I needed some type of printed documentation and was told that I should just take a copy of my doctor’s letter verifying my disability and a copy of the statement from the report on the Americans with Disabilities Act with me when I hike in a National Wilderness Area and show it to the ranger if in fact I am questioned on the trail.
I have used your Dixon Rollerpack a couple of times in National Wilderness areas but have never been questioned, but regardless, I feel confident that if I am questioned my documentation will clear me from any citation.
Thanks again for outstanding Dixon Rollerpack and for the assistance you gave me in pursuing an exception with the National Forest Service."
Example Doctor's Note:
“Dean is a 70 yrs old male in our medical practice. Please
be advised that he unfortunately has suffered a right shoulder non-nunion
clavicular fracture that has resulted in a permanent disability. The patient is
unable to carry any moderate to heavy weight by the use of the standard type
backpack. He is requesting assistance through the American with Disabilities
Act which would allow him to use a wheeled primitive cart or device while
hiking in a National Wilderness area. Your assistance with this is greatly
Desert Grove Family Medical Group”
Life is an adventure for those with the courage to explore!