Rollin' on a River

New backcountry wheelchair for use on trails and river bottoms

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Climbing steep trails is tough enough on two legs, but how about on two wheels? Frustrated over the limitations of his wheelchair, George Young created a souped-up backcountry version to grind over rocks and haul his outdoor gear.

Young, a paraplegic game warden representative, originally built the wheelchair for himself with a third wheel for stability, thick tread to crush through rocks, and a steel frame for durability. But after rolling to some sweet outdoor spots, he told the Missoulian, “I’m going to build these chairs so others have these same feelings.”

He now sells it all over the country for just under $2000, a price that includes his personal delivery and a demonstration on nearby trails. The chair also includes a fishing pole holder mounted to the front and a basket on the bottom to hold a variety of gear such as a backpack or tackle box.

Young’s backcountry wheelchair isn’t the only custom trail beast around: BACKPACKER map contributor Bob Coomber, also known as Four-Wheel Bob, has an all-terrain wheelchair complete with knobby tires and a suspension system pictured above. In 2006, he used it to climb White Mountain Peak, a California fourteener, which also earned him a Presidential Fitness Award from George W.

Got a rugged wheelchair and want to take it up some gnarly terrain? Check out some of Four-Wheel Bob’s trips right here.

–Morgan Keys

Barrier buster – Outdoors enthusiast builds rugged wheelchair for backcountry use (The Missoulian)

Image Credit: Tom Mangan/Two-Heel Drive