Camping can be daunting for everyone. The planning, the packing, the logistics once you’ve arrived all of that only gets more complicated when you have a limb difference and wear a prosthesis.

First up, if your only device is a myoelectric and you rely on it to function, you’ll need to figure out how to charge it. For car camping, some campsites have outlets available, but even then, they may not work. Or, if the outlet isn’t right next to your tent, you can’t leave your device out all night to charge.

If you only have a myoelectric device and you would like to be a little less tied to an electricity source, now may be the right time to look into getting a second prosthesis.

Custom Carbon Fiber Socket with body-powered hook
A body-powered hook doesn't need to be plugged AND it's waterproof.

We recommend cleaning your prosthesis, no matter which type, at the end of the day when you take it off. Ideally, body-powered and activity-specific devices should be washed with a mild-soap and running water, then left to air dry. Unless it's a TASKA hand, myoelectric devices should not be exposed to running water, so stick with a damp cloth or wipes for cleaning. If your regular cleaning method isn't available, wiping it down with an antibacterial wipe at the end of the day should be okay while you’re camping. You can learn more in our article, “Daily Care of Your Prosthesis.”

Now, onto using your prosthesis while camping. If this is your first trip with your device, some practice may be in order. When he was younger, our patient Doug used to go camping a lot “at least a dozen times a year.” Doug was injured in early 2022 and hadn’t been camping since his amputation. He was fit with a body-powered prosthesis and a V2P terminal device. To help him learn how to meet his goals for using his prosthesis, his clinical therapy specialist and patient relationship manager accompanied him to an REI store.

Tim and Doug

They encouraged Doug as he figured out how to put together a two-person tent. He was able to do it on his own, but his clinical therapy specialist, Tim, watched him and gave him some tips and tricks for how to angle and preposition his arm, which can help with overuse issues and fatigue. Speaking of fatigue, Doug found that he did need help to take the tent down but he knows that, while out camping, there isn’t a situation where he’d need to take the tent down as soon as he puts it up (at least we hope not!). When our team spoke to Doug, who lives in Texas, in August of 2023, he was planning on going on a camping/fishing trip “the next cold snap we get.” Doug has already gone fishing many times with his prosthetic device. Because Doug is a super-user, his prosthetist, Scott, enhanced the V2P to make it extra heavy-duty. “I’m not one of those guys who says they’re gonna use their device and then get discouraged and not use it.”

Doug Tent

Now that Doug feels confident about being able to set up a tent, he’s ready for his trip. He already has a plan to use a wagon to take his supplies from his house to his car and the car to the campsite. Many of Doug’s plans incorporated work simplification and energy conservation.

If you would like to know how our prosthetists and clinical therapy specialists could help you return to your favorite hobbies, like camping, please contact us. During our Comprehensive Accelerated Fitting Process™ we work closely with our patients to ensure a comfortable fit so that you can function at your best. Each of our clinical teams are upper limb specialists, so you know you’re getting expert care. If you have any comments please leave them below including any camping tips you may have!


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